Last weekend, USQ Tackle Development Project consultant Augustin Brajeux ran a successful tackling clinic at “THE Fantasy Tournament” in Austin, Tex.
Brajeux is a USA Rugby certified coach, Play Rugby instructor, and veteran Parisian rugby player. Since March, he has been researching physical contact and tackling in quidditch by watching film, and attending scrimmages and tournaments in the LA area along with World Cup 8. After his research, Brajeux made several preliminary recommendations for improvements to the tackling style, as well as other recommendations to increase safety, including the mandatory use of mouthguards and more education and training for coaches.
“THE Fantasy Tournament,” now in its fourth installment, was chosen as an ideal location to host USQ’s first tackling clinic because of the number of players drawn from multiple regions, and the high level of physical contact that exemplifies the Southwest’s style of play. Over a dozen players braved the 100 degree weather to participate in the clinic.
Brajeux started by teaching participants how to properly warm up before playing, focusing particularly on the upper body: especially the hips, shoulders, and neck. One of Brajeux’s observations is that many teams do not take the time to properly warm up all the right muscle groups before playing, and he believes this has an impact on the frequency of injuries.
Then, participants learned how to do rugby-style tackles. Brajeux used the progressive approach to teach tackling: first starting with both people on their knees, then one person standing, then both people standing. Participants learned the tackle first without brooms, and then added brooms in and talked about the differences. Brajeux also had each participant practice how to fall.
The clinic was filmed, and USQ is currently producing a video with the training material as well as the discussion held afterward about the differences between the rugby tackle and current quidditch tackle, and pros and cons of adjusting the quidditch tackle. With the release of this video, USQ will lead a league-wide discussion about potential rules adjustments to make tackling safer, and how USQ can best teach safe tackling to the rest of the league.
USQ is working on scheduling additional tackling clinics this fall in other parts of the country. The Tackle Development Project is an important component of achieving USQ’s strategic goal to make the sport of quidditch safer.
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