Rugby at BHS

Worried about daughter's risk of injury

Jan 2004

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.''

Any advice?

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''. anonymous

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