PDA

View Full Version : Hand Off - when is it foul play?



nealed
06-12-08, 23:12
gents a bit of advice please
game today level 13
a bit feisty but ended in good spirit
one incident where a player handed off another with his palm but very firmly into the face
penalty or not?

nealed
06-12-08, 23:12
gents a bit of advice please
game today level 13
a bit feisty but ended in good spirit
one incident where a player handed off another with his palm but very firmly into the face
penalty or not?

i would add that his arm started bent
i penalised him as i didnt like the look of it
took stick from captain

SimonSmith
06-12-08, 23:12
If you feel it's dangerous, call it as such.

That said, from your very cursory description, it sounds OK to me. What didn't look right to you?

tim White
07-12-08, 10:12
I have penalised 'hand offs' like this. It is to all intents and purposes a 'punch' with the heel of the hand. The player with the ball thinks so, the player on the receiving end thinks so. There is no 'get out of jail free card' just because the fist was not clenched when he did it.
A hand off looks like a hand off, a blow to the head looks like a blow to the head- one is foul play, the other might be.

Phil E
07-12-08, 11:12
Much as Tim said, to me the difference is between pushing a player away and striking a player. A hand off should be more of a push than a strike.

Dixie
07-12-08, 18:12
Nealed, I have penaliswed similar hand-offs. My rule of thumb is that a player trying to prevent a head-on tackle with a hand-off to the face is quite likely to be pinged for dangerous play, whereas with a tackle from the side or back, I'm very unlikely to view a hand-off as dangerous. It's a question of closing speeds and relative forces - as the ref, these decisions are entirely yours.

KML1
07-12-08, 19:12
Can I refer you to Ed Morrison's response to this one:
http://www.england-rugby.com/EnglandRugby/index.cfm?fuseaction=News.Features_Detail&storyid=21094


Q Is it legal to deliberately hand-off an opponent in the head or face? Surely allowing this would amount to an anomaly within the laws: in other respects, the head is out of bounds (dangerous play – red card offence); you cannot play an opponent if they are not in possession of the ball (penalty or yellow card); you may not strike an opponent (GBH under criminal law). I appeal under Law 10. Paul Roberts, Ryde RUFC

A Although Law 10 4 (a) clearly states a player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s), the Laws do not make mention of the hand off and it is therefore permissible within our game. However the situation is different in junior rugby (below under 13s), where handing off a player anywhere is deemed to be dangerous and is therefore illegal."

OB..
07-12-08, 20:12
While I agree with the effect of the answer, I do not agree with the logic. There is an anomaly in the laws in that Law 10.4 (f) says:
"Except in a scrum, ruck or maul a player must not hold, or push, or charge into, or obstruct an opponent not carrying the ball."

In the absence of a specific exemption, this clearly makes any sort of hand-off illegal, since by definition the defender is not carrying the ball. And as Ed Morrison says, the hand-off is not mentioned in the laws.

In practice, of course, we allow the ball carrier (and only the ball-carrier) to charge into or push opponents.

Deeps
07-12-08, 20:12
This is the first time I have looked at the 'Talking Eds' feature and it makes a very good read. I am pleased to say that I am well in tune with all of his responses.

Mind you, he seems to have neatly side stepped the issue of defining what exactly constitutes an acceptable hand off, not that he needs to but I can understand that those who like things written in black and white may well be disappointed with his response.

I never had any difficulty understanding what was acceptable as a player and when I took up the whistle I went through Law noting down what you cannot do as a player handing off another player and thus was easily able to work out what you could do. I would recommend the exercise to those who still worry about it.

Deeps
07-12-08, 20:12
OB - I thought that old chestnut would come out again. :rolleyes:

nealed
07-12-08, 21:12
Thanks guys
the hand off didnt half rock the guys head back
it was pretty straight on rather than side on
i feel the decision was correct and i am pleased that the general jist seems to be that i was right.
that was really helpful for me

Deeps
07-12-08, 22:12
Regardless as to whether a hand off to the face is in theory allowed (U13 on upwards of course), any play that in your opinion is dangerous should be penalised always. Your first question to yourself must be 'Is what I see before me dangerous play or not'.

Only today I had a situation (U19) where a ruck had formed following a tackle yet one particular player's energetic application of rucking very close to the heads of the tackler and the previous ball carrier constituted dangerous play. No hesitation, whistle, bollocking, PK.

Dickie E
08-12-08, 08:12
Regardless as to whether a hand off to the face is in theory allowed (U13 on upwards of course), any play that in your opinion is dangerous should be penalised always. Your first question to yourself must be 'Is what I see before me dangerous play or not'.



If only you'd been refereeing when I'd been tackled by players twice my size.

Dixie
08-12-08, 08:12
In practice, of course, we allow the ball carrier (and only the ball-carrier) to charge into or push opponents. In which case, the ruck has been outlawed!:) That's a relief

Deeps
08-12-08, 09:12
If only you'd been refereeing when I'd been tackled by players twice my size.

