Before delving into specific types of tackles, it is essential to grasp the basic concept of tackling in rugby. A tackle occurs when a defending player makes contact with an opponent carrying the ball, aiming to bring them to the ground.
Players have a responsibility to execute tackles safely and within the rules of the game. However, there are various types of tackles that are considered dangerous and can result in severe consequences.
It is important for the tackler to aim for the midsection or lower body of the opponent to minimize the risk of dangerous high tackles. Once the tackle is made, the next phase of play begins, known as a ruck.
A high tackle occurs when a player makes contact with an opponent above the shoulder line. This type of tackle is deemed dangerous due to the potential risk of head and neck injuries.
It is crucial to avoid high tackles, both as a defender and as an attacker. Defenders should focus on aiming for the midsection or lower body when making a tackle, while attackers should avoid lowering their body height to reduce the risk of a head-on collision.
Any high tackle can result in penalties, yellow or red cards, and potential suspensions.
Tackling a player in the air is a dangerous act and can result in serious injuries. When an opponent is jumping to catch a high ball, it is illegal to make contact with them until they have landed safely on the ground.
However, if the attacker is in the act of scoring a try and jumps to cross the try line, tackling them is permissible.
It is essential for defenders to exercise caution and timing to avoid dangerous collisions and protect the welfare of both players.
This is considered the worst kind of tackle attempt in rugby, and it is strictly illegal. Leg tripping involves deliberately or recklessly tripping an opponent by extending a leg to obstruct their movement.
Tripping your opponents leg can cause severe injuries, including ankle sprains, ligament tears, and even broken bones.
Players should never attempt this type of tackle and must focus on proper tackling techniques that prioritize player safety and according to the rules.
An early tackle occurs when a defender initiates contact with an opponent before they have possession of the ball. Conversely, a late tackle refers to making contact with an opponent after they have passed or released the ball.
Both early and late tackles are considered dangerous and can lead to penalties. Timing is crucial in tackling, and players must aim to make contact at the appropriate moment to ensure fair play and prevent unnecessary injuries.
A dump tackle, also known as a spear tackle, is a dangerous tackle where a player lifts their opponent and drives them into the ground headfirst. This type of tackle is strictly illegal and can cause severe spinal injuries, paralysis, or even life-long injuries.
Dump tackles have been banned from the game to prioritize player safety and prevent life-changing accidents. Check out here for more in depth explanation for dump tackle.
Jumping over tackles may seem like an evasive maneuver, but it carries its own risks. This action can lead to dangerous falls, head or neck injuries, and even concussions.
Players should avoid attempting to jump over tackles and focus on proper evasion techniques such side stepping or executing effective hand-off to minimize the risk of injury.
World Rugby has also officially ruled it as illegal and dangerous play.
Shoulder charge refers to a type of tackle where a player makes contact with an opponent using their shoulder, without attempting to wrap their arms around the player being tackled.
This technique is considered dangerous and has been deemed illegal in the game due to the potential risks involved particularly to the head and neck area.
When a player is observed performing a shoulder charge, the referee will penalize the offender by awarding a penalty or even issuing a yellow or red card, depending on the severity of the incident.
Tackling a player without the ball is strictly prohibited in rugby. Players must only tackle opponents who are in possession of the ball.
Engaging in a tackle without the ball can lead to penalties, yellow or red cards, and potential disciplinary action.
Additionally, blocking opponents while chasing for the ball is generally illegal, as it obstructs the opposition’s ability to participate in the game.
A dive tackle involves launching oneself at an opponent to make a tackle. This type of tackle is dangerous for both the defender and the attacker. It increases the risk of head and neck injuries, and players should overall avoid this technique.
Instead, focus on maintaining proper body position, using effective footwork, and executing well-timed tackles.
Diving tackle can be penalized if it is deemed as dangerous play.
Can you pull a ball carrier down by the jersey? Tackling a player by pulling on their shirt is fine – the only time there is a problem is if the tackler grabs the collar of the shirt and pulls from behind – that would be deemed a high tackle.
However modern jerseys are designed to be form-fitting, making it difficult to gain a significant advantage by pulling. Instead, players should focus on proper tackling techniques, such as wrapping the arms around the opponent and driving them to the ground.
An ankle tap tackle involves reaching out to touch an opponent’s ankle to bring them to the ground. This type of tackle is perfectly legal and can be an effective way to stop an player from the side or back.
It is important to note that an ankle tap tackle alone may not always be sufficient to bring down a well-balanced and powerful runner and requires perfect timing.
Stealing the ball in a tackle is legal if done correctly and within the rules of the game. Players can attempt to strip the ball from an opponent’s possession by dislodging it or seizing control. It requires proper technique, timing, and strength.
However, players should exercise caution to avoid dangerous actions that may cause injury to themselves or others.
Understanding and adhering to the rules of tackling in rugby is of utmost importance to ensure player safety and fair play. Dangerous tackles can result in severe injuries, suspensions, and negative impacts on the overall spirit of the game.
By mastering proper tackling techniques, such as avoiding high tackles, timing tackles correctly, and respecting the rules, rugby players can enhance their skills, protect themselves and their opponents, and contribute to an enjoyable and safe sporting experience for all involved.
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