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The question is:
A Gold player kicks the ball for touch from a penalty. A Blue player standing in the field-of-play dives across the touch-line and , while in the air across the touch-line, momentarily catches the ball and passes it back into the field-of-play. What do you do?
A. Nothing; play on.
B. Award a line-out to Blue where the ball went into touch.
C. Award a line-out to Gold where the ball went into touch.
D. Award a line-out to Blue opposite where the ball was kicked from.
I thought the answer would be, A. Nothin play on, as the Blue's players feet didn't land in touch. I am told the answer is C as:
19 Definitions & 19.1e : If the ball crosses the touch-line or the touch-in-goal line, and is caught by a player who has both feet in the playing area, the ball is not in touch or touch-in-goal. Such a player may knock the ball into the playing area. If a player jumps and catches the ball, both feet must land in the playing area otherwise the ball is in touch or touch-in-goal. When a player kicks to touch from a penalty kick anywhere in the playing area, the throw-in is taken where the ball went into touch.
Does this mean, that a penalty is an exceptional case whereby a player cannot tip the ball back infield even if his fit don't touch the ground outside the field of play?
breako, welcome. Firstly, to clarify the question, the player lands in touch - whilst this is an omission in the question, I'm sure we'll find agreement that it is pretty much impossible, to jump from the field of play, across the touch-line and then to land in the field of play.
I shall explain this slightly better than it is on the website (I hope).
In this situation, the player has jumped across the touch-line and (whilst in the air) caught the ball and passed it back into the field of play. As the ball has crossed the plane of touch too (i.e. is no longer above the field of play), it becomes slightly trickier:
If the ball has crossed the plane of touch, it may only be caught and passed back into play by a player in the air provided that their feet land in the field of play. So, as the player cannot have landed in the field of play, the ball is in touch.
Hope that explains it.
As an aside, and a little extra. If a player in the air knocks the ball (which has crossed the plane of touch) back into play (i.e. does not at any point 'hold' the ball), then the position of his feet at the time he knocks the ball is all that matters. Provided the feet are above the field of play at the time he knocks the ball, then the ball remains in play (regardless of where he lands). On the other hand, if the feet have crossed the plane of touch (in the air) then the ball is considered in-touch.
On the other hand, if the feet have crossed the plane of touch (in the air) then the ball is considered in-touch.
Simon - you sure about that?
A player stood in touch can knock the ball back into play, so long as the BALL has not crossed the plane of touch.
So - why would it be different if the player is in the air?
I find the current definitions in Law 19 rather confusing - exceptions to exceptions etc. A while back I produced my own version, which is intended to represent the current situation. Here it is.
The plane of touch is the vertical space rising immediately above the inside edge of the touch-line.
The ball is IN when is is entirely between the two planes of touch.
The ball is IN TOUCH when it touches the touch-line or anything or anyone (except a player) on or beyond the touch-line, whether on the ground or in the air.
The ball is OUT when it has crossed or is crossing the plane of touch, but it is not necessarily 'in touch'.
If the ball goes OUT and then comes back infield without touching anything, play continues.
A player is IN TOUCH if any part of him is on the ground on or over the touch-line.
A player is IN TOUCH if he is in the air and has crossed or is crossing the plane of touch.*
A player is IN PLAY if, standing with both feet on the ground in the field of play, he reaches across the plane of touch.
If a player goes IN TOUCH while carrying the ball, the ball is IN TOUCH.
If a player IN TOUCH plays a ball that is OUT, the ball is IN TOUCH.
If a player IN TOUCH catches a ball that is IN, the ball is IN TOUCH.
If a player IN TOUCH plays, otherwise than by catching, a ball that is IN, play continues.
If a player IN PLAY plays a ball that is OUT, he may attempt to bring it back into play by kicking, catching, or knocking it. If in so doing he knocks it forward, Law 12 applies.
The asterisk marks a contentious point that I have not tried to define (since the current law does not either). Some people argue that what matters is the position of the player's feet. Others think it is his torso that matters if he is in the air.
The law says:
If a player jumps and catches the ball, both feet must land in the playing area otherwise the ball is in touch or touch-in-goal.
This would imply that if a player takes a running jump, catches and offloads the ball before reaching touch, but lands on the touchline, the ball is deemed to be in touch.
DaveT, sorry, forgot to specify that it was a continuation of the theme with the ball having crossed the plane of touch. As you say, if the ball hasn't you can knock it regardless.
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