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View Full Version : Query 1. Where Is The Offside Line?



Taff
16-04-17, 11:04
20.12 (c) When a team has won the ball in a scrum, the scrum half of the opposing team is offside if that scrum half steps in front of the ball with either foot while the ball is still in the scrum. This scrum-half may not move into the space between the flanker and No. 8 when following the ball through the scrum. Sanction: Penalty kick

A query came up after my game yesterday, so to keep it simple it's a straight question:

Where is the offside line for the "opposing team's" SH? Is it the ball or the Flanker? :chin:

winchesterref
16-04-17, 11:04
Ball, but they can't slot themselves into the pocket between the flanker and the 8.

Ian_Cook
16-04-17, 21:04
Think of it as somewhat analogous to the opponent of the thrower at the lineout

Technically, in standing between the 5m line and the touchline, "2 metres from the line of touch and 2 metres from the 5-metre line". he is offside under other laws of the game (he is neither in the line-out nor 10m back and is not a receiver. Nonetheless, the Law says he must be there and is not allowed to move away until the ball is thrown.

Taff
16-04-17, 23:04
Ball, but they can't slot themselves into the pocket between the flanker and the 8.
I'm glad you said that, because quite a few thought the new law meant the Flanker was the offside line - to the extent that I started doubting myself.

didds
17-04-17, 10:04
I am gobsmacked as to how anybody could consider the flanker the offside line.

Stranger things happen at sea I suppose.

Didds

ChuckieB
17-04-17, 10:04
As the ball moves back, the flankers feet effectively become the offside line even if it is not specifically defined as such.

Pegleg
17-04-17, 11:04
As the ball moves back, the flankers feet effectively become the offside line even if it is not specifically defined as such.

Not so. The ball is always the offside line.

20.12(c) When a team has won the ball in a scrum , the scrum half of the opposing team is offside if that scrum half steps in front of the ball with either foot while the ball is still in the scrum.
This scrum-half may not move into the space between the flanker and No. 8 when following the ball through the scrum.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Even if the Scrum half is onside (for eexample the ball is at the 8's feet he may not go into the pocket but he is not offside.

Pegleg
17-04-17, 11:04
Think of it as somewhat analogous to the opponent of the thrower at the lineout

Technically, in standing between the 5m line and the touchline, "2 metres from the line of touch and 2 metres from the 5-metre line". he is offside under other laws of the game (he is neither in the line-out nor 10m back and is not a receiver. Nonetheless, the Law says he must be there and is not allowed to move away until the ball is thrown.

I disagree. He has a different offside line. At a line out different offside lines apply to different players. None of them are "technically" offside as those offside lines do not apply. Such an analogy only serves to confuse the position.

ChrisR
17-04-17, 12:04
The difference between the SH at a scrum and the 'thrower's opposite number' at a lineout is this:

At a scrum the SH has options as to where he starts before the ball goes in. Then he has an offside line & requirements unique to him.

The 'Ops number' at a lineout is a specific requirement pre-throw. He then has movement options but the off-side line is not specific to him.

I agree with Pegleg that Ian's last post confuses this issue. Not up to Ian's usual standard.

Taff
17-04-17, 12:04
Not so. The ball is always the offside line.
The easiest way to explain it I think is the old imaginary "rubber band" example we use in rucks. That seems to work.

OB..
17-04-17, 12:04
The "opposition thrower" at a lineout is a "participating player", so his offside line is defined in 19.13 (b). In addition, he has restrictions (since 2009) on where he may stand before the lineout begins, which are not offside lines (one restriction is sideways).

The losing scrumhalf similarly has a defined offside line (the ball) once the scrum has started. He has an additional restriction in that he may not move (sideways) into the gap between the flanker and the pack, even if he is still behind his offside line.

At a tackle, there are no offside lines, but there are restrictions on where players can go. It is very important to recognise that such restrictions do not constitute offside lines.

didds
17-04-17, 13:04
As the ball moves back, the flankers feet effectively become the offside line even if it is not specifically defined as such.

even when the ball is at the #8s feet?

the D9 can still move to within 1m of the scrum and behind the ball. What he cannot do is step in the "pocket".

didds

Ian_Cook
17-04-17, 13:04
The difference between the SH at a scrum and the 'thrower's opposite number' at a lineout is this:

At a scrum the SH has options as to where he starts before the ball goes in. Then he has an offside line & requirements unique to him.

The 'Ops number' at a lineout is a specific requirement pre-throw. He then has movement options but the off-side line is not specific to him.

I agree with Pegleg that Ian's last post confuses this issue. Not up to Ian's usual standard.

