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SONA
04-12-06, 00:12
Two of the higher Div-2 clubs playing each other in a tourney this week end. Black and Green. Fast moving experinced and fit players. Clear day, temp 54F. Location Citadel, Charleston, SC.

(See Picture)
Ruck forms, Green ball. Green clearly wins. One Green player and one Black player on the ground. Ball is clearly in control of Green with three Green players, who are properly bound, over the ball on their side of the ruck. Green 1 picks up the ball while bound and hands it through his legs to the scrum half waiting behind him and the passes the ball out.

I blew it up for hands in the ruck.

Green players protest and say they see it all the time in higher level play and what is wrong with it. I argue that it is hands in. They clearly had won the ruck but I contended that if the person who picked it up and ran with it or turned and passed it out it would materially have been ok. But since he remained bound it was not legal. What are your thoughts?

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/edgewater225/Ruckexample.jpg

FlipFlop
04-12-06, 03:12
Play on. I know that technically it is hands in, but...

..you've said the ruck is clearly won, so he isn't using his hands to win teh ball, or stop the oppo get it. The opposition haven't lost anything, except the opportunity to infringe by pulling in the scrum half as he digs it out.

Generally if the player picks it up, I'll call the ball out. This means the oppo can come round and tackle him. However if he pushes/rolls it along the floor, I'll say it is still in - effect is no real difference to if he used his feet. This has the effect of players either not picking it up in future rucks, or breaking off and running with it (which is what we want).

As I've been told by Wayne Barnes, once the ball is won, see if the act is positive (trying to play rugby) or negative (trying to kill the ball). In this case the act is clearly positive, as he is trying to get the ball out of the ruck quicker.

So I would have called it out when Green 1 picked it up, and then played on.

FlipFlop
04-12-06, 03:12
Sorry - another quick question for you.

If the scrum half is burrowing for the ball, do you rule it out as soon as he puts his hands on it?

OB..
04-12-06, 09:12
I wouldn't. I think he should be allowed to get the ball free first (same reasoning as above).

Coler
04-12-06, 10:12
..................................

Simon Thomas
04-12-06, 10:12
SH 'digging ball out' :

Standard practice that we advise at training meetings and development squad is to verbally indicate that 'the ball is not out' / 'no hands-on yet' / 'leave him, scrum half is digging ball out'.

Both these issues raised are part of referee management to create positive play.

Here nwe have consistentcy at all level of the Game for the referee - Elite to Old Bollockonians 5th XV

Coler
04-12-06, 10:12
Play on...although technically hands in the Green player is not preventing a contest for the ball and is doing something constructive in freeing it to the next phase.

Especially in static situations you do not want to require the side in possession to have to drive over the ball or free with feet for safety reasons.

Also agree with OB that s/half should be allowed get the ball free rather than being leapt on as soon as he touches it.

Dixie
04-12-06, 10:12
Play on, positive play as has been suggested by many. However, I disagree with Simon about the degree of consistency we have. If I were reffing Old Bollockonian's 5th XV, experience suggests this will be a flashpoint. At an opposition ruck, if a player picks it up adn hands it back, the Old B's are going to charge around and deck him from the side, arguing (correctly) that it's either hands-in or it's out. These guys are so set in their ways that in the pre-match, I'll ask them not to facilitate it back with hands - and then I'll let them get away with the odd push on a clearly-won ball.

I find the cut-off for this is about Level 11/12. At Level 10 there is no problem with players' understanding, and at Level 9 the handled facilitation is so ingrained that pinging it is a fool's errand - it just kills the game.

beckett50
04-12-06, 11:12
Dixie, this is where game management comes in. You have to anticipate what an oppo player is going to do and a quick shout of "No, Black!!" should stop them. If not a PK will teach them the lesson and you can then explain that you were indicating the ball was still in the Ruck with your verbal warning

FlipFlop
04-12-06, 16:12
I also agree that when the SH is digging the ball out it isn't out. The reason for my question was to see if SONA views this differently to the original question, given that in both situations hands are on, but I view the ball as not out.

Padster
04-12-06, 17:12
I try not to call the ball as out unless there is some sort of problem or I am asked. I will call that the ball was out or play on, just to try to nip any aggrieved feelings in the bud!

Old playing habits of calling the ball out die hard though :D

didds
04-12-06, 17:12
ref: original query.

