View Full Version : "Quick" penalty?

David J.
03-07-07, 05:07
It's the semi finals of a slightly competitive 7s tournament, but not a national qualifier.

At the end of a long passing series, White 7 breaks away at his own 40 and gets caught by Red 2 at the Red 22. Retreating Red 6 gets close to the tackle and intercepts a White 7's pass off the ground. Referee blows a penalty and signals something that looks like not coming through the gate. Maybe it was something else, I didn't get a good look.

All of Red and White are jogging back into position. Red 3 calls out to Red captain that his boot had come off. Red captain asks the ref for a minute. White scrummie then says "We're taking a quick sir." Ref looks at Red then at White then says "ok" to the White scrummie and White goes.

Was that right? White has the lost the momentum of their previous charge and seemed to simply want to take advantage of a player missing a shoe. If Red 3 hadn't asked for time, I doubt White would have taken the quick tap. But then again, White was awarded the penalty so they should be allowed to go.

Ends up White takes their quick and at the breakdown about 15m out, Red 3, a young 15s tighthead, strips the ball and takes off on a 40m dash with one boot before being tackled and losing the ball forward and the ref blows for the half. All in all, a pretty funny sequence.

03-07-07, 10:07
Law 5.4 (b) When the ball is dead, the referee allows time for a player to replace or repair a badly torn jersey, shorts or boots. Time is allowed for a player to re-tie a boot-lace.

This seems to allow the player to replace his boot, but I would not want it to be a standard ploy used to delay a quick tap.

The problem is that the ball is "semi-dead", by which I mean that bringing it back to life is usually at the discretion of the non-offending team. Such is not the case for scrums and standard lineouts, where a delay is no disadvantage.

Another tricky judgement call. Pragmatically, I would support a referee saying play on.

04-07-07, 02:07
Just because time is allowed doesn't mean we have to allow the delay. So I agree, play on was the correct decision.
In some cases, especially at PK, faking an injury or asking for a minutes to tie the boots gives the defense time to organize, which eliminates the advantage of a quick tap. I think it is up to the referee to judge if this is a ploy.

I think wasting time should be dealt with sternly in 7's, which means handing out YC's for throwing the ball away. I issued 2 YC's for this offense at my last 7's tourney last week.

Dickie E
04-07-07, 03:07
If we read Law 5.4(b) in conjunction with this IRB ruling:

Law Ruling by Designated Members of Rugby Committee

12 March 2007

The IRFU has requested a ruling with regard to Law 3 Number of Players
1. A penalty kick is awarded to White team. Before the kick is taken, can White team make a substitution? (If so, we assume that the substitute can take the penalty kick.)
2. A penalty kick is awarded to White team. Before the kick is taken can a previously sin-binned White player return; given that the 10 minutes have fully elapsed? (If so, we assume that the returning player may take the penalty kick.)
The Designated Members have ruled the following in answer to the question raised:
A substitution can only be made when the ball is dead. A referee must not let a player rejoin the match until the ball is dead. The ball is dead when the ball is out of play. This happens when the ball has gone outside the playing area and remained there, or when the referee has blown the whistle to indicate a stoppage in play, or when a conversion kick has been taken.
In both cases outlined above, the ball is dead, and therefore the answer to each question is in the affirmative.

It appears that at a penalty the ball isn't semi-dead, unconcious, comatose or torpid. It is, in fact, deceased.

Therefore no quick tap if a player wants to retie his lace.

I don't write 'em, I just apply 'em. :rolleyes:

04-07-07, 13:07
I don't write 'em, I just apply 'em.
I doubt it. When did you last take action against a thrower-in who had his feet across the touchline?

I expect you are just as pragmatic as anybody else when deciding how to apply the laws.

04-07-07, 17:07
I doubt it. When did you last take action against a thrower-in who had his feet across the touchline?

I expect you are just as pragmatic as anybody else when deciding how to apply the laws.

Dickie's point was valid - the ball is dead, and so subs, clothing changes etc may be made. What would have more relevant is an answer to the question whether the ref is required to allow such a delay. If the IRB ruling had mentioned that red wanted to make a substitute or bring back a binned player before white's PK, thus imposing their own rhythm on white's options, that would have been much more authoritative. As it is, we have to exercise judgement.

04-07-07, 17:07
I like the bold on may, and the distinction between that and must be allowed to be made!

09-07-07, 16:07
There is a subtlety here - in the rulings the penalty was awarded to white, and it is white who wish to make the substitution. If they elect to do that, then i would have no issue.

A more interesting question would be if white are awarde a penalty, can RED ....

My immediate answer to that would be no.

If Red is penalised then they cannot stop play and gain an advantage.

Until directed (and frankly, directed with some considerable force) otherwise that is how I will play the game.

My logical and legal answer would be that OK the ball is dead when the ref blows his whistle, but it becomes a living thing thing again when the PK is taken - and the timing of that is up to the kicking side. The ref may enforce a break for injury, or to manage a situation but except under exceptional circumstances (tautology understood) then play on.

09-07-07, 18:07
I'm with Davet on this.