Hair Tackles

Should the CFL review tackles attemped by grabbing a player’s hair? Is it fair to penalize for a horse collar tackle but not a hair tackle? This happened to Ticats kick returner Shakeir Ryan during their last game against the Stamps and 15 yards would have definitely helped the Ticats chances of winning the game.

Easy solution: tie their hair into a bun and keep it inside their helmets.

Better yet: there’s some creatures that when a predator grabs hold of an appendage said appendage falls off.

Easy solution

Clip on hair extensions.

Though I could only find women’s…

Hair is considered part of the uniform and can be used to tackle a player.

Yup. Cut your hair players if you care about your team having the best chance to win.

I wish they wouldn’t have their long hair sticking out like that but it is their choice. Cant very well legislate against it. If the hair gets in the way when I player is trying to tackle them, the tackler should not be penalized.

From an injury/safety point of view it is no different than a horse-collar tackle.

Thing I don't like about it is it obscures the name tag. Better that, I guess. than obscuring the number or logo on the front of the jersey.

You are pretty much on board with what Davis Sanchez said when this was discussed on the Waggle podcast. Before hearing Sanchez's view, I was of the opinion that hair pulling should be made illegal. His argument changed my mind. You wanna have another appendage sticking out, your choice your risk. Players (legally) grab at the jerseys all of the time.

Simple, you don’t want to be tackled by the hair, cut it.

Agreed. If you made grabbing hair illegal then you’re giving an unfair advantage to a player with really long hair because a defender would always have to hesitate in grabbing the long haired player from behind. That’s like putting a face mask on someone’s back. Defenders need to be able to have clear access to someone’s back

Should be perfectly legal.

Its tackle football. Its the players individual choice to where their hair long. No special rules needed for that.

The back of the collar on the jersey is “part of the uniform”, as is the face mask, still doesn’t mean you can tank someone down by them (horse collar and face mask penalties). If the hair gets caught up in an otherwise regular tackle that’s fine, but grabbing someone only by the hair is cheap. That absolutely should have been called some sort of penalty in the Stamps-Ticats game. Unnecessary roughness maybe .

If we’re going to allow hair pulling, what about biting or scratching? It’s for children.

I'm thinking that with a horse-collar tackle, the head goes forward and then back. With a hair-pull, it immediately goes backward. I suspect that the horse-collar could cause more serious injury, although I don't know for sure.

There are specific rules for face masking and horse collar. The rules interpretation that currently stands for CFL officials is that such a tackle by the hair is not a penalty. So, no, it COULD NOT "have been called some sort of penalty" because there is an existing rules interpretation that is NOT a penalty. If you want to suggest that the rules committee should review this or the commissioner should make an immediate ruling, that is fine, but the Ref's aren't permitted to overturn rules interpretation guidance in the middle of a game.

IF a player wants long hair then so be it, but if tackling by the hair became a flag guys would have hair down to their butts. If you go for the jersey and get hair, no flag, but if you just grab hair then yes flag.

Safety issue? Outlaw long freaky hairy tackles? Perhaps, instead, a rule change that mandates visible scalp hair allowed only down to the jersey collar is in order. That would protect these long haired hippies from unnecessarily putting their own health in danger when they come onto the war field.

Too much flag football is already in the game. We don’t need more rules that can give referees an excuse to throw more during plays.

Two key differences:

  1. Everyone's face mask and collar are on the same part of their body.

  2. Neither the face mask nor collar obscure legal areas on the uniform for tackling.

Those two combined means that every player is on equal footing when it comes to being penalized for horse-collar or face-mask tackles. Hair, on the other hand, is varied from player to player, and (as was the case here), the hair can obscure an otherwise legal part of the uniform.

Others have already pointed out the obvious problem that would come with penalizing hair-tackles, and having officials try to "judge" whether a defender "meant" to just grab the hair or was grabbing for the uniform and just happened to get hair is asking for even more problems.

This isn't "league needs to protect the player" territory, this is "player needs to protect himself" territory.

Just a note!! Actually its not their hair, it is bought and tied in. Hippies still do that today!!

Good old George said it best . Get a hair cut and get a real job .