Sports Medicine Symposium bound for Las Vegas

ARIA Resort ∓ Casino in Las Vegas will host the eighth annual USA Rugby Sports Medicine Symposium – the premier and only rugby-specific sports medicine conference in North America – March 2-3.

The 2017 event will be held alongside the fifth leg of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which is paired for the first time with the Women’s Sevens Series event at HSBC USA Sevens. More than 60,000 fans are again expected to turn out to Sam Boyd Stadium to witness some of the world’s fittest athletes compete in 79 matches of the Olympic sport of Rugby Sevens.

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Not to be overlooked in sporting events, medical personnel and the protocols implemented to ensure proper safety and recognition of injuries is paramount to competition. In a game like Rugby Sevens – featuring 14 minutes of sprinting, tackling, and split-second reactions – the onus is on the likes of physiotherapists and team doctors to prepare for best- and worst-case scenarios. Presenters at the Symposium will speak to topics such as concussion research, youth injury data and prevention strategies, and the inaugural season of professional rugby in the United States.

Similar to the first season of PRO Rugby, the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games presented a unique and challenging opportunity for physicians et al. to work on the multinational, widely-viewed stage. USA Rugby Team Physician Hamish Kerr, MD and gold medal-winning team physio for Fiji William Koong will present on their experiences.

World Rugby’s new reckless and incidental tackle laws, aimed at decreasing the likelihood of contact with an athlete’s head by increasing sanctions for high tackles, will also be discussed by Martin Raftery, MD, World Rugby’s chief medical officer.

University of Bath’s deputy head of department and director of impact, Keith Stokes, PhD, and Brian Green, head physical therapist and athletic trainer for USA Rugby’s national teams, highlight the list of presenters, which can be found on the Symposium’s website. USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Dan Payne will also be speaking at ARIA.

Individuals unable to attend the entirety of the Symposium ($300 registration fee through Feb. 16) can register separately for Thursday’s concussion meeting ($200), while members of teams competing in the Las Vegas Invitational ($200) and full-time students ($150) are offered discounted registration rates. The registration cost post-Feb. 17 is $350.

For more information on the Symposium, this year’s speakers, and to register, please visit the USA Rugby Medical Symposium website. Those in attendance will also receive a to-be-determined amount of Continuing Education Credits approved by the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer.