Tackling rule

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double hoops

First Grader

I like it. It would be a bit of a change for league. I personally think this GAME was a better one to watch when as kids we learnt to tackle round the legs anyway. Times change. I played AFL for a bit too. They have a much stricter rule any contact with the face or head is a penalty. Different game so that's not the sole reason hits in the head occur less often, but it the black and white nature of penalty for high hits, it really added to my consciousness, when I first had a run of Arial ping pong and the whistle kept blowing.

At the same time the focus on brain damage from tackling ain't going away. Something's gotta give. Discuss.
 

eaglebuzz

Bencher

I like it. It would be a bit of a change for league. I personally think this GAME was a better one to watch when as kids we learnt to tackle round the legs anyway. Times change. I played AFL for a bit too. They have a much stricter rule any contact with the face or head is a penalty. Different game so that's not the sole reason hits in the head occur less often, but it the black and white nature of penalty for high hits, it really added to my consciousness, when I first had a run of Arial ping pong and the whistle kept blowing.

At the same time the focus on brain damage from tackling ain't going away. Something's gotta give. Discuss.
What would stop players from just holding the ball above their heads for a guaranteed offloading opportunity?
 

Mal Cochrane

I'm not really Mal Cochrane...
you are correct eaglebuzz, and there lies the problem with the game that has crept in more and more over time.

Up to the 80's, teams just played the game, coaches just coached. It was big news when Bob Fulton pulled a bit of a swifty working around the head knock replacement rule to benefit manly using Paul Shaw at one time.

Now, every single rule is scrutinized by coaches and players for benefit rather than just playing to the rules, it is nearly on par with the skill required to play the game, and it suffers because of it because more rules are brought in just to minimise or stop the advantages teams look to employ, therefore brings more complexity of silly rulings and further cunning moves by coaches to obtain an advantage.
 

Chunkytuna

Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
There’d be less head knocks and chances of concussion if we just outlawed tackling altogether. Or better still just outlaw playing any contact sport. That’ll ensure the government keeps us all as safe as possible. Thanks big bro - always looking out for us and making sure we don’t make any silly decisions for ourselves. 👍🏻
 

double hoops

First Grader
There’d be less head knocks and chances of concussion if we just outlawed tackling altogether. Or better still just outlaw playing any contact sport. That’ll ensure the government keeps us all as safe as possible. Thanks big bro - always looking out for us and making sure we don’t make any silly decisions for ourselves. 👍🏻
Just don't say this response too loudly. Some FW will honestly think ppl will prefer to watch Aus tag anyway:)
 

Uk eagle

Bencher
It's no longer the same game I grew up watching but I suppose it hasn't been for a long time. It's only been a matter of time before this was brought in with all the threats of legal action hanging over all contact sports. We'll just have to learn to adjust to hard men being the ones who can do the meanest stare
 

maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
Unfortunately for approximately 2 decades now, kids at rep level are trained to wrap the ball on initial contact with a second man in to control the wrestle and a 3rd in as a chopper to cut the legs while the other 2 "higher" tacklers will try ensure the attacker is put on his/her back and "often" in awkwardly dangerous positions.
These tackles can result in very "ugly" outcomes where a player is twisted awkwardly or wishbones when the lower player pulls opposite direction (much like the Paseka tackle) in the Cronulla game.....and there are hundreds more in a season, this 1 stood out for myself as was shocked the NRL and officials simply looked the other way....
Personally as a kid I was trained to hit either head on mid section to drive a player back, or the copybook legs tackle to drop a player in their tracks.
The thing was, attacking players did not have anywhere near the urgency to win a quick play ball, which has more come in to take advantage of the 10m rule and dominate tempo in the ruck.
1 simple rule to help reward an old school classic defender like Jake T, would be to stop screaming at him for an early release when he cuts an attacker down with a low textbook 1 on 1 tackle and allow it to be dominant.... but the shame is it won't happen, so we simply need to learn to get more numbers in defensively and control this area, as Manly have been 1 of the most exploited in the NRL as a "soft" middle and get more physical which may well be why we have hired a few nuts for 2024.....to pick up the intensity.
 

