View Full Version : Double Movement.

19-12-05, 06:12
Could i solicit the advice of fellow Refs on a call i made at an U15 (alleged friendly game) yesterday.
Blue Player is attacking Reds try line. He breaks through several tackles but is knocked/Bundled to the floor by red defenders tackling him just short of the try line. He is not held so he attempts to get back onto his feet, He maintains control of the ball throughout, he gets as far as his knees and falls forward over the try line placing the ball down correctly. All of this happening quickly and with immediacy.
I gave the try. The decision was not popular amongst the red supporters all of whom were shouthing "Double Movement"
Funnily enough i can find no referance to this phrase in the law book. I am big enough to accept that i may have been wrong but what do others think?
I was fairly sure at the time that it was the correct decision it was just the reaction from the red supporters and coaches during and post match that got me thinking i could have made an error in my law interpretation.

19-12-05, 09:12
there is no such thing as "double movement".

As the player was not held at any time (in the explanation given) he has the right to regain his feet/balance and score as suggested.

If he had been "properly" tackled to the ground he would have to release the ball, then stand having been released by the tackler before reclaiming the ball and scoring. Failure to not release the ball in ahel dtackle is an offence as is of course not releasing the tackler)


19-12-05, 09:12
The “Double movement” is one of those phrases coined by the gents in the commentary booth with no grasp of the laws. From your description above, it is unclear to me whether the blue player had been tackled, as there is no indication as to whether he was held and brought to ground by a red player. Let us first assume the player was tackled. In accordance with the “Tackle” Law, the Blue player has the following options:

a) A tackled player must not lie on, over, or near the ball to prevent opponents from gaining possession of it, and must try to make the ball available immediately so that play can continue.

(b) A tackled player must immediately pass the ball or release it. That player must also get up or move away from it at once.

(c) A tackled player may release the ball by putting it on the ground in any direction, provided this is done immediately.

(d) A tackled player may release the ball by pushing it along the ground in any direction except forward, provided this is done immediately.

(g) If players are tackled near the goal-line, these players may immediately reach out and ground the ball on or over the goal-line to score a try or make a touch down.

Note that the emphasis on these laws is to make the ball immediately available to players on their feet, and that the tackled player must attempt to roll away from the ball.
Given that your player was near the goal line, if he was close enough he could’ve reached out and placed it. However, it appears that the player in question attempted to get up (though by still being on his knees was still on the ground) and dove over the line. You say he played the ball immediately, but in not releasing the ball, was he preventing other defending players from playing the ball? To me this is the real question that only you can answer.

If in fact the player was NOT tackled this would fall under the “Ball on the ground- no tackle” Law, in which case the player on the ground has the option to “Get up with the ball” and thus in doing so there are no issues with diving over to score the try as he did so immediately.


19-12-05, 13:12
I infer frrm the original query that the player was not formally tackled. He was brought down but not held. In that case he does not have to release the ball, but can get up with it immediately.

He was not initially near enough to reach out and score, but found that when getting to his feet he could reach the line when he had only got as far as getting to his knees.

Law 14 says "The game is to be played by players on their feet", so according to the strict letter of the law, he had not regained his feet. Knees are not feet.

Was he really trying to do the right thing? Could somebody have legitimately prevented him from scoring? I would be inclined to allow the try in equity, though he should not be allowed to get the wrong idea.

19-12-05, 14:12
Agreed. The crux of the question is was he tackled - ie brought to ground, AND held.

If so then he must play the ball immediately, either by releasing it, passing it, or reaching with it over the goal-line.

Note that these actions must be immediate, scrabbling on the floor, crawling, rolling etc. before playing the ball is illegal.

If NOT a tackle, then he was perfectly entitled to try to get to his feet, if that then brought him within range of the goal-line to dive over for the try then fine.

As described your decision was correct.

I would, whilst agreeing with the general tenor of OB's comment, be somewhat surprised if a ref in this situation (no tackle) pinged the player for being off his feet when scoring the try. That might have interesting ripples when a player ran and the dived short of the line, sliding over via momentum to score the try.

19-12-05, 16:12
Davet - an U15 player should know/learn that technically he is supposed to regain his feet, not just his knees.

There is a continuum between wriggling over and standing up. If a player pushes off with his feet, I would be inclined to allow it, but if he simply raises his body and then flops forward, I would tend to regard that as illegal. As always, grey areas are tricky judgement calls.

19-12-05, 16:12
He was not initially near enough to reach out and score, but found that when getting to his feet he could reach the line when he had only got as far as getting to his knees.

Law 14 says "The game is to be played by players on their feet", so according to the strict letter of the law, he had not regained his feet. Knees are not feet.

That being said, the law does allow for tackled players near the goal line to reach out and score a try even though they are on the ground:

Tackled near the goal-line. If a player is tackled near to the opponents’ goal-line so that this player can immediately reach out and ground the ball on or over the goal-line, a try is scored.

So in the case of a tackle, the tackled player can reach out and ground the ball while he is on the ground, but for a player who is on the ground with a ball when there is no tackle must get up entirely and then ground the ball otherwise he/she is penalised? Seems harsh to me...


Simon Thomas
19-12-05, 16:12
A tough call to make at the time as it now doubt happened quickly.

He sounds as if he tried to get back to his feet, but being on his knees doesn't meet that. However if he was not held in the tackle, I would have given the score too if he immediately reached out and grounded the ball over the goal line.

At Elite level this would have been 'sent upstairs', but you didn't have that luxury and it sounds as if you made an equitable decision.

More fool the defenders for not holding on !

19-12-05, 17:12
Thanks Guys interesting replies. As i said the blue player had broken several tackles en route to the try line and as a result of an attempted tackle he was knocked to the floor but not held by the red player just short of the try line.
He immediatley attempted to regain his feet having kept control of the ball but as stated once on his knees fell forward over the try line and grounded the ball. There was nothing stopping the defending players from stopping him as he was rising to his feet they just didn't do so.
As i say at the time it looked OK to me so i awarded the try i just came in for a lot of stick from coaches/supporters of the conceeding side which wasn't helpful. I'm sure you know the drill rival clubs over eager parents/coaches who aren't happy to be gracious/encouraging when things aren't quite going well for their side on the field.
The last two junior matches i have reffed have been similar in relation to over eager parents/coaches who seem to bemoan every decision made against their side and to be honest it gets tiresome.

19-12-05, 18:12
Bryan - as I said in my first post, I inferred "He was not initially near enough to reach out and score".