Drop Kick Conversions

Na Madrai


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Refereed a university league match this afternoon in which the away team were hopelessly outgunned- the final score was 93 - 0. However, clearly with a view to points difference at the end of the season, the coach decided that all conversions would be by drop kick to save time.

My query is at what point can the opposition charge?

I ask because one of the kickers had a habit of stepping back from the mark, striding forward, bouncing the ball on the mark and then launching the kick.

Fortunately, I never had to make a decision as the well beaten opposition simply took the opportunity to get their breath back and no-one charged but I would be interested in the views of the collective should I be put in a similiar position in the future!

Thanking you in anticipation of your well considered views.
 

Davet

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If he bounced the ball then caught it then lauched the drop kick I'd have been tempted to say he knocked on and cancel the conversion - only tempted mind you, I'd not actually have called it - but if someone charged at that point I'd not stop 'em.
 

Ian_Cook


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If he bounced the ball then caught it then lauched the drop kick I'd have been tempted to say he knocked on and cancel the conversion - only tempted mind you, I'd not actually have called it - but if someone charged at that point I'd not stop 'em.


Nope.

There can be no such thing as a knock-on when the ball is dead, and in a conversion, the ball isn't live until the kicker makes to kick the ball.

Ruling a knock-on in those circumstances makes as much sense as ruling one if he drops the ball on the ground while he's setting up the tee for a placekick. I have even seen players (legally and legitimately) bouncing the ball on its point on the ground prior to taking a drop-kick for a drop-out, kick-off, restart or drop-kicked conversion, presumably to test the ground to see how the ball is going to "bounce-up".
 

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If he bounced the ball then caught it then launched the drop kick I'd have been tempted to say he knocked on and cancel the conversion - only tempted mind you,,,


Surely not.

Virtually every drop kick to re-start the game would be a Knock-on on that basis.

As for the charge as soon as the kicker, in my mind has started to "address" the ball. That would include a step back.
 

L'irlandais

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...As for the charge as soon as the kicker, in my mind has started to "address" the ball. That would include a step back.
Hello all,
My feeling is that the step back isn't part of his approach to kick. Surely this is like when Jonny Wilkinson steps back and hunkers down to get "zen" on a placed conversion kick. No charging in that case until he moves toward the ball. Or in Na Madraí's example, once the player "strides forward".
LAW 9.B.3 THE OPPOSING TEAM

(a) All players of the opposing team must retire to their goal line and must not overstep that line until the kicker begins the approach to kick or starts to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.
Perhaps someone used to refereeing Sevens would have more experience of drop-kicked conversions. If for example the player stands still to drop-kick, then the opposition could only begin the charge once the ball has left his hands.
 

Dixie


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Hello all,
My feeling is that the step back isn't part of his approach to kick. Surely this is like when Jonny Wilkinson steps back and hunkers down to get "zen" on a placed conversion kick. No charging in that case until he moves toward the ball. Or in Na Madraí's example, once the player "strides forward".Perhaps someone used to refereeing Sevens would have more experience of drop-kicked conversions. If for example the player stands still to drop-kick, then the opposition could only begin the charge once the ball has left his hands.

Wilkinson's farting position is clearly not "addressing" the kick. What is important is what happens next. Whatever he does to move out of that position is, in my view, addressing the kick. JW is well drilled and steps forward. Many other players step back. Either is the start of the kick, in my view, and a trigger for a charge.

As to the OP's question, I see bouncing the ball as static and preparatory - like JW's fart. Every kicker will develop forward momentum before making contact with the ball; any means of doing so, including an initial step backwards or sideways, triggers the charge. Bit you're never going to get anywhere near a DK, so it's no big.
 

L'irlandais

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Cheers Dixie!
Okay, I'll go along with that. It would still be good to have some input from a 7s' referee given that drop-kick conversions are the norm in their code.
 

The Fat


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Hello all,
My feeling is that the step back isn't part of his approach to kick. Surely this is like when Jonny Wilkinson steps back and hunkers down to get "zen" on a placed conversion kick. No charging in that case until he moves toward the ball.

When JW lines up a place kick at goal he
1. Places the ball on the tee
2. Steps back, clasps hands whilst doing a little foot shuffle on the spot
3. Stands still and sights target
4. Takes a step back with left foot &
5. Moves towards the ball

For mine, the oppo players can start to charge at #4 as this is the start of his approach to kick.
Lots of players have different styles but the next move after the kicker becomes stationary (#3) instigates the approach to kick. Some players take that stationary stance with feet already apart in the "starting position" but for the kicker who stands with feet together (as does JW), some will start their approach by simply walking forward whilst many will start with a small backward step like JW. That first movement after being stationary is the trigger for me.
 