Marto1970

Reserve Grader
Reduce 10m back to 7 or 8m , to help compensate for the leg tackle and hopefully promote more ball playing rather than the dummy half march upfield
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
The reason the legs tackle is no longer the standard, is less to do with the referee calling held early and more to do with the modern player’s skill set. If we had a plethora of legs tackles across the field throughout a game, most would result in second phase play.

When I’ve watched replays from games back in the 80s and 90s, players would run ‘one out’ and get tackled and have their hands free but either (a) would have no support players either side to pass it too or (b) would completely ignore them.

Today’s play involves everyone pushing up around the ball and players are so skilful with the ball. It would be offload heaven and there’d be players strewn all over the field trying to get to their feet to make it back into the defensive line.

The only time a legs tackles is going to benefit a team is during a line break when it’s impossible to attempt another type of tackle…which is usually why the referee doesn’t reward it with a slow play the ball.
 

Chunkytuna

Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
What about kids?
You mean those thousands of kids that have suffered catastrophic injuries over the last 100 years of playing football (and other contact sports)?? Won't someone think of the children. 😱 As I said, ban them from playing - that's the 'safest' solution. That's where it's headed (pardon the pun) - you do realise that right??
 

manly al

First Grader
Wouldn 't expect to have that much of an effect on current general playing modes or styles .
Just probably to draw attention or emphasis on an already fairly strict tackle safety edict policy .
Going to be a bit harder stopping or restricting simulated training drills with some body contact but after losing Sipley for the early part of next season plus numerous other body contact training mishaps over time , could be some merit in questioning the frequency and time devoted to it .
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
You mean those thousands of kids that have suffered catastrophic injuries over the last 100 years of playing football (and other contact sports)?? Won't someone think of the children. 😱 As I said, ban them from playing - that's the 'safest' solution. That's where it's headed (pardon the pun) - you do realise that right??
Do you mean ban adults or kids? Or both?
 

maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
The reason the legs tackle is no longer the standard, is less to do with the referee calling held early and more to do with the modern player’s skill set. If we had a plethora of legs tackles across the field throughout a game, most would result in second phase play.

When I’ve watched replays from games back in the 80s and 90s, players would run ‘one out’ and get tackled and have their hands free but either (a) would have no support players either side to pass it too or (b) would completely ignore them.

Today’s play involves everyone pushing up around the ball and players are so skilful with the ball. It would be offload heaven and there’d be players strewn all over the field trying to get to their feet to make it back into the defensive line.

The only time a legs tackles is going to benefit a team is during a line break when it’s impossible to attempt another type of tackle…which is usually why the referee doesn’t reward it with a slow play the ball.
I get your point about a general low tackle allowing hands free offloads, but when applied properly ala Jake Trjobovic textbook low tackle in the modern game with all the players pushing up in support, why are they not offloading ??....truth is, IF the players did try to pass in this instance a few may stick, but with the unbalanced awkward position of the body after being absolutely drilled low or cut in half, there would be so many forward passes, loose passes, intercepts and everything else that comes with a forced pass.....proving the low tackle is and always will be effective.
Sure there would be some softer lower tackles that attackers would take advantage of for that EASY offload, but that's on the defender to get better and be more effective.
The players back in the 80's and 90's did actually pass when hit low, but this was after still keeping feet and in control to get a percentage pass to a man while standing or popping the nose through the defence line with momentum, there's no doubt the limited passes from low tackles were more about not forcing a pass, and when your skittling toward the grass at 100mph that's exactly what a pass would be after being hit by a low Jake or even Croker tackle.
If we look at the junior rep systems we have ultra entertaining games where the scores are often 42 - 34 and 50 - 28......as the kids train to hit "high'" and attack the footy in tackles, more than the player and as far as Im concerned the old saying "they can't run without legs" is 100% fact.
The sad and true part in the modern game, is without these low tackles being rewarded the attacking teams will continue to take advantage of these zippy play balls after tackler Must release early....but make no mistake.....the low tackles as shown by the few who still make them are the most effective in the game to shut a player in their tracks and the sad part is opposition teams can exploit a player who makes a clean 1 on 1 tackle and if the NRL were serious about cleaning up the game and culling high tackles and these awkward wrestles that can ene a career in 1 tackle, just maybe would consider rewarding the classic low tackles
 

