Does rugby have the same rate of concussions as football? No. Why not? Rule differences, equipment differences. Football is a collision sport, while rugby is a contact sport. The biggest reason rugby does not suffer from the same rate of concussions (or injuries for that matter) as American football is the rules.
Confronted with these statistics, the response of a rugby official was terse: “Rugby is not NFL football.” How Does the NFL Compare? Rugby vs Football Concussion Statistics. Comparable NFL football concussion statistics look like this: Two hundred fourteen diagnosed concussions were reported during the preseason and regular-season practices and games in the 2018 season. However, one-third of all NFL concussions are left off the injury report.
Concussion rates were 1.0/1000 AEs in football versus 2.5/1000 AEs in rugby. Most injuries occurred via direct player contact, especially during games. The rate of season-ending injuries (>3 months of time loss) was 0.8/1000 AEs in football versus 1.0/1000 AEs in rugby: IRR = 1.3 (95% CI, 0.4-3.4).
Football is a collision sport, while rugby is a contact sport. The biggest reason rugby does not suffer from the same rate of concussions (or injuries for that matter) as American football is the rules. In football, the defensive player is a missile able to use his helmet or shoulder pads as a weapon.
Ice hockey had the second highest concussion rate with 1.20 concussions per 1, 000 AE. American football came in third (0.53 concussions/1000 AE). See the full list below: Rugby (4.18/1,000 AE) Ice hockey (1.20/1,000 AE) American football (0.53/1,000 AE) Lacrosse (0.24/1,000 AE) Football (or soccer) (0.23/1,000 AE) Wrestling (0.17/1,000 AE)
Football may have a bigger concussion crisis, and a higher injury rate overall, but rugby has a distinct and serious problem: spinal injuries. As The Guardian notes, “In rugby it is spinal ...
The concussion rate was about 18 times higher than average for rugby, five times greater for hockey, and roughly double for American football, the study found.
The proportion of overall rugby injury that was classified as concussion ranged from 1% to 22%, and the incidence rate for concussion ranged from 0.1 to 8.3 per 100 player-seasons (Table). Estimates of the Incidence of Concussion in Rugby