FK for exceeding 1.5m push at scrum

anbocmorrua

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Hi there,
I've recently started refereeing after a less than illustrious career as a minis and juniors coach. I've always enjoyed reading this forum and have found it tremendously useful in the past.

My question is why at Junior level the dominant scrum is penalised if they push beyond 1.5m?

I was refereeing a 13s game at the weekend and Green had a dominant scrum. It was the first time Green had played a game with a contested scrum. At one point they pushed the opposition beyond the 1.5m limit and I awarded a FK to Yellow (who took it too quickly for Green to react, and ran the whole length of the pitch and scored). FTR I had spoken to both scrums in the pre-match briefing about this, and issued a "hold your push" instruction to Green.

After the game, the Green coach was asking about my decision and I explained to him what happened and why I awarded the FK. My question to the forum is the same as the Green coaches: I understand that the 1.5m limit exists for safety reasons, but why is the team with the dominant scrum penalised?
 

Phil E


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If the dominant scrum keep pushing past an initial 1.5m there is a serious risk of collapse and injury.
So they get penalised for ignoring the law.

However referees should be assisting in this by shouting "HOLD" or "STOP" when they get to the 1.5m stage. That way you take away the need for a FK and make the game safer. If they ignored the instruction I would FK then escalate quickly. You might also consider uncontested scrums on safety grounds.
 

Decorily

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Hi there and welcome.
With young and less experienced packs a push of 1.5m , and indeed less, can quickly become unstable and collapse as momentum builds.

Safety is obviously our priority.

I don't recall ever penalising a team for pushing beyond 1.5m.
Managing it is usually sufficient.
 

crossref


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Hi there,
I've recently started refereeing after a less than illustrious career as a minis and juniors coach. I've always enjoyed reading this forum and have found it tremendously useful in the past.

My question is why at Junior level the dominant scrum is penalised if they push beyond 1.5m?

I was refereeing a 13s game at the weekend and Green had a dominant scrum. It was the first time Green had played a game with a contested scrum. At one point they pushed the opposition beyond the 1.5m limit and I awarded a FK to Yellow (who took it too quickly for Green to react, and ran the whole length of the pitch and scored). FTR I had spoken to both scrums in the pre-match briefing about this, and issued a "hold your push" instruction to Green.

After the game, the Green coach was asking about my decision and I explained to him what happened and why I awarded the FK. My question to the forum is the same as the Green coaches: I understand that the 1.5m limit exists for safety reasons, but why is the team with the dominant scrum penalised?
these things happen when you first start to ref :)
as others said : you can usually manage it -- call STOP and they do, and use a FK only for repeated offending (rare)
haven given this particular FK, it might have been judicious to call them back when they took it quickly - you must have had some kind of safety concern that you needed to check on before the FK was taken... ;)
 

Zebra1922


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I know the law says 1.5m but in games I referee once a team gets a shove on and pushes beyond the mark I will call HOLD. The rationale for this is once a team is going backwards the risk of collapse is greater. As the purpose at this level (or with these laws) is to get the ball back in play, 0.5m or 1.5m makes little difference. As i can manage the risk better with an immediate call of hold I do so.
 

Volun-selected


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I understand that the 1.5m limit exists for safety reasons, but why is the team with the dominant scrum penalised?
Looking at the original question - I think we all understand why we have 1.5m limit for safety, the question is why do we penalize the dominant team rather than the team that have conceded ground.

To my mind, the logic is that if you penalize the weaker team when they get pushed back you risk incentivizing the dominant team to go beyond 1.5 - shove them back 2m, get the FK - and so undermine the safety buffer of the 1.5m limit in the first place.
 

anbocmorrua

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Thanks @Volun-selected and other respondents. That's what I had in mind - and it makes sense - but I as another newbie referee I was wondering if some more experienced referees had an idea of what the rationale and guidance was when the law came into being. All good for now. I will endeavour to make it a point in my pre-match briefing and also be clear in my instructions on the field.
 

tim White

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Ask anyone who has been shoved backwards more than 1.5m in a scrum whether they enjoyed the almost inevitable collapse. A dominant scrum can enjoy the dominance and polish their egos, but not at the expense of seriously hurting, or injuring the opposition. A scrum is supposed to be a contested re-start within the laws, not a Saturday night brawl.
 

didds

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IMO the best shove back is slow and controlled, where the oppo cannot collapse or are forced to basically fall off/out of the scrum. that way you can keep the scrum upright and moving backwards for as long as you want/need. Mostly its just a few metres for a pushover, but i recall one 40-ish metre push that should have ended with a push over try but our #8 knocked on FFS!

I also recall a scrum where even though pretty controlled the oppo totally disengaged leaving us fron row looking at an undefended line in effect. Guaranteed score - agree?

Oppo then re-engaged, the ref blew ... surely a PT? You cannot leave a scrum and then return (this was pre mandatory back row binding days).

the ref just reset the scrum! BAH!
 

Marc Wakeham


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The simple answer is you penalise them because the law requires you to do so. Why would you ping the weaker side when the offence is pushing more than 1.5 .

As others have said the key is management. I call stop at about .5 of a metre and allow them to come to a stop in a controlled way. This usually avoids the need for a Free kick.
 
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