Denying safety instructions is dangerous
Denying children safety instructions in rugby tackling until they are 18 is dangerous nonsense, right? Well the American Academy of Pediatrics, in a policy statement on tackling in American youth football in 2015, suggests as much.
“Delaying the age at which tackling is introduced to the game would likely decrease the risk of these injuries for the age levels at which tackling would be prohibited,” it says.
“Once tackling is introduced, however, athletes who have no previous experience with tackling would be exposed to collisions for the first time at an age at which . . . injury risk is higher. Lack of experience with tackling and being tackled may lead to an increase in the number and severity of injuries once tackling is introduced. Therefore, if regulations that call for the delaying of tackling until a certain age are to be made, they must be accompanied by coaches offering instruction in proper tackling technique . . .” A different game maybe, but the same principle applies to rugby. Catastrophe at 18-years-old.