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dave_clark
21-08-07, 21:08
we all see referees show a card for a punch being thrown or for unnecessary stamping (being a former front row player i will always argue that some stamping is justified and necessary, despite what the new laws may state). i've done it, and i dare say most of you have also, but is this catered for in law? from what i can see, under law 10.3 the rationale for cards being shown is repeated infringements by either a team or a player and clearly a first offence (e.g. a stamp) doesn't fall into this category.

unless under 10.3c we say that a first offence constitutes repeat offending?

any ideas?

SimonSmith
21-08-07, 21:08
Eh? What law book are you reading?

10.5 and 10.6 is what you need to look at:
"10.5 SANCTIONS
(a) Any player who infringes any part of the Foul Play law must be
admonished, or cautioned and temporarily suspended, or sent-off.
(b) A player who has been cautioned and temporarily suspended who
then commits a second cautionable offence within the Foul Play
law must be
sent-off.
10.6 YELLOW AND RED CARDS
(a) When a player has been cautioned and temporarily suspended in
an International match the referee will show that player a yellow
card.
(b) When a player has been sent off in an International match, the
referee will show that player a red card.
(c) For other matches the Match Organiser or Union having
jurisdiction over
the match may decide upon the use of yellow and red cards."

The logic is simple: a caution = a temporary suspension.
Cautions can be issued for any act of foul play.

I'm not sure how you are making this specific to repeated infringements. That was a hoary old chestnut that did the rounds when the cards first came into existence

Gareth-Lee Smith
21-08-07, 22:08
Absolutely, simon.

I'm confused about where this came from. Dave clearly has a lawbook to hand, so how was the foul play law overlooked?

Oh, and when there are provisions set out in law which take into account the main reasons that players find it 'necessary' to stamp on a player, the 'necessity' is taken out. A big example being a player on the wrong side. A downwards motion with a foot onto a player is very silly and could be very dangerous. I often find it difficult to penalise a body-moving-forward, foot-moving-backward movement, however...

OB..
22-08-07, 00:08
Law 16.3 (f) 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 must not intentionally step on them. A player rucking must do so near the ball.
Penalty: Penalty Kick for dangerous play [my emphasis]

Start with considering it illegal, and only then consider if there is any reason not to blow.

If you choose to play advantage, make sure you let the player know at the next opportunity, otherwise he will assume you allow it.

Dickie E
22-08-07, 04:08
A word of caution about playing advantage following foul play particularly at junior level games.

Foul play is often a flash point for retaliation especially if the referee is percieved as doing doing nothing about it (eg playing advantage).

Unless there is a real try scoring opportunity I would blow earlier rather than later.

dave_clark
22-08-07, 08:08
hmm, why didn't i spot that originally? thanks, question answered!

peter789uk
22-08-07, 13:08
Foul play stamping in my view would be a card staight away if it was head area no question red.
However as an ex back row player I can understand rucking a player this has to fall to the ref in his management of the tackle area where alot of these problems occur.
I guess its judgement call in many cases as some one said Laws are interpretations unlike soccer which has rules which are to be obeyed

Davet
22-08-07, 14:08
If a player is laid on the wrong side suffiently long that the opposition are tempted to ruck him away the fault lies with the ref - blow it up, and either scrum for a pile up or penalise him before he gets hurt.

If the players feel the need to take the law into their own hands the issue is generally with the ref.

beckett50
23-08-07, 11:08
Davet I would agree with you to a point.

If the defender is the wrong side and making no attempt to move away that is a clear penalty infringement for which we can, and often do, play advantage. If an attacker decides to decorate this player's body with stud imprints then, again, that is an immediate whistle blow with penalty reversal and often either YC or RC.

The issue I have is the attacker that comes into the ruck and genuinely rucks the defnder out of the way. By that I mean BACKWARD motion of the foot on the BODY of the defender thereby rolling him out of the way. Now, as long as his boot is not in contact with the defender's head and the leg movement is definately backward then, I say, play on. That to me is legally rucking a player out of the way.

