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SimonSmith
20-08-04, 14:08
Here's the text for the application of ruck law from USA Rugby. I don't normally make a point of highlighting things like this, but this caught my eye: "3.1.4 Players are allowed to ruck players on the ground, but they are not allowed to kick, stamp or trample players on the ground. A proper rucking action is attempting to make the ball available with a backwards push of the foot, not a kick. The head of the player on the ground is a “No Go” area."

I'm not trying to start a flame war here, but I'd like other opinions. I've never had a problem with the player on the ground being rucked, and I suspect that the majority of players feel the same - that's just based on observation and anecdotal evidence as opposed to any kinds of hard facts.

What does interest me is that the right to ruck the man has now been officially endorsed by USA Rugby, which seems to be going a little against the prevailing trend.

As they used to put in my old exams: Discuss!

League mate
24-08-04, 01:08
Don't know about up your way Simon but down here in New Zealand rucking is still a part of the game , though looking at Super 12 & Tri Nations etc the game to me seems to agree with you on the fact that it is now going against the trend .But on the whole as an ex player ruck marks were pride marks and i personally think that if they try too hard to take that part of the game away then why not just play soccer ?

Good on the yanks for wanting to play the game the hard way , speed is good but at the lower levels their's a better way of teaching players to roll cleatr than letting the whistle control too much of the game and that's to let the players police the ruck etc in the old fashioned way . Gives the guys something to laugh about in the shower too .Any other opinions ?

didds
27-08-04, 18:08
you guys would know better than I w/out me looking up the lawbook, but doesn't the law actually state that placement of feet on a body is NOT permissable?

This does not reflect my own viewpoint I will add which would be in agreement with the USA rugby stance...

didds

didds
27-08-04, 19:08
Found it! law 16.3 (f) states

"A player rucking for the ball must not ruck players on the ground. A player rucking for the ball tries to step over players on the ground and myust not intentionally step on them. A player rucking must do so near the ball".

So there you have it in black and white. USA Rugby's stance and advice is contrary to the laws.

didds

League mate
31-08-04, 23:08
I think your rule book is contrary to the game . How can you ruck near the ball without contacting the body of the player supposedly preventing it from coming out . Correct me if i'm wrong but does that mean as kids through to senior football my club and every other plus the referee's of every nation got it wrong by allowing and accepting the practise of rucking .

Deeps
31-08-04, 23:08
Hi guys,

In this situation I would ask myself does it look safe? Secondly, what is the ruckers intent? So, if his action looks safe and he is trying to ruck the ball out then I am happy. If he is nowhere near the ball and perceived to be punishing the player on the floor then, firstly that's my job and the rucker is taking the law into his own hands and secondly, that's dangerous play warranting a warning at the very least along with a penalty kick against.

I can only hope, by the introduction of their local variation, that our illustrious USA colleagues have either just erred by neglecting to read the letter of the law and a retraction will be forthcoming or the USARFU has collossal insurance coverage that provides for condoning activities outside the law.

League mate
01-09-04, 05:09
I am presuming from the USA standpoint that they are condoning rucking of the player at the ball and not off the ball .

didds
01-09-04, 13:09
well, I'm not saying the law is correct. But it IS what the law book says; that in effect you cannot put a foot on a player.

The fact remains of course that its an almost impossible requirement.

didds

SimonSmith
01-09-04, 14:09
I can only hope, by the introduction of their local variation, that our illustrious USA colleagues have either just erred by neglecting to read the letter of the law and a retraction will be forthcoming or the USARFU has collossal insurance coverage that provides for condoning activities outside the law.

Which is in fact the point that I have raised with our Society President. His first answer to me was that well, you know what's safe and what isn't. To which I replied that I certainly do; however, the guidance is an direct contradiction to the law book. Regardless of your feelings on the merit of the man on the ground being rucked, and I accept that there is a variety of opinion, my bug bear is that contradiction.

It's little like being told that in some circumstances, a forward pass is actually permissible!

