World Rugby encourages affiliates to try “belly collars” in community play to make sports safer.

The governing body of the global governing body, subject to the approval of the World Rugby Council, recommended that national unions consult on lowering the interference height at the non-elite level to reduce concussions caused by head-to-head contact between a team player and the ball. -carrier.

World Rugby’s recommendation is to set the height below the sternum, also called the “umbilical cord”.

The World Rugby Council will not meet until May to consider this proposal for approval, but World Rugby is making this announcement to ensure unions have full consultations ahead of their new season.

Trials will be optional – unions are not required to participate, but it appears that nearly all of them take World Rugby’s advice seriously.

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said his organization hopes to attempt a lowered tackle height in elite play and will not rule out legislative changes in the future that will reduce tackle height at the highest level.

“The growing clear evidence is that doing nothing is not an option,” Gilpin said.

“It’s something we need to reduce head-to-head contact, especially in community play. We should see these recommendations as an opportunity to grow the sport at the community level and reduce player risk.”

Attempts aimed at lowering the fighting height have had a mixed response globally.

In England, the Rugby Football Union came under widespread criticism after announcing in January that it plans to ban from the waist up in community play next season.

This RFU He apologized for the way he communicated his proposal and entered a new period of consultation on the matter.

An attempt was made to lower the team height to the waist – above the shorts line – in French community play and was approved by World Rugby in 2019 with some encouraging results.

Gilpin reported a 63 percent reduction in head-to-head contact and a 16 percent increase in engagement levels. The study also found the change in tack height that allowed ball carriers to get more offloads and improve the flow of the game.

Last year New Zeland when being consulted about lowering the combat height below the sternum, Scottish Rugby Union The community game began its consultation on combat height last month.

It’s about educating the whole society. This consultation period is really important. You should try to take community play with you, and that doesn’t mean it’s easy because there will always be resistance.

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin

Mark Harrington, World Rugby’s chief player welfare and rugby services officer, sought to allay fears that the changes would make the game only available to players of certain body types.

“That was certainly not the intention,” he said.

“Unions have the flexibility to adopt this. Our advice is below the sternum. We certainly don’t want to suggest that every challenge is a chopping challenge around the ankles, admittedly this is a challenge for tall guys. There are some that can bring it to nipple level.

People Say we’re trying to bring the game down. We’re not, we’re just trying to get the heads out of the same place.

Asked to respond to the reaction to the RFU’s proposals, Gilpin said, “We understand that change is challenging. People who are already in the rugby community will resist changing what they know to some extent, and we understand that.

“This is about educating the whole society. This consultation period is really important. You should try to take community play with you, and that doesn’t mean it’s easy because there will always be resistance.

“But still, the evidence is conclusive. While there will still be some challenges in the short term, we think the evidence shows that this will make the game more appealing to more people.”

World Rugby will assist affiliates with training resources with mandatory training technique programs before any trial begins.

Unions will also be encouraged to measure the impact of the trials, which World Rugby says will be reviewed in the second quarter of 2025.

The steps to improve security come at a time when separate legal proceedings involving elite and community game players are ongoing.

World Rugby insists this is a scientific evidence-based initiative rather than a response to a legal challenge.