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Taffy
23-03-14, 15:03
Game yesterday, me trying extra hard to referee the tackle area with I think, a better result.

A lot of the wisdom from this forum was brought to the pitch yesterday. Thanks.

I was questioned by the red skipper about the tackle assist. He told me that if there was a tackle assist and not the main tackler, then providing he was on his feet he DID NOT HAVE TO RELEASE THE TACKLED PLAYER.

I told him he was wrong and that he was classed as a tackler and therefore had to follow the same rules of releasing, providing some evidence of release before he could then play the ball.

Was I right?

collybs
23-03-14, 15:03
You are right.


15.6(c)

Players in opposition to the ball carrier who remain on their feet who bring the ball carrier to ground so that the player is tackled must release the ball and the ball carrier. Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line.

chbg
23-03-14, 19:03
Yes and no - he is not a tackler, so he has to approach the ball 'through the gate'; but yes, once the ball carrier is brought to ground, both tacklers and tackler assists must release before playing the ball. If the ball carrier is not brought to ground, then no-one has to release!

Browner
13-01-15, 14:01
I had a Coach** last weekend, vociferously claim that "if the player on his feet wrestling for the ball isnt actively attempting to bring the BC to ground, despite a teammate simultaneously doing so (....ie the one high, one low double-up )
15.6(c) who bring the ball carrier to ground that Mr On Feet isnt caught by the requirements of 15.6.c.

I'd got to a "repeat offence team warning" within 18 mins of the start, as the on-feet participant of the double-team tackle wasn't showing clear release as he continued his wrestling for the ball as BC & teammate went to ground.

The players ( to their credit ) amended to my interpretation, but I overheard his half time chat ( deliberately vocally loud???) where he told the players "to play to my interpretation even though I was clearly wrong, coz sometimes they have to deal with poor referee understanding"

Am I misunderstanding something technical here?

** Coach is RFU L3 Coach, Club DoR, and a ( inactive currently) Society Referee I believe.

FlipFlop
13-01-15, 14:01
All players must release the tackled player. So I'm, with you on this. His argument is based on pin head dancing...

Phil E
13-01-15, 14:01
.........but I overheard his half time chat ( deliberately vocally loud???) where he told the players "to play to my interpretation even though I was clearly wrong, coz sometimes they have to deal with poor referee understanding"

Coach, we need to talk.....dissent doesn't just apply to the players.....


Am I misunderstanding something technical here?

** Coach is RFU L3 Coach, Club DoR, and a ( inactive currently) Society Referee I believe.

No, he is wrong.....all day long.

Womble
13-01-15, 15:01
Interesting, have only had 3 referees that have refereed the tackle assist properly this season ! Biggest non compliance being the tackle assist, having released the ball carrier attempting to play the ball from the wrong side and not entering the "tackle" from the right direction ! This law has been in some 8 years and is still not understood throughout the game by both referees and coaches.

Daftmedic
13-01-15, 15:01
I had a Coach** last weekend, vociferously claim that "if the player on his feet wrestling for the ball isnt actively attempting to bring the BC to ground, despite a teammate simultaneously doing so (....ie the one high, one low double-up ) that Mr On Feet isnt caught by the requirements of 15.6.c.

I'd got to a "repeat offence team warning" within 18 mins of the start, as the on-feet participant of the double-team tackle wasn't showing clear release as he continued his wrestling for the ball as BC & teammate went to ground.

The players ( to their credit ) amended to my interpretation, but I overheard his half time chat ( deliberately vocally loud???) where he told the players "to play to my interpretation even though I was clearly wrong, coz sometimes they have to deal with poor referee understanding"

Am I misunderstanding something technical here?

** Coach is RFU L3 Coach, Club DoR, and a ( inactive currently) Society Referee I believe.

phil e said it better than I would.
I may of added now jog on you spawny eyed, parrot face wazzak. Or words to that effect.

Browner
13-01-15, 15:01
Interesting, have only had 3 referees that have refereed the tackle assist properly this season !

Biggest non compliance being the tackle assist, having released the ball carrier attempting to play the ball from the wrong side and not entering the "tackle" from the right direction !

This law has been in some 8 years and is still not understood throughout the game by both referees and coaches.

