The Great Debate: Two-Hand Touch vs. Tackle for Your Turkey Bowl

STACK's Turkey Bowl experts weigh the pros and cons of playing two-hand touch football vs. tackle football on Thanksgiving morning.

Turkey Bowl Two-Hand Touch Football.

The rules of two-hand touch football are clear and leave little room for interpretation.

Case in point: Section Three of the official STACK Turkey Bowl Handbook states: the "ball carrier is ruled down by contact when touched with two hands above the waist."

Two hands. Above the waist. Clean and simple.

All fine and dandy for a Turkey Bowl with family and friends. But undoubtedly, some crazy birds will look to take it up a notch this Thanksgiving with a good old-fashioned game of tackle football, Turkey Bowl style.

So what's  the better option? STACK debates . . .

Two-Hand Touch

Pros

  • Minimal risk of injury
  • Less mud/dirt/grass stains

Cons

  • Relies on honor system (inconclusive evidence of two-hand touch in many cases)
  • Potential for awkward co-ed touching of sensitive areas

Rules

  • Ball carrier is ruled down by contact when touched with two hands above the waist.
  • Both hands must touch simultaneously.
  • Touches below the waist or at the feet do not constitute a takedown.
  • Two defenders each placing one hand on the ball carrier does not constitute a takedown.
  • If ball carrier is touched by one hand and falls to the ground, he or she is considered down by contact. If a ball carrier goes to the ground without being touched, he/she is not ruled down (i.e., NFL down-by-contact rules apply).

Tackle

Pros

  • More realistic gameplay
  • Satisfaction of good old contact football

Cons

  • Likelihood of family member missing Thanksgiving dinner while sitting in the ER
  • Increased risk of inter-family shoving matches
  • Precludes participation by women, young children and over-the-hill relatives

Rules

  • No leading with the head or lunging toward ball carrier
  • No picking up and/or body slamming ball carrier
  • No driving quarterback/ball carrier into the ground
  • Play is whistled dead and ball carrier is ruled down when gang tackled by group of defenders

Decision

The argument overwhelmingly favors playing two-hand touch this Thanksgiving. Save the intensity and contact for the organized playing field.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | NIKE TURKEY BOWL | CLEAN | INJURY | INTENSITY | GAMEPLAY | WAIST | DINNER