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jboulet4648
25-08-05, 02:08
The USA Guidelines to the Application of the law state
"The ball is considered out of the scrum if it is no longer under control of a player in the scrum, or as soon as the scrum half places a hand on the ball. A player who is using a foot to present the ball for clearance has the ball under control."

Basically, once the scrum half places a hand on the ball in a scrum, the ball is out and playable. The scrum half is not playable. FOr RUcks, its the standard, two hands ball is out.

I am going on exchange to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada Hey this weekend, and was curious as to this application of law in different regions, particularly Canada.

robertti
25-08-05, 06:08
Thats a very interesting topic there jboulet, Im surprised it hasn't been discussed before in these forums. I'm often quizzed by coaches before games about when the ball is out and when its not out. Also, sometimes when you ping the following halfback at the scrum for being offside, often his response is 'But he had his hands on it sir!'

I agree with the fact that in a scrum, the ball is out of the scrum when noone has control over it. Another good analogy is if a bird can you know what on every part of the ball, it is out. Also, when the number eight or occasionally the flanker is controlling the ball at the base of the scrum and unbinds from the scrum (that means he dislodges his full arm bind, so if he's standing there with two hands on his teammates he's not bound), the ball is also out.

However in terms of scrum-halfs hands on the ball, the rule 'as soon as he touchs the ball its out' is not always correct. If the ball is sitting at the base of the ruck/scrum and he places his hand on it then yes the ball is out. But if the ball is lodged deep in the ruck/scrum and the scrumhalf has to reach into the scrum/ruck for it, then the ball is not out until the scrumhalf's hands have cleared the ruck area, surely.

Thats how I have heard the law explained in association meetings and the like and its the one that makes the most sense to me. Anyone else apply it differently?

Mike Whittaker
25-08-05, 08:08
Sounds reasonable to me....

Have always adopted view that:-
If the ball is under the control of the scrummagers then it is not out...
If it is under the control of the scrum half then it is out...
If it under nobody's control it is out....

If the SH picks the ball out of the back row then there is a moment in time when he can play it and his opponent can't and this is where ref management and interpretation comes into play.
The length of time allowed to the SH picking it out will depend upon the match being played. This could range from, 'Let him play it' with youngsters right through to 'If your forwards aren't protecting you, don't look to me ..' at the higher levels.
Commonsense to apply!

Deeps
25-08-05, 09:08
It is a tricky moment defining when the scrum half may be played in this situation. I have no problem with the notion of the ball no longer being under the control of a scrum/ruck player but I think that including 'when the scrum half has his hands on the ball' as the sole definition of when the scrum half becomes fair game is too retrictive. I should like to see the definition expanded to read 'when the scrum half has his hands on the ball and has it under control', such that hands on as part of the process of taking control of the ball is not itself an indicator that the ball is out but preparing to do something with it is. I believe I have a duty to give the scrum half an opportunity to do something with the ball in normal course. I want to see the ball played off the back of a breakdown as I perceive the majority of spectators do, not a series of pile ups as a result of too literal a definition of 'hands on'.

When asked for my definition, because clearly interpretation/consistency by referees Saturday to Saturday obviously varies, I reply that I consider the ball to be out when the scrum half has control of the ball and I decide when that is but 'by all means you have a go and I will let you know when you get it wrong'.

Simon Thomas
25-08-05, 12:08
It all depends on the skill level of the players.

Agree with most of what is said above re 'control'.

I normally define it as when scrum half has two hands on the ball - if it's one hand or he's digging it out with both in a maul (I will call it 'Leave him, ball not out').

However in my opinion in a scrum it is up to second row and 8 to sort it all out, get the ball presented correctly and s/half able get it away (a requirement at Youth level in any case), so as soon as it is beyond back foot, or out at side of 8/flankers or s'half has two hands on - it's out.

As an ex-s/half I find the time that Premiership S/halves take far too long to get the ball away (e.g Dawson - look ups and has a look, wait and wait - yawn). The likes of Gregan, van Der Westh..., the All Blacks, and French s/halves whip it out or take it on fast.
Just how we were coached to do it in the 70s & 80s, for hours and hours fast reactions and ball away through tyre targets - and Gareth Edwards was excellent at it as a role model.

jboulet4648
25-08-05, 16:08
Scrum half digging for a ball with ONE hand or a foot in a RUCK is an entirely different thing than a scrumhalf digging for a ball in a SCRUM.