Womble,
the Coach was (I'm reliably informed) refereeing as a L6 before he commenced his adult coaching !
Perhaps he thinks that old badge alone qualifies him to know more than me.

Phil E
13-01-15, 15:01
Womble,
the Coach was (I'm reliably informed) refereeing as a L6 before he commenced his adult coaching !
Perhaps he thinks that old badge alone qualifies him to know more than me.

It's not unusual for SOME "older" referees to not be up to date with the latest laws, interpretations and clarifications.

Womble
13-01-15, 16:01
What level doesn't matter ! My response to any one with a doubt about how to referee the tackle & assist tackle is that the law has been there for over 8 years ! As I am coaching now, ( and coach inside the law book) it frustrates me that the tackle is still not refereed properly at most levels ! Bit like the man off rule I guess ;)

Dixie
13-01-15, 17:01
Yes and no - he is not a tackler, so he has to approach the ball 'through the gate'; but yes, once the ball carrier is brought to ground, both tacklers and tackler assists must release before playing the ball. If the ball carrier is not brought to ground, then no-one has to release!


Interesting, have only had 3 referees that have refereed the tackle assist properly this season ! Biggest non compliance being the tackle assist, having released the ball carrier attempting to play the ball from the wrong side and not entering the "tackle" from the right direction ! This law has been in some 8 years and is still not understood throughout the game by both referees and coaches.


It's not unusual for SOME "older" referees to not be up to date with the latest laws, interpretations and clarifications. OY! Wind yer long neck in, Admiral!

I've taken some liberties with Womble's post through selective quoting, but the bits in red have the potential to confuse the OP who is trying hard to get his head around all this.

Scenario 1: Blue 12 and Blue 13 both engage Red 13 and drive him backwards. Red 13 falls ov er with Blue 13 on top of him. We now have a tackle, a tackled player and a tackler. Blue 12 as tackle assist must release everything, but having done so is now perfectly at liberty to play the ball provided that during the tackle he has not strayed in front of his colleague or the tackled player. He does not need to re-enter through the gate.

Scenario 2: As above, but Blue 13 is not engaged. When Red 13 falls over, there is a tackle but no tackler. Blue 12 (still on his feet) as tackle assist must release everything, but having done so is now perfectly at liberty to play the ball provided that during the tackle he has not strayed in front of his colleague or the tackled player. He does not need to re-enter through the gate.

Scenario 3: As in 2 above, but when Red 13 falls over, Blue 12's momentum takes him a step beyond the tackled player. This scenario is controversial, but I believe the majority would require Blue 12 to exit and re-enter the tackle zone through the gate, and thus would ping him for "illegal entry" if he simply stepped backward over the tackled player to engage the ball from the correct angle.

tim White
13-01-15, 19:01
It's not unusual for SOME "older" referees to not be up to date with the latest laws, interpretations and clarifications.

Age is no measure of understanding in this area;

I freely admit I cannot get my head round the 'man off' rule and have not had a clear explanation off anyone -DON'T point me to the flowchart!

crossref
13-01-15, 19:01
Age is no measure of understanding in this area;

it's not age : it's how long since you last reffed.
it's hard to stay current if you are not involved.

Dave Sherwin
13-01-15, 19:01
Interesting, have only had 3 referees that have refereed the tackle assist properly this season ! Biggest non compliance being the tackle assist, having released the ball carrier attempting to play the ball from the wrong side and not entering the "tackle" from the right direction ! This law has been in some 8 years and is still not understood throughout the game by both referees and coaches.

I opened a law clinic on the tackle area with the question what defined, in law, a tackler as against a tackler assist. The room was nearly unanimous in thinking it was to do with the first person attempting to make the tackle, or the primary tackler or something similar. This included some senior regional coaches and many good-level players. I was pretty surprised! I also had an extended discussion earlier this year with the head coach of Ecosse Sevens who simply refused to believe that a player involved in making a tackle (from the side) but who stayed on their feet still had to go through the tackle gate even if there wasn't also a tackler on the ground. Considering he gets paid pretty well to do the job, and the type of competitions in which Ecosse regularly compete, I was somewhat surprised. (NOTE: Edited for additional clarity!)

