Explanation of the New NFL Hip-Drop Tackle Rule

hip-drop tackle

NFL Clubs Approve Rule to Remove Hip-Drop Tackle from the Game

In advance of the 2024 season, NFL clubs have voted unanimously to remove the hip-drop tackle from the game.

A hip-drop tackle occurs when a defender wraps up a ball carrier and rotates or swivels his hips, unweighting himself and dropping onto ball carrier’s legs during the tackle.

The NFL analyzed more than 20,000 tackles over the past two seasons and determined that this specific technique causes lower extremity injuries at a rate 20 times higher than other tackles, resulting in an unacceptable risk to player health and safety.

A hip-drop tackle will result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first-down if a player uses the following technique to bring a runner to the ground:

Players Protest New Hip-Drop Tackle Rule

NFLPA Statement 3/10/2024: League members of the NFL Competition Committee have indicated it is considering instituting a new playing rule prohibiting a tackling technique it described as the “hip-drop tackle". Despite this intent, the NFL also acknowledged that they were having a difficult time defining a “hip-drop tackle".

While the players have consistently advocated for health and safety advancements, any prohibition on the “hip-drop tackle” technique is unfair to players and unrealistic to implement. It places defensive players in an impossible position by creating indecision in the mind of any tackling player, puts officials in an unreasonable situation that will result in inconsistent calls on the field, and confuses our fans.

We call on the NFL to reconsider implementing a rule prohibiting the “hip drop tackle".

Sources: NFL.com and NFLPA.com

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