Research finds players who perform war dances reach elevated heart rates before their rivals. Is it an unsporting advantage?
Should the Haka be scrapped from rugby? Let’s ask a different, less inflammatory question. If the New Zealand Haka and equivalents like the Fijian Cibi and the Tonga Sipi Tau provides an unfair advantage to those teams that perform it before kick off, should there be a limit on when and where those teams can do so?
Research conducted this year at the University of Queensland’s School of Human Movement found that players who performed these war dances reached elevated heart rate levels moments before the start of the match. Those squats and lunges are the equivalent of undergoing a warm-up while the opposition stands still, often in the cold. Admittedly we’re talking about marginal gains, but at the elite level that could be the difference between scoring a try in the opening five minutes or not.
Written by Daniel Gallan
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2022/sep/24/cap-the-haka-research-and-rugby-face-off-on-all-blacks-iconic-war-dance under the title “Cap the Haka? Research and rugby face off over All Blacks’ war dance | Daniel Gallan”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.