In January 2014, World Rugby launched the Rugby Goggles Global Law Trial to assess the potential for players who have a need to wear corrective lenses to do so while playing rugby and not increase the risks to them or to other players. In the 3 years since this launch, World Rugby have worked with experts and participants to determine the requirements that need to be addressed in developing a performance specification that can be adopted into law. This work has resulted in the development of a second phase of the project in which the adjustments made will be assessed for suitability.
The goggles continue to perform highly against international standards for the aspects in impact resistance and field of vision. In addition to this, the shape and retention criteria set out by World Rugby to minimise the risk to all players have not changed.
The launch of the new Rugby Goggles 2.0 sees increased performance in anti-fogging and scratch as well as the introduction of a smaller size device more suited to smaller players.
Rugby Goggles are also being used, as part of the trial, by people who suffer from chronic eye conditions. This includes people with monocular vision, restricted vision in one or both eyes and people with eye conditions that put them at a greater risk of vision loss than the general population. While the Rugby Goggles are not designed to provide extra protection for such individuals, they may be worn for that purpose if the individual considers that it is beneficial to do so.
This next phase of the project is being complemented by a robust research project to identify if any further work is needed before looking to bring the goggles into law. This project is being undertaken by the Ulster University and the University of Bradford who will be contacting all registrants regarding their experiences of using the goggles. World Rugby encourages all participants to assist in this process so that a true sense of the experiences of using the goggles can be achieved.
There are three steps in the process for participating in the trial:
It is important to note that only those Rugby Goggles carrying the official World Rugby Trial Approved logo are permitted to be used in the trial, and all participants must demonstrate their need for the Rugby Goggles through a letter from their ophthalmologist/optometrist (or similar expert) stating that there is an ophthalmic or medical need for their use. Inspections and checks may be performed by match referees to ensure that all participants have complied with these conditions.
The use of the Rugby Goggles is permitted in any game of Rugby. Any player who considers the risks inherent in playing with or against someone wearing the Rugby Goggles to be outside of acceptable levels of risk is free to choose not to participate in the game. However, the use of the Rugby Goggles is not grounds for preventing the wearer from playing in the game.
The success or otherwise of the Global Law Trial will determine whether Rugby Goggles will be permitted to be worn beyond the trial period and enable World Rugby to provide a Rugby Goggles Specification. It is therefore essential that World Rugby receives feedback from all those who elect to become part of the trial by purchasing and using a pair of the Rugby Goggles.
Thanks again for your interest and participation in the World Rugby Goggles Global Law Trial.
To purchase a pair of World Rugby Goggles, the first step is to log in using using your World Rugby Passport credentials. If you're not already registered with World Rugby Passport, follow the Register link below. Once you're logged in, there's a short application form to complete, after which you'll be given a purchase code for use on the site of the manufacturer, Raleri.
This list of questions and answers will be added to as required through feedback from participants using the online feedback form. If responses to specific questions are required please contact your national Union. All contact details can be found on the World Rugby website.