It is not hard to spot or coach:chin: - for those coaches that subscribe to these fora:hap:

The reason that the latter is legal is that the pressure is backward and so little or no damage can be done to the defender.

Dixie
23-08-07, 13:08
Now, as long as his boot is not in contact with the defender's head and the leg movement is definately backward then, I say, play on. That to me is legally rucking a player out of the way.

Beckett50 - this does rather require a redefinition of the word "legally" to mean the sort of action that is clearly and expressly illegal under law, but that you in your wisdom personally think should not be illegal. [Law 16.3(f) - A player rucking for the ball must not ruck players on the ground.]

On this basis, I can legally travel at 150mph in my car on an empty stretch of motorway, snort cocaine on the basis that I'm only risking my own health, assassinate George Bush because the world would be a better place if I did, and generally place my own views above those of the properly-designated authorities. Interesting as the world might then be, I suggest this is not a desirable state of affairs as others may, irrationally, take a different view than either of us.

Davet
23-08-07, 14:08
Beckett50 - Dixie nails it.

But also - why play advantage when the ball is being killed - no advantage is possible if a side can't get at the ball.

IF the ball is actually available, then OK quick and clear call of advantage may work, though I would suggest you accompany that by pointing at the ball and calling out that it's there and available. AND if a player then rucks the guy on the wrong side he has absolutely no excuse and should be carded immediately.

OB..
23-08-07, 18:08
That to me is legally rucking a player out of the way.
I agree with Dixie. I would just like to know how you justify your view in law.

Dickie E
23-08-07, 23:08
there is a shade of grey here. If, in the act of rucking the ball, a player makes incidental contact with a player on the ground then that is OK. The referee needs to be satisfied that it is both accidental & not dangerous.

OB..
24-08-07, 00:08
Any intentional use of the boot on a player is illegal.

Any reckless use of the boot on a player is also illegal.

That is where you should start because the problem is mindset. Too many players, many coaches, and some referees really do not want to believe this bit of law exists, and they will look for any excuse to ignore it.

beckett50
24-08-07, 09:08
OK now that I have thrown the fat into the fire I shall attempt to justify my thoughts - apart from the fact they were explained to me by an RDO of far higher standing than I.

The LotG relate to boots on bodies, of that we all (I assume) agreed. I extrapolate this to mean either an up & down movement or the deliberate climbing that was - apparently - so prevalent in the late 70s & early 80s.

Now, if the attacking player pushes back with his feet and in so doing pushes the player out of the way, this is IMO what is defined as legal rucking. There is no up and down motion and so there is no stopping of the force of the boot that can cause injury. In essence the attacker is 'assisting' the moving away action by the pushing motion of the foot. The position of the foot is similar to those of a runner using starting blocks.

To draw an anomally it is the difference between hitting a tackle bag held against a wall (an immoveable object) and hitting a tackle bag in the air. In the latter case there is no opposing pressure to resist the movement.

Now the provisos are that this rucking motion must not be near the head and must be near the ball. As we all know 'near the ball' in Law in within 1 metre.

Hope this helps OB and others.

Gareth-Lee Smith
24-08-07, 10:08
I'd go with that. It's actually cleared it up in my mind as well, so well done.

It's also arguably legal when you consider that the 'pushed-back' player should be moving away anyway and so shouldn't be affected too much. In theory.

Davet
24-08-07, 10:08
I extrapolate this to mean either an up & down movement or the deliberate climbing

As you say, that's your extrapolation. The Law itself does not extrapolate in that way. It is very simple clear and unambiguous.

Players rucking for the ball must not ruck players on the ground. Note "ruck" - which is the backwards action you describe. Such backwards action - rucking - is specifically illegal.

