View Full Version : Knee ahead/ or head ahead ..

20-07-06, 13:07
read this article ..


the issue to which i am referring is the last point ... 6. Head on.

I am sure the IRB declared that this (from the knee) WAS a knock on very recently.

20-07-06, 15:07
Yes - Ruling 10 of 2004 declared it to be a knock-on or throw-forward.

20-07-06, 17:07
Some very interesting reading. Does Planet Rugby always disect the games from a ref point of view, or only when there is controversy?

20-07-06, 18:07
A regular columnist, himself an ex-senior referee, looks at points of law and refereeing arising from major matches. His aim is to clarify rather than criticise. I think he does a very good job.

20-07-06, 18:07
I have been giving some thought to heading the ball. If it comes at you in the air and you head it, then there is no problem at all.

However if you throw it up to head it, then you must necessarily have thrown it forward (in almost all cases).

The same is true of punting the ball, and there is nothing specific in the laws to allow it. However the laws clearly permit punting, so it is essential that players be allowed to throw the ball where they can kick it. Nevertheless there is a limit. I have seen scrums given when a player failed to catch the ball, and then kicked it before it hit the ground, claiming that was what they intended. Good decision IMHO.

I don't see the need for a similar dispensation for heading the ball. That is clearly not a standard part of the game, and I would not wish to encourage it as a method of avoiding a tackle. If it becomes popular, the IRB will have to rule on it. Currently I prefer to call it a throw forward.

21-07-06, 09:07
I disaagree that "However if you throw it up to head it, then you must necessarily have thrown it forward (in almost all cases)." although possibly OB hints at what I am about to suggest in his brackets.

What if the ball is held out in front of the head (whilst facing the opponents DBL) and thrown BACKWARDS towards the head to be subsequently be headed forward? Quite clearly the ball has been propelled by the hands BACKWARDS - so what happens now - play on?


21-07-06, 09:07
I think that's in danger of getting too sophisticated. The older I get the less sophistication I want to see in the Laws - keep things as simple as possible.

The header seems perfectly analogous to the knee ahead, which is ruled as a knock-on. If it quacks like a knock-on then...

tim White
21-07-06, 15:07
Key phrase "lost posession of the ball" i.e. a non-intentional movement of the ball. The law says it is a knock on UNLESS you catch it again.

I'm not sure I would have called the intentional header a knock on but I've not seen the game, nor am I an international referee.

21-07-06, 16:07
It's not the header that is a knock-on, but the throw that precedes it is a throw forward. (Not forgetting the caveat as above.)

22-08-06, 17:08
A rather different situation which I saw occur at Cardiff Arms Park many years ago. Kick ahead by opponents and Barry John is the only man close to it. If he catches it, he'll get thumped by the followers-up. So he calmly headed the ball into touch.

Gave away the line-out, but that's all.

Robert Burns
23-08-06, 11:08
Should we write a RRF letter to the columnist stating our disagreement with his comment re: the knee but agreement with his explanation of the hearer (providing the ball was propelled back onto the head)?

OB/Simon should be the Authors I feel.

23-08-06, 13:08
I emailed the author at the time. He acknowledged the point and was planning to use my comments, but I don't think he ever did.