The Big 12's head of officiating explained proper tackling under the new targeting rules at the conference's media days today. The targeting rules are designed to prevent a number of harmful and illegal hits: helmet-to-helmet, leading with the head, and various other improper tackles that may lead to serious injury, paralysis, or death. And since we hate seeing players unconscious and twitching like stunned bugs as much as you do, we certainly appreciate the intent.
The explanation, however, may be a bit lacking in clarity.
Four indicators B12 officials will look for in calling targeting: "Launch, Thrust, Strike, Crown." Shittiest X-Men team ever.— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) July 23, 2013
Non-targeting actions: "Head up," "Wrap up," "Head to Side," "Position Change," or the foldout exercise guide in a retirement magazine— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) July 23, 2013
We have attempted to illustrate the proper tackling positions for the head using exactly what the Big 12 used: Alabama tackling form. Please note that the Big 12 used a lot of Alabama footage in their presentation, because they are a major football conference that enjoys satire.
Rather than leading with his head, the tackler could have chosen any number of otherwise safe head posiitons for the tackle by placing his head on his back, foot, knee, or ass, aka "The Bulgarian Embrace." Ideally, the player would remove their head before a play, execute the tackle, and then take instructions from the sideline from their disembodied head, but technology lags behind our best hopes and will for some amount of time.
Other examples of tackling were clarified by officials. Examples thereof follow:
IS THIS WHAT WE WANT FOOTBALL TO BE:
We hope this helps officials as they make decisions to eject people from football games this fall.