Tackle Height Hub
Scottish Rugby has created a Tackle Height Hub, your club, school or societies one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about the tackle height trials for the 2023/24 season.
Click HERE to read the news story published on Wednesday 12 April 2023 confirming the changes.
The below webinar explains the changes to the tackle height, including an explanation of the rationale and examples of the maximum tackle height.
An information booklet summarising the Tackle Height Law Trials can be found HERE.
Why is Scottish Rugby changing the tackle height?
Following on from consultation with community rugby stakeholders, Scottish Rugby’s Club Rugby Board (CRB) approved a lower maximum tackle height law trial of below the sternum for implementation across community game, beginning in the 2023/24 season.
This change has been led by World Rugby endorsed research which has proven there to be positive outcomes on the reduction of tackle height on the reduction of head-to-head contact in game.
What does the new tackle height look like?
The new approved a lower maximum tackle height law trial of below the sternum, also known as the ‘belly tackle’.
The below video shows examples of the maximum tackle height.
Who will this change affect?
The law trial will apply to:
- All levels of the male and female, adult and youth community rugby, up to and including the men’s and women’s Premiership
- All levels of youth representative rugby including Player Development Hubs, Regional Academy and Regional Age Grade
- All alternative formats including 7s and 10s
What has World Rugby said?
On Monday 13 March, World Rugby published a statement saying:
“World Rugby’s Executive Board has recommended that Unions participate in an opt-in global trial of lowering the tackle height in the community game to below the sternum (also known as a “belly tackle”).
“National unions are now encouraged to consult with their community rugby game regarding the recommendation. Any future adoption of a lowered tackle height will be underpinned by a comprehensive roadmap of education and resources that will support implementation locally at all grassroots levels of the game. Unions will also be encouraged to undertake formal research into the impact of the intervention, enabling World Rugby to fully evaluate the trial and determine future steps.
“The announcement follows extensive analysis and consultation with unions over the last six months and reflects the international federation’s core mission of a global sport for all, seeking to enhance the experience for players in order to keep building engagement across the globe.”
What does the research say about reducing the tackle height?
In World Rugby endorsed trials conducted in France and South Africa, lowering the tackle height has been shown to reduce the number of head-on-head contacts and concussions. Lowering the tackle height has also shown positive outcomes regarding increased ball-in-play time and offloading.
- Trials in France resulted in a 64% reduction in head-on-head contacts and a 23% reduction on concussions.
- Research shows that by lowering the tackle height there will be a significant reduction in concussions.
What does research tell us about tackle height above the sternum?
- 74% of all concussions come from the tackle area.
- Approx. 70% of concussions at the tackle area relate to the tackler.
- A tackle above the sternum is 4.3 times more likely to result in a head injury.
What happened during the consultation period?
Following a presentation to the Club Rugby Board (CRB) from Scottish Rugby’s Rugby Development Department on the benefits of law trials lowering the tackle height in the community game, the CRB agreed for the Rugby Development department to deliver a period of consultation with players, coaches and referees to ensure those closest to the community game can contribute to establishing the way forward to a safer game for all.
During the six delivered webinars, attendees were taken through the cited research, discussed possible law changes and took views via a poll based on the information presented.
Of those who participated in the consultation, 80 percent* indicated they were in favour of the lower tackle height, with only six percent* stating they were content with current laws.
* Based on a survey conducted after each of the five online consultation sessions, 80 percent of participants agreed with the following statement: “We need to reduce the level of concussions in our game and see the benefit in trialling a lower tackle height” and six percent agreeing with the following statement: “Players know the risks and we like the laws as they are.”
What happens next?
Scottish Rugby will now be engaging players, coaches and match officials in a series of workshops, webinars and courses, with specially created resources to help them prepare for the changes next season.
For now, you can watch our video resources and read our Tackle Height Law Trials Document via the links below.
More information on the Tackle Height Roadshows in May & June, along with information on how to sign up, can be found below.
Tackle Height Examples
To view examples of tackles that will and will not be permitted in season 2023/24, please click HERE.
Tackle Height Roadshows
To register on any of the below Roadshow’s, please go to SCRUMS.
Monday 5 June: Highland RFC (7 – 8.30pm)
Monday 12 June: Aberdeen Sport Village (7 – 8.30pm)
Thursday 25 May: Stirling County RFC (7 – 8.30pm)
Saturday 17 June: Mayfield Sports Centre, Dundee (10.30am – 12.00pm)
Wednesday 7 June: Heriots Rugby Club (7 – 8.30pm)
Wednesday 14 June: Currie RFC (7 – 8.30pm)
Wednesday 31 May: University of the West of Scotland, Ayr Campus (7 – 8.30pm)
Wednesday 14 June: Dumfries Saints RFC (7 – 8.30pm)
You can view the information booklet summarising the Tackle Height Law Trials HERE.
The following video shows examples of the maximum tackle height.