Can a maul become a ruck?

Rushforth


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Background: a red player was held by a blue player, and was joined by plenty of other red players long before the six of them were lying on the ground. A clear penalty under either maul or ruck law, so no issue there.

My question is: can a maul ever become a ruck?

Note that I used to believe so, but that my current understanding based on other threads here is that we nowadays tolerate it when the original ball-carrier "collapses the maul" in the interest of keeping the game going, but should the ball remain unplayable the defending side gets the scrum put-in as per the maul law.

It used to be side going forward for both, so less "difficult".

And to instantly derail my own question, how far can a maul move from the original "tackle" site before the ball-carrier going down becomes an issue? I've only pinged it once, U17 last season, when the maul had been driven some 10 yards diagonally upfield, and the ball-carrier then decided to flop to ground.
 

crossref


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Background: a red player was held by a blue player, and was joined by plenty of other red players long before the six of them were lying on the ground. A clear penalty under either maul or ruck law, so no issue there.
.
what was the PK for?

Can a maul become a ruck?

- if the ball falls loose to the floor then the maul becomes a ruck
- if the ball carrier goes to the ground then it's the end of the maul, either the ball comes out (play on) or it doesn't (turnover). It doesn't become a ruck.
 

Pegleg

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what was the PK for?

Can a maul become a ruck?

- if the ball falls loose to the floor then the maul becomes a ruck
- if the ball carrier goes to the ground then it's the end of the maul, either the ball comes out (play on) or it doesn't (turnover). It doesn't become a ruck.

I'd guess for the players going off their feet: "before the six of them were lying on the ground."

I'd agree with the statement.
 

Dixie


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how far can a maul move from the original "tackle" site before the ball-carrier going down becomes an issue? I've only pinged it once, U17 last season, when the maul had been driven some 10 yards diagonally upfield, and the ball-carrier then decided to flop to ground.

[LAWS]17.2(d) Keeping players on their feet. Players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet. The ball carrier in a maul may go to ground providing the ball is available immediately and play continues.
Sanction: Penalty kick[/LAWS]

The law makes the ball carrier an exception to the rule that players must endeavour to stay on their feet. It makes no reference of him going to ground immediately, quickly, soon or within a distance of the maul starting. It follows that if a maul travels 90m before stalling, the BC is entitled to go to ground. That entitlement, however, is not absolute. It is constrained by safety matters, so if the action of him going to ground brings the entire edifice down around his ears, then we are no longer considering 17.2(d) but have moved to 17.2(e) - a player may not intentionally collapse a maul. I expect some to argue that his intention was simply to go to ground, and not to bring everyone else with him. But IMO the word intentionally relates to the action that causes the collapse, and would be better written: no player may intentionally take an action likely to collapse the maul.
 

Taff


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This is the closest I could find and doesn't fully answer my question:
Hell Rushforth, how much clearer do you want it to be mate? :biggrin:

Clarification in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee

There is a further variable to be taken into account when the ball goes to ground at a collapsed maul and there are players from both sides on their feet bound over the ball so that Law 16 – Ruck becomes applicable.

(a) If a maul collapses and the ball does not touch the ground the player on his feet is not obliged to release the ball or ball carrier unless the ball touches the ground and a ruck is formed.

(c) At a collapsed maul there is no obligation in Law for players to roll away unless a ruck subsequently occurs.
 

Rushforth


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Hell Rushforth, how much clearer do you want it to be mate? :biggrin:

I searched and that was the best I could find, and as I said, this is the opinion I held until 2011 myself (i.e., before I was a referee).

And frankly the "clarification" really isn't from either perspective. >biggergrin<
 

Taff


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... Can a maul become a ruck?

- if the ball falls loose to the floor then the maul becomes a ruck
- if the ball carrier goes to the ground then it's the end of the maul, either the ball comes out (play on) or it doesn't (turnover). It doesn't become a ruck.
Normally Crossref, everything you say makes sense to me - but I'm afraid I don't agree with you here.

If the ball carrier manages to get to ground and the ball is on the floor, as long as the other requirements for a ruck are there (two opposing players on their feet in physical contact over the ball on the ground) we clearly now have a ruck.

And if that ruck ends unsuccessfully, why would we treat it as an unsuccessful maul?

I was always told that a maul could become a ruck, but a ruck could never become a maul. That was before "jackling" was allowed. Since "jackling" was allowed, the old adage was scrapped.
 
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Pegleg

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I agree with Taff that the clarification does allow a maul to become a ruck. However, the ball must be "ruckable". Just getting it to the floor is not enough. The players in a collapsed maul are not required to roll away so they can "kill the ball". Surely we can't allow boots in such a mess.

Of course, even with the jackel a ruck does not turn into a maul. Rather the jackel is hands on before any ruck is formed. So and is the only player allowed to play the ball with hands so we have, in reality, neither ruck nor a maul.
 

ChrisR

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Background: a red player was held by a blue player, and was joined by plenty of other red players long before the six of them were lying on the ground. A clear penalty under either maul or ruck law, so no issue there.

Unless you have reason to believe that the maul was taken to ground deliberately then there is no foul, no penalty.

My question is: can a maul ever become a ruck?

Yes, as described by taff.

Note that I used to believe so, but that my current understanding based on other threads here is that we nowadays tolerate it when the original ball-carrier "collapses the maul" in the interest of keeping the game going, but should the ball remain unplayable the defending side gets the scrum put-in as per the maul law.

Yes, as per maul law.

It used to be side going forward for both, so less "difficult".

And to instantly derail my own question, how far can a maul move from the original "tackle" site before the ball-carrier going down becomes an issue? I've only pinged it once, U17 last season, when the maul had been driven some 10 yards diagonally upfield, and the ball-carrier then decided to flop to ground.

