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jboulet4648
10-09-06, 01:09
Black is attacking, Black player drives into green defender. Green defender brings black to ground (long body position) but does not go to ground himself so he is technically not a tackler, even though he has tackled someone. Green defender is on his feet and in proper position to play ball. Black player goes down, and before he has a chance to release the ball , the green defender wraps the ball up in the black player arms against black players chest. Green players has both arms basically holding ball inblack players arms against chest, and black player is stuck.

Question is penalty to whom, black for holding on, or green for not letting black play ball?

Tough one here, it all happened in a split instant in a high level match. If green had given black a second to release ball, ball would not be caught where it was. Green on other hand had every right to the ball, but the ball is not going to be produced through the black players chest.

Steve Jones
10-09-06, 10:09
If Black is not trying to play the ball simply trying to stop green playing it, penalty to green, players on their fet can play the ball but not prevent the tackled player from playing the ball.

steve

madref
10-09-06, 11:09
Hi

See law 14 could use something in there to penalise I reckon!

Also first time it happens I think I would give a scrum to black ball (ball not on ground) unplayable and have a word with the green captain at next breakdown. I think there was a bit of over eagerness there, if you do that again I will penalise you for negating the puprose and spirit of the game!

David

OB..
10-09-06, 11:09
I am having difficulty visualising a situation where Black is on the ground, Green is on his feet, but Green is able to wrap his arms round Black’s arms. However …

Green is wrong to hold on to Black (even a tackler must release him).
15.7 (a) No player may prevent the tackled player from passing the ball.

If Green, as a non-tackler, has entered the tackle zone correctly (did he?) and is on his feet, he can take the ball.
15.6 (b) After a tackle any players on their feet may attempt to gain possession by taking the ball from the ball-carriers possession.

Note that as a non-tackler, Green is not entitled to be inside the tackle zone initially. He must release and enter properly.
15.6 (c) At a tackle or near to a tackle, other players who play the ball must do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal-line.

Since Black did not have time to play the ball, penalty against Green.

OB..
10-09-06, 11:09
If it really was a tackle (ball-carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground) then Law 14 does not apply.

Curiously, under Law 14, it is legitimate to play the player. The common shout of "Let him up!" when a player falls on the ball, is wrong.

jboulet4648
10-09-06, 12:09
Green was allowed to be where he was because how he brought black to ground, he was not standing over him, he was in front of him in correct position to contest for ball. As he brought black to ground, he wrapped his armsaround blacks torso, arms, and ball, so that the ball was basically trapped under black and was not going to be playable.

My thinking was that if he held black to the gorund but let him play ball, play on, that is fine.

If he had released for a second so black had a chance to release the ball, play on.

But by being on his feet, and trapping the ball underneath black player on the ground, the green player is not allowing the ball to be played, penalty to green.

It was a tough call especially at the pace of the match.

OB..
10-09-06, 13:09
But by being on his feet, and trapping the ball underneath black player on the ground, the green player is not allowing the ball to be played, penalty to green.
Surely if Green is not allowing the ball to be played, the penalty is against Green? Or is that what you mean by "to"?

The matter of a non-tackler being in the tackle zone to start with is a difficult one, but I do not see why he should be better off than a real tackler. AIUI he should release and then enter the tackle zone properly. I know people laugh at the idea of him having to run round in a circle, or release, step back, and then step forward again, but is it not the point of the law that failing to go to ground in a tackle should be a disadvantage?

jboulet4648
10-09-06, 14:09
Surely if Green is not allowing the ball to be played, the penalty is against Green? Or is that what you mean by "to"?

The matter of a non-tackler being in the tackle zone to start with is a difficult one, but I do not see why he should be better off than a real tackler. AIUI he should release and then enter the tackle zone properly. I know people laugh at the idea of him having to run round in a circle, or release, step back, and then step forward again, but is it not the point of the law that failing to go to ground in a tackle should be a disadvantage?
\
Sorry Penalty against green.
Green was in the tackle zone properly. The way he brought the player to ground had him in this position. He had every right to the ball, if only he gave black a chance to release.