Referees have some discretion, and the Law is not concerned with trifles - so many trivial incidents where the boot accidentally, or lightly comes in contact with a body may be let go - though I would suggest the ref communicates to the infringer that he must remove the boot and not use it.

But the general principle remains, any deliberate rucking of players on the ground is forbidden in explicit law.

My other point also remains. If you have to penalise a player for using boots on an opponent then you should take along hard look at why you did not blow up earlier, and prevent the incident, and the potential flashpoint / transition to a bad tempered game, from happening in the first place.

OB..
24-08-07, 11:08
To reinforce Davet's point, here is the law with the relevant bits highlighted:-


16.3 (f) 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 must not intentionally step on them. A player rucking must do so near the ball.

I have no idea how anybody can "extrapolate" from that wording to allow a backward (rucking) use of the feet on a player.

The "provisos" about not near the head (not on joints is usually included as well) have no basis in the law book.

I think we have a 10-year hangover here. Before the law was made explicit, referees developed a "code of conduct" to help define what they would consider dangerous. That code is still being quoted, even though it is out of date. In 1996 the current law was brought in as a formal Note, which started, "Players' safety is of primary importance ..."

Gareth-Lee Smith
24-08-07, 11:08
I'm going to have to backtrack yet again, aren't I? Damn my youthful exuberence.

One other point: is there any grounds for materiality or is this considered such a dangerous situation (even when 'pushing' a player backwards whilst rucking) that materiality cannot be considered and everything has to be penalised?

Bryan
24-08-07, 11:08
FFS, we're gone through this before. Direct up-and-down motions with the boot is NOT called rucking, it is STAMPING, covered under an entirely different law (Under Law 10).

The only way I can see rucking legitimately falling under Question 4 of the IRFU's Law question is if the ball is near the player on the ground, and opponents are making an effort to ruck the ball, and in doing so, inadvertently ruck the player lying on the ground. This does not mean they stamp on him intentionally, or that they ruck parts of his body nowhere near the ball.

We've got to judge each scenario on its own merits, and we've all seen good and bad examples of rucking, where the ball is either made available very quickly, or we now have a flashpoint situation b\c someone just got a boot to the head.

If a player is lying over the ball intentionally, I will not protect him from being rucked out. It does not, however, give carte blanche to the opponents who want to stamp on him b\c he's lying on the "wrong side".

This of course implies that rucking still exists in the modern game. All I see at the moment is a load of collisions, with piles of bodies at the post tackle and opponents no longer contesting the ruck. The ABs counter-ruck successfully, but I see hardly any other teams bother.

OB..
24-08-07, 11:08
As we all know 'near the ball' in Law in within 1 metre.
From the formal Definitions:
Near: Law 14 - Ball on the Grounf[sic!] - No Tackle. Within one metre.

It would appear that this definition only applies to Law 14, though it seems to make sense for Law 15 as well.

However usage elsewhere suggests it should be interpreted in context.


Law 22.16 (a) Obstruction by the attacking team. When a player charges or intentionally obstructs an opponent in the in-goal who has just kicked the ball, the opponent’s team may choose to take the penalty kick either in the field of play, 5 metres from the goal line opposite the place of infringement, or where the ball landed.


If they make the second choice and the ball lands in or near touch, the mark for the penalty kick is 15 metres from the touchline, opposite where the ball went into touch or where it landed.



There is certainly a case for arguing that "near" in this case means "within 5 metres of the touchline" - or even 15 metres.



In a ruck I do not see that 1 metre makes sense. The ball could be on the other side of a couple of bodies.

OB..
24-08-07, 11:08
is there any grounds for materiality or is this considered such a dangerous situation (even when 'pushing' a player backwards whilst rucking) that materiality cannot be considered and everything has to be penalised?
That is in effect what beckett50 et al are arguing. The law seems to me to preclude it.

I agree with Bryan about accidental or incidental contact, but if it is intentional, it is illegal.

Gareth-Lee Smith
24-08-07, 11:08
Ok then.