Chunkytuna

Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
Do you mean ban adults or kids? Or both?
I was being sarcastic.😏

What I mean is, what evidence is there to suggest that over the 100 plus years of playing contact sports (in this case Rugby League) there has been such a catastrophic number of brain injuries (or any catastrophic injury for that matter) as to require the banning of normal tackles?? Can someone show me that evidence. Or is this steady and continued erosion of our game (as I suspect) more a case of pandering to minorities and covering our arses against the 'what ifs'? I'm sure you're aware of the 'Salami process' whereby bit by bit things are changed/eroded/altered (slice by slice) till eventually what we're left with in no way resembles what we started with. That is what is happening right now. Soon kids won't be playing at all because we'll have all been convinced that's best for their health - ignoring all the brilliant and life-affirming benefits sport brings to children. Instead claiming this will save them from disastrous consequences? Again I ask, where is the evidence.

Yes, sadly and tragically some ex-sports people have suffered brain related issues e.g. dementia. It's a terrible disease. My mother-in-law suffered for many years with it. She never played football. It's not unique to footballers. No one is claiming that repeated knocks to the head and concussions are a great thing. But life is full of risks. Driving a car is a risk - a very big risk, statistically. We are blessed to (so far) still have free will. If someone decides to take on the risks associated with certain actions such as playing football for a living, is it not their choice?

And yes yes, I can hear you saying it now - "but what about the children"? Like I said, where is the evidence to say that children playing a sport like Rugby League is leading to catastrophic outcomes? If there is I'd be very happy to see it because I'm a parent and I want to assess all risks when deciding what to let my kid play. But so far, I've seen no evidence at all. To the contrary I see nothing but beneficial outcomes from playing sport - both physically and mentally. I would also suggest that the best way of preparing kids to play contact sport (to tackle) is certainly not banning them from doing it. Perhaps we should concentrate on teaching them HOW to do it.

That's what I meant.👍🏻
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
We are blessed to (so far) still have free will. If someone decides to take on the risks associated with certain actions such as playing football for a living, is it not their choice?
I agree. I think the problem is telling little Johnny 'go play footy, it'll be good for you' when Johnny is too little to make a rational assessment himself of the evidence about whether it will be good for him.

As for the evidence, no I can't show it to you. I think it is all just unfolding, and nothing is established 100% yet. But apparently there are enough red flags to suggest that repetitive sub-concussive head knocks can lead to big brain problems down the track. Sub-concussive, ie, you don't need to be actually knocked out or have a concussion, and repetitive, ie, it's the number of repeated bumping around of the brain inside the skull that is suspected of doing the damage. Damage which may not manifest for 20 or 30 years.

Tricky issue.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
I get your point about a general low tackle allowing hands free offloads, but when applied properly ala Jake Trjobovic textbook low tackle in the modern game with all the players pushing up in support, why are they not offloading ??
Because the majority of Jake’s (and others for that matter) legs tackles are not one on one. He goes low whilst one or two others do the catching. Further, he stays high and drops at just the right moment so the ball carrier is not always expecting it and if he dominates and the ball carrier is forced backwards, a slow ruck will he honoured by the referee. Jake’s legs tackles are not a good example of the type of legs tackles that are not rewarded in the game.

Also I was generalising. Of course there were players offloading in the 80s and 90s but it was a completely different game. The referee didn’t even police the ruck and the players just rolled off the ball carrier of their own volition.
 
