SCOTTISH RUGBY has announced plans to conduct a wide-ranging consultation process with players, coaches and referees on the issue of lowering tackle height in the community game.
This initiative has been launched after the Club Rugby Board (CRB), which oversees the community game in Scotland under the Scottish Rugby Union’s new governance structure, received a presentation from Scottish Rugby’s Rugby Development Department on Monday.
Lowering tackle height is a proposal supported by World Rugby, with research studies conducted in France and South Africa showing a reduction in the number of head-on-head contacts and concussions. It has also shown positive outcomes regarding increased ball-in-play time and offloading.
There was a furious backlash last month when the RFU Council in England voted unanimously to lower the legal tackle height across the English community game to below the waist from next season with next to no consultation, so Scottish Rugby is clearly keen to adopt a more collaborative approach to dealing with this thorny issue.
The CRB has agreed for the Rugby Development department to deliver a series of consultative webinars next week, where Scottish Rugby will gather views from a broad spectrum of stakeholders within the community game.
During the webinars, representatives from Rugby Development will share more information on the cited research, discuss possible law changes which may be considered and take views from those in attendance.
“It is important that as custodians for the community game, we continue to look at ways we can make our game as safe and enjoyable as possible,” said Keith Wallace, Vice President of Scottish Rugby and Chairman of the CRB.
“With new evidence emerging on the positive outcomes of reducing the tackle height to the number of head-on-head contacts and concussions, we must take the time to review the information and possible changes with those at the heart of our game.”
Gavin Scott, Director of Rugby Development added: “This period of consultation will not only be of benefit to those involved in our clubs, schools and societies, it will also help Scottish Rugby better understand what we need to do to help prepare our players, coaches and match officials, should any changes be implemented for next season. We look forward to engaging with everyone next week.”
Tackle Height Consultation Webinars
- Wednesday 22 February, 7:30pm | National League club representatives (for club leaders and committee members) | Click HERE to register.
- Wednesday 22 February, 8:30pm | Regional League club representatives (for club leaders and committee members) | Click HERE to register.
- Thursday 23 February, 7:30pm | Match Officials (for panel, society, club and school match officials) | Click HERE to register.
- Monday 27 February, 7:30pm | Youth Game (for players, coaches and directors of rugby) | Click HERE to register.
- Monday 27 February, 8:30pm | Adult Game (for players, coaches and directors of rugby) | Click HERE to register.
Following these initial consultations, the Club Rugby Board and the Rugby Development department will communicate next steps.