Hot on the heels of the initiatives recently taken concerning the recognition and treatment of concussion, World Rugby has now acted to address one of the potential causes; the high tackle. Whilst the Law concerning players making contact with the head area in a tackle has not altered significantly, from January 03rd this year the sanctions associated with such have been made more severe with a ‘zero tolerance’ approach being applied. Please see below and also take a few minutes to read further information which may be downloaded here and to view the short video available here.
The escalation of sanctions should simply add further weight to our tactical default which is to tackle ‘below the ball’…
A player is deemed to have made reckless contact during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game if in making contact, the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway. This sanction applies even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. This type of contact also applies to grabbing and rolling/ twisting around the head/ neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders.
Minimum sanction: Yellow card
Maximum sanction: Red card
When making contact with another player during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game, if a player makes accidental contact with an opponent’s head, either directly or where the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders, the player MAY be sanctioned. This includes situations where the ball carrier slips into the tackle.
Minimum sanction: Penalty
If you have any questions or concerns relating to the Law or on the escalation of sanctions then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thanks for your co-operation and understanding.
Head Coach – Ealing Men’s Section