Prof. Dr. J. Hans DE RIDDER

Concussion in Rugby: Are We Winning The Battle?

Rugby union has been played since the early eighteen hundreds. Being a high contact sport, it has some of the highest announced rates of concussion. The term “concussion” refers to a common form of traumatic brain injury, which typically occurs after a blow or injury to the head. It has been described as a “complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical factors”. Shear forces induced by rotational acceleration are believed to be the primary mechanism of injury in concussion. The incidence of concussion in the UK has been shown to be up to 6.9 (youth) and 4.9 (adult) concussions within rugby union. The tackle is the most injurious match event in Rugby Union, accounting for between 40% and 60% of all match injuries. Concussion is now seen as a public health epidemic, with clinicians seeing more occurrences, which is likely due to better symptom recognition rather than greater incidence. It has also been related to mental health difficulties and future development of neurological disorders and dementia.  To establish both short- and longterm effects of concussion within rugby, more focus must be placed on the development of multiple component assessments that cover a range of symptoms that may be present, following a concussion.

Prof. Dr. J. Hans DE RIDDER


President, BRICSCESS
Board of Directors, the GCH Foundation
Senior Vice-President, ISAK
President, GoFPEP 2014
President, BRICSCESS 2019
Director, School of Human Movement Sciences, North-West University-Potchefstroom




Prof. Dr. J. Hans de Ridder is a full professor and director of the School of Human Movement Sciences at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. He is currently a C2 rated researcher of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. He was the receiver in 2002 of the Stals Award for Human Movement Sciences from the South African Academy for Science and Art for his exceptional contribution to kinanthropometry. In 2011 he was the receiver of the Albert Strating Award for Preventative Medicine, also from the South African Academy for Science and Art. At the age of 39 years, he was one of the youngest recipients of the Stals award and also the first in the history of the School of Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Science at the North-West University in South Africa. In 2010 he reached a milestone in his research career, when his 50th post graduate student (M’s and Ph.D.’s) graduated. Currently a total of 66 students have completed their masters or doctoral studies under his guidance. He was the author or co-author of a total of 76 research articles published in subsidised academic journals. He is the Senior Vice-President, ISAK; Member of the Board of Directors of the GCH Foundation; President, GoFPEP 2014 and the Founder Secretary-General and Vice-President (South Africa) BRICS Council of Exercise and Sport Science. President of BRICSCESS 2019. He is married to Elsie and they have three children Elé, De Wet and Maret.