[Law] Ball kicked hits overhanging tree branch and falls back onto pitch

CrouchTPEngage


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Crikey ! Thought I'd seen everything in my many years reffing but first time for everything.
I did a game from the weekend, quite a low level. But a private sports ground (not a public park) hence would have expected better grounds-keeping.
We were on a different pitch to usual for some reason - which had a few of oak trees which were quite a way away from the touchline but, had substantial branches reaching over the pitch. Didnt even notice it or think about it in my pre-match pitch walk-around.
Law of sod applies as a PK is taken to kick for touch, ball travels high and is clearly heading over the touchline when it hits the branch and bounces back into the field of play. The non-kicking team immediately start playing on and counter-attacking.
I blow the whistle and ( dimly remembering the "... or the ball touches anything beyond the touchline" clause), declare that that is "in touch" and the lineout taken in line with where it hit the tree branch.
Was I wrong ? Should I have allowed them to play on ?
 

didds

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sounds right to me.

the home team would normally have a solution to this theyd warn you about (and the oppo). it cant have been the oinly time its ever happened.

of course could be it was the home team that caught it and attacked , being cute with the "local ruling" toi see how it would favour them...
 

OB..


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[LAWS]6.9 f

  • The ball becomes dead
  • The referee will deem the ball to be dead when:
    • The ball is in touch or touch in-goal.
    • The ball is grounded in in-goal.
    • A conversion has been attempted.
    • A try, penalty or dropped goal has been scored.
    • The ball or ball-carrier touches the dead-ball line or anything beyond it.
    • The ball hits anything above the playing area.
[/LAWS]
 

Balones

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Thanks OB. So how does one restart ?
Has happened to me twice in my playing career. Chip kicked the opposition winger and caught the ball and was clear to score but unfortunately it clipped an overhanging tree. Scrum down, attacking ball. Can’t be anything else can it?
 

chbg


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Branches overhang the Ellingham & Ringwood 2nd pitch by c 5m. Ball always deemed to be out of play when it hits them, going back seasons and seasons.

Then had it occur on a school's pitch this season. Again just metres from touch. The kick was going out of play before it hit the branches, so we'll take a throw in, as if it had gone out.

Would re-consider if it was a kick from close to touch going towards the middle of the FoP. Scrum to kicking team probably equitable (until they do it for the 4th time!).
 

crossref


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Ob is right
This was a law introduced in the 2017 rewrite
 

CrouchTPEngage


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[LAWS]19.1 (end) The team that was last moving forward or, if neither team was moving forward, the attacking team.[/LAWS]

Many thanks. Happy now.
Learning point for me : Pre-match walk-around needs to include me looking up as well as down :)
 

didds

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Many thanks. Happy now.
Learning point for me : Pre-match walk-around needs to include me looking up as well as down :)

... and maybe confirming with the home ref liasion / skipper/ coach / waterboy / passing dog walker if there are any local "gotchas" and "rules".

didds
 

crossref


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Although Law 6 says a scrum, I don't think that Law 19.1 really covers it as the last entry is for when "he referee awards a scrum for any other reason not covered in law". But this a reason that IS covered in Law. So I think it's a gap in the laws.


going back to the OP - in this specific scenario

Law of sod applies as a PK is taken to kick for touch, ball travels high and is clearly heading over the touchline when it hits the branch and bounces back into the field of play.

I actually think that a lineout is the better decision.

After all, Law 6 doesn't actually say it is a scrum - just that the ball becomes dead...
 
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didds

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I guess IF a spectator ran to the touchline and touched the ball as it passed them whilst it was in the feld of play youd award a lineout?
 

crossref


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I guess IF a spectator ran to the touchline and touched the ball as it passed them whilst it was in the feld of play youd award a lineout?

This 6.10 which is more explicit than 6.9.
If the ball carried on into touch 6.10 allows you to ignore the spectator and playon (lineout) . If the spectator prevented the ball going out then I think it has to be a scrum to the kicking team.. which is a bit rubbish seeing as it would have been a lineout to the other team
 

OB..


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As a player many years ago, there was one club famous for its overhanging trees. They were by a stream, so the club always brought out a net to recover balls from the water.

On one occasion we had a further problem - no referee, and no spare players. There was a lone spectator who was apparently a regular, so their captain suggested asking him to referee.

It quickly became apparent that he had no real idea of the laws eg at a 22 drop out, he penalised his side for not being back 10 metres. By half time it had become farcical, so after a discussion, the two captains agreed to referee the game themselves by telling the "ref" when to blow and then announcing why. He seemed pleased with this, and it worked remarkably well, but I'm glad that was a game before leagues.
 

SimonSmith


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I actually think that a lineout is the better decision.

After all, Law 6 doesn't actually say it is a scrum - just that the ball becomes dead...

F*ck me, I agree with Crossref.

We had a field like that in Norfolk Va. Ground rules applied, which was that if the ball hit the tree, lineout and law book be damned.
 

Dickie E


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I actually think that a lineout is the better decision.

are you thinking a lineout whenever the ball hits a branch or only if you think ball was headed into touch anyway?

What if its a general play box kick outside 22 that hits a branch?

I reckon I'd go with the scrum in all cases.
 

crossref


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Give me a scenario and I will give you a decision :)
 

crossref


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i think we have to apply a little common sense to 6.9.f

scenario --
- blue are taking a conversion / PK and the spidercam is too low
A the ball hits the spider cam but still goes through the posts
B the ball hits the spider cam and is deflected and falls to the ground

Surely no one would order a scrum in either case?

Luckily 6.9.f doesn't say 'scrum' it merely says that the ball is dead. So in both scenarios the correct decision IMO is to take the kick again.
 

Phil E


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On my RFU AR's course we were told if it hits a tree branch its a lineout, based on the branch is connected to the tree which is in touch.
That puts the ball in touch.
 
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