[Law] Can you be offside after charged down?

CrouchTPEngage


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I gave a recent offside penalty against a team who complained that it was accidental and unavoidable.

In open play, blue attack and try a kick thru. Red charge it down so no knock on. However, in front of the red player who charged it down, are 3 of his team mates who pick up the ball.

Are they offside deliberately? Accidentally?
I can see the point. I. E. They were not expecting a charge down. So they couldn't help but instinctively fall on a ball which has ricocheted to them?
 

The Fat


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I gave a recent offside penalty against a team who complained that it was accidental and unavoidable.

In open play, blue attack and try a kick thru. Red charge it down so no knock on. However, in front of the red player who charged it down, are 3 of his team mates who pick up the ball.

Are they offside deliberately? Accidentally?
I can see the point. I. E. They were not expecting a charge down. So they couldn't help but instinctively fall on a ball which has ricocheted to them?

Correct decision.
They were in front of a team mate who last played the ball.

There could be a justified argument for accidental offside if after the charge down the ball cannoned into them but you say in the OP, "are 3 of his team mates who pick up the ball". One (or more) of the offside players deliberately plays the ball, i.e. picks it up. I take it there were blue players near where the red offside player/s pick the ball up?
 

Dickie E


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instinctively is not equal to accidentally
 

Camquin

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The charge down puts the kickers team onside - which may be a source of confusion.
 

Pegleg

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There is case for treating it as accidental. But there is not enough info for us to judge. You did so in a split second. So I say you were correct.
 

Taff


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There is case for treating it as accidental. But there is not enough info for us to judge. You did so in a split second. So I say you were correct.
Exactly. I reckon it depends how fast it happens; if it happens so quick that the offside player doesn't get a chance to think, I would personally give a scrum for accidental offside. If there is enough of a gap that he could have left the ball alone, then I would give a PK for deliberate offside.
 

OB..


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I think the crux is whether it is reasonable to expect the player to know the ball came from a team-mate behind him. If so, then he is expected to suppress his instinct to play the ball.
 

Ian_Cook


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► if the offside player intentionally touches the ball, its a PK (whether or not he knew he was offside is irrelevant)

► if the ball strikes him, its accidental offside, and a scrum.


IMO
 

Pegleg

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I think it depends on the level of the game and your empathy for it. I had an assessor last year (miked up) and I gave a scrum in a situation where the player played the ball where it can to him very quickly. I told the players why it was "only a scrum" they accepted it and the assessor was more than happy with my "feel". I don't thinkl the same latitude would be right in a RWC game (for example).
 
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