Can we make school rugby less traumatic

Statistics is clear – one of every eight children who play rugby is likely to get injured in the process of games and practices. And the most sensitive phase which is most associated with injuries are the tackles and collisions. The dilemma how to make rugby safer occupies the minds of pretty much whole members of the rugby society – parents, coaches, managers, doctors and policy makers.

To this we try to respond with a new training apparatus that helps the kids learn to make proper tackles in safe and realistic environment.

The Rugby Tackle Machine – Rutamb simulates the motion of a side stepping ball carrier. It moves the tackle bag straight for two and a half meters. After that it makes a 90 degrees turn to the left or right and after two meters with another 90 degrees turn it heads forward again. Once the Tackle Machine’s development is completed, the process will happen with realistic speed set according to the personal characteristic of every different child.

The dummy is made of foam. therefore, it is light and practically harmless.

The left or right turn of the tackle bag will be determined by the coach or randomly selected by the mobile application for using the machine. The dummy itself will be made of foam and therefore will be extremely light. This will contribute to the high speed of the dummy and will make it harmless to the kids.

What this means is that soon kids will have a mean to practice tackles not one against another (it is not up to us to say whether the old exercises should be excluded) but against a movable dummy. This will help children gain experience much faster than in the recent circumstances. Gaining experience to tackle against a movable dummy means the children will be better prepared for full scale collisions. This must reduce the injury rate significantly and help grass root rugby become even more attractive.