The Pussyfication of Society, Rugby Edition

From the BBC:

The UK’s chief medical officers (CMOs) are being urged to protect children from the risks of rugby injuries by removing contact from the school game.

Let’s see who’s driving this:

Prof Allyson Pollock, from Newcastle University, is presenting new evidence that banning tackling would reduce concussion, head and neck injuries.

So a woman is trying to ban the fundamental aspects of a sport that boys have enjoyed for generations. At this point I’d say the feminists have pretty much won, wouldn’t you?

A spokesman for World Rugby said it was unaware of any new evidence that would challenge the current position.

Good. Stick to your guns, boys.

Last year, the CMOs rejected a call for a ban on tackling in youth rugby.

Another relentless campaign. Who’s funding this crap? Want to bet it’s the taxpayer?

They said the benefits of learning, training and playing rugby outweighed the risks of injury.

And who’d want to bet that none of those trying to force these changes ever played rugby to any standard?

I hear the same thing is happening with American football across the pond: over-protective mothers and meddling feminists are running around waving scare stories about concussion, causing participation rates to plummet.

Prof Pollock said children who wanted to could still play contact rugby outside school, for clubs, but schools should not be able to enforce contact rugby.

Look, I grew up in Wales where rugby was a near-religion. I couldn’t run, pass, or tackle which meant I could only play prop, but I weighed six stone soaking wet and was skinny as a beanpole so that was out too. (I also knew to come in from the rain, further ruling me out as a prop.) So what did I do? Well, the lads who were decent got put in one group and the rest (like me) were put in another. The first lot did some proper rugby training and we just had a bit of a run about, enough to get us warm(ish), muddy, and out of breath. I don’t remember putting in many tackles, but you could if you wanted. But it was the boys in the first group who really benefited, because they would later go on to play club rugby and one or two even for Wales. If they were relying on clubs to teach them the basics most of them would never have gone, particularly the working class lads. Going to a rugby club relies on having parents who both care and have the time and means to take their kids there on a Saturday morning. Aren’t we forever being told we need to be more inclusive? It didn’t come much more inclusive than school rugby.

She said: “We call on the chief medical officers to act on the evidence and advise the UK government to put the interests of the child before those of corporate professional rugby unions and remove harmful contact from the school game.”

Oh please. Rugby has been a feature in schools since way before the game even turned professional. This woman hasn’t got the first clue what she’s on about.

The authors reported research that girls were found to be three or four times more likely than boys to be affected by symptoms of concussion for 28 days, and they also highlighted the links between head injuries and an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Wasn’t the argument for girls not playing rugby that they would not be up to it physically? Perhaps we ought to have listened, eh?

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28 thoughts on “The Pussyfication of Society, Rugby Edition

  1. @James

    I was wondering if the results of her research was as a result of sustained concussions, actually.

  2. “At this point I’d say the feminists have pretty much won, wouldn’t you?”

    Yes sadly I think you are right it may be too far gone now for us to mount a recovery.

    As for females in male roles, they have a very important place in society and tragically it is not taking on male roles nor taking the lead in these matters, it will always end in tears if they do.

    Across the pond I spoke to my cousin in the US at the weekend and she always goes on about one of my ex-girlfriends in NYC that became a cop, every time a female cop is shot. One must have been before she called, my cousin says that she thinks of my ex when it happens, pretty stupid really, especially since I have been out of touch with her for at least 26 years (must be because I am married that long!) and I really don’t think about her at all.

    As I said to my cousin when I lived there and was seeing this chick at the time when she was considering a career in the police I advised her strongly against it. Why, because as lovely, physically fit, ambitious, hardworking and confident as she was I knew for a fact that if she were my opponent in a life or death situation that I could quite easily overpower her, take her gun from her and shoot her. Its as simple as that, I told her that at the time, she made the decision to join the police force and do a mans job, sadly its allowed but that is the way it is these days. I don’t wish any harm on her and anyone that kills a cop of any gender is a motherfucker but you know what I mean.

  3. The levels of progression in grass roots and mini and junior coaching has come on exponentially in the last 10-15 years and it could be argued that at those levels it’s safer than ever.

    Nowadays there are structured coaching pathways that are very big on tackling and contact being brought in gradually and with proper technique – it’s only where you get to the gym monkey stage where collisions and impacts are going to be any more severe than they have been in the past. Sadly the glory days of being able to deal appropriately with anyone lazing around on the wrong side of the ball are long gone (*sniff*) so the potential brutality of the lower tiers in age and skill has been very much removed. Beyond the 10yr age groups sex considerations don’t even come into it anyway. This woman has been pulling herself around on this bandwagon for about four years now.