Womble
13-01-15, 19:01
surprised I am not !! Maybe these guys just aint being educated ! I believe it to be a big issue in the game as a whole & needs some serious work at all levels for both coaches and referees

OB..
13-01-15, 19:01
The tackle assist is not a ball carrier nor a tackler. He therefore comes under Other Players (15.6)
15.6 (c) Players in opposition to the ball carrier who remain on their feet who bring the ball carrier to ground so that the player is tackled must release the ball and the ball carrier. Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line.

crossref
13-01-15, 19:01
I had a 'discussion' earlier this season with a coach who was convinced that if a player remained on his feet there was no need for him to release the ball carrier at all. (and therefore it was the ball carrier whom I should have PK'd for not releasing, blah blah)

granted this was a L11 coach, not a L6 one .. but still...

Phil E
13-01-15, 20:01
Age is no measure of understanding in this area;

I freely admit I cannot get my head round the 'man off' rule and have not had a clear explanation off anyone -DON'T point me to the flowchart!

I should qualify my earlier statement.

By older refs, I mean people who have been reffing for a long time, not necessarily refs that are of an advanced age.
Refs who have "been around the block" know the laws, so stop reading the law book, and subsequently tend to stop keeping up to date with new variations or changes to the law. Especially if they can't, or won't attend Society training sessions.

I ran touch for a ref the other week who was saying "yes 9" at the scrums; and was amazed when I pointed out to him that we didn't do that any more. He was also oblivious of the World Rugby directive about when the ball is out (lifted off the floor). This really confused the players when he said "two hands on is out" because they had just got used to 'two hands on is NOT out; off the floor is out'.

Pinky
13-01-15, 21:01
OY! Wind yer long neck in, Admiral!

I've taken some liberties with Womble's post through selective quoting, but the bits in red have the potential to confuse the OP who is trying hard to get his head around all this.

Scenario 1: Blue 12 and Blue 13 both engage Red 13 and drive him backwards. Red 13 falls ov er with Blue 13 on top of him. We now have a tackle, a tackled player and a tackler. Blue 12 as tackle assist must release everything, but having done so is now perfectly at liberty to play the ball provided that during the tackle he has not strayed in front of his colleague or the tackled player. He does not need to re-enter through the gate.

Scenario 2: As above, but Blue 13 is not engaged. When Red 13 falls over, there is a tackle but no tackler. Blue 12 (still on his feet) as tackle assist must release everything, but having done so is now perfectly at liberty to play the ball provided that during the tackle he has not strayed in front of his colleague or the tackled player. He does not need to re-enter through the gate.

Scenario 3: As in 2 above, but when Red 13 falls over, Blue 12's momentum takes him a step beyond the tackled player. This scenario is controversial, but I believe the majority would require Blue 12 to exit and re-enter the tackle zone through the gate, and thus would ping him for "illegal entry" if he simply stepped backward over the tackled player to engage the ball from the correct angle.

Sc 1 B12 also has to play from behind the ball

Sc 2 B12 must also play from behind the ball

Sc 3 but if B12 simply puts a knee down he is a tackler and can play the ball from any direction once he releases and stands up again

ChrisR
13-01-15, 22:01
Two defenders together bring the BC to ground. If both defenders go to ground are they both tacklers and therefore can play the ball from any direction?

Dixie
13-01-15, 22:01
the head coach of Ecosse Sevens who simply refused to believe that a player involved in making a tackle (from the side) but who stayed on their feet still had to go through the tackle gate even if there wasn't also a tackler on the ground. ... (NOTE: Edited for additional clarity!)

From this, I suspect there may still be some confusion, despite the edit for additional clarity! Can I then pose two new scenarios?

Scenario 4: Red 12 breaks through the Blue defence and turns on the gas, going round the Blue 15. It's a race for the line, but with a long way to go. Blue 11 overhauls Red 12, grabbing him from behind and causing Red 12 to fall to ground on the 5m line, with Blue 11 still on his feet but (crucially) on the Red side of the field (i.e. still behind Red 12) when the tackled player hits the deck. Blue 11 takes a step over the tackled player while still holding Red 12's jersey (enough to prove the tackle is made, but not enough to constitute a failure to release). He is now on the correct side of the tackled player, releases him, claps his hands and jackles the ball. What is the decision? Play on, or PK against Blue 11 for incorrect entry?

