Concussion Blue Card

The Blue Card for Concussion is a tool for referees to use to remove players from the field of play when concussion is suspected. This allows referees to provide neutral assistance in these settings. This is in an effort to further enhance the management of players suspected of having been concussed. This season the Blue Card will be rolled out to all adult rugby controlled by a registered referee in Mitre 10 Cup provinces. In 2018 our aim it to extend the Blue Card to other provinces and grades.


The Blue Card Concussion Initiative is the result of a trial conducted by Northland Rugby Union in 2014.

Player welfare is a major priority and Northland Rugby Union was concerned players who had sustained a knock to the head, were continuing to play rugby without appropriate medical clearances.

As a result, a process was introduced to improve player welfare in relation to head knocks and/or concussion.

Northland Rugby Union developed a thorough and robust set of protocols and practices to address this important player welfare issue.

Following the success of the trial, NZ Rugby approved the introduction of the Blue Card Concussion Initiative in other provinces in New Zealand, subject to compliance with the protocols and practices detailed in this booklet.

These protocols and practices are consistent with those implemented by Northland Rugby Union in the 2014 trial and are mandatory when implementing this initiative.

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