Actions at the tackle

The Fat


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The underlying question for me regarding the scenario of dragging a player, in possession of the ball, across the touch line is this. Are there any other situations in the game where a player can legally play the man on the ground rather than playing the ball?
If a No15 retreats to collect a ball that is kicked towards his own goal line chased by an attacking player, we all agree that if the No15 goes to ground to gather the ball, he must surrender the ball to the attacking player if that player is standing over him with hands on the ball. We all agree that the attacking player can standover/straddle the No15 and doesn't need to "let him up", he just needs to play at the ball.
What would the ref's decision be if the attacking player ignored the ball and grabbed the No15 by the jersey instead and started dragging him across the ground? The No15 may be trying to place the ball (the attacker hasn't played at the ball so No15 doesn't have to simply surrender the ball) but the actions of the attacking player may be stopping No15 from exercising one of his options.

I believe the intent of the laws as written is that the man on his feet, attempting to play the ball, is king.
In all of the scenarios put forward there is nothing stopping the players, who are in opposition to the ball carrier and who are on their feet, from releasing and going for the ball. In fact in all likelihood they will either get possession or win a PK if they do.
 

The Fat


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The underlying question for me regarding the scenario of dragging a player, in possession of the ball, across the touch line is this. Are there any other situations in the game where a player can legally play the man on the ground rather than playing the ball?
If a No15 retreats to collect a ball that is kicked towards his own goal line chased by an attacking player, we all agree that if the No15 goes to ground to gather the ball, he must surrender the ball to the attacking player if that player is standing over him with hands on the ball or is attempting to play the ball. We all agree that the attacking player can standover/straddle the No15 and doesn't need to "let him up", he just needs to play at the ball.
What would the ref's decision be if the attacking player ignored the ball and grabbed the No15 by the jersey instead and started dragging him across the ground? The No15 may be trying to place the ball (the attacker hasn't played at the ball so No15 doesn't have to simply surrender the ball) but the actions of the attacking player may be stopping No15 from exercising one of his options.

I believe the intent of the laws as written is that the man on his feet, attempting to play the ball, is king.
In all of the scenarios put forward there is nothing stopping the players, who are in opposition to the ball carrier and who are on their feet, from releasing and going for the ball. In fact in all likelihood they will either get possession or win a PK if they do.

Missed the editing window of opportunity so thought I should fix that for me, Doh!!!
 

Browner

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The underlying question for me regarding the scenario of dragging a player, in possession of the ball, across the touch line is this. Are there any other situations in the game where a player can legally play the man on the ground rather than playing the ball?
If a No15 retreats to collect a ball that is kicked towards his own goal line chased by an attacking player, we all agree that if the No15 goes to ground to gather the ball, he must surrender the ball to the attacking player if that player is standing over him with hands on the ball. We all agree that the attacking player can standover/straddle the No15 and doesn't need to "let him up", he just needs to play at the ball.
What would the ref's decision be if the attacking player ignored the ball and grabbed the No15 by the jersey instead and started dragging him across the ground? The No15 may be trying to place the ball (the attacker hasn't played at the ball so No15 doesn't have to simply surrender the ball) but the actions of the attacking player may be stopping No15 from exercising one of his options.

I believe the intent of the laws as written is that the man on his feet, attempting to play the ball, is king.
In all of the scenarios put forward there is nothing stopping the players, who are in opposition to the ball carrier and who are on their feet, from releasing and going for the ball. In fact in all likelihood they will either get possession or win a PK if they do.

I think you're looking at this from the wrong perspective TF

Whilst attempting to grab the ball from the BC on the ground is the norm, its not conditional.

In fact, the player on his feet can ( providing he doesnt commit the offences of 14.2) actively prevent the groundee from exercising ANY of his requirements (options)

  • Get up with the ball ........... Mr on Feet may straddle /push down or prevent
  • Pass the ball .......... MoF doesn't have to let the Groundee achieve this
  • Release the ball........MoF doesnt have to let the Groundee achieve this
In essense the player on the ground is always at a major disadvantage , he gets only one significant protection ( from being jumped on - safety!) Other than that ALL other advantages are with Mr on Feet.(which supports the "played on feet ethos")

I'd say the reason we don't see a player dragged by his shirt in the middle of the pitch ISNT because of any illegal thinking, its more likely because it does not actually provide much of a gain ( no possession gained etc and the dragger becomes an easy clear out target) whereas the KEY difference near the touchline is the turnover of possession that ' in- touch' brings.
 