Scenario 5: Red 12 breaks through the Blue defence and turns on the gas, going round the Blue 15. Blue 11, cornerflagging, overhauls Red 12, grabbing him from the side and causing Red 12 to fall to ground on the 5m line, with Blue 11 still on his feet but (crucially) still to one side of Red 12 when the tackled player hits the deck. Blue 11 takes a step to behind the tackled player while still holding Red 12's jersey (enough to prove the tackle is made, but not enough to constitute a failure to release). He is now on the correct side of the tackled player, releases him, claps his hands and jackles the ball. What is the decision? Play on, or PK against Blue 11 for incorrect entry?

- - - Updated - - -


Two defenders together bring the BC to ground. If both defenders go to ground are they both tacklers and therefore can play the ball from any direction? yes :knuppel2:

Dave Sherwin
13-01-15, 22:01
Two defenders together bring the BC to ground. If both defenders go to ground are they both tacklers and therefore can play the ball from any direction?

I am happy that they can (I was just going to say "Yes", but I had to do at least characters)

Dave Sherwin
13-01-15, 22:01
Scenario 4: Red 12 breaks through the Blue defence and turns on the gas, going round the Blue 15. It's a race for the line, but with a long way to go. Blue 11 overhauls Red 12, grabbing him from behind and causing Red 12 to fall to ground on the 5m line, with Blue 11 still on his feet but (crucially) on the Red side of the field (i.e. still behind Red 12) when the tackled player hits the deck. Blue 11 takes a step over the tackled player while still holding Red 12's jersey (enough to prove the tackle is made, but not enough to constitute a failure to release). He is now on the correct side of the tackled player, releases him, claps his hands and jackles the ball. What is the decision? Play on, or PK against Blue 11 for incorrect entry?
Very hard to say on bald facts, but I would generally want to see the release before he gets to the correct side. Common tactic is to press down on the tackled player whilst jumping around with the hips so as to appear to have entered correctly. If the events happen in the exact order you state, I would most likely penalise for failure to release, but I would also feel comfortable penalizing for incorrect entry given you have stated that he takes a step over the tackled player.

Scenario 5: Red 12 breaks through the Blue defence and turns on the gas, going round the Blue 15. Blue 11, cornerflagging, overhauls Red 12, grabbing him from the side and causing Red 12 to fall to ground on the 5m line, with Blue 11 still on his feet but (crucially) still to one side of Red 12 when the tackled player hits the deck. Blue 11 takes a step to behind the tackled player while still holding Red 12's jersey (enough to prove the tackle is made, but not enough to constitute a failure to release). He is now on the correct side of the tackled player, releases him, claps his hands and jackles the ball. What is the decision? Play on, or PK against Blue 11 for incorrect entry?
Still likely to penalise for failure to release, but it sounds to me as if he has gone round the gatepost, so we may be ok on entry. I agree my original post wasn't wonderfully clear (apologies) - I generally demonstrate this with beer mats!

Browner
14-01-15, 00:01
it's not age : it's how long since you last reffed.
it's hard to stay current if you are not involved.

In the case of my Post#4 , this Coach was a Club Referee Liaison Officer to the society ( communicating Law changes etc to his club, only 3 years ago!) And has refereed in his society in sept 2014 ( so he should be up to speed, as a L6 on this)

It's more likely he was hoping 'rank' might pressurise me, or maybe he didn't respect my law knowledge or refereeing ability....or maybe he takes his referee head off and puts his arrogant twunt head on.:shrug:

During the fixture last Saturday, I never actually had need to progress/prove tackle assist 'direction' knowledge, as the lack of any release ( let alone a 'clear' one ) was amply sufficient.

His 'posturing' to his players was to undermine me, IMHO.

Womble
14-01-15, 01:01
Browner, More than likely that he did not understand the law ! There are not many that do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Browner
14-01-15, 11:01
Two defenders together bring the BC to ground. If both defenders go to ground are they both tacklers and therefore can play the ball from any direction?

Provided they are on feet first , and they aren't "beaten by a ruck" having already clearly formed prior to their attempt to play the ball , then yes.

ChrisR
14-01-15, 12:01
.... and they are not incapacitated by the tackle, or ....

Dixie
14-01-15, 12:01
it sounds to me as if he has gone round the gatepost, so we may be ok on entry. And this is the bit I find interesting. It suggests to me that this idea of the "gate" with its posts has a number of possible interpretations, and we can therefore use the same words to mean totally different things.

