Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 383 - 393   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2022.383

Research article
Tackle Technique and Changes in Playerload™ During a Simulated Tackle: An Exploratory Study
Lara Paul1,6, Demi Davidow1,6, Gwyneth James1, Tayla Ross1, Mike Lambert1,6, Nicholas Burger1, Ben Jones1,2,3,4,5, Gordon Rennie2,7, Sharief Hendricks1,2,6, 
Author Information
1 Division of Physiological Sciences, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
2 Carnegie Applied Rugby Research (CARR) Centre, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom
3 England Performance Unit, The Rugby Football League, United Kingdom
4 Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club, Leeds, UK
5 School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
6 Health through Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Sport Research Centre (HPALS), Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
7 Catapult Sports, Melbourne

Sharief Hendricks
✉ University of Cape Town, Newlands 7725, Cape Town, South Africa
Email: Sharief.hendricks01@gmail.com
Publish Date
Received: 01-02-2022
Accepted: 12-07-2022
Published (online): 01-09-2022
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ABSTRACT

In collision sports, the tackle has the highest injury incidence, and is key to a successful performance. Although the contact load of players has been measured using microtechnology, this has not been related to tackle technique. The aim of this study was to explore how PlayerLoad™ changes between different levels of tackling technique during a simulated tackle. Nineteen rugby union players performed twelve tackles on a tackle contact simulator (n = 228 tackles). Each tackle was recorded with a video-camera and each player wore a Catapult OptimEyeS5. Tackles were analysed using tackler proficiency criteria and split into three categories: Low scoring(≤5 Arbitrary units (AU), medium scoring(6 and 7AU) and high scoring tackles(≥8AU). High scoring tackles recorded a higher PlayerLoad™ at tackle completion. The PlayerLoad™ trace was also less variable in the high scoring tackles. The variability in the PlayerLoad™ trace may be a consequence of players not shortening their steps before contact. This reduced their ability to control their movement during the contact and post-contact phase of the tackle and increased the variability. Using the PlayerLoad™ trace in conjunction with subjective technique assessments offers coaches and practitioners insight into the physical-technical relationship of each tackle to optimise tackle skill training and match preparation.

Key words: Rugby, microtechnology, collisions, training, injury prevention


           Key Points
  • In this study, PlayerLoad™ did not differ between low, medium and high technical scoring tackles at the point of contact.
  • High technical scoring tackles did however show a higher PlayerLoad™ than low and medium scoring tackles during the tackle completion phase.
  • The PlayerLoad™ trace of tackles within the high technical scoring tackles show less variability throughout the tackle which may be consequence of players not shortening their steps before contact, reducing their ability to control their movement during the contact and post-contact phase of the tackle.
 
 
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