This is definitely a major problem. The IRB needs to define it in an aide memoir in plain language for all to read. The reason being is that you have the 40 year-old front rows (no offence to any who preside in this forum..) who used to love giving somebody a shoeing allowing it, whilst youngsters like myself know that people have school and work on Monday. Consistency is sadly lacking. When I did my foundation course a year ago, I don't remember anything being said about rucking/stamping in this context. I think it needs adding, though I have no idea whether the ELRA has included it.

Padster
24-08-07, 12:08
I completely agree about keeping boots off bodies and dealing with it firmly, positively and very early.

The guidance I get from my society is very strong on the above and it keeps being reiterated.

I think the most important thing is that we, as referees, apply the laws consistently.

I am pleased that the game has been cleaned up so much over the years. The endemic violence when I started (as a front row player) is something I do not miss at all :D

I am glad that the game has purged itself of many of the thugs that were revered by some in years gone by.

Dixie
24-08-07, 14:08
This is definitely a major problem. The IRB needs to define it in an aide memoir in plain language for all to read.

Would this do?

RULING 1: 2005 Law Ruling by Designated Members of Laws Committee April 2005
The IRFU has requested a ruling with regard Law 16-Ruck
1. To paraphrase the definition, it basically states that rucking can occur as long as players are not in contravention of Law 10 Foul Play. In 16.3(f) it states that 'a player rucking for the ball must not ruck players on the ground'. It also states that 'a player must not intentionally step on players who are on the ground, and that 'a player rucking must do so near the ball'.
Is this then taken to mean that there are no exceptions or qualifications to the Law, and that rucking which is directed at a player to remove him as an obstruction or impediment to securing possession of the ball is illegal?
2. Can the Law also be taken to mean that so called 'mountain climbing' where a player is using his boots to climb on a players back/body, is illegal?
3.Can the Law also be taken to mean that rucking can only occur when a player is in a ruck and bound correctly {Law 16.2(b)} and that any player not caught in or bound in the ruck cannot be rucking for the ball and is therefore liable to penalty for Dangerous Play and Misconduct under Law 10.4(b) and/or (c) and/or 10.4(k).
4. Additionally, would inadvertent or unintentional contact with players in a ruck as an incident of legitimate rucking for the football (reckless and patently dangerous rucking apart) be considered legal and within the Laws of the Game?
The Designated Members have ruled the following in answer to the questions raised:
Rulings
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes

On the issue of materiality, we have this, also from a Law ruling:

Law 10. 5. Sanction clearly states "Any player who infringes any part of the Foul Play Law (including Law 10. 4. (i) Dangerous Play in a Scrum, Ruck or Maul) must be admonished or cautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off". In other words the referee's minimum action in this case is to speak to the offending player ... and warn him. The opportunity to play advantage by allowing the non-offending team to take a quick tap penalty/free kick is NOT an option for the referee in this instance.".

Davet
24-08-07, 14:08
Dixie - nailed it, yet again.

Emmet Murphy
24-08-07, 18:08
The problem is not with the laws it is with the people who apply it - namely us, referees. Some referees do apply a fairly liberal interpretation of this issue and whilst it is something I personally do not agree with I can completely understand it. Elite referees, who take high profile TV games, do not always deal with these types of incidents in the way that we are told to.

A couple of weeks ago there was an incident that has been discussed here:

http://www.rugbyrefs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4249

An elite ref sees a player intentionally target another player's eyes. We know this because we can hear the ref tell him to take his hands away from the other player's eyes. Then play continues - no penalty, no YC, no RC.

The message from this is that there are some circumstances where incidents of potential eye-gouging and, one would assume, other acts of foul play (eg stamping / rucking) can be tolerated. By tolerated I mean that, yes it is an illegal act, but it is an act that can be 'managed' and does not require a whistle.

Like I said, I am firmly in agreement with Dixie on this issue - but I do feel that sometimes the guys at the top end don't always help the guys down at the grassroots.