The "gate" is a concept intended to help us understand how players who are not the tackler may enter the tackle zone. That zone is not clearly defined, but is generally accepted to encompass a radius of about 1m from the ball carrier. The problem with the tackle assist is that like the tackler, he is already within the tackle zone before, and at the moment that, the tackle takes place. The question is then whether he needs to leave the zone before he plays the ball. Dave Sherwin is ready to accept (albeit reluctantly) that a Tackle Assist may get legal by entering through the gateposts while still being within arms' length of the tackled player. But by retaining a loose grip on the tackled player, it is clear that he never left the tackle zone - so he could not have re-entered it through the gate.

To me, this is the heart of the problem. 15.6(c) addresses the obligations of the Tackle Assist very clearly:

15.6(c) Players in opposition to the ball carrier who remain on their feet who bring the ball carrier to ground so that the player is tackled must release the ball and the ball carrier. Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line.
Sanction: Penalty kick

There is nothing there about leaving the tackle zone - and by implication, nothing about how they subsequently re-enter it. Indeed, the contrary is true. Once the Tackle Assist has released the tackled player and/or the ball, he is IMMEDIATELY at liberty to play the ball, provided he does so from his own side of the tackle. It must inevitably follow that there is no restriction on how the Tackle Assist gets to his own side of the tackle - skirting around the tackled player, going over the tackled player or any other approach.

ChrisR
14-01-15, 14:01
To me, this is the heart of the problem. 15.6(c) addresses the obligations of the Tackle Assist very clearly:

15.6(c) Players in opposition to the ball carrier who remain on their feet who bring the ball carrier to ground so that the player is tackled must release the ball and the ball carrier. Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line.
Sanction: Penalty kick


There is nothing there about leaving the tackle zone - and by implication, nothing about how they subsequently re-enter it. Indeed, the contrary is true. Once the Tackle Assist has released the tackled player and/or the ball, he is IMMEDIATELY at liberty to play the ball, provided he does so from his own side of the tackle. It must inevitably follow that there is no restriction on how the Tackle Assist gets to his own side of the tackle - skirting around the tackled player, going over the tackled player or any other approach.

.... and there you have it. A player participating in the tackle who remains on their feet must only get to their side of the ball.

crossref
14-01-15, 14:01
Marauder - are you Dixie in disguise?

ChrisR
14-01-15, 14:01
Nah ... just a bit of sucking up.

ChrisR
14-01-15, 15:01
There is another article by Murray Kinsella on The Rugby Site titled "A closer look at the rucking rules". Again it involves BJ Botha but with Ian Davies as the referee.

Access the site and the article here: http://www.therugbysite.com/blog/breakdown/a-closer-look-at-the-rucking-rules

The temporary (ends Jan 21st) sign in code is reffingrugby@gmail.com and the password is r3f3r33.

Check out the embedded video. Has the ruck formed? Does Botha have access to the ball?

The next embedded clip is McCaw. Does he release? Is he 'on his feet'?

Dixie
14-01-15, 16:01
Marauder - are you Dixie in disguise? No-one has ever seen us in the same room ....

OB..
14-01-15, 17:01
To me, this is the heart of the problem. 15.6(c) addresses the obligations of the Tackle Assist very clearly:

15.6(c) Players in opposition to the ball carrier who remain on their feet who bring the ball carrier to ground so that the player is tackled must release the ball and the ball carrier. Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line.
Sanction: Penalty kick
For me the bit in bold clearly says he must enter the tackle zone through the gate.

My understanding has always been that at a tackle, only the ball carrier and any tacklers are legitimately inside the zone to start with. All "Other Players" must enter through the gate, and that includes tackle assists.

Browner
14-01-15, 17:01
So,
Tackle Assist doesn't have to vacate the 'tackle/zone' that he helped create and come through the 'gate' as other 'non involved in the tackle' players do, all he has to do is ensure he plays the ball from behind the ball or behind the tackled player.

If you disagree, say & say why ?

ChrisR
14-01-15, 17:01
Through the gate from either direction? That is, can a tackle assist, in the tackle zone but on the ops side of the ball, simply step back over the body of the BC to be on his side of ball & body?

Seems to me that there is no specific prohibition of that.