OB..
10-09-06, 16:09
I am still having trouble with Green being legally in the tackle zone.

15.6 (c) At a tackle or near to a tackle, other players who play the ball must do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal-line.
This applies to non-tacklers ie Green in this case. When the tackle takes place, he is in the tackle zone, because it is only a tackle (and hence a tackle zone) if the player is held as well as brought to ground. However as a non-tackler, he has no right to be there. He must retreat as necessary and enter "through the gate".

I know this seems odd, but it is certainly the way I understand the law, and the way it has been explained to me. It is the penalty a non-tackler pays for not going to ground. That is why it is best to technically go to ground eg on one knee.

If you don’t interpret it this way, you are virtually allowing the non-tackler the same rights as a genuine tackler.

jboulet4648
10-09-06, 22:09
Lets go with same scenario but the way the player is brought to ground, the green player has his arms around him so that he would be coming through the gate.

Its difficult to bring the man down and be in this position, but thats how it was done, and why it was such a difficult decision.

OB..
10-09-06, 23:09
We are at cross purposes here.

My point is that if Green is on his feet and holding the tackled player, he is already in the tackle zone, but not entitled to be there.

The only people entitled to be in the tackle zone and stay there are the tackled player and any tacklers. Anybody else has to leave and then come through the gate.

There is no point in claiming that he has already come through the gate, because it did not exist until he made the tackle.

jboulet4648
11-09-06, 03:09
I see your point....somewhat philospophical with a rugby twist

Davet
11-09-06, 10:09
Anybody else has to leave and then come through the gate

Just for the sake of being fussy....

Red player is held and brought to ground by blue player. Blue player does not leave his feet at any point. Red player is laid on ground, laying across the pitch- feet towards one touchline, head towards the other. Blue player has both his feet on blue side of the red player's body, ball is on red's side of red's body.

Does the blue player have to release and then as a separate action grab the ball? If so for how long? stand upright and spread his arms, then bend again? Or simply a microsecond release and then grab? Or can he just continue in the same action and take the ball away?

My vote would be for the last option. He is in perfect compliance with 15.6(c) - isn't he?

Deeps
11-09-06, 10:09
Dave,

If you are refereeing a level 16 game you may have time to differentiate, anything much quicker I would agree entirely with your instinct. Yesterday, refereeing some very fit U18s, it was possible to identify who entered the tackle zone from the wrong direction, just, let alone what they did when they got there.

madref
11-09-06, 10:09
Gentlemen

This is a good debate but at the end of the day we are here to play rugby remeber

1. Safety
2. Equity & Enjoyment
3. Laws

Laws are only point 3 lets keep the game, safe, enjoyable and equatable. Play within the laws but do not be a gotcha referee. We could all blow every 20 seconds if we wanted to and analysis laws inside out.

We want a good game of rugby for all concerend.

David

Bryan
11-09-06, 12:09
This often occurs at a high level with fit players (particularly in the backrow) who are driving their opponents back from the gainline, so that the ball-carrier is on the backfoot and so will go to ground easier, while the player bringing him to ground is strong enough to stay on his feet.

Forgetting the Laws for one second (hard as it may be), we have a player on his feet who has played positive rugby by bringing an opponent to ground (while remaining on his feet). He is therefore entitled to play the ball immediately. At this point there are no other arriving players to deal with, just the tackled player who is on the ground and the "arrived" player who is on his feet. The player on his feet wants to win the turnover quickly and play fast rugby, while the player on the ground wants to slow down the ball in order to wait for support to arrive. Now, answer me this:

Who is most likely to commit an offence? 9 times out of 10, it's the player on the ground for not releasing the ball.

It is plausible that the player on his feet is trying to "milk" the penalty. However, unless you are 120% sure of this, don't penalise. If you think that is what is going on, it's good to spot it around the 1/2-way line so that any penalty awarded (against common sense) has minimal effect on the match. You can play dice here, just not inside the 22, but preferably not at all.