Deeps
01-09-04, 16:09
Simon,

I am not surprised you raised the obvious eyebrow to your present Society President as the legal standing was discussed often while you were with HRURS. Living very close to a frightfully senior member of the legal profession with whom I am on G+T terms and having read around the subject following the various court cases here with respect to referee's negligence (front row problems), it is quite clear that all you will have to rely on in court is what the law book says, your application/interpretation of that law and any anecdotal evidence recorded at the time. A local illegal variance is most unlikely to be upheld against the written law nor your application of it. I would not rely on the classic Nuremburg defence of 'I was only following orders' either.

Davet
02-09-04, 12:09
The Law book is fairly clear, but does contain those weasel words "attempt" and "intentional".

If a player is rucking for the ball, and his boot connects with a players body then so long as it was not his intention to ruck the player he is OK.

However, like the rest of you I am awaiting the new mind-reading course to be fully developed, and so for the moment I have to rely on my intuition and experience based 39 years of involvement with the game.

Firstly, if a player is putting boot to an opponent and the ball is not near that point then he is pinged, and may well get carded. If this is near the head then the colour is more likely to be red.

Secondly, if a player is trying to ruck the ball then he should be stepping over the player on the ground, allowing that player a chance to get out of the area. If in stepping over contact is made that is OK, if he is mountaineering then he is not trying to get the ball and is not trying to step over, so again he is going to get pinged.

Thirdly, if its a stamp or a kick then he is going to get a red.

But, Finally and most importantly, if this sort of situation arises then I tend to blame myself. If we have a player on the wrong side blocking the ball then I strongly believe that the ref must blow up and penalise him as quickly as posible. That stops all the fancy footwork, helps keep heads cool, and helps prevent the ball being slowed down this way in future, especially when accompanied by the use of the yellow card if players try to persist.

Deeps
02-09-04, 23:09
Dave,

Eloquently put and 100% on the mark.

SimonSmith
03-09-04, 14:09
The Law book is fairly clear, but does contain those weasel words "attempt" and "intentional".

If a player is rucking for the ball, and his boot connects with a players body then so long as it was not his intention to ruck the player he is OK.



Let me up the flame quota here by disagreeing or expanding on that thought slightly. The law book actually says two things: first, that players must not be rucked, and secondly that you may step on them intentionally. That's two separate concepts/ideas - the act of rucking, and the act of stepping over the players when moving forward having won the ruck.

I have a concern about the long term future of rucking in the game. The movements from Australia suggest that boots on bodies is a real no-no down there. It nows grows increasingly more difficult to allow for a good hard fast rucking game.

Simon Thomas
14-09-04, 14:09
Great debate guys ! At the end of the day safety is of course paramount.
DaveT and Deeps in agreement - fantastic. Do I see a short session at one of the monthly Training meetings guys ?

Having played in a XV who physically encouraged visitors to the Alton slope to not lie on ruck ball (and expected the same in return) I saw and felt some potentially dangerous rucking over the years (but if expected you protect yourself accordingly). These days the Law and common pratice is not to put rucking boot deliberately to body with intent - and I mean boot behind knee postioning and rucking back parallel to ground. Very rarely last season did I have to warn about feet positioning or over robust rucking, except when on exchange in Somerset and Devon !

Like DaveT I believe that if we as referees need to encourage immediate post tackle movement away by the tackler and ensure arriving players stay on their feet, as it tends to negate most needs for any bodies to be rucked.

At levels 6, 7 and 8 many sides want quick ball and as part of my preventative management I am looking for the errant few who wish to 'slow-down' matters (usually very deliberately) - an early ping and warning, even yellow if necessary, works wonders.

At lower levels, some players through lower fitness levels, lack of competance, and less drilled unit skills, players do go down to ground more, are slower to move away and it is here that over-robust rucking, frustration and potential flashpoints can arise. Here more preventative refereeing, communication with the players (and even mind reading is vital).

Anyone stamping or deliberately going to a head on the ground will discover zero tolerance from me - it's a red card !