Rugby at BHS
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Worried about daughter's risk of injury
My 16 year-old daughter just joined the Berkeley High rugby
team as an alternative to lacrosse (she loved the sport but
wasn't a good match with the jv coach). At practice
yesterday she was tackled, fell, hit her head and probably
suffered a mild concussion but is fine now.
She's always been athletic and active for fun and health
(though not interested in high-level competition). She
loves field sports and is not interested in working out at
a gym or dancing for exercise.
I'm wondering about the level of risk in rugby and how to
assess it. I'm also curious about how other parents have
dealt with the issue of risk in youth sports. What happens
if you and your child have very different perceptions of
risks and benefits?
This incident scared my daughter but she says she doesn't
want to be a ''quitter.''
A mom wondering about rugby
I am a neuropsychologist; my daughter also attends
Berkeley High. Even though you mentioned that your
daughter ''probably'' suffered a mild concussion ''but is
fine'', I'd still watch for symptoms such as headaches,
difficulty concentrating or focusing, and increased
fatigue in these next few weeks. Also, if she experienced
even just seconds worth of unconsciousness, technically it
is no longer a ''mild concussion'', but a ''mild head injury''.
My daughter plays rugby with Berkeley, too. Initially I
was really hoping she could be talked out of it. At the
first game I saw 3 players get hurt. Since then it has
been less scary. The girl who looked the most injured
recovered quickly. My daughter is constantly bruised which
she doesn't mind. The only time I worry is when they play
the team with very experienced and large players. The
comradery in rugby is strong and the kids seem to have a
great time. The coach might help you understand the risks
better. She is open and friendly. Maybe I'll see you at
a game. Rugby Mom
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