    The head injury protocols are still far from perfect IMO but at least there’s a serious initiative to do something about it from within the game (even though some don’t agree with the current methods).

    Edit: A) Brian Moore deals with it in his podcast at 49mins in B) BO’Ds Dad (I think a well respected medic) is also a big critic of the HIA protocols

  4. Nowadays there are structured coaching pathways that are very big on tackling and contact being brought in gradually and with proper technique

    Yeah, I find it hard to believe it would be otherwise. I heard a big step, at least in some places, is grouping kids by size rather than age.

    Sadly the glory days of being able to deal appropriately with anyone lazing around on the wrong side of the ball are long gone (*sniff*)

    Hehehehehe!

  5. ….and now I’m listening to it Brian Moore gets his teeth into her research and rips it apart like some sort of erm… pitbull? Worth a listen 🙂

  6. As for females in male roles, they have a very important place in society and tragically it is not taking on male roles nor taking the lead in these matters, it will always end in tears if they do.

    Indeed.

  7. ….and now I’m listening to it Brian Moore gets his teeth into her research and rips it apart like some sort of erm… pitbull?

    Not often I say this about Moore, but good on him!

  8. My 12 year old niece plays full contact rugby and loves it.

    Last weekend she played in a boy’s team (for school) and scored two tries and then in a girls only league (for club) and scored a hat-trick.

    Rugby has inherent dangers. All sports do to some extent (not you, Ultimate Frisbee players; sit down and shut up), the question is, are the safety measure sin place (coaching, trained support staff, protocols to stop players continuing if in danger)?

    For rugby, the answers are a firm Yes.

    Of those measures, coaching is THE most important. Learn to tackle and be tackled.

  9. The last time this nonsense came round Matt had a dig in the Telegraph.

    You tend to see the worst injuries where physically mature adults are thrown into contact at their first exposure to the game: it’s why when I was a student women’s rugby had a high attrition rate; very few of the lasses going into contact knew how to do it safely. And the first game I introduced a Swedish mate to the game, he was luck he broke his leg or he probably would have been launched for some of his more… interesting challenges straight off the ice hockey rink. That said, the early experience of contact on the ice stood him in good stead once we drilled the use of arms in the tackle into him and he turned into a decent winger.

    Personally, having played rugby for over 30 seasons, I attribute being able to get up and walk away after being thrown off my pushbike by a hit and run numpty cutting someone up at a junction to muscle memory about how to hit the ground reasonably safely after collision kicking in before I even know what was going on. Rugby teaches valuable life lessons

  10. I am sorry to admit I initially read the woman’s name as Poppycock, and not Pollock. My apologies to all who sail in her.

  11. “Rugby teaches valuable life lessons”

    How to drink quickly when your arse is on fire.

  12. Right that’s it the science is settled.

    Infants prefer toys typed to their gender, says study

    “Our results show that there are significant sex differences across all three age groups, with the finding that children in the youngest group, who were aged between 9-17months when infants are able to crawl or walk and therefore make independent selections, being particularly interesting; the ball was a favourite choice for the youngest boys and the youngest girls favoured the cooking pot.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160715114739.htm

  13. I think I read somewhere that 70% of rugby injuries come from teammates, which makes sense since you’re focused on the opponent not the guy next to you.

    I’ve been coaching rugby for 10 years now, and 90% of injuries I’ve had to deal with have happened at school or home, not playing rugby.

    This woman has been going on about this for years, it is unbelievable that she is still given the time of day.

  14. I think I read somewhere that 70% of rugby injuries come from teammates…

    …in the bar afterwards.

  15. Biggest injuries I received on a rugby pitch;

    Broken Jaw – Caused by trying to take a scrum cap off an opponent as a souvenir at the bottom of a ruck and getting “cleaned out” whilst not paying attention.
    Broken wrist – Caused by putting an arm out in the tackle rather than going down shoulder first. This happened in two consecutive seasons and never again.
    Broken ankle – Caused by getting tackled in muddy conditions and having a foot stuck.
    Concussion – Caused by going for a gap that didn’t exist and getting tackled by both players and headbutting a late summer rock hard ground.
    Concussion – Caused by putting my head the wrong side of the tackle, despite about 20 years experience at that point.

    Conclusion; good technique and not being an arrogant dickhead reduces injuries significantly.

    As said previously, life lessons.

  16. Alyson Pillock (sic) is a public health wallah – quelle surprise! – and her son suffered three rugby injuries at school. So, probably, it’s all about her baby, a feminist distaste for the warlike games that boys enjoy, or both.

