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 . . .
- Minimal risk of injury
- Less mud/dirt/grass stains
- Relies on honor system (inconclusive evidence of two-hand touch in many cases)
- Potential for awkward co-ed touching of sensitive areas
- 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).
- More realistic gameplay
- Satisfaction of good old contact football
- 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
- 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
The argument overwhelmingly favors playing two-hand touch this Thanksgiving. Save the intensity and contact for the organized playing field.