View Full Version : [Ruck] A little help require on the ruck at under 10's level

23-11-17, 13:11
Hi I'm a relative new-comer to rugby union, having being brought up on Rugby League. My eldest son (now at under 10's level) started to play union at under 8's and the love affair has started from there!!

So much so that I'm team referee, minis fixture secretary and have just started the latest rfu leadership academy course.

With regards to the refereeing, I've completed the entry level course that the rfu offer for reffing minis and have reffed games for about 12 months generally without any real issues.

I do have a question though I could do with a bit of help with. In some of the matches I've reffed a few of the players have been bridging over their team mate on the floor. On each of these occasions I've stopped the game and explained that the body should be supported through their legs and that the shoulders shouldn't be lower than the hips. Since then I've noticed some of the players rather than bridging the player are supporting their weight on the body of their tackled team mate, thus keeping their shoulders above their hips. Is this allowed or should I stop this practice as well? They are obviously being coached to do this but in the eyes of the law am I right in thinking that the players weight should be solely supported by their feet. and they should be self supporting and not resting on the tackled man on the floor?

Any guidance on this would be massively appreciated.



23-11-17, 13:11
Good question. I've been there too.
I was advised to look at the body position and take a judge on if 50% or more of their body-weight is supported by their feet.
So, if they are leaning over and putting >50% weight on the player, then the weight is off their feet. So penalty.
If not, then I allow them to put hands on the player on the ground.

This does mean that sometimes, the ball becomes impossible to steal legally - especially at junior levels.
Don't forget ( I used to be guilty of this ) that you can always blow and restart with a scrum to team moving forward if there is any danger or its messy. No point allowing rucks to go on longer than they need to with bodies on the ground getting trodden on.
Hope that helps anyway :-)

23-11-17, 13:11
You're absolutely right. All players in a ruck must be on their feet and endeavour to stay there. Falling over in the struggle is one thing, but leaning on the ground/over a player removes any contest. I see it mostly in U10-U16 matches; a warning and explanation, and then penalties from there in.

They can and should get low and crouch over the ball though, and it's a grey zone in practice how to judge it. As a general rule of thumb, if you think they could hold their hands up without getting a faceful of dirt, they're OK. :)

23-11-17, 16:11
The way I approach this is to imagine someone whisking away their arms, are they that far forward that they would fall flat on their face? If yes then not supporting their weight. Grabbing hold of team mate on the ground is ok (as long as not just for support), as if nothing else it helps to have an anchor to repel robust clear outs!

Just watch out for head below hips as you've identified, coach them to good body position early as it'll stop someone getting hurt later

23-11-17, 19:11
Hi lordy.
This is ok with me .
What we have here is a tackle only situation .
Team mate of ball carrier is latching on to his own team mate .
I agree if he goes to far & his paws are on the deck , past his team mate , he is technically off his feet .

If his paws are on floor , but his own acting scrum half plays ball , before his opposition gets near him .
Let it play on . .
If he denies opposition to clean out ( not forgetting they are kids ,,so needs to stay safe also)
Then fair enough penalty & as u suggested clearly explain to kid .

Explain to his dad also if he is giving you comments from side line .
Because that kids dad , never played rugby . & if he did he wasnt a good player .

24-11-17, 13:11
Thanks everyone for the great advice, you've all certainly helped make it a little clearer now.



24-11-17, 14:11
Watch also for 'sealing off', where they grab the bc and put their head over - this is a safety issue as well as preventing access to the ball. They may also be off their feet (weight on player) and have shoulders below hips. They are also, technically, preventing a player rolling away by holding on. The safety thing is the most important aspect, as that position exposes neck/head to oncoming players. More prevalent as they go up the grades, but be aware/watch out for it at any level.