Horse Collar

Cardinal Dad

New member
Seems to be some confusion on this one at the Six Man level. Is there a horse collar rule? If so, how is it determined? We are seeing so many go uncalled but have seen a couple of them called. Just looking for clarification not comments from the "neigh" sayers.
 

Texman301

New member
yes, there is a horse collar rule. NO, it is NOT enforced consistently and accurately most of the time. I understand the reasoning for the rule, but most officials will not interpret correctly.
 
To be a horse collar, the tackler must actually get inside the jersey or shoulder pads. Grabbing the shoulder or even the name plate on the back of a jersey is not a foul. Also, it is legal to horse collar an opponent within the tackle box. The tackle box is 5 yards on either side of the ball at the snap and extends from the line of scrimmage all the way back to the end line.
 

Texman301

New member
Isn't there also a statement that once the hand is inside the jersey or shoulder pads there has to be an immediate downward pulling motion?
 

Texman301

New member
Isn't there also a statement that once the hand is inside the jersey or shoulder pads there has to be an immediate downward pulling motion?
 
As in most Sixman referees , depends on the one you get. We had a player flagged , one ref said one thing and the other said another thing , finally the white hat said this year they are flagging any time the hand is inside the pad no matter if pulled down. Our player was flagged grabbing and pulling him out of bounds , never pulled down, player didn't go down just forced out.
 

Stripes

Member
Here's the exact wording of the rule from 9-1-15:

Horse Collar Tackle
ARTICLE 15. All players are prohibited from grabbing the inside back collar of the shoulder pads or jersey, or the inside collar of the side of the shoulder pads or jersey, and immediately pulling the ball carrier down.
This does not apply to a ball carrier, including a potential passer, who is inside the tackle box (Rule 2-34). Note that the tackle box disintegrates when the ball leaves it.

This rule applies to six-man football.
 

Texman301

New member
Horse Collar Tackle
ARTICLE 15. All players are prohibited from grabbing the inside back collar of the shoulder pads or jersey, or the inside collar of the side of the shoulder pads or jersey, and immediately pulling the ball carrier down.

This is what is not universally interpreted!!!!!!
 

Stripes

Member
You're right that the interpretation of this rule is something that varies too much, far more than it should from official to official, crew to crew, and chapter to chapter. This is purely a safety rule -- a horse-collar tackle is an action very likely to cause serious injury to the ball carrier and thus has been removed from the game (former Oklahoma Sooner and Dallas Cowboy safety Roy Williams is the poster child for the creation of this rule).

As far as the "immediately pulling the ball carrier down," the interpretation by philosophy is that the action of pulling the ball carrier down has to be against the momentum of the runner (which is where the injuries come from). If a defender were to grab the runner inside the collar and run with him for a few yards prior to an immediate and powerful jerking takedown against the momentum of the runner, the danger of injury would be no less and this, by philosophy, is a horse-collar tackle and a foul.

The "immediately" is interpreted to apply to the "pulling the ball carrier down" action, not the time it occurs in relation the grab of the inside of the collar. This is compared to a slow "riding the back" of the ball carrier kind of tackle.

That said, I know this isn't applied universally by the officials y'all are seeing in your games, but this is the philosophy and interpretation and is being taught and hopefully applied for the safety of the players.
 

Texman301

New member
Had a situation 3 years ago, big play and turnaround in the game, had a player chasing from behind, reached out grabbed the shoulder pads until he could wrap him up and tackle him. There was no pull to the ground just a hold long enough to get a hold of the ball carrier. it prevented a 1st down on 4th and ???, we were to get the ball back and would have had the opportunity to score. The official threw the flag and called it a horse collar. It was a game changer for us.
 

JasonTX

Member
I am a few weeks late to this question. Another thing to look for when the collar is grabbed is the buckling of the knees. It reminds me of calf roping. The rope is around the neck of the calf and then the slack is taken out of the rope and then all of a sudden the calf is immediately jerked back. A horsecollar tackle looks just like that.
 

Blue Bird

Active member
Just how wide of an interpretation do officials have? The play in question went something like this. The defensive guy caught up to the RB from behind and a little to the side. He grabbed the jersey with both hands well below the numbers, about the small of the back. He planted himself and swung the RB 270 degrees to throw him across the sideline. The call was a horse collar tackle. It was not anything like what was described in the above situations.
 
As described, that is an incorrect call. The rule was changed a few years ago and no longer requires a player’s hand to be inside the jersey or pads to be a foul. However they still have to grab the “name plate area”. Basically above the numbers. Grabbing the bottom of the numbers does not meet the criteria of a foul for a horse collar tackle.
 
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