View Full Version : Off Side in Open Play

25-11-05, 20:11
Ok guys help me here I was doing a game and the following happened, I just need confirmation.
Scenario, Red team 12-15 mtrs from own goal line 15 mtrs from touch, players all over, red kicks ball for touch, blue player quite close tries to catch ball but doesn't, I did not deem it a charge down, red players near or on 22 (in front of kicker) pickup ball I blow and offer options Pen or scrum, correct?

Now I was in the bath after work looking through the law book, crikey if the players only knew what we went through to give them a great game, and was somewhat perplexed by (the following extracted from 2005 law book.

In general play, there are three ways by which an off-side player can be
put on-side by an action of the opposing team. These three ways do not
apply to a player who is offside under the 10-Metre Law.
(a) ignore for this
(b) ignore for this
(c) Intentionally touches ball. When an opponent intentionally touches
the ball but does not catch it, the off-side player is put on-side.
OK I ignore (c) because of the 10 mtr Law below
(a) When a team-mate of an off-side player has kicked ahead, the off-side
player is considered to be taking part in the game if the player is in front
of an imaginary line across the field which is 10 metres from the
opponent waiting to play the ball, or from where the ball lands or may
land. The off-side player must immediately move behind the imaginary
10-metre line. While moving away, the player must not obstruct an
Penalty: Penalty Kick

OK so far so good now but

11.4 OFF-SIDE UNDER THE 10-METRE LAW(f) The 10-Metre Law does not apply when a player kicks the ball, and an
opponent charges down the kick, and a team-mate of the kicker who was
in front of the imaginary 10-metre line across the field then plays the ball.
The opponent was not 'waiting to play the ball' and the team-mate is onside.
Penalty: When a player is penalised for being off-side in general play,
the opposing team chooses either a penalty kick at the place of
infringement or a scrum at the place where the offending team last
played the ball. If it was last played in that teamís in-goal, the scrum is
formed 5 metres from the goal-line in line with where it was played.

Now when I think back (and I'm not sure they had this grasp of the law) perhaps the opposition thought the ball had been charged down, in which case they were onside, correct?

If they were on side why does 11.4 (f) go on to state what the penalty should be:confused:

Am I just confusing myself, or can someone see further confusion by the double use of opponent:eek:

Simon Griffiths
25-11-05, 20:11
These are the important ones for your scenario (i.e. not a charge down):

10.4 (b) While moving away, the off-side player cannot be put onside by any action of the opposing team...
So the fact that he intentionally touched it is irrelevant. Which we have already ascertained.

10.4 (d) When a player who is off-side under the 10 metre law plays the ball which has been misfielded by an opponent, the off-side player is penalised.
Seems fairly cut and dry to me for if he intentionally touched it but it wasn't a charge down.

Now as for the penalty bit under 10.4 (f), I think this is just poor lay-out. I believe it's just saying the options available for off-sides in open play - because the rest of the law defines, for it, when a player is off-side in open play.

I'm not sure if that was the best wording, can you understand it (if not, I'll try re-writing it).

25-11-05, 21:11
Your not kidding it's badly laid out, when you have to decipher the law book in order to understand it!
Good sometimes you have a nagging doubt in the back of your mind:o

I had to send a player off a week or so ago, got home wrote up my report had to talk to our disciple committee man told him I had sent someone off he said "Good Man" I felt loads better!:)

25-11-05, 22:11
Seems fairly cut and dry to me for if he intentionally touched it but it wasn't a charge down.

opening a can of waorms...

when is a charge down not a charge down?

Consider the following, where red kicks and blue leaps into air, arms outrstretched (a la classic charge down technique)

1) ball hits blue arms, rebounds back towards kicker
2) ball hits blue arms, bounces/deflects 90 degrees to one side (ie significant change of angle BUT not towards oppomnents goal line particularly)
3) ball clips blue arm (otherwise completely adjacent to other arm as in two scenarios above) and ball deflects but continues its general initial direction of away from kicker's own try line.

Which are charge downs? Which are not?

And given blue's actions are 100% the same in technique and attempt, why might one NOT be a charge down whilst another is?



Simon Griffiths
25-11-05, 23:11
I wasn't trying to distinguish, just clarify the point for what GazMaz posed.

But as we've started...

...I would not personally set down 'guidelines' as such for what constitutes a charge-down. It is one of those things, of which there seem to be far too many in rugby, where it should be a judgement call. Taking into consideration a number of factors, mainly what appears to be the player's intentions in the context (etc. etc.) of the situation, you should be able to judge what he is trying to achieve.

25-11-05, 23:11
fine... but... if you cannot distinguish between a charge down that bounces fully back toiwards the kicker and one that merely deflects slightly but still conitnues a generic path towards the oppo tryline, then no-one can ever be offside under the 10 metre law.

As was claimed above was possible.

If a mere deflection does not contitute a charge down, then when is a charge down a charge down, and when does an attempted charge down become a deflection?


Simon Griffiths
25-11-05, 23:11
Any attempted charge down is a charge down as far as I'm concerned (whichever direction it ends up going in), the difference only comes with the player's intentions. Hence the definition of a charge down says it 'may' go forward. Any attempt to charge down, isn't an attempt to 'play' the ball. (By play, the inference is field).

26-11-05, 03:11
right... so... as long as a player "attempts a charge down" then any contact with the ball is a "charge down" irrespective of where it lands?

And every referee will view this in this way? And if not... is that down to societies, national GBs or the IRB? Because I seem to be getting conflicting signals.

(I am just trying to get a handle on what this really means)

26-11-05, 11:11
I agree with Simon Snr.

26-11-05, 21:11
Didds thanks for opening the can of worms but in your quote you say

"when is a charge down not a charge down?

Consider the following, where red kicks and blue leaps into air, arms outrstretched (a la classic charge down technique)"

So for that instance a decision has already been made ie charge down!

I mentioned that I did not deem it to be a charge down but a genuine attempt at retrieving the ball, ie not a chrge down.

Judgement that's what we have to do every saturday, today I took a judgement in asking the captain to substitute a player rather than me having to leave him with 14 players, I TOOK THE JUDGEMENT CALL, all the players I repeat all the players after the match said good call, it was a lowly friendly.
But next week it could be the wrong call according to scenario..:eek:

The real issue I had was with the Law book, isn't our job hard enough, I've heard it said from a top referee that this is one of the hardest games in the world to referee, and in the rugby world it's said that at the lower levels it's even harder to referee, the Law book should help us do our job without us having to decipher what is being written.

So guys chill for some it's a week to ponder till the next match :cool: