It is the duty of players and officials to ensure that equipment is safe.
Players must check their boots regularly to check that no sharp edges have developed.
Match Officials should always check equipment and should look in particular for sharp edges.
The “Laws of the Game” states “a player shall not wear anything that might prove dangerous to other players.”
The RFL consults with a variety of international experts on sports related injuries.
The overwhelming view international experts in sports-related head injury is that soft helmets do not prevent brain injury (as opposed to superficial head injury).
In addition due to the phenomenon of “risk compensation” there is a risk that encouraging helmet use in children and adolescents may paradoxically increases the head injury rates. Because of this medical consensus, the RFL does not support the mandatory wearing of protective head guards in Rugby League.
It is strongly recommended that players wear a mouthguard when playing or taking part in contact training sessions.
It is also recommended that players wear a custom mouthguard which has been made by a dentist, rather than a generic mouthguard or the “boil and bite” variety.
Players are able to wear protective equipment, however, just like their boots players should ensure that any protective equipment they do wear is safe.
Match Officials will inspect any protective equipment before the game.
Skins and other visible under garments can be worn, however, they must be co-ordinated with the shirt so that they do not impact on the Referee’s ability to distinguish between the playing kits of the competing teams.
The RFL sanction the use of protective goggles for use in games and training within Rugby League providing the goggles have no rigid components which could cause harm to a player.
These goggles would usually be made of soft plastic with an elastic head band to keep them in place.
The RFL recommend that head guards are worn by players wearing goggles to reduce the chance of the head band from the goggles sliding down the player’s neck.
Any player wearing goggles should seek written clarification from their optician that the goggles are suitable for contact sport. This letter from the optician, together with this RFL policy, may prove useful on match days to reassure match officials and opponents.
However, despite this policy, the final decision on the suitability of any player equipment is ultimately the referee’s decision.
Within the professional game approval must be sought from the RFL Operations department in writing with the letter from the opticians at least 7 days before the match day where they are intended to be worn.