COMMENT: High tackle laws must be enforced at mini rugby level
New laws around the high tackle this season have been debated vigorously, but it is important to remember the reason for the change is player safety.
For those who have played the game for some time it has been hard to adapt - even the professionals we see on TV every week are still finding it difficult to comply with Law 10.4 (e).
For the record the specific provisions of Law 10.4 (e) state: ‘A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponent’s neck or head is dangerous play.’
With two enthusiastic boys (aged 10 and 5) playing mini-rugby every Saturday morning I get to see the grassroots game on a regular basis.
For my 10-year-old there is contact involved and I have been concerned this season about the amount of high tackles in games.
Most coaches, who become referees in the morning matches, do penalise the offcence, but some do not.
It is important that for those who are learning the game now Law 10.4 (e) is enforced - and I would go as far to say, even at mini-rugby level, there should be sanctions introduced in certainly the most serious or dangerous tackles.
A minute on the sideline to send the message home that high tackles cannot be allowed may register with some, as well as the impact it can have on your team mates.
Learning things correctly at a young age makes for better safety on the pitch for all in the future.