IMO this is the thin wedge of the wedge. Allowing the rear ruck player to pick up and hand back is de-skilling the game.

Why? Because now the (acting?) scrum-half has the ball at waist height to pass it... (s)he no longer needs a scrumhalf pass from the floor to cler the ball away. It makes clearance easier.

Ping it. please.

didds

Gareth-Lee Smith
04-12-06, 18:12
ref: original query.

IMO this is the thin wedge of the wedge. Allowing the rear ruck player to pick up and hand back is de-skilling the game.

Why? Because now the (acting?) scrum-half has the ball at waist height to pass it... (s)he no longer needs a scrumhalf pass from the floor to cler the ball away. It makes clearance easier.

Ping it. please.

didds

Fair point.

I'm in two minds about this. We were taught two contradictory philosophies at the Foundation course I took that apply here.

1. Ref to the letter of the Law: do not interpret.
2. Bear in mind 'materiality' - what effect does it have on the game?

To me, I'd let such play - as described in the first post - go, because it doesn't have a negative effect upon the game.

As I said: Didds, fair point - I see England doing this all the time and it brasses me off no end. However, that's down to the coaches to impress upon their players, and us referees aren't doing teams a bad service by letting them get away with it.

Davet
05-12-06, 09:12
I see a distinct difference between the back player in a ruck rolling the ball back gently so that it is available on the floor for the scrum half and the same player picking up the ball and presenting at waist height to his 9.

The first seems to be analogous to the 9 "digging" for a ball stuck in among feet, legs, and the odd gin trap. Which I see as allowable in the interests of scrummage avoidance.

The second is taking advantage of the refs desire for an open quick and positive game, and is to be discouraged.

Dixie
05-12-06, 14:12
I see a distinct difference between the back player in a ruck rolling the ball back gently so that it is available on the floor for the scrum half and the same player picking up the ball and presenting at waist height to his 9.

The first seems to be analogous to the 9 "digging" for a ball stuck in among feet, legs, and the odd gin trap. Which I see as allowable in the interests of scrummage avoidance.

The second is taking advantage of the refs desire for an open quick and positive game, and is to be discouraged.

Couldn't agree more

Mike Whittaker
05-12-06, 15:12
Would be interesting to see the reaction of those refs who allow these roll or hands back to seeing a rearmost player flicking the ball back 5m to a quarter back, sorry, I mean scrum half, there waiting for the ball...

The crux is, when is it handling in the ruck?

Personally go with the view that if the opposition cannot get the ball without infringing then play on...

SONA
05-12-06, 19:12
I also agree that when the SH is digging the ball out it isn't out. The reason for my question was to see if SONA views this differently to the original question, given that in both situations hands are on, but I view the ball as not out.

Sorry, I am a bit late on the answer. I always allow and encourage the SH to go and get the ball, including digging it out.

jboulet4648
05-12-06, 19:12
In this instance since the ruck had clearly been won, I would say play on, the point is to not blow the whistle and have the game played in as much the spirit of the game, as the law. I would however manage it. At the next dead ball, I would remind the player that while in that instance he was okay, that if the ruck was being contested hands must remain off.

If the ball is buried, first question is why is it buried? If it is buried, the defense slowed it down, and I may be blowing a penalty, or playing advantage. Second, is it going to be readily available with a little bit of digging, and if I don't see it fast, why have bodies on the ground, whistle and restart play with a scrum attacking side.

Glyndwr
07-12-06, 17:12
In a little over twelve months, this discussion will be irrelevant, when anybody will be allowed to compete for the ball, provided they are on their feet and legally at the ruck.

Davet
08-12-06, 09:12
anybody will be allowed to compete for the ball, provided they are on their feet and legally at the ruck.


Possibly.

But if they have to be "legally at the ruck" do they have to scrabble one handed for the ball so as to remain bound legally with the other?

Glyndwr
08-12-06, 18:12
"Players - so long as they're onside, have entered from the back and are on their feet - can play the ball with their hands."

Binding isn't mentioned.

Account Deleted
11-12-06, 11:12
"Players - so long as they're onside, have entered from the back and are on their feet - can play the ball with their hands."

Binding isn't mentioned.


Surely logic dictates that they must be bound to be in the ruck other wise they are offside.

Davet
11-12-06, 14:12
Players entering a ruck must bind on to a team mate. Players in a ruck must be bound. Players who lose their bind must leave the ruck.

