robdylan

Zero tolerance in 2017


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 4 Jan 2017 at 11:05
Tagged with : , , , , ,

World Rugby have taken a stance this year that I feel is long overdue: starting today, there will be absolutely no tolerance when it comes to tackles that make contact with the head. Far too often in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to make excuses or be lulled into acceptance of dangerous tackles in this game and with serious incidents of concussion and other brain injury causing lasting effects for players, it is certainly right that law changes should be made.

Here’s the new wording of the amended laws:

“From 3 January, two new categories of dangerous tackles will carry penalty offences to deter and eradicate high tackles:

Reckless tackle
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 or 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

Accidental tackle
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 contact starts below the line of the shoulders, the player may still be sanctioned. This includes situations where the ball-carrier slips into the tackle.

Minimum sanction: Penalty”

I applaud this move by the governing body; however, the real challenge now is to ensure that referees interpret these changes strictly and apply maximum sanctions wherever warranted. Refereeing bodies need to adopt a zero tolerance approach themselves and be hard on refs who get this stuff wrong, because there is so much at stake.

Perhaps more challenging still is to convince commentators, journalists, coaches and other pundits to move away from the sort of language that condones illegal tackling. “It was a borderline case”, “that was a harsh card, he didn’t mean it”, “I think the referee has overreacted here, it’s a contact sport, after all”…. these are the sort of phrases that we need to eradicate if we’re going to get our entire community to take head injuries as seriously as they ought to be.



27 Comments

  • Will be very interesting to see how this is reffed especially with players maintaining a low body position at a ruck and picking and driving from a ruck an towards the tryline. Players often try duck or go low so if contact with head and neck then made i want to see how it is reffed. According to their wording it would be a penalty try and red card…but will see

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.01.17 11:20:28 by SheldonK Reply
    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • This will change the whole ruck situation. How often is there a ruck clean-out that doesn’t involve some sort of contact with the head?

    What did Snor say about rugby and tutu’s?

    While I agree with this new law, I think if it’s very strictly enforced that we’ll could start seeing 7′s games during SupeRugby. :razz: :razz:

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.01.17 11:21:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : Agreed. Very interesting to see how the ruck will be reffed. French refs guaranteed to stuff it up

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.01.17 11:33:23 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : @SheldonK (Comment 1) : Very good points and we will have to wait and see. My hope is that this rule however doesn’t result in a card every time we ruck or maul.

    A rule I’d love to see monitored at all is the playing the ball on the ground rule. Watching the 7′s and the 15′s players playing the same rule is like chalk and cheese. Far to often I see players playing the ball on the ground and the ref lets it go because it speeds up the game.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.01.17 11:42:21 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
     
  • I’m not convinced this was thought through properly. A player tries a sidestep, slips and headbutts the opposition player’s knee, immediate penalty.

    A player gets ankle tapped and looses his footing and in the process of falling his head touches one of the defenders(anywhere) — Penalty.

    This law could be exploited especially by shorter players like Kolbe.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.01.17 11:45:32 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Good intentions but a lot will depend on the refs execution of the laws. I foresee many problems

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.01.17 12:41:58 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 6) : 100% correct! Can have the best laws but if refs don’t executes it correctly it will be useless!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.01.17 12:49:58 by JD Reply
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  • I can see Jonathan Kaplan having a field day with this as he seems to be all about refereeing based on a player’s intent.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.01.17 15:02:35 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Well I’m all for preventing serious injuries but this is going to make for very frustrating times for players and fans. Expect to see a lot more stoppages and inconsistent calls. And as mentioned above I think there will be players that will exploit the new law. I just hope we won’t see players starting to go down like that boring game played with the round ball. I agree with what everyone said so far. Interesting season ahead.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.01.17 06:52:09 by Farlington Reply

    FarlingtonSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Farlington (Comment 9) : I agree with you in that there could be a lot more TMO stoppages to check tackles. And that will be very frustrating

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.01.17 07:53:13 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 10) : This new law could however make for more attractive Rugby if you think about it. Players will start going for tackles around the legs more now, freeing the attacking players arms for the offload to a supporting player.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.01.17 08:09:54 by Farlington Reply

    FarlingtonSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Farlington (Comment 11) : U make a good point there

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.01.17 09:01:07 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Farlington (Comment 11) : yeah – this. Let’s hope, anyway

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.01.17 10:09:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • Most concussions are from poor tackling technique, getting your head on the wrong side of the tackle, not head high hits. Rugby is getting softer and softer

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.01.17 15:01:21 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
     
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 15) : Expect chess players to play in the not so distant future

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.01.17 10:02:54 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 15) : I’m a chess player and I also played rugby. What’s your point?

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.01.17 10:15:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : There is no point to stereotyping

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.01.17 11:19:32 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Glad to hear you stopped playing rugby before taking up the game of chess.

    The point that I am making is the game is getting less and less physical. Look at the law change a couple of years ago, one point I am making, they changed the law at competing for the ball when kicked in the air. Now you taking away players with skill to compete in the air and leveling them out to players who don’t have the skill to compete in the air. Who is the biggest losers here? Well the supporters because we lose high quality skill (Look how great Habana was back in the day, it made you sit up on your chair – that’s what we as supporters want) , the players who now are limited to a small set of skills sets, those talents and skills are now lost. To the better of the game? I am not convinced.

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.01.17 11:49:04 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : I note you having a very constructive day….

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.01.17 11:53:22 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 18) : your point is valid – now perhaps you could try to make it without feeling the need to denigrate other people in the process? By all means, feel free to bemoan the fact that rugby is becoming “less physical”, but maybe do so without resorting to namecalling and homophobic slurs. That will make this site a happier place for all.

  • Comment 20, posted at 06.01.17 12:43:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 18) : @robdylan (Comment 20) : I don’t necessarily agree as the law is written to protect players from getting injured. Players can compete for the ball but it stops players from just jumping but not really competing for the ball. If the skill is lost it’s coaches and players failing not the rugby laws just look at a player like Folau!

  • Comment 21, posted at 06.01.17 19:26:24 by JD Reply
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  • @RuckingFun (Comment 14) : must agree but I think poor tacking techniques causing not only concussions but also a lot of other injuries.

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.01.17 19:28:33 by JD Reply
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  • Did anyone watch any of the matches played in Europe under the “new” law? I watch a bit on Saturday flipping between games to gauge and I must say I cannot see much difference from a physicality point of view. I did however notice (as we all predicted) that the refs are struggling with some consistency when they had to make those calls.

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.01.17 08:50:51 by Farlington Reply

    FarlingtonSuper Rugby player
     
  • @JD (Comment 21) : How many times have we seen a legitimate contest for the ball in the air (without bodily harm or intent), just for the ref to send the attacking player off the field?

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.01.17 09:24:24 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 24) : can’t blame the rule for refs getting it wrong. Personally I think some refs look at the “injured” player and then decide to penalise or card!

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.01.17 20:36:46 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 25) : So who do you blame? Expect smaller and smaller player on the rugby field in the future.

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.01.17 10:08:47 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 26) : as always the refs ;-) I still believe the laws allow fair competition whilst trying to stop deliberate negative play.

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.01.17 16:45:17 by JD Reply
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