Gareth-Lee Smith
24-08-07, 19:08
Yes Dixie, that will do very nicely ;)

I would have added to your reputation, but it says I have to share it around before I give you any more. Damn those recurring themes.

SimonSmith
24-08-07, 19:08
An elite ref sees a player intentionally target another player's eyes. We know this because we can hear the ref tell him to take his hands away from the other player's eyes. Then play continues - no penalty, no YC, no RC.

The message from this is that there are some circumstances where incidents of potential eye-gouging and, one would assume, other acts of foul play (eg stamping / rucking) can be tolerated. By tolerated I mean that, yes it is an illegal act, but it is an act that can be 'managed' and does not require a whistle.

Like I said, I am firmly in agreement with Dixie on this issue - but I do feel that sometimes the guys at the top end don't always help the guys down at the grassroots.

I think that the key word here is "potential". There was, AIUI, no actual gouging. That's why there was no RC, and correctly so IMHO. That is very different to tolerating an act of foul play that has actually occurred.

If I can be honest, and possibly go against a theme that I see here a lot. The guys at the top do referee differently to me; it's a different game. But it makes absolutely NO difference to me; it doesn't make my life harder or more of a challenge on the pitch. We admit on here that we adapt our styles to what is in front of us - I see the guys at the top do the same.

Dixie
24-08-07, 20:08
I think that the key word here is "potential". There was, AIUI, no actual gouging. That's why there was no RC, and correctly so IMHO.

I'd beg to differ, Simon. The incident is here - including in slo-mo. Looks like the real thing to me.:nono:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XwkZLBqXUQ

SimonSmith
24-08-07, 21:08
First I've been able to see it - thanks for the link.
On the basis of that....I'm in two minds. Need to think about it!

OB..
24-08-07, 23:08
I agree that is was not gouging. However it was definitely illegal and potentially dangerous. I saw no reason not to give a penalty, and a yellow card would not have surprised me.

We see far too much of players trying to lever another player out of the way by his neck or head.

Dixie
25-08-07, 08:08
Having played at Bath, where we thought the Gloucester lads had their own particular take on the foul play laws, I wonder whether OB's view is particular to the Shed? What do others think? For me, the second attempt after the first one failed; the crooked finger ends; the deliberate relocation to find the eye socket after initially going too low: these are convincing evidence.

I guess it comes down to the definition of the "gouge". Whatever we call it, we all, I suppose, shared OB's surprise not to see a penalty.

OB..
25-08-07, 12:08
I certainly do not see "eye to eye" with the Shed!!!!

I simply saw Sidoli's action as recklessly grabbing at Shaw's face rather than a deliberate attack on his eyes. The word "gouging" is highly emotive, and I think it is best reserved for a deliberate attack.

However I have noted elsewhere that the IRB list of proposed sanctions simply refers to "Contact with eyes or eye area" (LE 12 weeks, TE 24+ weeks). He was definitely guilty of that - but IMHO the circumstances did not warrant a red card.

David J.
25-08-07, 23:08
That is in effect what beckett50 et al are arguing. The law seems to me to preclude it.

I agree with Bryan about accidental or incidental contact, but if it is intentional, it is illegal.


:clap: No boots on bodies.

If there is a need for a rucking player to "ruck" a player out of the way, then we've already failed in our job to manage the breakdown.

OB..
26-08-07, 11:08
If there is a need for a rucking player to "ruck" a player out of the way,
I would add that too many people assume that anybody on the wrong side is automatically illegal.

That is not true. Most, yes. All, no.

ex-lucy
30-08-07, 16:08
what about Sidoli's intent. If i saw that action on Sat, i would give a stern bollocking at the very least. A YC would be my first option and then try to talk myself downards for any mitigatinmg cirumstances.

too many refs do not referee this law very well in my experience
this causes a build up of frustration and then flahspoints.