I do try really hard but I can't be everywhere Dickie.

Ian_Cook
08-12-08, 10:12
Thanks guys
the hand off didnt half rock the guys head back
it was pretty straight on rather than side on
i feel the decision was correct and i am pleased that the general jist seems to be that i was right.
that was really helpful for me

I'm not sure what Level 13 is in England, but I imagine its real grass roots stuff, so FWIW, I too think you made a good call based on your description. Pretty much any player who starts with a bent arm and straightens it with force into the face of an opponent is punching however you want to slice it. That you said the defending player's head was rocked back by the impact confirms this.

SimonSmith
08-12-08, 12:12
Where was this safety stuff when I was growing up? :biggrin:

I lost count of the number of times that we were told that if we were in a position to get a hand off where it hurts then our tackling technique needed work.

Deeps
08-12-08, 12:12
Where was this safety stuff when I was growing up? :biggrin:

I lost count of the number of times that we were told that if we were in a position to get a hand off where it hurts then our tackling technique needed work.

I still don't disagree with that.

chopper15
10-12-08, 09:12
Ref Morrison’s Q&A




The questioner states 3 valid points why the hand off to the head and face shouldn’t be permissible ie.,

i) the head is out of bounds (dangerous play – red card offence);
ii)you cannot play an opponent if they are not in possession of the ball (penalty or yellow card);
iii)you may not strike an opponent (GBH under criminal law).



Morrison mentions ;Law 10 4 (a) clearly states a player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

Ref. OB; Law 10.4 (f) says: "Except in a scrum, ruck or maul a player must not hold, or push, or charge into, or obstruct an opponent not carrying the ball."

who goes on to qualify it by; ‘In the absence of a specific exemption, this clearly makes any sort of hand-off illegal, since by definition the defender is not carrying the ball.’

Also in the interpretive equation for consideration,
Law 10.4 (e) Playing a player without the ball is dangerous play.
Law 10.4 (k) A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship.’

Morrison conclusion; Because, ‘. . . the Laws do not make mention of the hand off . . . it is therefore permissible within our game.’

What do refs consider a hand off should be, rather than what it should not be.

Exclude eyes and throat? Push rather than jab? Flat palm not heel of palm?

Phil E
10-12-08, 10:12
What do refs consider a hand off should be, rather than what it should not be.

Exclude eyes and throat? Push rather than jab? Flat palm not heel of palm?

It's quite simple really.

A hand off should be an open palm, not a fist, forearm or heel of hand.

A hand off should be a push or fend off, not a jab or strike.

As a tall player, and from the days when people tackled round the thighs rather than the chest, my favorite was a flat hand on the top of the head as the tackle came in, then push down, so his face went into the mud.

Unfortunately for you Chopper, as a referee its one of those things you have to make a decision on when you see it. So unless you get your boots on and into the middle with a whistle, you're just going to have to take our word for it (not that, that will stop you mailing 99 posts on it!).

Greg Collins
10-12-08, 10:12
it's a judgement call.... I've copped a few forearms in my time trying to dodge a hand off to the face, don't recall anyone getting penalised for it.

Deeps
10-12-08, 11:12
Ref Morrison’s Q&A

What do refs consider a hand off should be, rather than what it should not be.

By excluding all the things you cannot do what remains is a bent arm from the ball carrier with an open hand in contact with the potential tackler on any part of the tackler's body before a pushing away motion is applied.

Now apply common sense obviously excluding anything that appears dangerous on execution.

chopper15
12-12-08, 00:12
It's quite simple really.

A hand off should be an open palm, not a fist, forearm or heel of hand.

A hand off should be a push or fend off, not a jab or strike.

As a tall player, and from the days when people tackled round the thighs rather than the chest, my favorite was a flat hand on the top of the head as the tackle came in, then push down, so his face went into the mud.

Unfortunately for you Chopper, as a referee its one of those things you have to make a decision on when you see it. So unless you get your boots on and into the middle with a whistle, you're just going to have to take our word for it (not that, that will stop you mailing 99 posts on it!).



Come off it, Phil, with answers like that is it any wonder?

It was a purely academic query. And I was surprised that you didn't concern yourself in particular with eyes and throat, which was the object of my comments.

I wish you would accept that any out-siders' understanding of the laws is primarily a literal translation from the book.

And in my case, I am fortunate in getting the bonus of 'interpretative briefs' (which, once upon a time, I unwittingly refered to as 'learning by rote') from an experienced bunch of learned, witty and generally patient referees.

So, when variations in interpretation arise or queries are 'over-looked', mis-understood or mis-represented, why shouldn't I try persistence?:love:

FlipFlop
12-12-08, 07:12
I wish you would accept that any out-siders' understanding of the laws is primarily a literal translation from the book.


