This Performance Specification sets out the methods to be used when assessing the performance characteristics required of body padding when used for the sport of rugby union.

The specification also details the minimum requirements for such devices.

These requirements shall all be met to qualify the device to carry the World Rugby Approved Mark, as detailed in World Rugby Regulation 12 and the Laws of the Game of Rugby Union.

This Performance Specification does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use.

Referenced Documents

World Rugby Regulation 12
The Laws of the Game of Rugby Union


  • Body Padding – any device worn on the torso which incorporates padded areas.
  • As-worn – indicates the way the manufacturer intends a player to wear the device. Except where explicitly required, it shall be assumed that all tests and measurements are completed in this orientation.
  • Inside-out – indicates the inverse of as-worn, where the internal surface becomes the external 
  • Devices – The assembly of fabrics, pads, labels, and other elements that may go into the construction of padded clothing and are part of the device as intended to be worn by players during a match. Sample – an individual device submitted for testing
  • Padded area – a section of the device that incorporates an impact force attenuating layer in addition 
    to the basic fabric(s) used to hold these layers together.
  • Hang tag – a tag attached to an article of merchandise giving information about its materials, proper care, and use
  • Manufacturer – any entity involved in the manufacture of body padding devices, excluding any entity involved in only constituent parts of a padded clothing device.
  • Brand – the entity whose name is printed on the device or on the packaging of the device when sold.
  • Accredited Test House (ATH) – an independent laboratory recognised by World Rugby as being competent to test against the requirements of this Performance Specification. Information on the qualifying criteria for ATHs can be found on the World Rugby website.
  • g – indicates the acceleration due to gravity at sea level (approximately 9.81 m/s2)

For the avoidance of doubt, any reference to the word “should” within this document indicates that it is recommended but optional for consideration. Any reference to the word “shall” indicates a requirement of this performance specification and a corresponding assessment method will be provided. Where an assessment method is not provided it shall be assessed visually by the ATH. – WORLD RUGBY

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