    “She cited research from Ireland which found that in children of secondary school age the rate of injury in rugby was three times higher than other sports.”

    Three times not much is still not much! ( Btw, at school, I was never injured playing rugby, but was hurt several times playing cricket.)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allyson_Pollock

  17. I have seen some bloody nasty injuries playing rugby, but I have played an awful lot of rugby in my time. The sport in which I’ve seen the most hospital-worthy injuries per minute I’ve played is netball…

  18. Brian Moore gets his teeth into her research and rips it apart

    Do you have a link for this?

    The research on American football is strongly indicative that repeated head trauma in children below 12 has serious long-term consequences, which is why they’re advocating for eliminating tackle football and scrimmage below that age. But rugby is a completely different game.

    One thing that tends to get elided in all these “Grrr, we played with rusty nails and unstable fireworks when we were kids and it durn’t hurt us none” rants is that the number one cause of childhood mortality is accident, and childhood mortality has been plummeting for decades. We don’t let kids play with elemental mercury any more for a reason.

  19. Gridiron is something of a red herring; at the adult level the helmet is used as a weapon rather than as PPE and it would be in no way surprising if kids emulated that whatever the rules are; as far as I can tell, kids start wearing then from the very start (Under 7!). The problem with helmets and padding is that they give a spurious sense of invulnerability, encouraging bigger collisions; this is, from an injury prevention PoV, a Bad Thing.

    The first thing that should be explained to any youngster wanting to wear a scrum cap, or more likely the parent trying to force them to do so, is that the only provide protection against scratches and abrasion, not any form of protection from blows to the bonce. It is, as ever, up to you to keep your head safe and up to everyone else on the field not to attempt to endanger it.

  20. Does it build character? Yes perhaps for the higher teams but having been in A&E too many times to count and seen kids stretchered off on a back board a couple of times I think some form of reflection is required.

    Bad coaching, or encouraging boys to be aggressive without control, is probably the root cause. After seeing a kid stamp on one of our players heads in a ruck after being *encouraged* to do violence to our boys by coaches in their language I wonder what is going on.

    All good points but my 5 foot 10 nearly 75kg of muscle and bone 14 year old has just given up rugby XVs after 5 years as he is tired of being injured whilst being on a loosing side. Last year of his prep in their 1st XV the injury rate was quite high as far as I recall but at least they won. There were several broken bones including ribs arms etc, concussions and other injuries severe enough to require a rest from the game for a while but the boys enjoyed it. The same injuries whilst loosing are not so character building after a while and actually might be harmful.

  21. “The authors reported research that girls were found to be three or four times more likely than boys to be affected by symptoms of concussion for 28 days, and they also highlighted the links between head injuries and an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

    Given this evidence, can someone tell me why it’s a good idea to have women in combat roles, or as firefighters?

  22. @David – “Given this evidence, can someone tell me why it’s a good idea to have women in combat roles, or as firefighters?”

    Quite the opposite, it is very bad form for males to put females into combat roles, whilst there are still able body men to do this. Many good men have been mentally broken during war, some are permanently wrecked, combat is a terribly shocking thing for a man to endure and it is a sick society that would expose its women to combat. Women suffer hysteria, they are more prone to nerves and they actually feel pain more than men do and men are physically stronger, it is not a manly thing for us to put our women into combat roles.

  23. Yep, headgear (or scrum caps as mentioned in a previous comment) will not prevent concussion at all. I wear one, but only to minimise the risk of cuts and scrapes while i’m playing. I’ve only been concussed once while playing football (schoolboy rugby league, instead of rugby union which I play now) and that was due to putting my head in the wrong position while making a tackle.
    I’ve also broken my nose twice playing rugby, and both times was caused by my own team-mates plus putting my head in the wrong position. Critics of the game may identify both rucks and mauls as “pile-ons”, but there is definite structure to these plays from which proper coaching will teach correctly.

  24. Given this evidence, can someone tell me why it’s a good idea to have women in combat roles, or as firefighters?

    One thing that is never acknowledged is the appalling injury rate suffered by women being thrown into these infantry selection courses. The injury rate among young men is not low, but among women it is much higher. Give it a few years and we’ll start seeing the class action lawsuits, this is how this game works.

  25. Does it build character? Yes perhaps for the higher teams but having been in A&E too many times to count and seen kids stretchered off on a back board a couple of times I think some form of reflection is required.

    Indeed, I’ve always found the “sports builds character” argument specious at best. It only applies to those who are good at sports, and the only people you’ll ever hear say it are those who were good at them. True, sports may build character but there are other ways of doing that. The bulk of mine was built by hanging around proper men who weren’t fucking arseholes between the ages of 16 and 24.

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