Contact with the Head
- Why have the changes been introduced?
- When did the changes become effective?
- What has changed?
Why have the changes been introduced?
- The changes are the result of the largest ever study conducted to identify the most common situations leading to head injuries
- Players, coaches and match officials have been urged to be proactive in changing the culture
- This is the latest step in a proactive, evidence-driven approach to injury reduction
- We now have a zero tolerance approach to contact with the head
When did the changes become effective?
- Effective from 3rd January 2017
- They apply at all levels of the game
- They introduce minimum on-field sanctions for reckless and accidental contact with the head, effectively lowering the acceptable height of the tackle
What has changed?
Accidental & Reckless Tackles
Accidental Tackles – 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.
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.