Foul play?

Zebra1922


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Penalty. Deliberate obstruction. It’s not shoulder to shoulder.
 

Stu10

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Discussion has focused on Law 9.1 thus far:
When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.

What about Law 9.15:
Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, a player who is not in possession of the ball must not hold, push, charge or obstruct an opponent not in possession of the ball.

Assuming 9.1 and 9.15 must align, and cannot contradict each other, does this help us to better interpret 9.1?

IMHO, 9.15 tells us that a charge or push is not allowed whether or not positioned shoulder-to-shoulder.
 

Phil E


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Law 9.1: When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.


The law implies that you can charge or push if it's done shoulder to shoulder.
I have always allowed a shoulder to shoulder push when chasing a ball.

Play on all day long, but expect the players to moan about it as Law 9.1 is little known by most.
 

Mipper


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Gosh this thread has expanded.
To me, the relevant part of the law is “when a player and an opponent are running for the ball”.
I simply don’t see maroon as running for the ball, to me he is running at the player, which makes it simple obstruction.
 

Mipper


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Gosh this thread has expanded.
To me, the relevant part of the law is “when a player and an opponent are running for the ball”.
I simply don’t see maroon as running for the ball, to me he is running at the player, which makes it simple obstruction.
Just watched it again (which obviously is not a benefit I would have in an actual game) but I still see PK obstruction.

What I would add though is that if blue player had knocked maroon player over with his shoulder, and carried on running after the ball, then I may feel differently. He didn’t though he targeted him, knocked him over, and landed on top of him. Clearly, he knew that he had little chance of out running him after the ball.
 

Marc Wakeham


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IMO, shoulder-to-shoulder means two opposing players are running next to each other. Could someone get bumped incidentally? Yes. But, that does not give a player the right to intentionally impede the opponent's pursuit.
Well they'd have to be running next to each other for a shoulder to shoulder charger. Would they not? So the law , for me clearly allows a player to charge anothers shoulder with him.
 

Dickie E


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Well they'd have to be running next to each other for a shoulder to shoulder charger. Would they not? So the law , for me clearly allows a player to charge anothers shoulder with him.
yes, they need to be running next to each other shoulder to shoulder with the intent of gaining possession of the ball for contact to be legal. Otherwise a player could be bending over to pick up the ball and Magilla Gorilla pole-axes him with a shoulder charge.
 

Marc Wakeham


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yes, they need to be running next to each other shoulder to shoulder with the intent of gaining possession of the ball for contact to be legal. Otherwise a player could be bending over to pick up the ball and Magilla Gorilla pole-axes him with a shoulder charge.
This is covered in 9.1:
Law 9.1: When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.
 

Stu10

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Law 9.1: When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.


The law implies that you can charge or push if it's done shoulder to shoulder.
I have always allowed a shoulder to shoulder push when chasing a ball.

Play on all day long, but expect the players to moan about it as Law 9.1 is little known by most.
Do you mean you can charge or push using your shoulder to make contact with the other player's shoulder, or you can charge or push the other player while running next to each other shoulder-to-shoulder?

Does "shoulder-to-shoulder" describe the contact points between 2 players, or describe the positioning of players as being side-by-side?
IMO, shoulder-to-shoulder means two opposing players are running next to each other. Could someone get bumped incidentally? Yes. But, that does not give a player the right to intentionally impede the opponent's pursuit.

Well they'd have to be running next to each other for a shoulder to shoulder charger. Would they not? So the law , for me clearly allows a player to charge anothers shoulder with him.

I suppose we just see if differently. 9.1 says players may “charge” and “push” while running for the ball, as long as it’s shoulder to shoulder, and I don’t see anything in the original clip that is outside of that.

What is a charge? What is a push? For me, a charge is to move forward rapidly at someone/something, a charge is an approaching action... if already running alongside another player shoulder-to-shoulder, I can't think how you can then execute a charge at that player. In contrast, the OP video is a charge IMHO.

I accept that you can lean into the other player with your shoulder and that could be described as a push - I interpret law 9.1 as allowing two players to lean into each other, with contact being shoulder-to-shoulder, while running for a ball.
Typically in rugby we describe a push as using your hands to push/shove a player... see the first example video of an infringement under law 9.1 on the WR website. Is anyone saying the example in the video, pushing over a player with your hands, would have been allowed if the two players were positioned side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder?

For those that think the OP video is not a penalty, please explain how the maroon player is not in violation of law 9.15:

Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, a player who is not in possession of the ball must not hold, push, charge or obstruct an opponent not in possession of the ball.
 
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Marc Wakeham


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Do you mean you can charge or push using your shoulder to make contact with the other player's shoulder, or you can charge or push the other player while running next to each other shoulder-to-shoulder?

Does "shoulder-to-shoulder" describe the contact points between 2 players, or describe the positioning of players as being side-by-side?






What is a charge? What is a push? For me, a charge is to move forward rapidly at someone/something, a charge is an approaching action... if already running alongside another player shoulder-to-shoulder, I can't think how you can then execute a charge at that player. In contrast, the OP video is a charge IMHO.
Clearly "shoulder to shoulder" indicates very definately the direction of the charge .My shoulder approaches your. Clearly the lawn makers believe that such a charge is legal as the law says so.

The law does says you can Charge OR push someone if running shoulder to shoulder! So you can charge or you can push!


If not, Can you tell me how you interpret a shoulder to shoulder charger ever being possible?
 

Stu10

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IMHO, common sense doesn't align with this on several levels, and I believe generally that common sense gets you to the correct outcome in most cases when trying to interpret an ambiguously written rugby law.

