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    by Published on 14-07-11 15:07     Number of Views: 988 
    1. Categories:
    2. Tackle,
    3. Grassroots Rugby

    This part of the game is generally one of the hardest areas to control, with so much to look at in such a short space of time you have to be there to make the calls, it is no good arriving after the supporting players have arrived and made a ruck (or a mess).

    Areas that normally make a referee blow their whistle are:-
    • Tackler not releasing the tackled player
    • Tackled Player not releasing the ball
    • Tackled player or tackler not rolling away
    • Tackler not going to ground (So by definition an 'other' player) and not entering tackle zone through 'the gate'.
    There is no real right and wrong way to officiate the game to the laws and websites like this can only advise you on common situations. The only person out there on the day is you, so it has to be your call on the spot.

    Tackler not releasing the tackled player
    Once the tackle has been made the tackler must release the tackled player and the ball without delay to enable the tackled player to release the ball. Even when they get stuck in the middle of a pile up because supporting players are quick to arrive the release should be possible.

    Once at the tackle a loud shout of 'Release *could/number*' should help you, try to avoid repeating it too often, teams will quickly relealise you do it and will only release when they hear the repeated call(s).

    Watch for problems such as the tackler interfering with the release of the ball, or trying to play the released ball backward towards their own players.

    Should you believe the tackled player is not able to get out despite trying (note: they should be trying) you can blow quickly and award a scrum to the team going forward (or the attacking side if no team is going forward).

    Tackled player not releasing the ball
    If you are at the tackle in good time then you should always be able to see this, however players can be a bit sneaky! Watch out for tricks like releasing to the opponent but still having an arm over the ball, claiming it was stuck (it very rarely is). Holding both arms above their head but bringing their knees up to trap the ball or releasing and then playing the ball on the ground to stop an opponent getting to it first.

    If you see any of this happening you should be blowing your whistle very quickly and loudly. A couple of penalties for this at the start of the game with a brief explanation to the captain at the next natural break should help you keep the tackle area clean, but remember to keep it up for the whole game. If you see a certain player or even the whole team doing it too often then a warning about what you will do if it doesn't stop is required. If you give the warning though, you must do as you stated if it happens again, you will lose credibility if you do not.

    The previous shout of 'Release' can apply equally to the tackler as it does the tackled player and both should comply very quickly.

    Tackled player and/or tackler not rolling away
    Once the tackle has been made and both players have released the next thing they should do is get out the way so that arriving players can play the ball. A 'Roll away *colour*' shout from the Referee can often help remind these players of what they should be doing.

    On occasions the supporting players will arrive so fast that one or both of these players become stuck. Providing they are doing their best to get out and/or they are not interfering with the ball you can play on. Should the ball be trapped by this and the player cannot get out to release it then the whistle should be blown quickly and a scrum ordered to the side going forward. This will stop any possible injuries and also ensure that the pile up doesn't get nasty with players trying desperately to get the ball.

    Should you feel the players are not rolling away when you have advised them and they are interfering with the play a loud blast of the whistle should be heard with a penalty for not rolling away given. This should be done without delay to ensure no rucking of players occurs, especially if the player in question is on the wrong side.

    Tackler not going to ground and not entering tackle zone through 'the gate'
    Law Ruling 3: 2004 clarified that if a player brings the ball carrier to the floor, but stays on their feet a tackle has been made, however the person who made the tackle, because they didn't go to ground, is not classed as a tackler. This means they are classed as an 'other player' and to play the ball they must release the tackled player, return to their side of the tackle zone (with their back facing their own posts) and then play the ball from here.

    This is a common confusion for players and even for new referees, players often believe that because they made the tackle they can pick the ball up from anywhere because they are on their feet, but this is only true if the player was the tackler and has got up from the ground.

    If this happens a quick shout of 'From your own side *colour*' may have the desired effect, however if it doesn't be prepared to explain calmly the reasoning to the player and captain as 9 times out of 10 they will feel hard done by, when of course they haven't been.