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Thread: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

      
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    Default Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    I play rugby in the Welsh division 3 and am amazed by how few of my peers wear Mouthguards. For me it is an essential piece of kit that prevents costly and painful injuries while allowing me the psychological edge of knowing I can play full force.

    Mouthguards are recommended kit and compulsory in some leagues but with the weight of evidence suggesting mouthguards can guard against concussion alongside the debate about repeated concussions in Rugby at the moment, is it time to up the stakes? What I'm talking about is referees checking a player is wearing a mouthguard before they're allowed on the pitch, just like studs are checked. The GAA, the governing body in charge of Gaelic Football has already taken this step and personally I think it would be a good idea for Rugby to follow suit.

    I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of other players/ referees.

    Ewan

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    From playing rugby at the age of 9 up to, well still playing the odd game at 44, I have never taken to the pitch sans mouthguard. Not a single, solitary game.

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    Compulsory here in Germany at every level, although you'd be surprised how many players at top level can provide medical attests detailing their severe asthma that allows them to be exempt from the rule

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    as a club we make them compulsory for all contact games and training up to U19.

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    There are two elements to your post:

    a) is it a good idea to wear a mouthguard? For me, the answer to that is a clear Yes!
    b) should the laws of the game mandate the wearing of such kit? Much more difficult. The laws mandate shirt, shorts, underwear, socks and boots. It doesn't mandate headgear, shinpads or any other safety kit. It DOES say (in the foreward) that the safety responsibility lies with the coach - and by inference the club:

    It is the responsibility of those who coach or teach the Game to ensure that players are prepared in a manner which ensures compliance with the Laws of the Game and in accordance with safe practices.


    At present, then, if a player takes the field without adequate safety protocols, the club is liable. Your approach would wish to make this the responsibility of the referee - and as a referee I don't like that approach. Before long, we will start exploring the fuzzy edges of this responsibility, with injured players pointing out that there's plenty of evidence to indicate that a dentist-fitted gumshield is significantly safer than a "boil in the bag" DIY job, and yet the referee allowed the player onto the field. When a forward's gumshield lands in the mud and he deposits it in his pocket awaiting a sluice of water when he's next near the touchline - who is responsible for compensating him when he's concussed before he gets there?

    I am a fan of personal responsibility. By all means educate about the benefits of mouthguards - but then allow people to make their own minds up about the extent to which they wish to put themselves at risk.
    Don't feed the pedant!

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
    There are two elements to your post:

    a) is it a good idea to wear a mouthguard? For me, the answer to that is a clear Yes!

    I am a fan of personal responsibility. By all means educate about the benefits of mouthguards - but then allow people to make their own minds up about the extent to which they wish to put themselves at risk.
    I agree with this.

    I made my two boys wear mouthguards from starting rugby. They were at different clubs (don't ask) and at one it was mandatory whereas at the other it was not. Son senior managed to knock out his upper mid incisors before he started rugby so his mum made him wear one (build by a retired dentist) to protect his remaining teeth and our significant investment in his dental work. Son junior was at the mandatory club so that was a no brainer (the wearing of the guard, not my son - however?)

    Both are still playing and wear them at all times.

    I tried to get on with them (mouth guards) but found myself gagging despite cutting bits off to make them less gag inducing. Luckily I made it to the end of my playing career with all 32 teeth intact - although I am having a wisdom tooth out next week.

    Mr Grimsdale!!!!!!!!
    It's like a big tide of jam coming towards us, but jam made out of old women......Father Dougal McGuire 1998

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    Glad to hear you all appreciate your gnashers!

    Some good points Dixie that I had overlooked, particularly regarding when a mouthguard comes out and the added responsibility on referees. Perhaps it could just be the case that a referee checks that players are wearing a mouthguard prior to kick off but that is where the regulations end??

    I do feel that at least work is needed to dispel the taboo of wearing a mouthguard as 'soft' by some clubs. But how can coaches be convinced?

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    Never. I've never worn one once in 37 seasons. If you're over 18 then freedom of choice should reign. Why bring the Nanny state into rugby.

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felk View Post
    Never. I've never worn one once in 37 seasons. If you're over 18 then freedom of choice should reign. Why bring the Nanny state into rugby.
    I for one would support your right to be a complete idiot ...

    (if the point of impact is a single tooth, it really doesn't take much to knock it right out).

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    Default Re: Is it time to make Mouthguards compulsory for rugby players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewanvj View Post
    I play rugby in the Welsh division 3 and am amazed by how few of my peers wear Mouthguards. For me it is an essential piece of kit that prevents costly and painful injuries while allowing me the psychological edge of knowing I can play full force.

    Mouthguards are recommended kit and compulsory in some leagues but with the weight of evidence suggesting mouthguards can guard against concussion alongside the debate about repeated concussions in Rugby at the moment, is it time to up the stakes? What I'm talking about is referees checking a player is wearing a mouthguard before they're allowed on the pitch, just like studs are checked. The GAA, the governing body in charge of Gaelic Football has already taken this step and personally I think it would be a good idea for Rugby to follow suit.

    I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of other players/ referees.

    Ewan
    Irrespective of individual view points, it'll never happen.
    Let all Adults decide for themselves. The RFU status Quo of 'Highly recommended but not compulsory' is the sensible approach for Juniors IMO. This way there isn't any Insurance liability for 'duty of care' etc, The practicalities of barring kids who turned up without one would turn this subject into a war zone.

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