IRB confirms new approach to protective goggles on the field of play
Protective goggles suitable for rugby have been approved for the first time by the International Rugby Board, whose headquarters are in Dublin. The wrap around protection, which has been designed by sports company Raleri, will go on trial immediately.
The goggles have been particularly developed for young players with eye problems and who are not yet ready to wear contact lenses.
Designed with an outside protective covering and an inside slot where a player’s lens can fit without fear of moving, the innovation adheres to current rugby equipment laws. Normal spectacles cannot be worn but the lenses from spectacles can be inserted and will be protected by the outer covering.
It is recommended that the corrective lenses should be prescribed by an optician or doctor and installed in the provided “clip on” that mounts in the inner side of the goggles. The goggles will go on trial for a year effective from now.
“The IRB recognises that not everyone who needs corrective glasses can wear contact lenses, particularly children, 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,” said an IRB official.
“They can also be worn by senior players with eye conditions and have been designed with no sharp or protruding edges than can be harmful to the wearer or opponents,” he added.
The goggles feature high-speed impact resistance, anti-abrasion surfaces, anti-fogging, UV protection and a specially designed strap with no clips or buckles. Only those goggles bearing the IRB approved logo can be worn and referees have been empowered to make the necessary checks.
The goggles are not yet available in retail outlets but can be purchased from the manufacturer online through a registration process. The main reason for this is that as a global trial product the IRB hope to gain feedback from wearers to ascertain the long term suitability of the equipment.
The cost of a pair of the goggles is €74 and, according to an IRB official they will be available in retail outlets once the Trial period is over and they have been fully approved.