Does a knock-on make a ball dead - or does the whistle?

Volun-selected


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Please, bear with me - bit of a wordy one this....

We have several places where the rule book explicitly calls out 'the ball is dead' such as in the definitions (The ball is dead when the referee blows the whistle to stop play or following an unsuccessful conversion) and in several of the laws such as where teams can make the ball dead, failed kicks at goal, ball over the dead-ball line, etc.

Looking at accidental knock-on, Law 11 has nothing that says the ball is dead due to the infraction but for an accidental knock-on we whistle for the scrum and the whistle makes the ball dead (as per the definition).

Most of the time it's immaterial. Knock-on, blow whistle, signal scrum. Or, once the clock goes red, knock-on, blow whistle repeatedly, make a grandiose sweeping arm gesture, half over.

And now my nightmare, and the point/question of this post....

Red is up by 2 points and defending their own goal line trying to hold out for a win. Blue is in possession.
At 80:30 the Blue BC is brought down just short of the goal line trying to charge through. In the scramble, Red makes a good attempt to jackal but on the lift accidentally spills and knocks on.
The ball is immediately scooped up by a Blue player who dives through and grounds the ball in goal. Cue cheering by Blue/wailing and gnashing of teeth by Red.

This happens so quickly that you haven't had chance to blow your whistle. So... do you decide:
1) The ball was dead at the knock-on, so call no try and end the game? Or,
2) The ball was live because you had yet to signal the infringement, so the try stands?

(I nearly had this scenario last week - fortunately Blue was blocked on the dive and knocked on allowing me to blow, end the match, and get out of jail free. However, it got me thinking what I would have done if he had scored.)

Interested on what others would have done if the ball had been grounded.
 

Stu10

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The ball is dead after you blow your whistle.

In this instance, I would be playing advantage to blue following the knock-on by red, therefore the ball remains live until I blow my whistle. Red score a try, blow your whistle, the ball is dead... you have to allow the conversion, then the game is finished.

Generally speaking we play advantage for a "reasonable" period of time... given that you cannot come back for a scrum because the clock is past 80 minutes, personally I would continue advantage until the ball went dead or was turned over, after which I would blow for full-time.
 

didds

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Try.

Advantage is played for a knock on -for exactly this reason.

So

* blow for try
* have the conversion taken
* blow time
 

Dickie E


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This happens so quickly that you haven't had chance to blow your whistle.
This sentence concerns me a bit. It would have been a critical error to have blown the whistle at that time and Blue would have been rightly upset if you had done so. Advantage has a right to be played out even after 80:00 mins
 

Marc Wakeham


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Please, bear with me - bit of a wordy one this....

We have several places where the rule book explicitly calls out 'the ball is dead' such as in the definitions (The ball is dead when the referee blows the whistle to stop play or following an unsuccessful conversion) and in several of the laws such as where teams can make the ball dead, failed kicks at goal, ball over the dead-ball line, etc.

Looking at accidental knock-on, Law 11 has nothing that says the ball is dead due to the infraction but for an accidental knock-on we whistle for the scrum and the whistle makes the ball dead (as per the definition).

Most of the time it's immaterial. Knock-on, blow whistle, signal scrum. Or, once the clock goes red, knock-on, blow whistle repeatedly, make a grandiose sweeping arm gesture, half over.

And now my nightmare, and the point/question of this post....

Red is up by 2 points and defending their own goal line trying to hold out for a win. Blue is in possession.
At 80:30 the Blue BC is brought down just short of the goal line trying to charge through. In the scramble, Red makes a good attempt to jackal but on the lift accidentally spills and knocks on.
The ball is immediately scooped up by a Blue player who dives through and grounds the ball in goal. Cue cheering by Blue/wailing and gnashing of teeth by Red.

This happens so quickly that you haven't had chance to blow your whistle. So... do you decide:
1) The ball was dead at the knock-on, so call no try and end the game? Or,
2) The ball was live because you had yet to signal the infringement, so the try stands?

(I nearly had this scenario last week - fortunately Blue was blocked on the dive and knocked on allowing me to blow, end the match, and get out of jail free. However, it got me thinking what I would have done if he had scored.)

Interested on what others would have done if the ball had been grounded.
The ball is not dead until you blow the whistle. You can play usually advantage (unless we are in one of the areasof advantage not being allowed).

So in your two scenario questions (amended)
1) The ball was dead at the knock-on, so call no try and end the game? NO, NO and NO again. The ball was NOT DEAD. Advantage applied!
Or,
2) The ball was live because you had yet to signal the infringement, so the try stands? Of course it is a try (from a good advantage!)
 

Volun-selected


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This sentence concerns me a bit. It would have been a critical error to have blown the whistle at that time and Blue would have been rightly upset if you had done so. Advantage has a right to be played out even after 80:00 mins
More a case of pointing out that even though I was playing advantage the lack of a whistle was that it all happened in a moment more than me not blowing. My gut feel was that I should not stop the game - but I wanted to make sure here since it would have been material.

Glad to see a clear consensus.
 

damo


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If you see a knock on, almost always take a pause and see what happens.

Even if the team who knocked on looks like they have recovered the ball just wait a few seconds before blowing the whistle because you never know what might happen.

Blowing the whistle in a situation like you describe would have been a critical error and Blue would have been rightly grumpy about it.

To answer your question, the ball is not dead until you blow the whistle. Doesn't matter what the time on the clock is.
 

SimonSmith


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If you see a knock on, almost always take a pause and see what happens.

Even if the team who knocked on looks like they have recovered the ball just wait a few seconds before blowing the whistle because you never know what might happen.

Blowing the whistle in a situation like you describe would have been a critical error and Blue would have been rightly grumpy about it.

To answer your question, the ball is not dead until you blow the whistle. Doesn't matter what the time on the clock is.
I generally agree. But the one thing you have to be mindful of - and yes, I have seen this happen - is that Blue knock on, and Blue regather. 29 players stop, and you're taking the proverbial breath just to see. 30th player comes steaming in and hits the ball carrier who simply isn;t ready for it.

Sometimes, you should just blow the whistle.
 
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