The Fat


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In fact, the player on his feet can ( providing he doesnt commit the offences of 14.2) actively prevent the groundee from exercising ANY of his requirements (options)

  • Get up with the ball ........... Mr on Feet may straddle /push down or prevent

Hmmmm....
Interested to hear others thoughts on that one.:chin:
 

Browner

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Hmmmm....
Interested to hear others thoughts on that one.:chin:

As I said, being on the ground is a huge possession disadvantage, other than foul play the other TWO outlawed actions of a 'player on his feet' are listed in 14.2.

7.1 gives the permission
[LAWS]. Any player may tackle, hold or push an opponent holding the ball. [/LAWS] and in that context IMO it includes 'Pull' albeit its not separately stated.
 

The Fat


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7.1 gives the permission
[LAWS]. Any player may tackle, hold or push an opponent holding the ball. [/LAWS] and in that context IMO it includes 'Pull' albeit its not separately stated.

Not convinced that extrapolating 7.1 to include dragging a player adds any weight to the debate about Law 14.

Law 7.1 also includes

Any player may throw it or kick it.
But doesn't say you can't throw it forward
Any player may fall on the ball.
But we know that part of Law 16 prohibits that

OB may be able to confirm if the following was a rugby myth.
Back in about 2006, when my son started reffing, one of his assessors told him that if a player had gone to ground with the ball, if an opposition player placed a hand on him he was considered tackled. That may have been misinformation based on mixing up RL tackle rules with RU laws. I don't have any law books prior to 2009 so cannot check.
 
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The Fat


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Not exactly an in depth answer but still an answer I suppose from Stuart Berry from SA Refs.

Question:
Law 14 question. In situations where a player either goes to ground to gain possession or is a ball carrier who ends up on the ground when there has not been a tackle, the laws are reasonably clear as to the actions required by both the player with the ball and opposition players who are on their feet and are attempting to play the ball. However, the laws say virtually nothing about players, in opposition to the player in possession, grasping the ball carrier and dragging him into touch. The laws are written in a way that assumes such players are attempting to play the ball but we sometimes see the defender ignore the ball and simply attempt to grasp the player on the ground and drag him into touch. Do you have guidelines, other than the formal Laws of The Game, suggesting how such situations should be refereed? Cheers, Ross

Stuart Berry:
Hi Ross – once a player has gone to ground, a defender cannot ‘drag’ that player around the field, whether it be into touch or simply to change his body position. This is a PK offence.
 

ChrisR

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"Hi Ross – once a player has gone to ground, a defender cannot ‘drag’ that player around the field, whether it be into touch or simply to change his body position. This is a PK offence."

It would be nice if there was a law reference to go along with that.

This whole debate would evaporate if grasping a player on the ground with the ball constituted a tackle. That would tidy up the whole picture.
 

Browner

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Not exactly an in depth answer but still an answer I suppose from Stuart Berry from SA Refs.

Question:
Law 14 question. In situations where a player either goes to ground to gain possession or is a ball carrier who ends up on the ground when there has not been a tackle, the laws are reasonably clear as to the actions required by both the player with the ball and opposition players who are on their feet and are attempting to play the ball. However, the laws say virtually nothing about players, in opposition to the player in possession, grasping the ball carrier and dragging him into touch. The laws are written in a way that assumes such players are attempting to play the ball but we sometimes see the defender ignore the ball and simply attempt to grasp the player on the ground and drag him into touch. Do you have guidelines, other than the formal Laws of The Game, suggesting how such situations should be refereed? Cheers, Ross

Stuart Berry:
Hi Ross – once a player has gone to ground, a defender cannot ‘drag’ that player around the field, whether it be into touch or simply to change his body position. This is a PK offence.

Dismissed, sounds like he's making up his own Laws !
 

crossref


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Hi Ross – once a player has gone to ground, a defender cannot ‘drag’ that player around the field, whether it be into touch or simplyto change his body position. This is a PK offence

when I picture it, a player on ground, holding the ball, being dragged into touch. I still feel more inclined to PK the player on the ground for holding on, than the player doing the dragging.

Dragging into touch only works if the player on the ground hangs on to the ball
 
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