The ball carrier is allowed to go to ground. Don't agree with Dixie that the BC going to ground is liable for the rest of the mob collapsing.
 
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ChrisR

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I agree with Taff that the clarification does allow a maul to become a ruck. However, the ball must be "ruckable". Just getting it to the floor is not enough. The players in a collapsed maul are not required to roll away so they can "kill the ball". Surely we can't allow boots in such a mess.

Of course, even with the jackel a ruck does not turn into a maul. Rather the jackel is hands on before any ruck is formed. So and is the only player allowed to play the ball with hands so we have, in reality, neither ruck nor a maul.

Agree with first paragraph.

A ruck can become a maul by the following sequence of events:

1. Tackle made.
2. Jackler gets hands on ball, ball on deck.
3. Opponent binds onto jackler, ruck has formed.
4. Jackler lifts ball off deck. Ruck has ended.
5. Teammate binds with jackler, still in contact with opponent, ball off the deck, maul has formed.
 

crossref


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in practice in my games a maul never becomes a ruck

- I have never seen the ball drop to the ground, with players still on feet and something that resembles a ruck being the result. If I ever do see it my mind is completely open to the possibility of calling ruck. It just doesn't seem to happen.

- I do see (often!) mauls falling over and then the ball either comes out 'immediately' or it doesn't and I blow. They just never become rucks.
 

OB..


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In 1992 the IRB introduced a turnover law for both rucks and mauls. In 1994 they rescinded it for rucks. It was made very clear at the time that a ball carrier going to ground did not convert a maul to a ruck - that could only happpen if the ball alone went to ground.

That all seemed fairly clear, but now it is getting out of hand. A jackler can convert a ruck into a maul, and the ball carrier can turn a maul into a ruck. All inside a seething mass of struggling bodies.

In practice, at ordinary levels, crossref is right.
 

Browner

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Pegleg;285257 Of course said:
Or .... you still have a ruck ( until it ends - as per Law) but one person ( IF he had his hands on the ball BEFORE formation) has Lawful permission to keep handling the ball ( which invariable means he successfully wins possession) after the ruck formation. And no one else can put their hands on the ball to stop him, because they don't have Law permission in this, 'as yet unended' - Ruck state.

?
 
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ChrisR

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From crossref: "in practice in my games a maul never becomes a ruck"

.... and there is reason for that. In rugby today mauls are 90% the product of a lineout, well orchestrated and the ball quickly moved to the last player. No need to put the ball on the deck.

In the other 10% the maul forms from an attempted smother tackle but the BC stays upright and is joined by a teammate and a maul forms. Often the ball gets tied up, the maul stalls and turnover, the maul collapses and ??? or the BC fights to ground and ??? This reflects a coaching deficiency as the better solution is for the BC to stay on their feet and force the ball down to play it back with the foot. Hence maul into ruck.
 

Pegleg

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So it does not meet the definition of a ruck. Remember the jackeling player has his hands on the ball BEFORE it is a ruck so how can there be a ruck when none of the criteria are met?

"DEFINITIONS
A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on
their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground (1). Open play has
ended.
Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or
keep possession of the ball (2), without being guilty of foul play."

Clearly in the mess that the lawmakers have created. We have a "Ruck" where the ball is not on the ground (1) nor can people use their feet to win or keep possession (2)

Of course the IRB are not to worried about it they will let us sort it out.
 

RobLev

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So it does not meet the definition of a ruck. Remember the jackeling player has his hands on the ball BEFORE it is a ruck so how can there be a ruck when none of the criteria are met?

Hands on != ball lifted.

"DEFINITIONS
A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on
their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground (1). Open play has
ended.
Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or
keep possession of the ball (2), without being guilty of foul play."

Clearly in the mess that the lawmakers have created. We have a "Ruck" where the ball is not on the ground (1) nor can people use their feet to win or keep possession (2)

Of course the IRB are not to worried about it they will let us sort it out.

If the jackler picks the ball up before the oppo and teammate bind on, he is (momentarily) the ball-carrier in open play and the binding on turns it into a maul.

If he hasn't picked it up by the time the oppo makes contact with him/his bound on teammate, then he's allowed to keep his hands on without sanction or competition.

BUT (IMHO) as soon as he picks it up (thereby clearly winning the ball and making it available to be played) he is under an obligation to get it out of the back of the ruck as soon as reasonably possible and in any event within 5 seconds of the ref's call of "Use it" (ie no trundling downfield as a quasi-maul) on pain of a turn-over scrum; we had a thread on this in the last year.
 

Pegleg

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Rucking involves the use of the feet to win or keep possession. Are you going to allow players to use their feet when the ball is in the jackel's hands? It's the law and we manage it but it is clearly a nonsense.
 

Browner

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So it does not meet the definition of a ruck. Remember the jackeling player has his hands on the ball BEFORE it is a ruck so how can there be a ruck when none of the criteria are met?

"DEFINITIONS
A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on
their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground (1). Open play has
ended.
Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or
keep possession of the ball (2), without being guilty of foul play."

Clearly in the mess that the lawmakers have created. We have a "Ruck" where the ball is not on the ground (1) nor can people use their feet to win or keep possession (2)

Of course the IRB are not to worried about it they will let us sort it out.

Pegleg, its a bit simpler IMO

if a jackler\tackler gains possession of the ball ( by being on feet & legal & lifting it) before a Ruck is formed, then it can't now become a ruck "coz - ball on floor criteria can't be met.
However ...
If a jackler\tackler hasn't yet gained possession, but has sucessfully managed to get his hands on the ball as a pre-condition of such an attempt & then a ruck forms ,then he can handle the ball 'post ruck formation' within Law.

Least that's how I see it.
 
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