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rmd

Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
There's nothing like a good legs tackle, it can be visually spectacular, just think of Scott Sattler's tackle in the grand final, and there are many more. Ron Coote was a specialist at it, however, apparently, his head would be in front of your knees, his left arm around the back of you legs and he'd use his right elbow to hit you in the head, Mates of mine who played first grade against him claim he did it all the time, and basically 'knocked them out', or at least stunned them and slowed the play the ball.

The new concept they are pushing I believe is no tackling above the torso, which I think they will rule, 'above the abdomen'. That's okay with me and is where Jake hits, Haumole typically hits, and those who are considered enforcers hit. You either cut them down by the legs, or bend them in half!

I am not sure it's going to mitigate the risk of brain injuries, as while the 'game' maybe perceived to doing the right thing, there's a heap of concussions occuring from players' heads hitting the ground, and not through body contact above the torso.

The way litigation is going, OzTag may just unfortunately be the future, unless the NRL has very, very tight litigation free contracts. Lawyers are constantly lining up for class actions, so to avoid that, the NRL has to have in place rock solid contracts, whereby the player acknowleges the potential risk to their health during or after playing NRL and the NRL has to have (and Clubs) sufficient insurance policies to cover injuries or claims, and demonstrate welfare within their rules to try and mitigate potential injuries or ongoing health issues.

American football has tried to mitigate head injuries by players wearing helmets, after using similar head gear to what some of the NRL players wear, however players in the NFL now use their helmets as a weapon, which has completely debunked the safety purpose.

That head gear is compulsory in junior football is a wonderful stance to undertake, and I personally think it should be compulsory for every player in the NRL. If it's good enough for Thurston, Menzies, Crichton, Burton, et al, why not?

We all want the game to be a spectacle, and we love the 'big hits', some more so than a magic try, and they tend to make the highlight reels, even more so when promoting the game in LA.

The NRL needs to protect our game so it doesn't become OzTag, and I am sure they are trying to do that, and we all need to understand and respect that the guys playing are basically 'Gladiators' providing entertainment in a contact sport which in terms of contact or gladiators, humankind has loved for milleniums.

Yes, we love the skill of golfers, tennis players, basketball players, netball players, baseball players, soccer players (or any non contact sport), however, there's nothing quite like the intensity of a contact sport like NRL to up the adrenalin.

I sincerely hope the game doesn't change too much to take away what we all (most) love about the game.
 

maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
Because the majority of Jake’s (and others for that matter) legs tackles are not one on one. He goes low whilst one or two others do the catching. Further, he stays high and drops at just the right moment so the ball carrier is not always expecting it and if he dominates and the ball carrier is forced backwards, a slow ruck will he honoured by the referee. Jake’s legs tackles are not a good example of the type of legs tackles that are not rewarded in the game.

Also I was generalising. Of course there were players offloading in the 80s and 90s but it was a completely different game. The referee didn’t even police the ruck and the players just rolled off the ball carrier of their own volition.
Jakes low tackles are on his own as shown by the ref screaming "Jake release" almost instantly.....if there were these other players involved high in the tackle the ref would not scream to "get off" as the extra players would have allowed time to stay in the tackle and this would not be a constructive arguement as the rules are black and white....1 on 1 you are called to release immediately and if there are numbers you are allowed to stay on far longer.
The tackle you refer to is a 3 man tackle where defender 1 contains high to stop the offload, defender 2 is the wrestler to dominate and help ensure the attacker is puton the back and 3rd man in is the "chopper" who locks legs to halt momentume and can be a dangerous low tackle at that as in the (cannonball)....this is not the low tackle I refer to at all.
The 1 on 1 tackles Jake makes Every game, are exactly the tackle I would like to see rewarded and when I spoke to Jake recently this was something we discussed, though he did say due to the current rules, he needs to be disciplined or the penalty will hurt.....That is from Jake himself.
 

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