Ball in touch and correct use of whistle

Stu10


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Question for the community... when do you blow your whistle for a ball going into touch? Does a whistle blow indicate the ball is in touch or that the ball is dead? Does this impact what can and cannot happen next, ie a quick throw? Should you always blow the whistle when the ball goes into touch?

Also, are there guidelines somewhere that fully details when you should use your whistle? I appreciate most of it is obvious, but there are a few little things that are less obvious for a new referee, like blowing when a conversion is successful but not blowing if missed.
 

crossref


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Question for the community... when do you blow your whistle for a ball going into touch? Does a whistle blow indicate the ball is in touch or that the ball is dead? Does this impact what can and cannot happen next, ie a quick throw? Should you always blow the whistle when the ball goes into touch?

Also, are there guidelines somewhere that fully details when you should use your whistle? I appreciate most of it is obvious, but there are a few little things that are less obvious for a new referee, like blowing when a conversion is successful but not blowing if missed.
I used to always blow my whistle when the ball went into touch
but recently we received some guidance at a Society meeting that said don't do that -- instead wait, and then blow to signify when the QTI is no longer an option, and we're going to have a lineout

so now that's what I do

( Caveat - of course in situaitons where players don't realize that ball is in touch - like the foot on the touchline scenario, then obviosuly you need to blow to stop the game.)
 

Phil E


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Strictly speaking, according to the law, you should blow your whistle to indicate the ball has gone into touch. This does not prevent a quick throw from taking place. But it does tend to stop players in their tracks.

Good practise therefore is to delay blowing your whistle until the opportunity for a quick throw has gone.

Likewise if you are an AR, raise your flag when the ball goes into touch, but don't put your arm out to indicate whose throw it is until the QT opportunity has gone. This helps the referee.
 

Stu10


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I used to always blow my whistle when the ball went into touch
but recently we received some guidance at a Society meeting that said don't do that -- instead wait, and then blow to signify when the QTI is no longer an option, and we're going to have a lineout

so now that's what I do

( Caveat - of course in situaitons where players don't realize that ball is in touch - like the foot on the touchline scenario, then obviosuly you need to blow to stop the game.)
This is how I have been doing things.

Strictly speaking, according to the law, you should blow your whistle to indicate the ball has gone into touch. This does not prevent a quick throw from taking place.
Yesterday, I was told this is how I should be doing it.

I know there has been some discussion around this, including at penalties where the attacking team has kicked for touch AND then taken a QT, so I want to check what others are doing. It was also specifically highlighted yesterday that I should blow every time a penalty kick goes out, but there was actually nearly a QT by the attacking team yesterday, but he picked up the wrong ball.
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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Kicked for touch AND taken a QT? I don't think I've seen that in 19 years of refereeing?
 

crossref


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Yesterday, I was told this is how I should be doing it.
frustrating that you and I have been given precisely the opposite guidance !

But not surprising, seeing as there doesn't seem to ever have been issued anyhting written down. Our society giuidance was cascaded at the meeting (so won't have reached anyone who wasn't there).

I would love to see RFU issuing game management guidelines (GMGs) - which would be an ideal place for something like this.

I don't really have strong views about how this should be done, excpe that we should all do it the same way.
 

Phil E


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Also don't blow the whistle until the ball touches the ground. i.e. definitely in touch.

I once blew when the ball was kicked into touch and went about 20m past the touchline. Only for the ball to then be blown right back into the field of play 🤬
 

Flish


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I blow when in touch (clearly, obviously, touched something) because that's what the good book says - I then follow it up verbally to prevent the QTI if it's not on - had no comments to date
 

crossref


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I blow when in touch (clearly, obviously, touched something) because that's what the good book says - I then follow it up verbally to prevent the QTI if it's not on - had no comments to date
My sense is that it is old fashioned, now, and modern convention is changing to don't blow
 

Flish


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My sense is that it is old fashioned, now, and modern convention is changing to don't blow

Don't disagree, but I've had zero misunderstandings from my approach to date, and I can reference it if challenged - happy to change tack as and when that gets communicated, certainly hasn't at my society, until then falls into the category of another annoying inconsistency between refs :-(
 

Balones

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I would expect a referee to blow when the ball is in touch. (As per laws.) That way both sides know it is in touch and both sides should be aware that a QTI is possible. If a QTI is allowed I would expect a quick ‘play on’ from the ref. If there isn’t a QTI the lineout takes place as normal. If a QTI is taken after what could not reasonably be considered a QTI I would expect the referee to blow again and disallow it and explain why.
 

