Rugby Goggles available
The International Rugby Board which approves what players wear or disapproves of something that players wear of want to wear, has approved the use of a particular kind of goggles for those with seeing problems
It sounds exorbitant but the goggles have been especially designed with rugby in mind and has nothing in them which could cause hurt of any sort.
IRB's head of technical services Steve Griffiths, a former Test referee, said: “Rugby is a Game for all and the IRB recognises that not everyone who needs corrective glasses can wear contact lenses, particularly children, and so we have been collaborating with a leading manufacturer to design and rigorously test a pair of Rugby Goggles that will be safe and effective in a Rugby environment. We believe we have done that now and this trial is good news for anyone with eyesight issues who wishes to play the Game.”
The manufacturers are an Italian firm specialising in glasses for sportsmen – Raleri of Bologna in Italy and the goggles can be obtained only directly from them. The approved Rugby Goggles are not available in retail outlets. The goggles, which may be used at all levels of rugby, are on sale from 22 January 2014 and those who use them are expected to report on their use.
Raleri's price for the goggles is 74 euros (roughly US$100, GB£61, ZAR1088).
The new Rugby Goggles have been developed to enable people who require corrective lenses to wear goggles that are safe to themselves, their team-mates and opponents. They will also allow people with monocular vision or chronic eye conditions to wear them while playing contact rugby. The approved Rugby Goggles are not designed to provide extra protection for players with chronic eye conditions, but if such players consider them to be beneficial they can be worn for that purpose.
Features of the approved Rugby Goggles include high-speed impact resistance, anti-abrasion surfaces, anti-fogging, UV protection and a specially designed strap with no clips, buckles or sharp edges. Only those Rugby Goggles bearing the IRB trial-approved logo can be worn with referees empowered to make the necessary checks.
In order to qualify to wear the Rugby Goggles, the player will need the confirmation of an ophthalmologist (or similar medical professional) although Unions are required to participate in the trial before a player under its jurisdiction can participate in the trial.
The Rugby Goggles are available in only one size and are designed to fit anyone (by adjusting the headband). The Rugby Goggles will not be provided with prescription lenses in them. Once the Rugby Goggles have been received, the player will need to take them to an optician and have plastic lenses inserted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If the player does not require corrective lenses, the player may remove the lens-insert in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and may use the Rugby Goggles as provided.
In order to purchase one needs the IRB Passport system and to make a direct approach to Raleri, whose website is www.raleri.com.
It is only through that feedback that the IRB can gather enough information to ascertain the longer-term suitability of Rugby Goggles for use in Rugby beyond the lifetime of the trial.