Tackle (football move)

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Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. The primary purposes of tackling is to disposses an opponent of the ball, to stop the player from gaining ground towards goal or to stop them from carrying out what they intend.

The word is used in some contact variations of football to describe the act of physically holding or wrestling a player to the ground. In others, it simply describes one or more methods of contesting for possession of the ball. It can therefore be used as both a defensive or attacking move.


Name origin

In Middle Dutch, the verb tacken meant to grab or to handle. By the 14th century, this had inspired a new use in sailing, referring to rigging, equipment, or gear used on ships. By the 18th century, a similar use was applied to harnesses or equipment used with horses. Modern use in football comes from the earlier sport of rugby, where the word was used in the 19th century.

Australian rules football

As there is no offside rule in Aussie Rules, players can be tackled from any direction, and often blindsided. For this reason, the sport allows shepherding methods for teammates to be able to protect the ball carrier.

The variety of different ways to contest possession in Aussie Rules has led to first time observers of the game regarding it as having "no rules" or as some Australian's unfamiliar with the game colloquially term it "Rafferty's Rules". Despite these stereotypes, however, there are actually quite strict rules governing tackling.

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