Charge down, teammate in front picks up ball and runs

Steflach


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I'm almost certain this is offside, but I can't find the law that explicitly makes this clear.

Blue v Red. Red team kicks in open play. Blue player charges it down, and one of his teammates is ahead of him and picks the ball up, runs in and scores. Chaos on sidelines, all players on red team stopped, expecting a whistle for offside.

Referee checks with his AR, and both agree that, essentially "charge down puts everyone onside, so the try stands."

Now, there is no law that says "charge down puts everyone onside," but I have heard this said many, many times. Not many mentions of charge down in the laws actually. But for me, 10.1 is the relevant law, right? As in "A player is offside in open play if that player is in front of a team-mate who is carrying the ball or who last played it. An offside player must not interfere with play."

Surely by charging down, the blue player has "played it" and therefor the scorer was offside in open play, and correct decision is a penalty to red.

But does 10.4c make it unclear? "This is known as the 10-metre law and still applies if the ball touches or is played by an opponent but not when the kick is charged down."

My thinking is that the mention of "opponent" here is important. So this does not apply if your teammate is the one who charges down.

Can anyone confirm I'm right, or correct me with reference to the exact law.

Thanks refs!
 

Volun-selected


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I’m with you on this one. My understanding is that a charge down only puts the kicker‘s team onside, not the charger’s.

I‘d give some slack to a player on the charger’s team as accidentally offside if they don’t interfere or move toward the ball. As you described it, I suspect I would have blown for offside.
 

chbg


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Your own analysis is correct. Law 10.1; the charge-down is playing the ball (it is just not knocking on). This is also what leads to 10.4c: those Red players in front of the Red kicker are offside until (in one circumstance) Blue charge down (or fingertip it in a charge down attempt) when that Blue play of the ball puts them all onside again. Blue players in front of the Blue charge down are at the same time immediately put offside.
 

Dickie E


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"This is known as the 10-metre law and still applies if the ball touches or is played by an opponent but not when the kick is charged down."

what this means is that a player who is offside under 10-metre law (ie a team mate of the kicker) isn't put onside by an opponent catching (or dropping) the ball
 

Phil E


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Think of it this way.

If we are in open play with no breakdowns to set offside lines, then the defending team (without the ball) cannot be offside, because

"A player is offside in open play if that player is in front of a team-mate who is carrying the ball or who last played it. An offside player must not interfere with play".

Since the defending team don't have the ball and weren't the last ones to touch it, they can't be offside.

So when the player charges down, he becomes the last player to touch the ball and sets offside lines for his team, the other team become the defenders and now can't be offside (in this open play scenario).

So its not "All onside", It's "All kicking team onside". So the player who picked up the ball was offside.

Note that the 10m law doesn't apply when a ball is charged down.
 

Dickie E


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this gets tricky when the ball hits a player as opposed to player "plays" the ball.

So Red player kicks the ball and it strikes a Blue player (who maybe has his back turned). Are all Red players now onside? What about Blue players in front of strikee ... onside?
 

Jz558


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Id say not because the blue player hasn't played the ball in accordance with the definitions. The last player who 'played' the ball was the kicker.
 

crossref


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"This is known as the 10-metre law and still applies if the ball touches or is played by an opponent but not when the kick is charged down."

this Law really needs some attention as 'charge down' is an example of 'playing'. Obviously the law writers want to distinguish carging down from other types of playing .... but then they need to define what a charge down actually is.

Something like this perhaps

A charge down is where an opponent, near to the kicker, attempts to block a kick with his hands, arms or any other part of the body except for the foot'
I would say that if you use your foot, it doesn't count as a charge down -- that is just kicking the ball
 

Dickie E


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Law 11 gives a definition of sorts:

A player knocks the ball forward immediately after an opponent has kicked it (charge down).
 

crossref


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Law 11 gives a definition of sorts:

A player knocks the ball forward immediately after an opponent has kicked it (charge down).
Law 11 defines a knock on, and tells us that a charge down that goes forward (which it often does, but not always) is not a knock on

I don't think that amounts to a definition of a charge down
 

Dickie E


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I would say that if you use your foot, it doesn't count as a charge down -- that is just kicking the ball
Why does it matter if hand or foot?
 

crossref


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Why does it matter if hand or foot?
because of 10.4.c

So blue 10 grubber kick, and red 10 kicks the ball.

If that counts as a charge down, than 10m rule no longer applies. If it is merely 'playing' it then 10m rule is still on.

It doesn't feel like a charge down to me, but we don't have a definition, so perhaps it is. But that's my point : a defintion would be helpful
 

Phil E


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Do we not all know what a charge down looks like?


charge-down.jpg
 

crossref


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that is certainly a chargedown !

but it implies that the ball goes forwards, and down

but we know that even if the ball continues backwards and up then it's still a charge down (and in that scenario would put yellow players in front of the kicker onside, even under the 10m Law)

the diagram also kinda implies that red blocking a kick with his foot is NOT a charge down (which I would agree with but Dickie wouldn't)


I just think a definition would be useful
 

Jz558


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A definition would definitely be useful.

I know we've discussed this before but remind me how we "know that even if the ball continues backwards and up then it's still a charge down"? How would you differentiate that from a ball touched in flight?
 

Phil E


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I know we've discussed this before but remind me how we "know that even if the ball continues backwards and up then it's still a charge down"? How would you differentiate that from a ball touched in flight?

One goes forwards, one goes backwards, but both put all the kicking team onside.
 

Dickie E


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So, rule of thumb:
1. if ball is ascending and intentionally played by non-kicking team, all kicking team put onside
2. if ball is descending and intentionally played (but not caught) by non-kicking team, all kicking team put onside EXCEPT those bound by 10 metre law

Yes?
 

Jz558


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One goes forwards, one goes backwards, but both put all the kicking team onside.

And I would agree with that but Crossref said we all "knew" that even if the ball continues backwards and up then it's still a charge down. I am aware that he has said that before and I disagree but am wondering if I've missed an official clarification on this
 

Phil E


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Looking back through old law books there doesnt ever seem to have beena definition for a charge down.

The best I can find is this....Charge down. If a player charges down the ball as an opponent kicks it, or immediately after the kick, it is not a knock-on even though the ball may travel forward.

So basically it has to be an attempt to block a kick.
 

crossref


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And I would agree with that but Crossref said we all "knew" that even if the ball continues backwards and up then it's still a charge down. I am aware that he has said that before and I disagree but am wondering if I've missed an official clarification on this
it's implied by 10.4.c

Imagine there are yellow players in front of the kicker in the diagram

10.4.c is pretty clearly concerned with scenario where the ball continues in the same direction as the kick --

- because in that scenario - under 10m Law, as yellow players are NOT put on side by red playing the ball - but they ARE put onside by red [attempting to] charge it down.
 
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