I think you have both missed the point I was making.

► The losing scrumhalf has an additional Law which applies only to him. It specifies that he cannot move into the space between the flanker and No. 8 when following the ball through the scrum.

► The opposition thrower has an additional Law which applies only to him. It specifies that he cannot move away in any direction from a position 2 metres from the line of touch and 2 metres from the 5-metre line

In neither case are these players "offside" if they breach their respective Laws.

Pegleg
17-04-17, 14:04
No we did not miss the point. We felt your analogy did not help to make it.

ChuckieB
17-04-17, 14:04
even when the ball is at the #8s feet?

the D9 can still move to within 1m of the scrum and behind the ball. What he cannot do is step in the "pocket".

didds

I wasn't looking to suggest it was an offside line defined in law, just a similar effect, i.e. sanction, for it.

But as you raise the issue, would stepping beyond the flankers feet not perhaps deem him at risk of being considered in the pocket? Have the law makers clarified what is?

thepercy
17-04-17, 15:04
I wasn't looking to suggest it was an offside line defined in law, just a similar effect, i.e. sanction, for it.

But as you raise the issue, would stepping beyond the flankers feet not perhaps deem him at risk of being considered in the pocket? Have the law makers clarified what is?

No. The non-ball winning SH can move towards the DBL as far as the ball, what he can't do is angle in toward the ball and stand behind the flanker.

Taff
17-04-17, 16:04
No. The non-ball winning SH can move towards the DBL as far as the ball provided he stays within 1m of the imaginary rubber band. What he can't do is angle in toward the ball and stand behind the flanker.
Just added the bit in red for clarification.

ChuckieB
17-04-17, 16:04
No. The non-ball winning SH can move towards the DBL as far as the ball, what he can't do is angle in toward the ball and stand behind the flanker.

Hardly very far then so as to expect to achieve any material benefit. Not much likely rewards as such. He leaves himself exposed to getting it wrong in my view.

didds
17-04-17, 18:04
I wasn't looking to suggest it was an offside line defined in law, just a similar effect, i.e. sanction, for it.

But as you raise the issue, would stepping beyond the flankers feet not perhaps deem him at risk of being considered in the pocket? Have the law makers clarified what is?

If you mean the D9 is immediately behind the flanker's feet, then no, he is clearly not in the space between the flanker and the lock.

didds

didds
17-04-17, 18:04
Taff: What he can't do is angle in toward the ball and stand behind the flanker.

I have to disagree

If there is sufficient space immediately behind the flanker's feet, that is adjacent to the number 8 but not in front of the ball, then that seems fine to me. He isn;t in"the pocket" and he isn't "offisde" via the ball's position.


2
2
.......8
2.D9

2 = second/middle row of the scrum including flanks
8 = number 8 with ball at feet
D9=non winning s/half

didds
2

ChrisR
17-04-17, 18:04
I'm thinking that "the pocket" only really exists when the LH flanker binds back with his shoulder on the second row. When doing this the flanker also often bound at an angle to block out the defending SH and this left a big gap between him and the #8 ie. "the pocket". A lost art, I'm afraid.

L'irlandais
17-04-17, 20:04
Previously came up here on RRF (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/showthread.php?9647-Why-Are-Flankers-Protected-But-Not-No-8s/page3). When Taff provided an image showing the pocket.

OB..
17-04-17, 21:04
I'm thinking that "the pocket" only really exists when the LH flanker binds back with his shoulder on the second row. When doing this the flanker also often bound at an angle to block out the defending SH and this left a big gap between him and the #8 ie. "the pocket". A lost art, I'm afraid.The problem they are trying to solve is that a scrum half could get into the pocket legally (as far as offside is concerned), but the ball could move forward and put him offside with no immediate way out. Therefore they want to stop him getting into that position.

Taff
17-04-17, 23:04
The problem they are trying to solve is that a scrum half could get into the pocket legally (as far as offside is concerned), but the ball could move forward and put him offside with no immediate way out. Therefore they want to stop him getting into that position.
The reason I was given (no idea by who now) was because the law makers wanted to clean up messy scrums by giving the winning SH fractionally more time to get the ball away.

SimonSmith
17-04-17, 23:04
The reason I was given (no idea by who now) was because the law makers wanted to clean up messy scrums by giving the winning SH fractionally more time to get the ball away.

Yes, the read I was given was that competition at the back of the scrum was no longer desired.

And that, ladies and gents, is how Mike Phillips got as many caps as he did. The man can't pass off the ground - he always takes one or two steps. Back when scrum halves were scrum halves, he'd have been mincemeat.