The Most Dangerous Game: Rugby
The high rate of concussions associated with rugby and American football risks the players’ long-term health. More and more rugby players continue to suffer from head injuries, resulting in memory loss and often, epilepsy. Some of them have been compelled by such injuries, to retire early in their lives to avoid suffering more damage to their physical and mental health. This among other reasons identified in this paper make rugby a dangerous game indeed.
One interesting spectacle about rugby is the so-called “big hits” when players move fast and collide at high speed. According to fans, it is such hits that add excitement to the game and make it a spectacle. It is considered “a man’s game” where players are expected to carry on playing despite “small injuries” that they suffer during play. In the game, some player’s bones break, some sustain injuries and others are left with scars that last a lifetime.
Unlike soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball, cricket, volleyball, and other similar games, rugby is a tough and dangerous game. For a player to score a goal, he has to run across the field, throw the ball to a teammate, and in the process, evade extremely hard tackles from opponents. At times, it comes down to literally pulling an opponent’s jersey, hands, legs, and any body part and wrenching him away until one acquires the ball. The tactics used to win balls from opponents in rugby are worrisome. Physically weak players often end up with multiple injuries, and they risk serious harm. Just watching the game makes one get goose bumps as one anticipates sudden, violent “hits” between the heavy, fast-moving players.
One of the reasons why rugby continues to attract more players despite its dangerous nature is the bond that players form. Each player counts on the other to put their bodies on the line in defending a teammate. Despite such bonds, players continue being carried off the field on stretchers, some requiring long-term care due to broken bones and serious head injuries.
Different from American football where players wear protective head gear to minimize the risk of injury while playing, rugby players have no protective gear except for heavy jerseys. In the current world, it is common to see a rugby player fall down and remain motionless on the pitch for several minutes. It is worrying to see the trend continue, particularly as such players who have suffered head injuries are often allowed to play subsequent games after treatment. Given that the head, shoulder, and other body parts are often exposed during play, rugby stands out as a dangerous game.
In comparison to American football and other relatively tough games, rugby records more tackles per game. Tackles involve flying in with arms, leaving knees, the stomach and key body parts exposed. The tackles are made more potentially threatening due to the fact that rugby only involves heavy, well-built, and physically fit players. A direct impact between two players is more devastating in rugby than an impact between soccer, volleyball, or basketball players whose attempts to snatch the ball from an opponent involves less physical confrontation.
In conclusion, rugby stands out from other games as a dangerous game. It is thrilling and entertaining to players and fans alike, despite the high risk of player injury linked to the game. Potential health impacts ranging from loss of memory to epilepsy imply that the game is not just spectacular but highly dangerous for players.