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New Tackle Rule next season

This is a discussion for the topic New Tackle Rule next season on the board Other Senior Rugby.

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Fredsbar

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on: January 19, 2023, 01:08:27 PM
To support player welfare, the RFU Council agreed on Monday 16th January to lower the height of the tackle across the community game from July 1 2023. 
Designed to improve player safety and informed by data, this change aims to reduce head impact exposure and concussion risk in the tackle for both the ball carrier and tackler. Evidence from studies has consistently demonstrated that higher contact on the ball carrier and closer proximity of the ball carrier and tacklers’ heads are associated with larger head impacts (as measured by smart mouthguards) and an increased risk of concussion. 
Lowering the height of the tackle and encouraging the tackler to bend more at the waist will minimise the risk of this occurring while maintaining the tackle as an integral part of the game.
The RFU Council’s unanimous vote will result in law variations from next season, 2023/24, with the tackle height being set at waist height or below. 
Ball carriers will also be encouraged to follow the principle of evasion, which is a mainstay of the game, to avoid late dipping and thereby avoid creating a situation where a bent tackler may be put at increased risk of head-on-head contact with the ball carrier through a late or sudden change in body height of the ball carrier. 
The changes will apply across the community game (clubs, schools, colleges and universities) at both age-grade and adult levels - National One and below in the men’s game and Championship One and below in the women’s game. 
Programmes to support players, coaches and match officials, including detailed law application guidelines are being developed to ensure players, match officials and volunteers will be ready for next season. 
Speaking about the law change to be implemented in season 2023/24, RFU President Nigel Gillingham said: 
“Players’ welfare must always be at the centre of decisions we make about how we play the game of rugby.  Evidence from our own research and from around the world clearly shows that lowering the tackle height will reduce head impact exposure and the risk of concussion.  The RFU Council is able to influence how the game is played at the community level in this country and, therefore, has unanimously supported the decision to lower the tackle height to waist level. The tackle will remain the primary method of stopping the ball carrier using safe techniques that are taught from an early age.   
“While this change will apply to matches in the community game in England, the RFU will continue its work to reduce head impacts in contact training in both the community and elite games and be supportive of any law changes that World Rugby proposes for matches at the elite level that will further reduce head impact exposure.”
WHAT TO EXPECT

Reduced tackle height for all community rugby
Tackles must be made at the line of the waist and below. 
The aim is to put players’ heads in the safest possible place by defining in law where the line of the tackle may start.
A greater focus on the actions of the ball carrier 
Ball carriers will be encouraged to follow the principle that rugby is a game of evasion, and they should avoid late dipping and thereby avoid creating a situation where a bent tackler may be put at increased risk of head-on-head contact with the ball carrier through a late or sudden change in body height of the ball carrier.
Match officials will focus on the actions of the ball carrier as well as the tackler when head contact occurs.
Further background to the change for next season 
Player welfare remains at the heart of all decision-making. By making the decision now, the RFU Council has demonstrated its continued commitment to player welfare and recognised the importance of giving coaches, match officials and players time to prepare.
Based on extensive research and evaluations of law changes in England, South Africa, France and New Zealand and the findings of the Orchid mouthguard study carried out in Otago evidence demonstrates that?a waist height tackle or below is the optimal height to provide a meaningful reduction in the height of contact on the ball carrier, a reduction in the risk of contact with the ball carrier’s head and a reduction in the risk of contact for the tackler’s head. A lower tackle height is also associated with a reduction in the magnitude of head impacts, a key target for reduction. 
France, which introduced similar changes in its domestic game in 2019, reported a 63% reduction in head-on-head contacts. They also reported this move has led to a more fluid game with reduced levels of kicking, increased passing, offloads and line breaks.
NEXT STEPS 

The process of developing law variations and the law application guidelines is well underway. It is anticipated that new laws will be in place in the next few weeks. They will come into force from 1 July 2023.
A range of training and support will be put in place for players, coaches and match officials. This will include face-to-face workshops, webinars, e-learning and video guidance. Training will be rolled out from the spring, through the summer and into next season.
We understand this is a significant change and the game will have questions around the detail of the new law variation, what it means for coaches and players and how the tackle will be refereed during different phases of the game.


howzat

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Reply #1 on: January 19, 2023, 02:54:42 PM
End of the community game.


Rob13

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Reply #2 on: January 19, 2023, 03:18:30 PM
Thats the amateur game done with. Adult rugby is already on its knees and this will see children start playing RL more.

My sympathies go out to those suffering with life changing injuries that have been linked to the game but this is some cost to pay now.


avinastella

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Reply #3 on: January 19, 2023, 04:11:44 PM
And lets not forget about the Annual player registration via GMS.
Whoever it is at the RFU making this daft changes needs to put the crack pipe down.
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it.


