Posted: 21 November, 2012 by Triple M NRL

NRL Bans Shoulder Charge

In a big announcement the ARLC has decided to ban the shoulder charge.

Tags: NRL

Greg Inglis Shoulder ChargeMatty Johns has applauded the decision to ban shoulder charges, whilst Triple M's MG says that it's "the worst ruling the game has ever made."

MG continued to say that "I think a bit of unpredictability has gone out of our game forever, and I'm sad about it....ask any player out there, I would guess that 95% would say keep it in the game." The player tweets below support MG's argument.

"We won't miss the shoulder charge" says Matty Johns. "At last the game is getting serious about concussion and brain injuries...The game is tough enough, the game is moving forward, we don't need the shoulder charge."

LISTEN: Shoulder Charge Debate

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Triple M, 20th November 2012

The Australian Rugby League Commission has announced shoulder charges have been banned. It's a big announcement but not a total surprise. The 2012 season had some pretty heavy tackles that brought the shoulder charge into the spotlight.

Paul Gallen told Triple M's Rush Hour he was shocked by the announcement.

"I don't quite know what to say... I'm still in shock," said the Blues and Sharks skipper.

"I'd like to see them change the interchange rule instead of banning the shoulder charge.

"When you have a look at the highlight reels they're all big hits, the fans love shoulder charges."

Listen: Paul Gallen Full Interview

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Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah told Triple M's Rush Hour he'd like the NRL to review their decision to ban the shoulder charge and bring them back.

"It's a bit surprising... I think it should still be a part of the game," Robbie told Triple M's Rush Hour.

"When executed correctly, they're a crowd-pleaser; they love it. Your own team mates get a lift."

Listen: Robbie Farah Full Interview

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The ARLC issued their reasons in the below statement.

Official Statement

The Australian Rugby League Commission has today accepted a recommendation to outlaw the ‘shoulder charge’ from all competitions from 2013.

The Commission has reviewed a detailed report into the shoulder charge and accepted a management recommendation that the increased size of athletes was creating a situation where the shoulder charge could, if maintained, present an unacceptable injury risk.

Work has already commenced with the England’s RFL and other member nations of the Rugby League International Federation to ensure the move is mirrored at all levels of the game on an international basis (New Zealand already has a domestic ban) in place.

A number of concerning incidents in 2012 led to the shoulder charge review headed by Brian Canavan and led to the Commission also issuing a statement on August 30 that any illegal contact emanating from ‘shoulder charges’ would attract increased sanction.

The review demonstrated that
• shoulder charges made up .05% of the 142,355 tackles made in 2012
• less than 4% of these resulted in injury to the attacking player and less than 1% to the defensive player
• 17% resulted in contact with the head of the attacking player
• Players in the Telstra Premiership have grown from 2002 to 20012 to be on average 4kg heavier, 1.2cm taller and by measure of a superior Body Mass Index stronger and more powerful.
• That the average G-force of the shoulder charge (measured from accelerometer data taken from GPS tracking) was 76% greater than a conventional head-on tackle (10.682 compared to 6.056)

“This is about reducing the potential risks to our players,” NRL Interim Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiske, said today.

“The Commission has gone through a thorough review process and been public in warning players about the risks of illegal play.

“The report shows is that the shoulder charge is not a significant part of the game and its removal is not likely to impact on the way the game is played.

“With the increase in size and strength of the players, we believe this is the time to eliminate a potential risk.”

NRL General Manager of Football Operations, Mr Nathan McGuirk, has proposed a note to Section 11, Law 2 of the Rules (Tackle and Play the Ball) to read:

Note 2 Shoulder Charge (Dangerous Collision) –

A defender who runs at a ball carrier and without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the ball-carrier using arms or hand, charges to make direct physical contact with the shoulder or with the upper arm (tucked into the side) is guilty of misconduct (dangerous collision).

The referee shall immediately penalise the defending player at the mark where the dangerous collision occurred.

Tags: NRL

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