I allow a scrumhalf to dig with one hand or feet in a ruck, once he has two hands on it, for the most part he has control of that ball, I consider that balls out, and scrumhalf is open to be played. Now this is with having very good offsides lines managed.

With a scrum, I do not think a scrumhalf should be allowed to dig with one hand. Not safe, he is not supposed to be playing the ball in a scrum anyway, I do not feel. It also takes away from a if a defending team is stronger in the scrums and they start to wheel a scrum. One hand could steady that ball in the scrum so it can be played easier.

Mike Whittaker
25-08-05, 20:08
As long as you communicate clearly to the players what it is you are playing and what is or is not OK..
As long as you are clear and consistent in your interpretation of the law....
As long as the players respond appropriately to your management...
then you have done your job well and they may buy you a pint!

Fancy having to go to Niagara Falls to referee... life must be pretty tough! :rolleyes:

jboulet4648
26-08-05, 04:08
And next April I get to see what real rugby is like when I get to go on exchange to Gloucester!

Ian_Cook
26-08-05, 05:08
A possibly tricky question for someone, which no doubt OB will shed light on.

I see this on numerous occasions, some referees ignore it and some ping it. Once the ball is out and is in the SH hands, a sly hand comes out of the ruck, (ruck still hasn't broken up yet) and grabs the SH. Is this legal or not?

My interpretation of this is that it is illegal, because even though the ball is now out, the player was not behind the hindmost foot at the time the ball came out (unless he was the player who owned the hindmost foot and has 8 foot long arms :D )

Any takers?

Mike Whittaker
26-08-05, 08:08
A possibly tricky question for someone, which no doubt OB will shed light on.

I see this on numerous occasions, some referees ignore it and some ping it. Once the ball is out and is in the SH hands, a sly hand comes out of the ruck, (ruck still hasn't broken up yet) and grabs the SH. Is this legal or not?

My interpretation of this is that it is illegal, because even though the ball is now out, the player was not behind the hindmost foot at the time the ball came out (unless he was the player who owned the hindmost foot and has 8 foot long arms :D )

Any takers?

I'll risk a quick stab before OB and if wrong don't mind!
If the player in the ruck was legally bound when the ball was in and remained so until the ball was out....
And the ball was then out of the ruck...
The ruck is then over... It is open play and any player can tackle the SH or go for the ball.. even somebody who is bound into what was, but is no longer, a ruck.
Play on!! No offence.....

That the player was not the hindmost foot in the ruck at the time the ball came out was irrelevant IMHO? :)

tim White
26-08-05, 09:08
I was guided by a panel ref last season who had been briefed that "on the grass" is still in-no matter how many hands were on it, so long as it was clearly still within the control of scrummagers feet. This is driven by actually wanting the ball out of the scrum cleanly (for TV?). I do brief that as soon as two hands are on the ball it should be used quickly to avoid confusion. I may err on the side of too much protection but as long as you are consistent both scrum halves get good, clear access to the ball. Watch for opposition scrum half offside by advancing too far, it is difficult to get a hand to the ball from a legitimate onside position.

OB..
26-08-05, 10:08
I broadly agree. Here is my take (bearing in mind that I am not an authority, even if I talk like that ;) . I just argue my case, and if I don't know, I ask the RRDO.)

(1) If the player with the sneaky hand is on the ground, he is in the wrong. Law 16.4 (d)
(2) If he is on his feet, and was legally part of the ruck, he is just as entitled to tackle as anybody else. I think this is why you see so many scrum halves take a step back as they pick up the ball.
(3) If the hand is trying to pull the scrum half into the ruck before he has picked up the ball, penalise it. Law 10.4 (e).

Mike Whittaker
26-08-05, 23:08
I(1) If the player with the sneaky hand is on the ground, he is in the wrong. Law 16.4 (d)


Is 'tackling' the scrum half after the ruck is over counted as interfering with the ball emerging?? I don't know ...

Incidentally, I don't often see players penalised for diving on the ball to secure it when it has just emerged from the ruck...... :confused: