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The laws on tackling

They can be spectacular, they can be boring, but the tackle plays a huge part in rugby league.

It's the only legal way of stopping the team with the ball from gaining ground.

There are certain laws which you must follow:

  • You can only tackle a player with the ball

  • You cannot make contact with the head in the tackle, only from the chest downwards

  • You cannot hold the player down who you've tackled to deliberately stop them from playing the ball

  • Once the tackle has been made, it is illegal to try and move the player from the point where the tackle was made

  • Once a player has gone to ground, the tackler is not allowed to steal the ball

    If you don't follow these laws, you are likely to give away needless penalties.

    Take care not to make any head-high tackles because they are dangerous.

    The referee, depending on how serious the tackle is, will show a yellow card or worse, a red.

  • If a player is in mid-air attempting to catch a high kick, they cannot be tackled until they are back on the ground.

    This is for safety reasons.

    Also, a player cannot take a voluntarily tackle - that is go to ground without being held by an opponent.

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