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Recently, the Long Island Electric Football League wrote,

"Next, here's a cool rule we altered from the national rules. Tackles must be made by the defense from the front of their player base. If an offensive player runs into the back of a defensive player base it is not a tackle in the LIEFL. This is a critical game-changing rule that we play by. The front of the defenders base has to be facing forward for the defender to make the tackle in our league... We believe that we play by one of the most realistic standards."

I use to pretend the ball carrier is tackled when a defensive player touches the ball carrier. I pretended this even though I knew that most College, or NFL, or even High School running backs are rarely stopped by first contact. So, in fact I was playing touch football 🙂 and pretending it is tackle football. 

Now I use a 'Stop Forward Progress' rule. Touching front, back, or sides is not enough. A long duration touch doesn't constitute a tackle. Multiple simultaneous touches do not constitute a tackle. The defender(s) must stop the ball carrier's forward progress. I define Stopping Forward Progress as causing the ball carrier to run parallel to the Line to Gain, or backwards away from the Line to Gain.

In my experience this really opens up the running game because:

1. Loopers may change the ball carrier's direction but they rarely stop forward progress;

2. A strong running back will push defenders out of the way much like a Derek Henry or Bo Jackson;

3. On a Tudor 620 field, the 3 — 4 defense is susceptible to the easy 7 to 8 yard gain on every down because a ball carrier's base is four yards long and it's easy to get to the second level (linebackers); and,

4. On a Tudor 620 field a two-deep safety defense must move right up to the line of scrimmage which opens up the long pass.


Drop back passing: When I'm playing a game, my QB usually starts out under center and is fading back to handoff, pass, or run. So, in effect the QB is running away from the line to gain, or backwards. As long as the QB is moving backwards then I consider a touch by a defensive player to count as a QB sac. The moment the QB starts running toward the line to gain, then the defensive player must Stop the QB's Forward Progress.

Sweeps: Forcing the defense to Stop Forward Progress really improves sweeps, Jet sweeps, and end arounds, because the ball carrier can slide around defensive players. A tight end only has to be a tiny bit stronger than a defensive player to set the edge.

Kick Offs and Punt Returns: I think you can foresee how Stopping Forward Progress improves Kick offs and Punt Returns. You'll never take a touchback again. 😃

The LIEFL doesn't stop the game for defensive adjustments so your league is poised to rack up some really impressive rushing yards. You've spent hours getting those running backs tweaked for power, speed, and straightness, so let them horses run! 😁

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That's actually a fairly popular rule, but you have some great clarity for it. Its does help open up a lot of running games, and it lends some credibility to putting a QB on a stronger base. 

Make sure you train your fellow league mates on how to officiate it so you're all on the same page, because it can get pretty subjective. 


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20 minutes ago, NO Dave said:

Make sure you train your fellow league mates on how to officiate it so you're all on the same page, because it can get pretty subjective. 


This is a good point. Solitaire play is one thing, but I can see this rule becoming an issue in head-to-heads if someone's expecting the classic rule. Controllers may fly. 😆

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On 2/10/2022 at 8:15 AM, Paul Kian said:

if someone's expecting the classic rule.

The Canadian Football League plays by different rules than the NFL, and College Football has different rules than the NFL. The three leagues don't play each other because of the differences. (Yet, Major League Baseball works around the designated Hitter Rule so it's not impossible.)

I believe, like in most hobbies, sometimes EF hobbyists want to stay with the rules from their childhood, and some Hobbyists see a different way to enjoy the hobby. I once heard an editor for a train magazine say, "If a train club has three members then soon, two of the members will break off and start a new club." I think that's the nature of hobbies.

I noted on the Tudor Youtube video, Electric Football In The Modern Age,  that there is a lot of discussion of camaraderie and Coaches making friends for life. If changing the tackling rule would hurt that aspect of the hobby, then I wouldn't want it to happen.

However, if the tackle rule changed then I assume the men in that video would be at the forefront of the change. That would go a long way toward preventing Coaches from showing up to play touch football when everyone else is expecting Stop Forward Motion football.

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