The playing environment

It is important to ensure that the playing environment is Rugby Ready. This will allow players to enjoy themselves more and reduce the risk of injury. Environmental issues that need to be checked before training or playing are:

The playing arena

Facilities should be appropriately sized, with spectators and vehicles positioned well away from the playing area. If there are perimeter fences or hoardings, these should be a safe distance away from the touchline and appropriately padded.

The playing surface

The surface should be level, free of holes and adequately lit. It should not be waterlogged, slippery or too hard - an overly hard surface increases the risk of injury, particularly head injury. There should be no exposed sprinkler heads, broken glass, rubbish or stones on the surface.

The playing equipment

Equipment should be appropriate to the age and experience of the players. Critical checks include: goal posts should be suitably padded; all scrum machines and tackle / rucking bags should be in good condition and well maintained; and corner flags should be placed properly and should flex on impact.

The weather

Extreme weather may cause overheating and dehydration or hypothermia. Ensure players wear appropriate and adequate clothing, e.g., in cold and wet conditions, ensure players wear waterproof clothing during training and before and after matches. Warm, waterproof clothing should be worn by substitutes and injured players.