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Title: In vivo determination of the effect of shoulder pads on tackling forces in rugby
Authors: Pain, Matthew T.G.
Tsui, Felix
Cove, Stephen
Keywords: Rugby
Tackle
Pads
Impact
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Routledge (© Taylor & Francis)
Citation: PAIN, M.T.G., TSUI, F. and COVE, S., 2008. In vivo determination of the effect of shoulder pads on tackling forces in rugby. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26 (8), pp.855–862.
Abstract: Tackling in rugby is now a major cause of injury. The use of rugby shoulder pads is intended to reduce injury from front-on tackles, though the pad’s ability to reduce injury has not been examined. This paper strives to present a novel method, using Tekscan sensors, for measuring in vivo impact intensities during an actual front-on tackle in order to assess the effectiveness of rugby shoulder padding in reducing peak force during impact. It was hypothesised that padding would not significantly reduce peak impact force. Rugby pads were instrumented with thin film force sensors to measure impact intensities during tackles with and without pads. Sensors were statically calibrated then dynamically calibrated using force plate data. Results showed that the pad significantly reduced peak impact force by up to 35% when impacted with an object and by 40% overall for all tackles. The hypothesis that the shoulder pad could not significantly reduce peak force at impact was rejected since the pad reduced peak force by 41% in tackles with a run-up and 40% overall for all tackles. However, this reduction in force was localised directly above the acromioclavicular joint, while forces in the surrounding areas were not reduced.
Description: This article was accepted for publication in the Journal of Sports Sciences [© Taylor & Francis] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02640410801910319
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/02640410801910319
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/6543
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02640410801910319
ISSN: 0264-0414
1466-447X
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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