Rugby Injury Survey and Evaluation (RISE) Study

We have attempted to address the lack of data on rugby injuries caused by the lack of inclusion by many sporting bodies and U.S Rugby’s club status. Research teams travel locally, regionally and nationally to collect data at many events. Attendance at these tournaments enables us to collect injury reports first hand, to obtain two goals:

  1. To gain a preliminary data set to understand injury rates in U.S. amateur to elite rugby players.
  2. To identify trends to assist in the creation of evidence-based player welfare and safety protocols.

Researchers will attend a tournament/match, and frequently be located near the medical tent and within sight of the fields. Field safety is assessed as well as player access to emergency services. When an injured player is identified, either at the medical tent or off the field, they will be asked to take part in our study. Some personal information, a description of the injury, as well as how it occurred is documented. This information will never be shared with another entity other than the RRIPG, approved Hospitalists and sanctioned research centers, and will only be used to identify the factors surrounding the injury. A follow up survey, usually lasting 3-5 minutes, may be conducted to assess the severity of the injury. Follow-ups are vital to understand the longevity of injuries and inform players of healthcare and rehabilitation programs available. It also informs us of the resources needed for players to prevent and recover from injuries. All players/guardians are asked to consent surveys for permission to document their information.

The RISE Report

The study mentioned in the introduction utilization of the RISE (Rugby Injury Survey and Evaluation) report as its primary documentation tool. The RISE was created by the founder and introduced in 2009, and published in 2012 in AJSM. This report adheres to the International Rugby Injury Consensus Group’s (RICG) consensus statement on rugby research, to promote consistency which has implemented such a system in Europe with similar end goals. Injuries are documented on the RISE Report, designed to identify injuries, their causes (mechanism of action), and surrounding factors. This adherence will allow for inter-study comparisons globally.


Proposed Benefits to the Research Data Collectors (RDCs)

  • Support of the RRIPG and involvement in rugby player welfare in America, and potential National team candidates.
  • Acknowledgement on papers that use data collected by the RDCs.
  • Introduction into research and data collection of a nation-wide study
  • Benefits of working on an inter-disciplinary research team
  • Introduction to rugby injuries as well as injuries in a tournament setting
  • Observation of emergency action planning, with evidence-based findings
  • Payment of a stipend per tournament
  • The RRIPG currently provides ‘Summer Research Internships’ for multiple level students and fellows, in many discipline; these are involved through our affiliates and board members (New York University, Hospital for Special Surgery, University of California San Francisco and Missouri Institute of Orthopedics/Basic Sciences):
    • High school​ – this will be our second year entering students into the Society for Science Intel Student Talent Search (this year’s nominees are Brittany Martinez, from H. Frank Carey High School, Franklin Square, NY, and Khalil Webb, from Kents Hill School, Kents Hill, Maine )
    • Undergraduate/College​ (pre-professional students)
    • Professional Healthcare Student Internships​ (MD/DO, DPT/PT, DMD, DPM, PA/RN/AT)
  • We also offer one of the most coveted Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships at HSS for first year medical students, nationally, interested in Clinical Sports Medicine with Dr Allen and HSS

Contact Information

We are based in the Northeast (with Midwest, West coast, North and South representation) and from here we are capable of many accomplishments regionally that would benefit rugby nationally. Given the population density in the Boston-New York-Newark-DC corridor, the Northeast Rugby and the neighboring Mid-Atlantic Capital region, make up two Competitive Regions (in USAR) and represent a large percentage of American Rugby. As we grow, our representation grows with us. We have undertaken national representation in Rugby-7s qualifying tournaments and are continuing to grow. Regardless of location, our vision and work depends on you as a player, coach, referee, or rugby club member. If you wish to speak with us at a tournament, have questions about being involved or our work please feel free to contact us:


  1. ​Lopez V, Jr., Galano GJ, Black CM et al. Profile of an American amateur rugby union sevens series. Am J Sports Med. 2012;40(1):179-84.
  2. ​Lopez V, Jr., Ma R, Weinstein MG et al. An American Experience with a New Olympic Collision Sport: Rugby Sevens. Orthop J Sports Med. 2014;2(2 suppl).
  3. ​Fuller CW, Molloy MG, Bagate C et al. Consensus statement on injury definitions and data collection procedures for studies of injuries in rugby union. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(5):328.
  4. ​Lopez V Jr, Ma R, Li X, et al. Costal cartilage fractures and disruptions in a rugby football player. Clinical Journal Sports Medicine. 2013 May;23(3):232-4. PMID: 22627657. Available from :