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Kellyanne J. Redman, Logan Wade, Vincent G. Kelly, Mark J. Connick, and Emma M. Beckman

Tackling is a fundamental skill in collision sports such as rugby league, rugby union, and American football. Rugby league is a highly physical and tactical team sport; players require high levels of strength and power to compete in matches that are characterized by a large volume of high

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Michael J.A. Speranza, Tim J. Gabbett, David A. Greene, Rich D. Johnston, and Andrew D. Townshend

The tackle is one of the most crucial elements in the collision sports of rugby league and rugby union. 1 , 2 Tackling proficiency, the ability to dominate the tackle contest, and the tolerance of physical impacts are fundamental to success in these sports. 1 It has been shown that winning teams

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Michael J.A. Speranza, Tim J. Gabbett, David A. Greene, Rich D. Johnston, Andrew D. Townshend, and Brett O’Farrell

The ability to execute proficient and effective tackles is a critical skill for success in collision sports such as rugby league or rugby union. 1 , 2 Recent studies have suggested that proficient tackle ability may play a role in the prevention of injury and concussions. 3 , 4 Furthermore, it is

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Ashley E. Evans, Madeline Curtis, Marguerite (Meg) Montjoy, and Erica Beidler

equated to participants incurring 8.7 head impacts per practice and game. 9 Head contact during blocking and tackling are the most prevalent mechanisms of injury associated with concussion in football. 10 These sport maneuvers are associated with repetitive subconcussive head impacts, which is defined

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Michael J.A. Speranza, Tim J. Gabbett, Rich D. Johnston, and Jeremy M. Sheppard

Purpose:

This study examined the relationships between tackling ability, playing position, muscle strength and power qualities, and match-play tackling performance in semiprofessional rugby league players.

Methods:

Sixteen semiprofessional rugby league players (mean ± SD age 23.8 ± 1.9 y) underwent tests for muscle strength and power. Tackling ability of the players was tested using video analysis of a standardized 1-on-1 tackling drill. After controlling for playing position, players were divided into “good tackler” or “poor tackler” groups based on the median split of the results of the 1-on-1 tackling drill. A total of 4547 tackles were analyzed from video recordings of 23 matches played throughout the season.

Results:

Maximal squat was significantly associated with tackling ability (r S = .71, P < .05) and with the proportion of dominant tackles (r S = .63, P < .01). Forwards performed more tackles (P = .013, ES = 1.49), with a lower proportion of missed tackles (P = .03, ES = 1.38) than backs. Good tacklers were involved in a larger proportion of dominant tackles and smaller proportion of missed tackles than poor tacklers.

Conclusions:

These findings demonstrate that lower-body strength contributes to more effective tackling performance during both a standardized tackling assessment and match play. Furthermore, players with good tackling ability in a proficiency test were involved in a higher proportion of dominant tackles and missed a smaller proportion of tackles during match play. These results provide further evidence of the practical utility of an off-field tackling assessment in supplying information predictive of tackling performance in competition.

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Tim J. Gabbett and Aaron J. Wheeler

Purpose:

To investigate the relationship between repeated high-intensity-effort (RHIE) ability and selected physical qualities in rugby league players.

Methods:

Sixteen rugby league players underwent measurements of upper-body strength (4-repetition-maximum [4RM] bench press, weighted chin-up, weighted dips), upper-body muscle endurance (body-mass maximum-repetition chin-up, body-mass maximum-repetition dips), lower-body strength (4RM squat), estimated maximal aerobic power (multistage fitness test), and RHIE ability. The RHIE-ability test consisted of 1 × 10-m sprint, 3 × full-contact 1-on-1 tackling efforts, and a 30-m jog recovery. Players performed 4 repetitions of the test, with each repetition completed in 40 second. During the RHIE test, player speed was evaluated with a 10-m sprint effort while the movement of players was recorded using a wearable microtechnology device. 2D Player Load was used to quantify the collision component of the test.

Results:

Speed decrement was lower for the first- (−2.4% ± 1.0%) than the second-grade (−4.7% ± 2.1%) players. Players with greater initial speed had a higher average speed over the 4 sprints (r = .75), while players with greater maximum-repetition dips maintained a higher 2D Player Load (r = .76).

Conclusions:

These findings demonstrate a relationship between well-developed acceleration and upper-body muscle-endurance qualities and RHIE ability in rugby league players. Training programs designed to develop acceleration and upper-body muscle endurance are likely to improve RHIE ability.

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Kelly Sarmiento, Dana Waltzman, Kelley Borradaile, Andrew Hurwitz, Kara Conroy, and Jaimie Grazi

and concussions captured in this estimate ( Sarmiento et al., 2019 ). The leading mechanism for these injuries in football is tackling and other athlete-to-athlete collisions ( Marar, McIlvain, Fields, & Comstock, 2012 ). There are a number of educational products and trainings available to coaches on

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Toni Liechty, Fleesha Willfong, and Katherine Sveinson

The purpose of this study was to explore the embodied nature of empowerment among women who play tackle football. Data collection involved semistructured interviews with 15 female football players in Western Canada. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Three themes emerged from the data suggesting that playing football was empowering as women experienced: a) feelings of strength related to the physicality of the game; b) a sense of breaking boundaries as they participated despite challenges; and c) a sense of belonging to the team which led to positive outcomes such as increased confidence and selfacceptance. The findings of this study highlight the embodied nature of empowerment that comes through participation in sport and characteristics of contact team sport that can facilitate empowerment for women.

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John V. Stokes and James K. Luiselli

Functional analysis (FA) is an experimental methodology for identifying the behavior-reinforcing effects of social and non-social consequences. The data produced from a FA are used to select intervention procedures. In this case study, we conducted a FA with a male high school football athlete by manipulating social contingencies within practice tackling drills. The FA suggested that the highest percentage of correct tackling occurred when the participant was able to “escape” interaction with the coach following drills. After demonstrating that the participant had a low percentage of correct tackling during a baseline (preintervention) phase, the coach provided him delayed written performance feedback after practice. This intervention was associated with a higher percentage of correct tackling. The participant also tackled proficiently during a postintervention in-game assessment. The advantages of conducting a FA when intervening with athletes are discussed.

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Willie “Bobby” Hosea and Oscar L. Edwards