Beachy

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Reply #4 on: January 19, 2023, 04:20:34 PM
That’s that then. It’s been a blast while it lasted. 19/01/23 the day the final nail went in the coffin. It’s that bad of a rule change I hear they’re also changing it to 5 players a side as that’s how many you’ll end up with anyway once the rules implemented.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2023, 04:22:12 PM by Beachy »


Dan Nulty

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Reply #5 on: January 19, 2023, 04:40:10 PM
The end of amateur rugby was accelerated during covid but I think this is the final nail in the coffin, except for the few clubs that will have enough feeder schools and little competition in their area to continue.

I don't think player safety is a bad thing but this is going to be impossible to play and referee. You are asking amateur clubs, coaches and players to come up with and embed a massive change in tackle height, a massive change in the way players go into tackles with the ball in hand, all in probably 4 - 8 training sessions in preseason depending upon the holiday, family and work commitments of their players.

Amateur refs had an already tough job now made even harder. Can imagine players and supporters screaming at refs that the ball carrier dipped, the tackle was high, we are already seeing players pretending they are hurt from a slightly high tackle. Only going to get worse. Referee being lenient to start with in the new laws but then refereeing the last 20 minutes differently and that causing frustration.

The problem is, if a lot of amateur clubs fold, who is going to coach and where are all the thousands of juniors in Yorkshire going to play on a Sunday morning?



old style prop

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Reply #6 on: January 19, 2023, 04:48:05 PM
What a pile of prop womble - i suspect far too many whiskies were consummed when the powers that be came up with this one.

Maybe as the ball carrier you will have to agree before the game to only ever run perfectly upright, carry the ball below waist level at all times, and promise to fall backwards if you are tackled near the try line.

I honestly cant believe the RFU has consulted a single club coach or DOR about this rule change.

Just waiting for the uncontested scrumes rule change below championship games to come in next.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2023, 04:50:47 PM by old style prop »


Rob13

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Reply #7 on: January 19, 2023, 08:26:14 PM
Apparently this was trialed a couple of years ago and was an utter disaster. They couldn’t police it and apparently from the games it was done in there was a spike in head injuries…..you couldn’t make it up.


oneoftheoldfarts

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Reply #8 on: January 19, 2023, 10:16:13 PM
There will be an increase in ball carrier knee to tacklers head, it will really be touch rugby for the future. Glad my time was up a few years ago. Don’t think Twickers will see folks paying £100 plus to watch this.


gateprop

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Oldandslow

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Reply #10 on: January 20, 2023, 06:45:40 AM
These laws were clearly written by a health & safety lawyer and are designed for the RFU to say they have taken all reasonable steps to protect players from injury in any future legal claims for long term injuries.

The laws won’t at best work and at worse destroy the game.


avinastella

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Reply #11 on: January 20, 2023, 08:24:51 AM
These laws were clearly written by a health & safety lawyer and are designed for the RFU to say they have taken all reasonable steps to protect players from injury in any future legal claims for long term injuries.

The laws won’t at best work and at worse destroy the game.
Imagine the legal ramifications if a Premiership or championship player suffers a serious head injury in the next couple of years.
That will take some explaining away.
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it.


avinastella

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Reply #12 on: January 20, 2023, 08:27:12 AM
Apparently this was trialed a couple of years ago and was an utter disaster. They couldn’t police it and apparently from the games it was done in there was a spike in head injuries…..you couldn’t make it up.
It was.
https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/47000468.amp
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it.


Differ Lid

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Reply #13 on: January 20, 2023, 01:34:10 PM
The RFU had to be seen to do something which is understandable.

What I am struggling to understand is how the decision has been made for such drastic change?

Dr Simon Kemp has made an 8 minute video which is supposed to explain the rationale and research, however it leaves more questions then answers -

The community game has the least concussion incidents /1000h of rugby then every other form of rugby, with Mens Prem and Champ being the highest. - Outcome Prem and Champ remain normal, Community game below waist only?

To evaluate the lowering of tackle height they have used FFRs below waist trial, with formal coaching of correct tackle technique. Championship Cup, South African Universities and RFU age grade below arm pit tackle height has also been used to provide information, all on the video highlight no formal coaching on tackle technique had taken place. That doesn't seem to create a fair comparison?

The championship Cup trial was ended early due to increase in concussions. The FFRs results have shown a reduction in concussions, however they have seen a rise in overall injuries and an actual rise in head injuries. (No doubt boots and knees in the face) What impact is this going to have on participation levels with an overall increase to injuries with players who have to go to work on Monday morning?

It appears that over 90% of the information used for the decision making process has been based on the professional game, yet the professional game remains untouched and the community game has taken a massive hit.

Would be interested to know what referees on the forum feel about this? And how easy this will be to manage in game at level 5 and below with the lack of touch judges, as the game will no doubt become quicker?

Also to my knowledge no consultation had taken place with clubs, coaches and players? But to restructure the leagues everyone was allowed a vote.



« Last Edit: January 20, 2023, 01:36:29 PM by Differ Lid »


avinastella

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Reply #14 on: January 20, 2023, 04:25:24 PM

Also to my knowledge no consultation had taken place with clubs, coaches and players? But to restructure the leagues everyone was allowed a vote.
Which they ignored the result of and implemented the changes they wanted anyway.
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it.