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Thread: When does a replacement for an injury (not blood/concussion) become permanent?

  1. #1

    Referees in America
    Voetap's Avatar

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    02 Nov 15

    Default When does a replacement for an injury (not blood/concussion) become permanent?

    Is there any rule-of-thumb for how long a player who is being treated on the sidelines for an injury not involving bleeding or an apparent concussion can stay off before his replacement becomes permanent?

    Or can s/he return at any time?

    In a match between two university sides yesterday I had a man limp off, supported by the attending athletic trainer, who was on duty as required for such matches. I thought the injury was quite serious as the player had lain prone for about 3 minutes before being removed from the field, and he could not walk without support. He stayed off for about 15 minutes, then wanted to come back on, with the athletic trainer pleading his case.

    As I know him to have been out for about a year prior to this season because of knee injuries, for his sake I did not want to take a chance by letting him back on. The match was only a friendly, after all, and I was not convinced that a sideline check would be all that reliable.

    Laws 3.8-3.10 talk about the possibility that a non-blood, non-HIA replacement can become permanent, but does not specify a time limit. Law 3.11 sets a 15-minute rule, but exclusively applies to blood injuries. Similarly, Law 3.12 has a 10-minute rule that only applies to head injury assessments.

    Law 3.9.b suggests that the athletic trainer had the right to decide that in this case the replacement was not permanent, but adds "if the referee agrees". Law 3.10 makes the referee the ultimate authority on deciding whether a player should continue (although the context is an on-the-field assessment, prior to the player leaving).

    Any comments will be gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Rugby Club Member

    Cambridge and St Neots
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    08 Mar 11

    Default Re: When does a replacement for an injury (not blood/concussion) become permanent?

    Surely if you are not playing interchanges and it is not blood and not HIA then it is an injury substitution and they cannot come back on.
    If you are playing interchanges it is an interchange and blood / hia are not relevant. A player can come back on provided you as ref are happy they are fit to continue. Though under England regulations, that cannot come back after a second injury - which does mean you still need to record if a player goes off injured.

  3. #3

    Advises in England
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    07 Oct 04

    Default Re: When does a replacement for an injury (not blood/concussion) become permanent?

    3.10 If the referee decides – with or without the advice of a doctor or other medically qualified person – that a player is so injured that the player should stop playing, the referee may order that player to leave the playing area.

    I have always understood that this gave the referee the final word, whatever a medical person may say. After all, that person is not neutral.

    At a relatively low level game, I once saw a player knocked out, and after he came round he was helped off the field, looking in a pretty bad way. Nonetheless 20 minutes or so later he wanted to rejoin the game with the insistence of the club physio that he was fit. The referee refused to allow him back on, and after the match was immediately subjected to some fairly unpleasant criticism from club officers.

    I noted the incident and decision in my report, strongly supporting the referee.
    He trudg’d along unknowing what he sought,
    And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
    The Referee by John Dryden

  4. #4

    Referees in England
    chbg's Avatar

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    15 May 09

    Default Re: When does a replacement for an injury (not blood/concussion) become permanent?

    It's one of those issues delegated to unions, or competition authorities. E.g. BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Regulations for matches in England or Wales specifically state:

    "13.5.20 A player who is replaced due to injury will not be allowed to take any further part in that match. The only exception here is for an open wound where Regulation 13.5.17 will apply."

    So I asked the skipper on each occasion whether the substitution was tactical or not, and if not the player was not coming back on (at least in the same numbered shirt!). They were probably too truthful! But also had 6 and 7 replacements each, with more than enough FR, so were not too worried.

    Whereas RFU Regulation 13 permits injured players to come back once, as given by Camquin:

    "27. A Player who is previously injured in the match may return to play as a Player Interchange provided the Player is fit to continue playing in the match save that a Player who suffers two injuries in a match which has necessitated that Player being replaced on each occasion is not permitted to act as a replacement following the second injury."
    Be reasonable - do it my way.

  5. #5
    Rugby Club Member

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    03 Sep 14

    Default Re: When does a replacement for an injury (not blood/concussion) become permanent?

    In Wales it is simple. An injury replacement is permanent. Blood Or HIA are "special cases". Of course there is nothing to stop a team claiming a Substitution rather than replacement. A player goes off injured he is unable to continue.

    Furthermore, if a front row player can no longer scrummage due to a "minor injury" he has to leave the field. He can't claim that the injury "only stops me scrummaging". I was pulled up many years ago for allowing such a player to stay on in such a situation. The assessor said "If he's too injured to prevent him doing his job he's too injured to stay on the field."
    Last edited by Pegleg; 24-10-16 at 08:10.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: When does a replacement for an injury (not blood/concussion) become permanent?

    As others have pointed out - unless you're playing interchanges, he shouldn't come back on, but TBH, in a friendly I'd be a bit more lax.

    Regarding letting an injured player back on (assuming interchanges or no replacement in the first place, for argument's sake) I wouldn't stop them coming back on (other than a head knock or blood) but would have a word to try to dissuade them.
    In this case (away from the physio) and something like "Look, are you sure you're okay to continue? It's only a friendly and I know you've had a problem with your knee"

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