The Rugby Scrum Cap and Head Guard Buying guide from Muddy Rhino has been created to help you understand the benefits of wearing a rugby head guard and the technical features they contain.
In this rugby scrum cap and head guard buying guide we look at the seven main considerations when making a purchase. Don’t forget to check out our reviews of the best rugby head guard and scrum cap.
IMPORTANT NOTICEA rugby scrum cap aka rugby head guard is designed to reduce the risk of cuts and abrasion injuries to the head, plus the prevention of ‘cauliflower ears’. There is NO evidence to suggest that a scrum cap or head guard will prevent concussion or brain injury.
World Rugby organisation takes the matter of player welfare very seriously and insist on padding worn on the head must meet Regulation 12 – Provisions relating to players’ dress.
When considering buying a rugby scum cap or head guard be sure to check World Rugby approved clothing label on the product. Click to view the Approved Equipment List for rugby scrum caps and head guards.
The scrum cap or head guard is designed to offer zones of protective coverage to the crown, temple, forehead (sweatband area) and ear areas. We would like to say again that a scrum cap or head guard is NOT designed to prevent concussion or brain injury.
A rugby head guard is good for protecting against cuts. One reasons why seems to be that the scalp contains lots of blood vessels that sit particularly close to the surface of the skin – as evidenced by the copious bleeding that happens when you cut your head.
Scrum caps and head guards are restricted, by World Rugby’s Regulation 12, to a maximum padding thickness of 10mm. These padding materials are used to absorb shock upon impact and provide comfort to the wearing player.
Therefore there is no one brand or design of rugby scrum cap or head guard that offers significant protection over the other brands. Although some brands have attempted to value engineer the rugby scrum cap with inferior foam and thickness.
Most rugby scrum caps and head guards have a perforated pattern to encourage ventilation and moisture management. Prime examples of this are Canterbury with their “Ventilator” product and Firepower Sport with their “XVent” product. They use terms such as ‘aero-matrix’ design which is a pattern with holes that has two main purposes a) to allow hot air to escape and b) to improve conformity to the shape of the head.
According to a 2008 report in BMJ, a person loses 7-10 percent of their body heat through their head. So ventilation and air-flow is a useful feature that is required under World Rugby Regulation 12.
Often a rugby scrum cap or head guard will use a jersey lining for comfort. Occasionally brands such as Firepower Sport will offer anti-microbial treatment or zinc-pyrithione anti odour agents to help keep the product clean. However, these features are likely to dissolve and their anti-microbial/anti-odour properties often diminish once the product has been washed several times.
Sizing and measurement
To get the best measurement for a headgear, use a tape measure or piece of string.
Measure across the forehead going around the side of the head just above the tips of the ears and around the back of the head.
Headgear should be a snug fit.
The lacing at the rear should be closed.
The chin strap should be secure.
The question is which colour do you want? Nearly all the major brands of rugby scrum cap and head guards offer products in choice of colours and colour combinations to suit. Some brands such as Canterbury allow you to create a customised combination from their colour palette. Impact Rugby offer bespoke designs that you can design and customised to your club colours.
Don’t forget to check out our reviews of the best rugby head guard and scrum cap.