ChrisR
14-01-15, 17:01
No-one has ever seen us in the same room ....

We are both from a long line of one-name celebrities.

SimonSmith
14-01-15, 17:01
Ruling 1 of 2010

In the Designated Members opinion the Law amendment, Law 15 6 (c) reflects the Rulings 13 – 2008, 3 and 8 2004. In order to clarify the situation the Designated Members’ comments are included below.

A player who is brought to the ground when carrying the ball is a tackled player. (Definition)
A player who goes to ground when tackling a player is known as a tackler. (Definition)
A player who brings a player to ground who is carrying the ball is not a tackler (Definition), however, this player has completed a tackle.

A tackler must release the tackled player (Law 15.4 (a)).
The tackled player must pass or release the ball (Law 15.5(b)).
The tackled player may release the ball by putting the ball on the ground in any direction (Law 15.5 (c)).
The tackled player may release the ball by pushing the ball along the ground (Law 15.5 (d)).
However, if opposition players who are on their feet attempt to play the ball, the tackled player must release the ball (Law 15.5 (e)).

Players arriving at a tackle may play the ball providing they are on their feet (Law 15.6 (b)).
Players who were attached to the player who is tackled, and who remain on their feet, must release the player and the ball (Law 15.6 (c)) and then may play the ball in accordance with Law 15.6 (b).

Law Ruling 8 of 2004 stated that the players who are not tacklers are covered by Law 15.7(c) (2008 Law) and those players can only play the ball if they approach from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal-line.

To approach behind the tackled player means the tackle has taken place and the revised Law 15.6 (c) (2009) makes that very clear.

Law 15.6 (c) as written reflected the views of the Designated Members in 2004 and now, Law 15.6 (c) is part of the Law amendments circulated to all Unions in 2009 and was accepted by the Rugby Committee and Council.

thepercy
14-01-15, 19:01
So, though I am not a coach, but putting my "coaches hat" on, would it be sound advise to tackler assists to take a knee so as to no longer be required to exit the tackle area and reenter through the gate? Does dropping to a knee momentarily, constitute going to ground?

Womble
14-01-15, 19:01
So, though I am not a coach, but putting my "coaches hat" on, would it be sound advise to tackler assists to take a knee so as to no longer be required to exit the tackle area and reenter through the gate? Does dropping to a knee momentarily, constitute going to ground?

It sure does

crossref
14-01-15, 19:01
So, though I am not a coach, but putting my "coaches hat" on, would it be sound advise to tackler assists to take a knee so as to no longer be required to exit the tackle area and reenter through the gate? Does dropping to a knee momentarily, constitute going to ground?

if they are on the wrong side of the ball, yes, they may better off being a tackler than a tackle assist - but often tackle assists are on their own side of of the ball, and then better off staying on their feet.

tim White
14-01-15, 20:01
I thought we sorted out the 'going to ground' bit much, much earlier - you can only go to ground as part of the tackling process to be considered a Tackler, NOT as an afterthought, and not only to make people think you are a Tackler.

Dave Sherwin
14-01-15, 21:01
Agree with Tim, but of course it is very difficult for a referee to tell provided the going to ground (by touching a knee) is done well. Ben Ryan is an acquaintance (and ex-coach) of mine and I can confirm that he coached the England (and now presumably coaches the Fiji) Sevens players to aim to at least "bump a knee" as part of the tackle in order to gain the rights afforded to a tackler under the law.

Browner
15-01-15, 04:01
Through the gate from either direction? That is, can a tackle assist, in the tackle zone but on the ops side of the ball, simply step back over the body of the BC to be on his side of ball & body?

Seems to me that there is no specific prohibition of that.


Law Ruling 8 of 2004 stated that the players who are not tacklers are covered by Law 15.7(c) (2008 Law) and those players can only play the ball if they approach from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal-line.

To approach behind the tackled player means the tackle has taken place and the revised Law 15.6 (c) (2009) makes that very clear.
Does the use of "approach" ( twice) in the clarification effectively outlaw the 'step back' you describe?

Dixie
15-01-15, 09:01
15.6(c) Players in opposition to the ball carrier who remain on their feet who bring the ball carrier to ground so that the player is tackled must release the ball and the ball carrier. Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line.
Sanction: Penalty kick

For me the bit in bold clearly says he must enter the tackle zone through the gate. My understanding has always been that at a tackle, only the ball carrier and any tacklers are legitimately inside the zone to start with. All "Other Players" must enter through the gate, and that includes tackle assists.