Also, the best position to get a clear view is (if you're quick enough) to run round to the other side of the tackle to that you are facing the player on his feet. Is the player on the ground still in possession of the ball, or is the player on his feet just holding it against his chest to draw the penalty? This is the only position in which to make a good decision to award the penalty to the player on the ground. From other views, it will look like the player on the ground is not releasing (and 9 times out of 10, he's not!)

Yes, the tackled player has rights to be allowed to play the ball, but I would be hard pressed to penalise him under the "Laws of the Game of Common Sense" and the "Law of Averages". Tough call, but go with your gut instinct. All the players understand this. If Black was good enough to have an arriving player contest the ball with the Green player, it wouldn't come to this.

I'm not trying to give you a cop-out here. My point is to referee it by "feel" and make the logical call. Players will understand that more than trying to catch one of them and penalising as a result.

-Bryan

jboulet4648
11-09-06, 12:09
he best position to get a clear view is (if you're quick enough) to run round to the other side of the tackle to that you are facing the player on his feet. Is the player on the ground still in possession of the ball, or is the player on his feet just holding it against his chest to draw the penalty? This is the only position in which to make a good decision to award the penalty to the player on the ground. From other views, it will look like the player on the ground is not releasing (and 9 times out of 10, he's not!)-Bryan


I was in excellent position, right on top of action and this is what it looked like. Did it look like he was trying to draw a penalty, not sure, did it look like he was holding the ball against the chest, yes.

Neeed
11-09-06, 18:09
It sounds like the defending player, Green, is holding the ball and preventing it from being played by the attacking team, Black. I would award the penalty to Black for Green not releasing the man or ball and preventing play.

From the description is sounds like you had a horizontal chest to chest suplex with the ball caught in between.

Neeed
11-09-06, 18:09
Edit: double post.

OB..
11-09-06, 18:09
At the end of the day I agree that referees have to make pragmatic decisions. The only point of a philosophical discussion such as this is to ensure that such decisions are made against the correct understanding of the laws.

The IRB has been very strong on this. There were 3 Rulings, and then the wording of the law was changed to reflect that. They really mean it.

My own guess at part of the rationale is that they do not want players to develop dangerous tackling techniques that avoid going to ground eg grabbing the arm and swinging the player round off balance, or upending him just short of a "spear".

Pragmatically, as long as the non-tackler makes the right sort of effort (very minimum: clear release, preferably with a step away), I would not be too quick to penalise him, but my observation is that at the lower levels, players do not in fact know the distinction, and simply go for the ball.

Number8
11-09-06, 22:09
Red player is held and brought to ground by blue player. Blue player does not leave his feet at any point. Red player is laid on ground, laying across the pitch- feet towards one touchline, head towards the other. Blue player has both his feet on blue side of the red player's body, ball is on red's side of red's body.

Does the blue player have to release and then as a separate action grab the ball? If so for how long? stand upright and spread his arms, then bend again? Or simply a microsecond release and then grab? Or can he just continue in the same action and take the ball away?

My vote would be for the last option. He is in perfect compliance with 15.6(c) - isn't he?

I think Davet is right on.

There's been a few comments along the lines of 'allowing the ball carrier to play the ball'. That is, in some ways, an old notion. In light of 15.5(e), it is possible that the tackled player has no right to play the ball.
"(e) If opposition players who are on their feet attempt to play the ball, the tackled player must release the ball. "
As an example: Red tackles Blue, turning Blue to face Red's line. As soon as Blue hits the ground, another Red player arrives, through the gate and on his feet. Must he allow Blue to play the ball? Of course not; as soon as he tries to take it, Blue must release.

As for the scenario that started this thread: Green, since he didn't go to ground, caused a tackle, but wasn't a tackler. He is on the proper side of the ball in the tackle zone, so he is not impeding any black supporters (surely one of the intents of the tackle zone -- don't allow defenders to impede attacking supporters?). Sorry, OB, the idea that Green has to leave the tackle zone and re-enter doesn't make sense. Why should Black be rewarded when Green showed better skill in stopping the ball carrier and staying on his feet?
It seems to me the question here is: did Green sufficiently 'release' the Black player? Or was he going for the ball straightaway when Black hit the ground?
At the speed of the games that jboulet4648 refs, that would be a very difficult decision, indeed.