When most non-rugby people think of the sport, they associate it with the rough group of guys that they knew in college, but the game has long since grown up.
When Rugby became professional in the 1990's it shifted from a game of well-to-do na'er-do-wells to a global business valued in the billions of dollars, and as businesses are known to do, they took a great interest in protecting their assets - the professional players.
Since that shift to player protection began in the 1990's, World Rugby, as the global governing body for the sport, has been dedicated to making the sport safer and more fun. Each year World Rugby tests and tweaks the laws (rules) of the game in response to feedback from the players around the world, and as result, each year the sport gets safer to play and better to watch as a spectator.
World Rugby is a leader among global sports with regards to protecting its players, most notably with progressive measures to safeguard player's heads and ensure they have long, healthy rugby careers.
As a result, rugby has been consistently ranked in the US as significantly safer for children to participate in than other sports such as:
Those involved in rugby know that it seems counter-intuitive , but with no pads to cushion their efforts, rugby players learn that they are strong but not Superman - they learn what their bodies are actually capable of rather than what they imagine them to be, and as a result they become wiser and more savvy about keeping safe.
Chicago Youth Rugby Alliance promotes safety through continuing education for Coaches at all levels, and Coaches sign personal Safety First Pledge: