Rugby Washington Concussion Policy is based on the Zack Lystedt Law in the state of Washington. For further information regarding the law, visit: https://www.nlelaw.com/case-results/zackery-lystedt-law#targetText=The%20toughest%20return%2Dto%2Dplay,of%20a%20licensed%20healthcare%20provider.


All RWA athletes and their parent(s)/guardian(s) must read and sign the CDC Concussion Information sheet provided during registration.

Any Youth Player (aged 18 years or less) with concussion or suspected concussion must be immediately and permanently removed from training or the field of play. “When in doubt, sit them out.”

In order to return to play after removal due to concussion or suspected concussion, an athlete must receive written medical clearance from a licensed healthcare provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.


  • All athletes should complete baseline testing, to best assist medical personnel in evaluating the symptoms of an athlete’s possible concussion.
  • Athlete’s who have suffered a concussion or suspected concussion, should follow the following protocol:
    • they must not return to training or to play in a Match on the same day and until symptom free and until cleared by a licensed healthcare provider (see Policy above); and 
    • must have complete physical and cognitive rest for 24 hours; and
    • must have relative physical rest (activity that does not induce or aggravate symptoms) for at least two weeks (including an initial 24 hour period of complete physical and cognitive rest) before commencing the graduated return to play (GRTP) program. The Player must be symptom free before commencing the GRTP; and
    • must successfully follow and complete a GRTP program, which must be consistent with World Rugby’s GRTP program contained in the World Rugby Concussion Guidance which is available at here; and 
    • must receive clearance from a medical practitioner or approved healthcare professional prior to commencing the full contact training stage of the GRTP program (it’s the law!).
  • The following exceptions may apply:
    • the completion of a GRTP program is obligatory except in cases of suspected concussion where the Player has been medically cleared (in writing) to return to training or to play on the grounds that the Player had not in fact been concussed.


For further education on concussions and their symptoms, visit the HEADS UP website: cdc.gov/headsup

For Injury Other Than Concussion

  • Best Practices:
    • Any athlete who sustains an injury should be treated by medical personnel trained in sport injury.
    • Injured players should follow any treatment and return to play protocol advice provided by medical personnel trained in sport injury.