View Full Version : Knock on or kick?

25-07-05, 06:07
Fullback of the visiting team got caught in possesion 5 m away from his own line, facing the dead ball line, he tried to fire a pass at a team mate but got hit by an opposition player.

The fullback was facing his own dead ball line, so the tackle hit him on his back....the ball moved/was released away from the full back's dead ball line towards the opposition, and hit the back of his leg on the calf/upper leg area, but at the back of his leg, without him being aware of it as he was falling in the tackle at this stage.

A teammate of the fullback pounced on the ball and I called for a scrum and advised both parties that it was a knock on. both sets of forwards lined up and a player of the defending team said "sir, that struck his leg, it was a kick not a knock on"....I just said "knock on"...I knew what the player was saying and I know what the rules say, but the ball was lost forward, there was never an intention to kick and it hit the back of the leg of the falling player in an area around the back of the knee....was I too harsh?

25-07-05, 10:07

This is a tough one but I would expect that you are correct. The situation of a player losing control of the ball and then just before it hits the ground it hits his leg and/or foot is not uncommon. Is that a knock-on?

Unless there is some sort of IRB ruling on this (its definately not in the laws), I would expect it to come down to one thing; did he initially intend to kick the ball before he dropped it? If he has, obviously play on. But if he's dropped and it accidently touches his foot/leg, or he deliberately hacks at it before it touches the ground; I would say knock-on. Any other thoughts/comments?

For the record, as far as I could work out from the details of your scenario, the player who picked up the ball after the fullback dropped it was offside anyway so it either way it should have been a scrum, or even a penalty.

25-07-05, 11:07
Definitions: Kick: A kick is made by hitting the ball with any part of the leg or foot, except the heel, from the toe to the knee but not including the knee

I think "hitting" is active, not passive, so there must be an apparent intent. In this case there clearly was not, so it was not a kick.

The definition is actually a little weird. Since the heel is specifically excluded, by implication the back of the leg between knee and heel can be used for a kick. Why? Would it not be easier to say it must be the front part of the leg?

As to offside, we do not know which direction the team-mate was coming from.

Robert Burns
25-07-05, 11:07
I think the heel was included to stop the ball round the back, heeling over head, as the knee over the opponant and catch.

However, if they gain control again, then technically it's not a knock on, though you could obviously ping them on the not in the spirit of the game law. But how many of you would?

25-07-05, 16:07
I was actually wondering why on earth you should be allowed to "kick" the ball with your calf. Why not simply restrict the definition of a kick to using the front part of the leg below the knee?

If a player fails to collect the ball, it goes forward, and he then kicks it, should it count as a knock-on? I would argue Yes. The test for me would be if the player controlled the ball to his boot. It is a judgement call, but not usually a difficult one.

25-07-05, 17:07
robert - doyou mean the chip kick off the heel?

Not that I am a ref but I'd feel it fair game... what's the difference between a heeled chip kick and a dummy?

I am opf course assuming the drop from the hands to the heel is backwards - or at least dead vertical.. It owuld take some doing to reach beghind and propel the ball forward onto a heel!! :-)



Robert Burns
26-07-05, 11:07
The ones I have seen done always have the ball moved to the back, dropped and heeled over their head. But technically as it's not a kick, it's the same as throwing the ball over someones head forward, running round and catching it again.

No knock on, but definetly against the spirit of the game.