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Return to Play Guidance Released

Try Tag Rugby has worked hard over the past weeks and months to ensure a safe return to play for players, referees and staff.

The following is the overall summary of Try Tag Rugby relevant sections from the RFL’s submission addressing the government’s return to recreational team sport framework. The submission was sent on July 17th 2020, with a request to resume Try Tag Rugby activities by August 1st at the latest.

The risk analysis framework was developed by a working group of all major sports. The sport of Tag Rugby is officially medium risk for droplet transmission, which is due to the very fleeting interactions of face to face time that happen throughout a game when making a tag or being tagged. With one rule change detailed below, all other aspects of the game are low risk.

Our match analysis found an average of 19 instances of face to face interactions per player in a typical game. Further analysis found that the play the ball process averaged 2.1 seconds and hence there was approximately 40.5 seconds in a game when players were within a metre and face to face.

To help mitigate this, we’ve made a rule change so that going forward markers will have to stand 2m or further away at the play the ball. This will significantly cut face to face time when a player is tagged, meaning that the only face to face time will be the fleeting moment when a Tag takes place. Referees will be instructed to heavily police this new rule.

It’s worth noting that the government defines a high-risk interaction as being within 1m of someone for 15 minutes or more. A low risk situation is having no interaction within 1m. Once the marker is removed from the play the ball, we are looking at a few seconds during a game of face to face interaction for each player, so it’s fair to say we are very much at the lower end of medium risk!

The other main way the virus can be transmitted is through fomite transmission (via equipment) which we have addressed with a plan to sanitise tags and balls pre-game, half-time and full-time.

The risk analysis and our plans were reviewed by some top advisers working with the RFL, including a leading scientist and doctor. The plans are still subject to change whilst we await government clearance and or feedback.

To read the full submission and RFL documentation please download the documents below.

See supporting files for further information (PDF)

Try Tag Rugby – Return to Play Protocols website

RFL Risk Assessment and RTP Guidance website

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