Safer scrums through BokSmart

Jan 21 • General News, South Africa • 1797 Views • Comments Off on Safer scrums through BokSmart

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Photo: Etienne Burger

The modern scrum with all is processes, despite criticism at many levels, is proving safer according to BokSmart – a lot safer.

Based on Rugbysmart in New Zealand, Smartrugby in Australia and Rugbyready of the IRB, BokSmart got off the ground in South Africa in 2009 with the aim of making rugby safer and no aspect of the game was more dangerous than catastrophic spinal injuries occurring mostly in scrums.

BokSmart has done a great deal to ensure that rugby, which is more dangerous than other team sports, is safer, requiring coaches and referees to attend courses and achieving accreditation, putting pressure on the way rugby is played, especially at schools.

The scrum received especial attention because of the danger of the formation of the scrums, a problem area which has received attention from lawmakers over the last 30 years tilkl scrums were formed on a four-command system, but even that was not found to be wanting.

Brown is quoted in an article by Tanya Farber in The Times as saying: “Over time, the ‘crouch, touch, pause, engage’ sequence was causing harder and harder hits and this was affecting injury rates.

“By 2010, there was major concern. A new method – ‘crouch, bind, set’ – was then introduced to shorten the distance between the players before they engaged.”

Jurie Roux, CEO of the SA Rugby Union, is quoted in The Times as saying: “BokSmart has proved at schoolboy level that education can make a big difference.

“Every coach and referee is required to be BokSmart-certified, and the training emphasises safe techniques and putting players in physique-appropriate positions.”

Much of development of greater concern about catastrophic rugby injuries stemmed from the death of Chris Burger when playing for Western Province in Bloemfontein in 1980 and the establishment by the players of the Chris Burger Players Find, now the Chris Burger-Petro Jackson fund. The activities of the fund grew from assisting those injured to measures to prevent injury.

Morné du Plessis, chairman of the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Players’ Fund said: “Having safety structures in place that parents can rely on to keep their children safer is something that so many of the injured players that our fund assists never had the benefit of in years gone by.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Courtesy of SA Referees

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