Table 1

Characteristics of the tackle analysed in this study

Tackle type
Active shoulder tackleFirst contact is with the tackler’s shoulder, and the tackler drives or attempts to drive the ball carrier (BC) backwards.
Passive shoulder tackleFirst contact is with the tackler’s shoulder and the tackler does not drive or attempt to drive the BC back.
Smother tackleTackler uses the chest and attempts to wrap both arms around the ball carrier.
Tap tackleTackler trips the BC with a hand on the lower limb below the knee.
Lift tackleTackler lifts the BC’s hips above the BC head.
No arm tackleTackler impedes the BC without use of their arms.
High tackleTackler makes contact above the BC shoulders, as adjudicated by the on-field referee.
Tackle direction
Front-onTackler makes contact on the front of the BC.
On angleTackler makes contact with the BC on an angle.
Side-onTackler makes contact with the side of the BC.
BackTackler makes contact with the BC from behind.
Accelerating player
TacklerOnly the tackler accelerates into contact.
Ball carrierOnly the BC accelerates into contact.
BothBoth tackler and BC accelerate into the contact.
NeitherNeither player accelerates into contact.
Tackler and BC speed
HighRunning or sprinting
LowWalking or jogging
StationaryStanding still or moving minimally
Tackler and BC body positions
UprightThe player is standing in an upright position, with the knees only slightly bent and with minimal hip flexion.
Bent at the waistThe player is bent at the waist or crouched.
Falling/divingThe player is in the process of diving or falling to ground at the point of contact.