That's because the outsider is HIGHLY unlikely to have even seen the good book, let alone read it. 99% of outsiders have never read it.

The outsiders view comes from playing it many years ago, or from the many urban myths and legends etc. they believe to be true, plus what they see on TV and read in the papers.

OB..
12-12-08, 10:12
I wish you would accept that any out-siders' understanding of the laws is primarily a literal translation from the book.
This presents two problems:
(1) Reading just one bit of law is not enough, as you have to understand it in the context of various other bits so that the whole thing makes sense.
(2) There are conventions, guidelines etc that also determine how the law is to be understood eg what constitutes a forward pass.

Relying purely on your own interpretation of one extract is thus liable to set you at odds with standard practice. We try to expain that, and persistence tends to sound like not listening.

chopper15
12-12-08, 12:12
This presents two problems:
(1) Reading just one bit of law is not enough, as you have to understand it in the context of various other bits so that the whole thing makes sense.
(2) There are conventions, guidelines etc that also determine how the law is to be understood eg what constitutes a forward pass.

Relying purely on your own interpretation of one extract is thus liable to set you at odds with standard practice. We try to expain that, and persistence tends to sound like not listening.

I understand and agree with you.:hap:

I'm being critical of your impatience should 'we' seek clarification and receive varying and conflicting answers which justifies pursuit.:love:

I think quite a few of your 'up-and-coming' and even your 'experienced' refs can benefit.:hap:

What a difference a few of those face thingys make. Before I added them I thought, they'll crucify me. But now they'll give me more consideration.:hap:

dave_clark
12-12-08, 12:12
plus what they see on TV and read in the papers.

of which about 99% is inaccurate

chopper15
12-12-08, 16:12
of which about 99% is inaccurate

So you do see my point.

David J.
12-12-08, 19:12
So, when variations in interpretation arise or queries are 'over-looked', mis-understood or mis-represented, why shouldn't I try persistence?:love:

Well, because there often is no reconciling of variations in interpretation. Persistance won't get you anywhere, because the answer really is, "It depends."

One referee may find a particular hand-off to be dangerous and another referee, in a parallel universe, whistling the exact same hand-off may think it's fine...and they're both right.

There's a bazillion instances of gray areas in rugby and we referees have been entrusted to administer those fairly and for the best of the game, which may appear as inconsistency, but is part of what makes rugby great.

chopper15
12-12-08, 22:12
Well, because there often is no reconciling of variations in interpretation. Persistance won't get you anywhere, because the answer really is, "It depends."

One referee may find a particular hand-off to be dangerous and another referee, in a parallel universe, whistling the exact same hand-off may think it's fine...and they're both right.


I accept your reasoning, David, but the eg. you give - and I accept it is the subject under discussion, is opinion.

What about a 'cut-and-dried' answer to a query? For example; when does the opportunity for a QT on the line-of-touch end and LO laws come into force?

I would think there's got to be only one answer, but LoG and ELVs will, but shouldn't, dictate various answers and, of course, obfuscation.:hap:

David J.
13-12-08, 00:12
Why are you looking in the law book for the final answer?

Greg Collins
13-12-08, 11:12
I accept your reasoning, David, but the eg. you give - and I accept it is the subject under discussion, is opinion.

What about a 'cut-and-dried' answer to a query? For example; when does the opportunity for a QT on the line-of-touch end and LO laws come into force?

I would think there's got to be only one answer, but LoG and ELVs will, but shouldn't, dictate various answers and, of course, obfuscation.:hap:

Chopper; the answer is likely to be "when the referee, on the day, judges that the LO has formed and thus opportunity for the QT has ended"

In point of objective fact s/he may be wrong in this judgement but see 6.A.4 (a) so subjectively s/he is correct. We have to accept that the ref is doing their best, is trying to be even handed, is trying to give everyone a game, and doesn't care who wins.

Practically, in the community game, doing that is more important than being technically correct at, and in the timing of, every decision.

Deeps
13-12-08, 11:12
We have to accept that the ref is doing their best, is trying to be even handed, is trying to give everyone a game, and doesn't care who wins.

Practically, in the community game, doing that is more important than being technically correct at, and in the timing of, every decision.

Here, here.

Simon Thomas
13-12-08, 11:12
and 'hear, hear' from me (strange sort of cove, the Old Abingdonian 'Griffin', but didn't realise you are Mercers Company too !)

chopper15
13-12-08, 14:12
You can be a miserable bloody lot at times. :sad:

I was hoping for a bit of conjecture, possibly, rather than your boring practical application which we all know about. Bah! :bday:

Aren't you interested in a bit of academic discussion, for goodness sake? :sad:

tim White
13-12-08, 17:12
Aren't you interested in a bit of academic discussion, for goodness sake? :sad:

Where should we go for that?

chopper15
13-12-08, 22:12
Where should we go for that?