OB, while I don't doubt that your understanding of this is founded on what we were all told first up when the tackle zone was originally policed in this way, things move on. The majority of decent-level refs were not around to hear the "off-the-ball" murmurings from the decision-makers and now have only the law to work from. Looking at that law, there is nothing clear from the bit in bold about exiting the tackle zone and re-entering. To the contrary, it seems absolutely clear that he does NOT have to do that. The Tackle Assist's obligations are to release both man and ball. Assuming he has done that, let's see what words we have to say that he must now exit the zone and re-enter it through a gate:

Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line.

If the Tackle Assist was (at the moment of the tackle) both behind the ball and behind the two grounded players, the wording very clearly and (in my view) incontrovertibly gives him absolute, untrammelled licence to play the ball without delaying to take six unnecessary steps.

If he was not in the correct position at the moment of the tackle, he must get into that position before playing the ball. Again, I see nothing in there about the six steps needed to get out of the zone, skirt it and re-enter it through a "gate".

In this instance, we must agree to disagree - a status that always makes me feel uncomfortable.




Law Ruling 8 of 2004 stated that the players who are not tacklers are covered by Law 15.7(c) (2008 Law) and those players can only play the ball if they approach from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal-line.

To approach behind the tackled player means the tackle has taken place and the revised Law 15.6 (c) (2009) makes that very clear. Does the use of "approach" ( twice) in the clarification effectively outlaw the 'step back' you describe?It is possible that it was intended to, but I don't think that the evidence of the text makes that point on its own. A lot depends what the word "approach" relates to. The pilot of an aircraft on autopilot must, in order to begin his approach, first approach the controls. If pilots' regulations stipulate that an approach must take place from a minimum of 10 miles, does that mean the pilot must first exit his aircraft and wait until he is 10 miles from it before approaching his controls?

The text you refer to probably uses "approach" to refer to the ball - in order to play the ball, the Tackle Assist must approach it from his own side of the tackle. If the word Approach refers to the tackle zone, then yes - but the text does not refer to the tackle zone at all.

OB..
15-01-15, 17:01
OB, while I don't doubt that your understanding of this is founded on what we were all told first up when the tackle zone was originally policed in this way, things move on. The majority of decent-level refs were not around to hear the "off-the-ball" murmurings from the decision-makers and now have only the law to work from.They presumably have their predecessors explaining how to referee all these various situation. They are not starting with a blank sheet.


If he was not in the correct position at the moment of the tackle, he must get into that position before playing the ball. Again, I see nothing in there about the six steps needed to get out of the zone, skirt it and re-enter it through a "gate".
"Six steps"? Who said that?

It is entirely possible that the tackle assist is immediatley in a legal position after release. That legal position means he is "behind the ball and ... directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line."
If not, he must get to that position.

Stepping back over bodies on the grounds seems a dodgy thing to do Taking the shortest route out of the tackle zone is the most sensible.

Dave Sherwin
15-01-15, 19:01
Wayne Barnes in the Falcons v Welsh match, penalizing a Welsh player (I'm afraid I can't recall who) who was retreating over the body of the tackled player in the way Dixie suggests may happen: "You're not a tackler - you must go around." "But I made the tackle!" "You didn't go to ground, so you are not a tackler, so you must go around". This is bang in line with the general perception, as evinced by OB et al.

Ian_Cook
15-01-15, 20:01
Stepping back over bodies on the grounds seems a dodgy thing to do Taking the shortest route out of the tackle zone is the most sensible.

I agree. I also regularly see another thing that annoys me at tackles. Its tacklers or tackle assists that end up on the left or right side of the ball/tackled player and on the opponents side of the tackle zone, who then run to close across the back of the opponent's side of the tacle to get into position in their defensive line. IMO, this is gamesmanship, trying to marginally slow down opposing ball. They should be running around their own side of the tackle zone....

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/98915197/RugbyRefs/15.6-5.png

Red is -playing up the page
Red players must take the white path to their
defensive line, not the black path.

Its only a fraction of a second delay, but things happen so quickly at the tackle zone, that fractions of a second are often significant.