Blue Card


The Blue Card initiative is an important process to ensure player welfare and will be in force from the 2017 Rugby Union Season. This page is intended for community player welfare information and for Counties Manukau Rugby Referees Association (CMRRA) referees.

In addition to Rugby Smart, all CMRRA Referees must complete the Blue Card training and presentation.


  • Full CMRRA members who have advanced from “First Year” referee status.
  • The designated referee for the game
  • The referee’s ability to issue a Blue Card ends at the final whistle, it is an “on-field” process.


The Blue Card aims to:

  • Enhance player safety and welfare Improve concussion management.
  • Support player recovery and long-term health
  • The Blue Card Concussion Initiative extends player welfare protocols.
  • It helps everyone in rugby better manage this potentially serious injury.
  • It makes it clear to all players and coaching staff of a suspected concussion.


Player welfare is NZ Rugby’s priority which is why the Blue Card Concussion Initiative is being implemented by Counties Manukau Rugby.

Concussion can be serious and requires proper rest and management. Referees must issue a Blue Card to players who sustain a head knock during a rugby game and demonstrate symptoms of concussion.

The Blue Card is there to Enhance player safety and welfare and initiate a formal “Return to Play” process for a player who has sustained a concussion or suspected concussion.

It is an “On – Field” process only and can only be issued by a registered / trained referee.

The referee is unable to issue a Blue Card after the final whistle, concussion monitoring is the responsibility of everyone involved in the game and it is expected that Team Management and the playing community assist in this process. 

Community Rugby Concussion Management Protocols

Community Concussion Initiative

Concussion Pathway - Recognise/Remove/Recover/Return

RugbySmart - Recognsing and Managing Concussion

Concussion Protocols

Concussion Recovery

Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) - Timeline

48hr-Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) for Caregivers-2018

Blue Card Conucssion Initiative 2017

Blue Card Flow Chart

Blue Card Frequently Asked Questions

Process for Rescinding of a Blue Card