SA Rugby’s Blue Card

SA Rugby’s Blue Card supported by Sports Concussion South Africa

Rugby is one of the few sports, where the referee can decide with or without medical advice that it would be inadvisable for the player to continue, and he can send that player off. With rugby’s mandate around concussion or suspected concussion cases, the Laws of the game also state, ‘If, at any point during a match, a player is concussed or has suspected concussion, that player must be immediately and permanently removed from the playing area. This process is known as “Recognise and Remove”.

The current SA Rugby Concussion Regulations dictate the management process of a player, who during a match or practice, is either concussed, or where one suspects that the player sustained a concussion. In the amateur game, these two situations are treated the same.

In line with this Regulation, the Laws of the game, and to drive further awareness around the seriousness of concussion, the South African Rugby Union has therefore introduced a Blue Card Concussion system applicable to all Amateur Rugby levels across South Africa, which will be rolled out throughout 2019.

This process is nothing new in terms of the Laws of the game and is well aligned with the current Concussion Regulations in place.

The introduction of the Blue Card notification will serve the following purposes:

  • It will increase public, spectator and player awareness regarding concussion identification and the management process that must follow.
  • The Blue Card will be the visual cue to all watching, that a player has been identified by the referee, or medical staff for that matter, to be concussed or that there is a strong suspicion of concussion and the player must leave the field of play immediately.
  • The Blue Card is therefore the first part of the concussion management process, which is recognising and removing the player
  • Those players who receive a Blue Card must then follow the concussion management and ‘Graduated Return To Sport’ or GRTS processes before returning to full contact rugby practice or playing in a rugby match.
  • The detailed GRTS process can be found on
  • The Blue Card is a visual reminder that SA Rugby is serious about concussion and will visibly reinforce its on-going commitment to player welfare”.
  • For more information, please visit

Medical Doctors Registered With Sports Concussion SA

Click here for a a list of doctors who are registered with Sports Concussion SA.

The Blue Card process runs as follows