I'm sure your contemporaries on this site are more than capable, Tim.:hap:

Wouldn't mind having a go myself!

Greg Collins
13-12-08, 22:12
You can be a miserable bloody lot at times. :sad:

I was hoping for a bit of conjecture, possibly, rather than your boring practical application which we all know about. Bah! :bday:

Aren't you interested in a bit of academic discussion, for goodness sake? :sad:

Honestly? No. It won't help me improve which is why I come here. Practicality is what it is all about. May be different in the semi-pro or pro game but down here? Nope, pragmatism is the only game in town.

I don't think debating how many angels can dance on the point of a needle helps me be a better referee. I hang out in here to learn how to do that.

I get videoed a couple of times a season and watch these DVD's avidly, though through my fingers as I see an overweight, old, not very good referee who looks like me. I spot mistakes I made all the time, some I knew I made at the time and some I wasn't aware off. Strangely the 30 players don't seem to spot any of these, nor the man and his dog on the touchline. They seem to kick off about the stuff I get right!

gillburt
13-12-08, 22:12
I know it will be different for each game but....

today I tried something different - I did not raise my hand for any lineouts and so therefore never had to lower it to indicate the lineout was over.

First couple of lineouts... ping!... backs offside.
Rest of match.... backs a loooooong way back :D and no complaints.


I do 100% see the logic of the raised hand... however, a big part of me often wonders if by doing this we create a rod for our own backs... we end up spoon feeding the players and they stop thinking. My humble 2p worth.

One swallow doesn't make a summer though....

chopper15
13-12-08, 22:12
Honestly? No. It won't help me improve which is why I come here. Practicality is what it is all about. May be different in the semi-pro or pro game but down here? Nope, pragmatism is the only game in town.

I don't think debating how many angels can dance on the point of a needle helps me be a better referee. I hang out in here to learn how to do that.

I get videoed a couple of times a season and watch these DVD's avidly, though through my fingers as I see an overweight, old, not very good referee who looks like me. I spot mistakes I made all the time, some I knew I made at the time and some I wasn't aware off. Strangely the 30 players don't seem to spot any of these, nor the man and his dog on the touchline. They seem to kick off about the stuff I get right!


No views on hypotheticals or thread queries for you then, Greg?

Phil E
13-12-08, 23:12
nor the man and his dog on the touchline. They seem to kick off about the stuff I get right!

I'm impressed. You referee in front of a crowd!:clap:
How exactly does the dog kick off about the stuff you get right?:biggrin:

SimonSmith
14-12-08, 02:12
He says that the call was a little ruff

*badum tish*

Greg Collins
14-12-08, 13:12
I'm impressed. You referee in front of a crowd!:clap:
How exactly does the dog kick off about the stuff you get right?:biggrin:

nips my ankles at the lineout when I stand A

Greg Collins
14-12-08, 13:12
No views on hypotheticals or thread queries for you then, Greg? you know that isn't the case. If something comes up in a game I'll post on here for advice, and I may spin off a couple of "what if" scenario's from such an occurrence but if we get into the minutia such that I'd need Sky+ and super slo mo playback to see my mistake, or convince me I had made it, then I can't be bothered.

Often in here we debate the small stuff (guilty as charged m'lud) and in so doing lose sight of both the bigger picture and of the higher priorities which must prevail when reffing actual community games. When someone here who is reffing at a higher level than me and/or has way more experience than me says "Greg, you're missing the point and arguing from a legalistic or academic standpoint" then I try to take notice.

Their advice and experience is precisely the reason I'm in here.

chopper15
14-12-08, 14:12
Their advice and experience is precisely the reason I'm in here.

It's OK for some! :sad:

Dixie
14-12-08, 16:12
One swallow doesn't make a summer though....But it can turn a so-so evening into a memorable one - as Hugh Grant once found out when "dating" Miss Divine Brown.

Deeps
14-12-08, 17:12
But it can turn a so-so evening into a memorable one - as Hugh Grant once found out when "dating" Miss Divine Brown.

Awarded 9 points on the Giggleometer Dixie.:D

chopper15
14-12-08, 19:12
No academic discussion, but plenty of small talk.

S'pose I must be grateful for that. :sad:

David J.
14-12-08, 20:12
Nothing more can be discussed than has already been covered here (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6760).

To sum up, academically, the wording of the ELV regarding the "tramsman" unintentionally changes the current "minimum lineout" requirements. In practice we see no need to change how we decide a QT can be taken or not.

No drop, no morsel, of interest, can be further wrung out of this issue.

ctrainor
14-12-08, 20:12
Got totally lost in this thread but I have regulary penalised what I have judged to be a hit to the face or throat over the years.
I usually say so to player and captain, "That was a hit to the face not a hand off in my view, Penalty"