Referees in America
- Apr 20, 2012
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- Springfield, IL
- Current Referee grade:
- Level 8
IMO, hand-offs/fends/stiff arms are fine, it's a matter of teaching players to use them to push and not strike/punch (and penalizing those who do the latter).My view is that hand offs are fine in the game, they do encourage good tackle technique, and I recall well from my playing days that receiving a hand off was an embarrassment.
I would also add that in my experience a hand off to the chest was far more effective, and that most hand offs to the face are out of malice, thus using excessive force and sanctionable.
In my area, in youth rugby (U19 and lower), fends to the face are banned, as are squeeze ball and gator/croc rolls. The fends are by far the most common issue due to football converts. In the other code, players are taught to either aim for the helmet side/top, chest, or shoulder; for the latter two, they are taught to use force (I've heard it described as akin to a punch).