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Does a hand off / fend need to be done with a bent elbow?

A 'straight arm tackle' is dangerous play according to the laws of the game... does that mean that a 'hand off / fend' must be made with a bent elbow?

Scott

No - you can hand off with a straight arm - in fact it is good technique to do so by using the momentum of the defender to boost you on.

A straight arm tackle refers to when a defender takes an attacking player out too high.

Simon

Scott, Having played rugby for a number of years i have fell foul to referees interpretation of the hand off. I have been pulled up many times for having my elbow bent at the time of contact and then straightning the arm on contact to push away. I have been told when blown up that it was considered to be a open handed punch??????. The majority of referees I have spoken to say that the arm is to be fully extended at the point of contact. Hope this helps. Martin

I agree that the open handed punch should be penalised. I tend to look for an open hand, under control, And depending on the level of the game some give. The straight arm is more acceptable at Senior levels of the game, but again in control. When starting out at U13 level, I would encourage a target area of the Chest, being comparatively large. If players at that age can learn accuracy on a large area, they will be better when going up through the ranks at age group levels

When coaching juniors on this, I've always taught to have the elbow slightly bent on contact, as there is a risk of injury to the elbow joint if contact is made with the arm locked straight.

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