Clarification 1 2014
Concern is expressed that this type of play may affect the game going forward as the “tackle” will be down played and the slapping, knocking the ball out of the ball carrier’s grasp will prevail.
However, for the sake of clarity and consistency of ruling by referees worldwide, in the following scenarios has a knock-on occurred?
- A ball carrier from team red runs with the ball in the direction of team blue goal line, a defender/tackler from team blue attempts to tackle from behind and makes contact with his hand on the ball. This action caused the ball to be lost “forward” from the ball carrier. The last contact on the ball was that of the defender before it went forward. Is this a knock on by player red or a play on as the blue tackler knocked the ball back – similar to a rip, ruling 4 of 2011?
- Same scenario as above but the defender/tackler does not make contact with the ball but his action causes the ball carrier from team Blue to loose possession of the ball and it travels forward. Please confirm that this is knock-on.
Clarification 2 2014
(clarification 3 reinforces that clarification 2 applies to both 7s and 15s forms for the game)
Law 9.B.1 9 (e) – Taking a conversion kick
- Who can or should inform the referee of the team’s decision to opt to take the conversion or not? Can anyone or must it be the captain, try scorer or conversion taker? Or any of the foregoing, bearing in mind that one of the foregoing individuals may be some distance from the referee and be inaudible?
- Are there any specific words or signal that must be used to indicate to the referee of the team’s decision as to whether they will take the conversion or restart play?
- In relation to the timing restriction on when a team can opt not to take the conversion and to instead restart play, what happens if there is a delay in the referee ruling that a try has been scored (i.e. if he is behind the player or the TMO is consulted) which results in the clock going past 0.00?
- Lastly, if the team chooses not to take the conversion do they have to be set to take the restart before the clock reaches 0.00 and the hooter sounds? Or do the same principles apply regarding other restarts of play such as the lineout whereby the ball may go out of play before the clock reaches 0.00 and the lineout must still take place regardless of whether it has formed or not before 0.00?
Clarification 4 2014
Law 15.5 and Law 16.3
The RFU requested clarification on two items of Law in the context of both the Sevens and Fifteens game:
- Tackled player shifting body position before release
- Ruck clear outs using “head rolls” or “body rolls”
(e) If opposition players who are on their feet attempt to play the ball, the tackled player must release the ball.
In terms of ruck clearouts using “head rolls” and “body rolls”, this is not specifically referenced in Law. However, Law 10.4 (e) regarding dangerous play and misconduct should be applied to both the tackle and clear out:
“Dangerous tackling. A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. A player must not tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the neck or head is dangerous play. Sanction: Penalty kick”
Therefore body rolls are permissible but head rolls should be penalised.
Clarification 6 2014
Law 13 – Kick Off and Restarts
The HKRFU requested a clarification relating to Law 13. Drop out must cross the line.
Team A have a 22 metre drop out. The ball does not cross the line and lands in the field of play before going into touch, some 8 metres from the 22 metre drop out took place.
What advantage may apply? Can the non-offending team choose to have a lineout where the ball went into touch, the option of a scrum or a kick to be retaken?
- To have another drop out, or
- To have a scrum at the centre of the 22m line. They throw in the ball.”
Advantage only applies if the opponents play the ball before it goes into touch.
Clarification 7 2014
Is this action legal?
Law 20.9 Scrum – General Restrictions
“b) All players: Handling in the scrum. Players must not handle the ball in the scrum or pick it up with their legs.
c) All players: Other restrictions on winning the ball. Players must not try to win the ball in the scrum by using any part of their body except their foot or lower leg.
Law 20.9 (b) appears to determine the action (“bunny hopping with the ball caught at the player’s feet”) illegal and liable to penalty. However, doubt arises as to whether “legs” mentioned in the sentence includes the feet. On the other hand, Law 20.9 (c) specifically mentions feet, so this would appear to tender the action legal.
Could you please clarify as there are diverse interpretations on this action across various countries and there appears to be ambiguity in the Laws of the Game?
Clarification 8 2014
What should the referee’s decision be?
Law 13 Definitions state:
“The kick-off occurs at the start of each half of the match and at the beginning of each period of extra time. Restart kicks occur after a score or a touchdown.”
Law 13.10 Definitions state:
“Drop-out: A drop-out is a drop kick taken by the defending team. The drop-out may be taken anywhere on or behind the 22-metre line. A drop-out is used to restart play after an attacking player has put or taken the ball into the in-goal, without infringement, and a defending player has made the ball dead there or it has gone into touch-in goal or on or over the dead ball line.”
