[Ruck] Help on understanding a ruck technicality

Lordy77

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Frightening situation last weekend in an under 11’s match. Defending player came over the tackled player whom was in the post box position presenting the ball and effectively sealed the ball by placing his head and shoulders lower than his hips with his face looking towards the ground without no vision towards towards the opposition.

The oncoming opposition didn’t attempt to either get under the defending player and drive him backwards or even roll him away in the crocodile motion. He literally drove into the exposed neck of the defending player.

I wasn’t refereeing today as it was an away match. The ref let it go without any comment, I’m interested what the opinion is on here as to what should have been the outcome. Do you penalise the player for sealing and head and shoulders below hips or the attacking player for driving into the players exposed neck?

Your feedback is greatly appreciated
 

beckett50


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If I am understanding what you wrote correctly then this body position used to be referred to as "Squeeze Ball". ie the player goes to the floor with their knees on the floor and their head and shoulders also on the floor pointing toward the defending goal area, and the bar is placed/presented between the legs

This act is DANGEROUS play and is sanction to an immediate PK by the referee. There was also a note from the RFU that specifically sanction against coaching this move to ANY player under 18.

The move was outlawed for the very reason that you highlight - the neck is clearly exposed and the ball carrier has no vision of arriving players.

If this occurred at your club then you should raise this with the DoR
 

didds

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Not sure of which player was head-lower-than-hips here.

The tackled player - I dunno what post-box position means here. Or the defender who "came over the top".

Id suggest that whoever crates this position if yo are reffing just blow immediately long and hard - for safety. Ny all mens have a bit of a coaching mini session about why its not a good idea. scrum team in possession in the circumstances - unless it is squeezeball then follow whatever sanction is for that etc.


I'm undoubtedly wrong!

didds
 

Taff


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If I am understanding what you wrote correctly then this body position used to be referred to as "Squeeze Ball". ie the player goes to the floor with their knees on the floor and their head and shoulders also on the floor pointing toward the defending goal area, and the bar is placed/presented between the legs. This act is DANGEROUS play and is sanction to an immediate PK by the referee.
I thought there was a specific law banning "Squeeze Ball" at U19 level but I can't find it on the online lawbook.

Did it used to be there then, or did I see it on another site perhaps? :chin:
 

Phil E


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This is not squeezball from the description. It is a player standing over the player on the floor (who is presenting the ball lengthwise), but with his head below hips putting himself in a vulnerable position.

The question is did the second player who came in and made contact charge in recklessly, or did he use his arms?

If the first he needs penalising, and the first player needs re-educating on "arrive up".

If the latter then the second player has done nothing wrong, so the first player just needs re-educating on "arrive up".
 

Rich_NL

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I see this occasionally with youth games. Stop play (quickly!), explain, scrum restart and FK subsequent offences. If the clear out is dangerous, the PK takes precedence.
 

Lordy77

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Thanks Phil E for explaining my question much better than I have ;-), it definitely wasn't a squeeze ball situation.

As Phil says, the player has put himself in a vulnerable position by exposing his neck and head whilst looking directly downwards with no view of the oncoming player.

The second player arrived and purely drove straight into player 1's head and neck without any attempt to roll the player away with his arms. Player 1 was to low for player 2 to get underneath him and drive him back so player 2 decided just drive straight into the head and neck.

The ref let play continue which didn't sit right with me.

I wasn't sure though whether player 1 should be penalised for not supporting his weight on his feet and having his head and shoulders lower than his hips. Or should player 2 be penalised for dangerous contact to the head and neck area.


My gut instinct would be to penalise player 2 as he has a duty of care to player safety, and give player 1 a bit of education on body position when entering the ruck .
 

Flish


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Safety first, ref/coach should have caught it and stopped it straight away - but we all miss things. Scrum restart the first time (with explanation), then FK, then word with the coach as it's now potentially a problem
 

Jz558


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In an under 11s game, if I saw something I thought was dangerous I would blow and stop it, even if no law had been broken. No-one needs to be sanctioned and you can always think of a reason to excuse your actions. For that age group you need to be doing as much coaching as reffing to make sure they stay safe. Trying to referee early age youth games (13s/14s) can be a nightmare, particularly at the breakdown which can be a real mess but in my experience if you are empathetic it is a very rewarding experience. I also noticed that you mentioned that the game was an U11 age group fixture which, as minis, does not need a qualified referee so he/she could have been an age group coach or even willing parent.
 

didds

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Thanks Phil E for explaining my question much better than I have ;-), it definitely wasn't a squeeze ball situation.

As Phil says, the player has put himself in a vulnerable position by exposing his neck and head whilst looking directly downwards with no view of the oncoming player.

The second player arrived and purely drove straight into player 1's head and neck without any attempt to roll the player away with his arms. Player 1 was to low for player 2 to get underneath him and drive him back so player 2 decided just drive straight into the head and neck.

The ref let play continue which didn't sit right with me.