If they remove those laws, then I see chaos looming - we would have a collection if individuals using hands and feet indiscriminately to get posession.

Absolutely the opposite of an edifying spectacle.

Glyndwr
11-12-06, 14:12
The main Stellenbosch Laws are: 1. At the breakdown, players can use their hands at all times. They must come into the breakdown "through the gate". No foul play is allowed. Otherwise, anything goes. The side that takes the ball into the breakdown and can't release it is penalised.

Dixie
11-12-06, 15:12
A breakdown is the precursor to a ruck. Do the same laws apply in the ruck? If so, there is in effect no ruck.

beckett50
12-12-06, 12:12
I see chaos looming - we would have a collection if individuals using hands and feet indiscriminately to get posession.

Richie MacCaw et al must be rubbing their hands in glee :D

Glyndwr
13-12-06, 19:12
Richie MacCaw et al must be rubbing their hands in glee :D

Just means that everybody will be doing legally what they've been doing illegally.

Could bring some equalisation.

Davet
14-12-06, 11:12
If nobody binds on - being too intent on using both hands to wrestle for possession then we never have a ruck.

If we never have a ruck we never have offside lines.

Offside - not being in front of the line of the action - is pretty much the main law of the game - it defines the whole character of rugby.

This really does need thinking through fully.

Sinkers
14-12-06, 23:12
technicaly handling game management play on.
Only blow up in this area if it goes vertical and rolls into maul PK offence.

Robert Burns
15-12-06, 02:12
technicaly handling game management play on.
Only blow up in this area if it goes vertical and rolls into maul PK offence.
If you are allowed hands in ruck surely it's bound to become a maul, why penalise? two player have the ball, both stand up trying to get it their side, players bind on from the back, no problems to me.

If it doesn't come out, scrum to side going forward, no one going forward, attacking team scrum.

Dixie
15-12-06, 09:12
If you are allowed hands in ruck surely it's bound to become a maul, why penalise? two player have the ball, both stand up trying to get it their side, players bind on from the back, no problems to me.

I agree. Unlikely that only one set of hands will try for the ball. One or more from each side pulling towards themselves will inevitable lift the ball, turning into a maul. At first I thought this was a problem, but once you release yourself from the shackles of conventional thinking - where's the difficulty? Rucks/mauls have the same secondary characteristics, and nothing changes except the vertical position of the ball. As Robert says, just make sure you know whether or not the bnall was on the deck when deciding which way to award a scrum in the event of an unsuccessful conclusion.

Davet
15-12-06, 10:12
OK - so do we accept that there is no longer to be such a thing as a ruck, merely an extended tackle / post-tackle situation which may well develop into a maul, and in which hands and feet are both able to be used indiscriminately to win possession?

OB..
15-12-06, 10:12
Scenario: Blue tackles Red, who places the ball. Arriving Blue player tries to pick the ball up just as an arriving Red player binds on in an attempt to drive him back while stepping over the ball to heel it back. He inadvertently treads on the Blue player's hand, breaking a couple of fingers.

Is this so unlikely that we should ignore it?

Mike Whittaker
15-12-06, 11:12
Scenario: Blue tackles Red, who places the ball. Arriving Blue player tries to pick the ball up just as an arriving Red player binds on in an attempt to drive him back while stepping over the ball to heel it back. He inadvertently treads on the Blue player's hand, breaking a couple of fingers.

Is this so unlikely that we should ignore it?

Given the style and construction of the boots many of the players wear today it is surprising perhaps that more feet do not end up with broken bones, but they don't. Can't see it becoming an issue...

Davet
15-12-06, 13:12
The scenario quoted sounds legal today.

Dixie
15-12-06, 15:12
The scenario quoted sounds legal today.

Agree - and no-one's fault if it happens. As to:


OK - so do we accept that there is no longer to be such a thing as a ruck, merely an extended tackle / post-tackle situation which may well develop into a maul, and in which hands and feet are both able to be used indiscriminately to win possession?

Initial respose was I don't think I'd go that far. If both sides elect to ruck it conventionally, then I guessed that ruck rules (other than hands) apply - including joining level with the rearmost man, rather than just through the gate. However, I then brought the bind into the equation. If there's no obligation to bind (implied by an ability to pick up with both hands), then perhaps Davet is right. I then got to wondering about offside, and confused the heck out of myself. I'll await wiser counsel.