In there is evidence to suggest that tackling

In recent times there has been several calls for a ban on
tackling in rugby in physical education in schools. Even though there is
evidence to suggest that tackling in rugby will have a negative effect for
participants in the present day as well as the future, there are still many people
that believe tackling is a major part of rugby, and the game that has been
played for many years in school should still stay the same. While these
‘traditionalists’ may hold onto their beliefs that tackling in rugby should
stay put within physical education, it’s hard to argue with the clear evidence
against it. I personally believe that tackling in rugby should be banned in
school physical education, on examination of the research against the subject,
it is hard to disagree with the statement that ‘tackling in rugby should be
banned in school physical education’.

Rationale agreeing with the discussion of ‘tackling in rugby
should be banned in school physical education’ includes the fall in
participation levels which are due to the heightened anxiety over sports
concussion (Batten et al, 2016).  As
participation levels of physical activity drop, the impact of school sport is
becoming more and more important. Introducing a full contact sport such as
rugby to a child that already has a negative view of PE is not going to change
these statistics. Parental influence has led to children being protected more
now than ever before, and who can argue with a parent just wanting to protect
their child from injury when so much evidence has reported injury due tackling
in rugby across all ages and levels. Studies
consistently and repeatedly show the tackle to be the most injurious phase of
play across all age grades of children playing full contact rugby (Pollock et
al, 2017). Research has also found that children under the age of 13 had a
higher probability of tackle relates injuries than those in the under 18 age bracket
(Bleakley et al,2011) Other research also found statistics that
suggested tackle-related injuries are evident for all ages, including 53% of
tackle related injuries for under 15s and 45% for under 18s (Burger et al, 2014).
The tackle is
responsible for most concussions in youth rugby (Tucker et al, 2016). Tackling
in rugby has proven to lead to long term harms. A Swedish study identified 290
individuals who a history of playing rugby had suffered Prior Traumatic Brain
Injury (TBI) compared with siblings who did not play rugby. Those with TBI were
then, in the future, more likely to have a disability pension or welfare
payment as well as having lower educational achievement (Sariaslan et al, 2016). 
These tackling-induced head injuries have also been found to be
associates with an increased risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s clear that an emphasis on specific concussion management issues need to be
considered rather than focusing solely on the after care of people that suffer
from concussion due to tackling. A case for directing attention away from
concussion management and towards the prevention of concussions in sport is
something that is repeatedly discussed. In schools, the sole purpose of
education is not sport itself. And when taking part in rugby (where tackling
occurs) poses the risk of an injury that can take students out of school
repeatedly, it asks the question as to why tackling in rugby is not already
banned from physical education. There
are no comprehensive injury surveillance systems for sports and other injuries
in the UK and this needs to be rectified before tackling in rugby in schools
can even be considered as children are just not safe (Roberts et al, 2017). Its
clear attention needs to be directed away from concussion management and
towards the prevention of concussions in sport is the next step. There are many
other options for schools so that rugby could be made structurally safer for
children by playing touch rugby. Such implications could help to reduce anxiety
over concussion, while simultaneously encouraging the adoption of a physically active
lifestyle through sports that are safer to participate in. (Batten et al, 2016).
Rugby is often compulsory in schools so that children do not have a choice in
participating and neither do their parents. This opens up the issue of
children’s ‘rights and choices not being adhered to. The United Convention on
the Rights of a Child states that a child that is capable of forming his or her
own views has the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting
the child. Parties must also recognize the right of the child to rest and
leisure and engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age
of the child (United Nations, 1989).

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With every argument there is a ‘For’ and an ‘Against’. The
argument against the banning of tackling in schools also provides strong
evidence. (Batten et al, 2016) suggest that further research and interventions
into tackling in rugby could allow it to continue within physical education. By
limiting tackle exposure during training and competition, changing the
definition of a legal tackle, weight/size matched groupings as well as annual,
mandatory coach education on the risk of injury in rugby, tackling in rugby
could continue with less stigma, injury and anxiety. Although a reason for the
banning of tackling in rugby in PE is the anxiety that comes along with it,
which then leads a reduced participation in contact sports, other barriers such
as; time, money and facilities also have a large impact (Batten et al, 2016)
Where injury is concerned, research shows that up to the period of adolescence
the risk of injury in Rugby Union is low and compared to other major sports’.
Research also shows that not participating in contact sports during PE such as
tackling in rugby can actually increase the risk of injury later in
participation (Tucker et al, 2016). In response to tackling in rugby causing
injury in PE and therefor absence from school, Headcase (2016 PP) states that it
is reasonable for a student to miss a day or two of academic studies due to
injury (Unicef.org, 2018)

Rugby, by far, is the most played
collision sport in UK schools. Therefore a lot of research has to be done in
order to make a decision that is right. This may change depending on different
schools and their PE programs. But the main reason for this argument is to
ensure than students are safe using tackles in school physical education. Many
thing can be implemented to make tackling safer for PE but there is a question
if tackling in rugby will have a solid place in the PE curriculum in the
future. 

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