I wasn't sure though whether player 1 should be penalised for not supporting his weight on his feet and having his head and shoulders lower than his hips. Or should player 2 be penalised for dangerous contact to the head and neck area.


My gut instinct would be to penalise player 2 as he has a duty of care to player safety, and give player 1 a bit of education on body position when entering the ruck .


Hmmm. Thing is player 1 has created a situation that player 2 (especially at this age group and levels of understanding and technical skillsets) has no answer to. given these age groups etc it is also possible that player 2 didn;t even realise how dangerous his actions were.

By pinging player 2 - even with a chat to player 1 - you have just rewarded player 1 for a dangerous, stupid, illegal and unfair practice.
So it makes more sense to me to ping player 1 for creating the illegal (hips bel;ow shoulders etc0 position and have a chat to player 2 for his actions.

The only way it should enbd up with player 1's team receving the PK is IF it was clear and obvious that player 2 had definitely targetted player 1s neck in any way that may iot obvious that he knew it was dangerous but did it anyway. Im not saying that's an easy call.

Though that said in a perfect world a very loud blast to stop play before the impact arrived (ie player 2) would be best. With a chat to player 1 at least - scrum to tackled player's team or PK then as ref sees fit. I see merits in both sanctions.


IANAR, and am probably wrong!


didds
 

Pinky


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Hmmm. Thing is player 1 has created a situation that player 2 (especially at this age group and levels of understanding and technical skillsets) has no answer to. given these age groups etc it is also possible that player 2 didn;t even realise how dangerous his actions were.

By pinging player 2 - even with a chat to player 1 - you have just rewarded player 1 for a dangerous, stupid, illegal and unfair practice.
So it makes more sense to me to ping player 1 for creating the illegal (hips bel;ow shoulders etc0 position and have a chat to player 2 for his actions.

The only way it should enbd up with player 1's team receving the PK is IF it was clear and obvious that player 2 had definitely targetted player 1s neck in any way that may iot obvious that he knew it was dangerous but did it anyway. Im not saying that's an easy call.

Though that said in a perfect world a very loud blast to stop play before the impact arrived (ie player 2) would be best. With a chat to player 1 at least - scrum to tackled player's team or PK then as ref sees fit. I see merits in both sanctions.


IANAR, and am probably wrong!


didds

Didds gets my vote here - the first offence was the ball carrier's team mate sealing off the ball by adopting a dangerous (to him) position. I would hope I spotted it and quickly went with a PK against. The arriving opponent probably also joined with head below hips, and whilst you could and should PK him if it was C&O foul play, from the description it wasn't. Be careful also about allowing arriving players to roll defenders away, often they will have bound too high for this to be legal
 

Zebra1922


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Agree with above, whilst player 2 action was dangerous, it is a function of the offence caused by player 1 who is not supporting their body weight. At this level I would argue player 2 was not intentionally trying to injure or even offend, they were impacting the ruck but it just so happens the natural impact point was a dangerous part of player 1's body.

As others have said I would be blowing before player 2 arrived to 1. punish the original offence and 2. prevent the dangerous contact from occurring. People have referred to doing this for U11, I would do this at any level. If I can see a player has put themselves in a position where they are possibly going to get hurt I will blow and stop the game. In this case there is a clear penalty offence, but I will blow for safety and frequently do if I see a player in a poor position, usually in ruck and about to get trampled on. I'd rather stop an award a scrum than wait 10 minutes for the injury to be treated afterwards.
 

Flish


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For avoidance of doubt I meant FK against Player 1 for head below hips that created this scenario, agree with the other posts that player 2 is innocent in this scenario
 

Taff


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This is not squeezball from the description. It is a player standing over the player on the floor (who is presenting the ball lengthwise), but with his head below hips putting himself in a vulnerable position.
In which case I assume he can't be staying on his feet - which is an offence.

.... If the first he needs penalising, and the first player needs re-educating on "arrive up".
I assume the phrase "arrive up" is the same as our "planes taking off, not planes coming down".
 

Marc Wakeham


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What is the "Post-box" position. Sorry it sounds like squeezeball to me.
 

Lordy77

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I'm guessing the long present.

Yes by postbox I meant a long present.

There was no squeeze ball on this occasion, tackled player was correctly presenting ball in long present position. Covering team (player 1) arrived to protect the tackled player. Rather than standing in a tower of power position he had his head and shoulders lower than his hips with his hands gripping the shirt of the tackled team mate. He was on his feet at all times but had his neck and head exposed to the oncoming opposition player (player 2).

Player 1 body position was really low meaning that player 2 couldn't drive under him. Instead player 2 drove straight head on into player 1 making contact with exposed neck and head area.

Really grateful with feedback received from everyone regarding this.

The scary thing for me was the ref whom was also the coach of player 2's team let it go completely.
 

didds

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The scary thing for me was the ref whom was also the coach of player 2's team let it go completely.

Ah - Id got player 1 and 2 the wrong way around - sorry.

didds
 
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