What Studs (metal or moulded) or Blades are acceptable and therefore what Boots are approved for playing Rugby Union? We hope the following is of assistance to all our readers.
Instructions to referees issued by the RFU are that:-
Advice on Studs & Blades
From Bob Rogers, Chairman Governance Committee & Ken Bracewell, RFU Referee Manager
BOOTS (including ‘Blades’) – LAW 4
LAW 4 deals with players’ clothing – which includes footwear.
LAW 4(3) deals with studs as follows:
(a) Studs of players’ boots must conform with the IRB Specification set out in IRB Regulation 12.
(b) Moulded rubber multi-studded soles are acceptable provided they have no sharp edges or ridges.
LAW 4(4) deals with BANNED ITEMS OF CLOTHING and this includes:
(b) A player must not wear any item that is sharp or abrasive.
(h) A player must not wear any item that is normally permitted by Law, but in the referee’s opinion that is liable to cause injury to a player.
(i) A player must not wear a single stud at the toe of the boot.
LAW 4(5) deals with INSPECTION OF PLAYERS’ CLOTHING and this includes:
The referee or the touch judges appointed by or under the authority of the match organiser inspect the players’ clothing and studs for conformity to this Law.
The referee has power to decide at any time, before or during the match, that part of a player’s clothing is dangerous or illegal. If the referee decides that clothing is dangerous or illegal the referee must order the player to remove it. The player must not take part in the match until the items of clothing are removed.
All studs worn must comply with Law 4.
The IRB has contacted all known manufacturers of boots (irrespective of whether or not they are specifically made for rugby use) and this includes manufacturers of ‘blades’. These manufacturers are required by the IRB to self certify that their studs comply with Law 4.
‘Blades’ include Adidas Exchangeable Traxion Studs.
Referees and touch judges will inspect boots only to check that they are safe to play in. They will check that there are no sharp edges or burring etc.
Referees and touch judges will not be looking for kite marks or similar approval markings or manufacturers details.
Players must always:
Check that their studs are safe to play in
Reject any boots that have sharp edges or burring etc.
Ask their retailer for confirmation that the manufacturer complies with IRB Specifications
The final responsibility is with the players to ensure that they play in safe boots.
Note that these instruction specifically say that referees are only checking that boots are safe in terms of no sharp edges burring etc., and the we are NOT looking for kite marks etc. Note also that the final responsibility for ensuring that boots are safe rests with the PLAYERS