Clearly "shoulder to shoulder" indicates very definately the direction of the charge .My shoulder approaches your. Clearly the lawn makers believe that such a charge is legal as the law says so.

We agree (I assume) that you cannot shoulder charge the ball carrier, that would be an illegal tackle. Yet we are now discussing that it may be OK to shoulder charge a player who does not have the ball. Common sense tells me something is wrong here.

A charge or push on any player that is not in possession of the ball (except in a scrum, ruck or maul) in an offence under law 9.15, and that such a charge or push is considered to be dangerous play. Your explanation of 9.1 directly opposes 9.15... something must be wrong here. :unsure:

Your explanation is creating an image in my head of American Football style smashes into each other off the ball, provided the impact is shoulder into shoulder.

The law does says you can Charge OR push someone if running shoulder to shoulder! So you can charge or you can push!
Two players side-by-side running for the ball, and one player twists towards the other and pushes them over, leaving that player in a heap on the ground while he scoops up the ball uncontested... I can't imagine any high level ref saying this is OK.

Again, your explanation of 9.1 conflicts with law 9.15. :confused:

If not, Can you tell me how you interpret a shoulder to shoulder charger ever being possible?

I don't think a shoulder charge is ever allowed if neither player is in possession of the ball. The only scenario that I can think of when it is allowed is a ball carrier taking the ball into contact (happy to hear the opinions of others here).

As I've said, I read the law differently... I believe 9.1 is saying when a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other; however, shoulder-to-shoulder contact (i.e. jostling) is permitted provided it is neither a charge nor a push. Further more, as per 9.15, neither player can hold back the other, or obstruct the other player except in the act of playing the ball (aligns with law 9.4).
 

tim White


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There is an underlying assumption in the law about shoulder to shoulder contact that both players are attempting to arrive first and gather the ball -I did not see this and would award PK. Rely on Dangerous Play if you have to, the recipient was not expecting to be flattened by the opposing player who eventually fell on top of him (clearly no attempt to get to the ball but simply to take out his opponent)
 

Marc Wakeham


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:confused:



I don't think a shoulder charge is ever allowed if neither player is in possession of the ball. The only scenario that I can think of when it is allowed is a ball carrier taking the ball into contact (happy to hear the opinions of others here).
So why is Law 9.1 in the book then?
 

Stu10

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So why is Law 9.1 in the book then?

To permit for reasonable and incidental contact between two players running close together (side-by-side/shoulder-to-shoulder) when both are competing to get to the ball and play it first. Fair competition for the ball is a general principal in rugby, IMHO, and I don't see pushing someone over or charging them off the ball as being fair competition.

Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, I'm actually struggling to think of any example in rugby where you are allowed deliberate and meaningful contact (e.g. push, hold, impede, restrain, obstruct, charge) with an opposition player when neither has possession of the ball... am I wrong? If 9.1 does permit a player to push or charge another player when neither have the ball, then it would be in contrast to all other laws, and in direct contradiction to law 9.15... does this not strike you as odd?
 

Stu10

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I've been trying to find additional clarification online, and came across this on the Bay of Plenty club site... I don't know the author or their position/authority, but it provides an additional interpretation for consideration:

3. When two opponents are running for the ball what can they do?

Run shoulder to shoulder but they may not push or charge each other (Obstruction - Law 9.1 - PK)

 

Locke


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To permit for reasonable and incidental contact between two players running close together (side-by-side/shoulder-to-shoulder) when both are competing to get to the ball and play it first. Fair competition for the ball is a general principal in rugby, IMHO, and I don't see pushing someone over or charging them off the ball as being fair competition.

Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, I'm actually struggling to think of any example in rugby where you are allowed deliberate and meaningful contact (e.g. push, hold, impede, restrain, obstruct, charge) with an opposition player when neither has possession of the ball... am I wrong? If 9.1 does permit a player to push or charge another player when neither have the ball, then it would be in contrast to all other laws, and in direct contradiction to law 9.15... does this not strike you as odd?
You’ve won me over, at least partially, with 9.15. That law is very clear; I wish 9.1 was equally clear. I still feel 9.1 is carving out an exception of some kind. If it wasn’t, why wouldn’t the law be worded much more clearly? As an example, “When running for the ball, a player and an opponent may be in contact shoulder to shoulder but may not push or charge”. The use of the word “except” in 9.1 keeps bringing me back, ha.
 
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Marc Wakeham


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.. am I wrong? If 9.1 does permit a player to push or charge another player when neither have the ball, then it would be in contrast to all other laws, and in direct contradiction to law 9.15... does this not strike you as odd?
But law 9.1 does allow it. So: "am I wrong?" carries no weight. The only law it is in "contradiction" wit his 9.15 an not "all othr laws." sorry.
To permit for reasonable and incidental contact between two players running close together (side-by-side/shoulder-to-shoulder) when both are competing to get to the ball and play it first. Fair competition for the ball is a general principal in rugby, IMHO, and I don't see pushing someone over or charging them off the ball as being fair competition.

Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, I'm actually struggling to think of any example in rugby where you are allowed deliberate and meaningful contact (e.g. push, hold, impede, restrain, obstruct, charge) with an opposition player when neither has possession of the ball... am I wrong? If 9.1 does permit a player to push or charge another player when neither have the ball, then it would be in contrast to all other laws, and in direct contradiction to law 9.15... does this not strike you as odd?
It is not in contradiction with "all other laws" it is in contradiction with one other law. And that other law is in contradiction with this one (It works both ways). Sorry the laws allow a shoulder to shoulder charge. in the circumstances set out in Law 9.1.
 
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