L'irlandais

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Hi The Fat,
You are both right. In the case of the original post, then the step back would signal the charge.
 

B52 REF


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Funnily enough i had a high level player say to me yesterday-"i,m going to drop it so they can't charge" -put him right. Some players bounce the ball because its what they are used to doing at k.o.
NO knockon possible. Addressing the ball = starting his kicking movement for me.
 

crossref


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When JW lines up a place kick at goal he
1. Places the ball on the tee
2. Steps back, clasps hands whilst doing a little foot shuffle on the spot
3. Stands still and sights target
4. Takes a step back with left foot &
5. Moves towards the ball

.

yep, charge on #4
 

crossref


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My query is at what point can the opposition charge?

I ask because one of the kickers had a habit of stepping back from the mark, striding forward, bouncing the ball on the mark and then launching the kick.

.

I am imagining this as one fluid movement, there is never a moment when the kicker is stationary..

if that is correct then there's not enough time for them to mount a meaningful charge anyway, but I would say they can charge the moment he catches the ball from the bounce.
 

Dixie


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I would say they can charge the moment he catches the ball from the bounce.
And what if he then bounces it three more times, sights at goal and finds all the defenders 1m from him? Disallow the kick? Let him get on with it? Or send the chargers back with their tails between their legs?
 

FlipFlop


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Personally, with a drop kick: if the kicker has taken a few steps back away from the mark, then as soon as he starts moving forward I allow the defence to charge.

If the drop kicker wants to mess around after approaching the mark - he needs to learn to get on with it. He can bounce the ball before the backwards steps, or after the backwards step, but before the forward one.

If after the bounces, the defence reaches him, the conversion is no good. Simples.
 

Davet

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Ian / ATTR

You did read ALL of ny post didn't you?

Then you know that I would NOT have called it a knock on.

The reason for being tempted to do so is that he is simply farting around and it irritates me when people do that - but I would, as I said, have resisted the temptation.

But if someone charged him while he was farting about - game on, no problem.
 

chopper15

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About 25 years ago at Cardiff Arms Park I asked Grant Fox- in the presence of Mc Geechan, they were playing Scotland in the WC playoffs, and an English ref who was running the line - if he was ever charged when he came forward to re-adjust the ball.

I asked because he never ever signalled to the ref for approval.

He told me to 'F*ck Off'.

I then asked the ref., can't recall his name, he said if they did charge he would send them back.:sad:

Obviously he was never told of the courtesy of having to ask as he didn't change his routine.

I even told the Canadian Ambassador to get a message to the their team to try it, hoping it may put him off, which he promised to do as he was meeting the coach before the match who, incidentally was a Cornishman called Luke. His dad, Gerald, was of my era and played FH for Pirates and Cwll.

Nobody ever did charge him.
 

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Ian / ATTR

You did read ALL of ny post didn't you?

Then you know that I would NOT have called it a knock on.

The reason for being tempted to do so is that he is simply farting around and it irritates me when people do that - but I would, as I said, have resisted the temptation.

But if someone charged him while he was farting about - game on, no problem.

Yep I read it all. I can't see why you would be "tempted". Even allowing for your comments above.
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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About 25 years ago at Cardiff Arms Park I asked Grant Fox- in the presence of Mc Geechan, they were playing Scotland in the WC playoffs, and an English ref who was running the line - if he was ever charged when he came forward to re-adjust the ball.

I asked because he never ever signalled to the ref for approval.

He told me to 'F*ck Off'.

I then asked the ref., can't recall his name, he said if they did charge he would send them back.:sad:

Obviously he was never told of the courtesy of having to ask as he didn't change his routine.

I even told the Canadian Ambassador to get a message to the their team to try it, hoping it may put him off, which he promised to do as he was meeting the coach before the match who, incidentally was a Cornishman called Luke. His dad, Gerald, was of my era and played FH for Pirates and Cwll.

Nobody ever did charge him.

Grant Fox - Good kicker and a sound judge of character. :biggrin: ;)
 

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I've got a very good imagination.

Why can I not see why you would give the knock on? Simply you would be wrong in law. He is not "farting about" the same action is taken by virtually every player drop kicking the ball (apart from in open play).

I would not expect a "Society Assessor" to make such an error as awarding a scrum when no offence took place.
 
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