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In other words, are there more underlying physics concepts occurring in, say, a football tackle? According to Newton's third law, the individual doing the tackling should feel the same force as the person being tackled, in the opposite direction. However, it is the person being tackled who usually gets injured.

Edit: It seems my question is more biological than physical. Thanks for the explanations, though.

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    $\begingroup$ Who usually hits the ground? $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Mar 11 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ In football, momentum equals mass times velocity times emotion: $p = mv\epsilon$, where $0 \le \epsilon \le 110$%. $\endgroup$ – JEB Mar 11 at 0:53
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Newton 3rd Law say that the force of contact on the places you touch them is the same on both of you. Would you rather to be punched with the same force in your face or in your arm? If you jump from 2 meters high will you rather land on both of your feets or land on your side? The pain or injuries depend manly on the body anatomy: how ligament, muscles and bones take the impact in different areas

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Let's leave aside football tackles (which are complicated maneuvers) and instead think of punching. Say you're standing still and I'm punching you. By Newton's 3rd law, I experience the same amount of force as you, so why do you hurt more? For that matter, say I punch you in the chest & punch you in the groin with the same amount of force. Why does the latter hurt more?

It's all because of human biology: certain parts of the body can suffer (and exert) blows better than other parts.

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  • $\begingroup$ So in the context of tackling, the person doing the tackling simply uses different parts of his bodies to impact the person being tackled? $\endgroup$ – Sean Xie Mar 11 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ @SeanXie Yes, although I'm not an expert and could be missing some finer detail. $\endgroup$ – Allure Mar 12 at 3:13

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