Law 13.15 Drop-out goes into the opponent’s in-goal states:
“a) If the ball is kicked into the opponent’s in-goal without having touched or been touched by a player, the opposing team has three choices:
- to ground the ball,
- or to make it dead,
- or to play on.
b) If the opposing team grounds the ball, or makes it dead, or if the ball becomes dead by going into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead ball line, they have two choices:
- to have a scrum formed at the centre of the 22-metre line from where the kick was taken and they throw in the ball, or
- to have the other team drop-out again.
c) If they opt to ground the ball or make it dead, they must do so without delay. Any other action with the ball by a defending player means the player has elected to play on.”
Further to this, the Seven-a-side Variations state:
The Laws of the Game apply to the seven-a-side game, subject to the following variations.
The variations presented for Law 13 end at Law 13.9. In the fifteen-a-side game, that Law refers to (Kick-off) ball goes into the in-goal. Thus, if no variations are presented for the incidents surrounding the drop-out, the “normal” Laws should be applied.
Hence, our understanding is that in the seven-a-side game, in the event of a 22 drop-out travelling into the opposing team’s in-goal area without touching or having been touched by a player in the process and a defending player grounds the ball without any delay, the referee’s decision should be to apply Law 13.15. (option between a scrum on the 22 where the kick was taken or ask to repeat the drop-out).
In other words, the Free Kick sanction applied in the seven-a-side game for infringements surrounding the kick-off does not apply to the restart kick (“22 drop-out”). Similarly, this would apply to a drop-out being incorrectly taken (Law 13.12), not crossing the 22-metre line (Law 13.13) or kicked directly into touch (13.14).
Is this interpretation correct?
- To have a scrum formed at the centre of the 22-metre line from where the kick was taken and they throw in the ball, or
- To have the other team drop-out again”
Clarification 9 2014
21.4 Penalty and free kick options and requirements:
“c) No delay. If a kicker indicates to the referee the intention to kick a penalty kick at goal, the kick must be taken within one minute from the time the player indicates the intention to kick at goal. The intention to kick is signaled by the arrival of the kicking tee or sand, or when the player makes a mark on the ground. The player must complete the kick within one minute even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again. If the one minute is exceeded, the kick is disallowed, a scrum is ordered at the place of the mark and the opponents throw in the ball. For any other type of kick, the kick must be taken without undue delay.”
21.6 Scoring from a free kick:
“a) A goal cannot be scored from a free kick.
b) The team awarded a free kick cannot score a dropped goal until after the ball next becomes dead, or until an opponent has played or touched it, or has tackled the ball carrier. This restriction applies also to a scrum or lineout taken instead of a free kick.”
22.7 Restarting after a touch down:
“a) When an attacking player sends or carries the ball into the opponent’s in-goal and it becomes dead there, either because a defender grounded it or because it went into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead ball line, a drop-out is awarded.”
22.8 Ball kicked dead through in-goal:
“If a team kicks the ball through their opponents’ in-goal into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead ball line, except by an unsuccessful kick at goal or attempted dropped goal, the defending team has two choices:
- To have a drop-out, or
- To have a scrum at the place where the ball was kicked and they throw in.”
Team A is awarded a free kick. They opt for a scrum and win the ball. The ball is quickly passed to their fly half who drop kicks it through the posts and above the cross bar and the ball then becomes dead.
As we can see, Law 21.6 determines that the attempted drop goal is not valid, however no mention is made to how play should restart.
Should the referee restart play by:
a) awarding only a scrum at the place of the attempted drop goal? This decision appears to be valid according to Law 21.4 (c).
b) awarding only a 22 drop-out? This decision appears to be valid according to Law 13.10 Definitions, paragraph two and Law 22.7(a).
Law 22.8 appears to deny giving an option to the opposing team in either a scrum at the place of the attempted dropped goal or a 22 drop-out.
Due to the above-mentioned doubts within the Laws of the Game, we seek clarity on whether the attempted dropped goal following a free kick is considered to be:
i) an unsuccessful kick at goal/ unsuccessful dropped goal, in which case Laws 13.10 and 22.7(a) should apply?
or ii) a free kick incorrectly executed, in which case Law 21.4 should be applied?
Further to this:
iii) In the case the ball does not become dead after the attempted dropped goal, should advantage be applied?
Could you please clarify as the Laws of the Game do not clearly state how to restart play after the attempted dropped goal has been taken?
- To have a drop-out, or
- To have a scrum at the place where the ball was kicked and they throw in.