Balones

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If the QTI is taken before the whistle is blown then a ‘play on’ would be expected.
I have not received or read any formal directive about a referee needing to ‘hold’ his whistle when a ball goes into touch. Until I do I will hold to my expectations whether it is old fashioned or not.
 

crossref


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well, it's a great thread, neatly showing what a mess we have collectively made of this simple thing!

If I was to start from scratch and think what would be the actual best thing, I'd say whistle once to signify touch, then [when appropriate] whistle again to indicate a line out.

The second whistle might come immediately (eg a spectator caught the ball) or after a period of time (eg a lineout forms) or never (if a QTI is taken).

BUT before people jump in : yes, I know that's not how it is done currently .
 

crossref


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I have not received or read any formal directive about a referee needing to ‘hold’ his whistle when a ball goes into touch.
it's hard to be certain as commentators chat all the time, - but I think that is what they are currently doing at elite levels.
 

Volun-selected


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I would expect a referee to blow when the ball is in touch. (As per laws.) That way both sides know it is in touch and both sides should be aware that a QTI is possible. If a QTI is allowed I would expect a quick ‘play on’ from the ref. If there isn’t a QTI the lineout takes place as normal. If a QTI is taken after what could not reasonably be considered a QTI I would expect the referee to blow again and disallow it and explain why.
This feels a bit like one of the gotcha applications of the laws - like at the lineout setup and the throwing team does not need to inform either the referee or the opposition of their numbers (though happily most teams do).

To the letter of the law, yes we should blow the whistle when the ball goes in touch. However, the spirit of promoting ‘contest and continuity’ supports waiting until the QTI option is off the table by blowing the whistle.
 

Stu10


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Kicked for touch AND taken a QT? I don't think I've seen that in 19 years of refereeing?
I think some players have been inspired by Moefana who took a QT following a 50:22, which resulted in a try.

Having thought about it more, at lower level games a penalty kick might not get too far up the field and the defence are not in a hurry, so a player quickly getting there, throwing the ball back in to a speedster running on at the 5m line could result in a spectacular breakaway and not difficult to execute.


I blow when in touch (clearly, obviously, touched something) because that's what the good book says - I then follow it up verbally to prevent the QTI if it's not on - had no comments to date

What dictates if a QT is allowed in terms of contact with "things". The law book (law 18.5) specifies no QT if the ball is touched by anyone other than the player throwing in or the player who carried the ball into touch. I've seen written online that no QT if the ball touches a fixed object, but play on if it touches a movable object, but I can't find this mentioned in the Laws.

it's hard to be certain as commentators chat all the time, - but I think that is what they are currently doing at elite levels.
I believe this is correct based on watching Leicester v Saracens yesterday... only a whistle when the ball ended up in the seats.
 

Decorily

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This feels a bit like one of the gotcha applications of the laws - like at the lineout setup and the throwing team does not need to inform either the referee or the opposition of their numbers (though happily most teams do).

To the letter of the law, yes we should blow the whistle when the ball goes in touch. However, the spirit of promoting ‘contest and continuity’ supports waiting until the QTI option is off the table by blowing the whistle.
The QTI option is not dictated by wheter or not the whistle is blown.
 

Decorily

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i agree, but a whistle is great way to indicate when the chance has gone.
It can be if the players understand that!
Really it's not an issue either way. If they go quick and you're not happy to allow play continue its no problem to call it back.
 
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