[Law] Incorrectly taken free kick

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,316
Post Likes
553
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I think people need to consider the age of the players. Th OP did not reference age so if we assume we are talking about adults I would say you go straight to the sanction. With kids the RFU has taken a route that says to keep the game going and manage it: Rationalle the kids are learning and, even for a 13/14 year old, it could be one of their first games. So empathise and "coach". Perhaps let it go first time. At he next FK check with the kicker that they understand what to do and make them takie it again if they get it wrong. Work with Kids to help them learn the game.

I'd apply similar thought if I was reffing a mixed ability game.

The laws are a frameworked to be applied with empathy.
As the Law book says (pg 5) SPIRIT
Rugby owes much of its appeal to the fact that it is played both to the letter and within the spirit of the laws. The responsibility for ensuring that this happens lies not with one individual - it involves coaches, captains, players and referees.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,379
Post Likes
1,639
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I think people need to consider the age of the players.

I think us people are doing that. There is a fairly strong body of thought that kneeing the ball is a step too far and the U14 kicker should be brought back and empathised & coached on how to do it properly.

But what you do on the pitch is ultimately up to you.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,379
Post Likes
1,639
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
With kids the RFU has taken a route that says to keep the game going and manage it:

I did ask previously but not sure I got an answer. So here it is again. Did the RFU specifically say that incorrectly taken FKs for U14 should be play on or this 1 referee's interpretation of what the RFU meant by "keep the game going"?
 

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,316
Post Likes
553
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I think us people are doing that. There is a fairly strong body of thought that kneeing the ball is a step too far and the U14 kicker should be brought back and empathised & coached on how to do it properly.

But what you do on the pitch is ultimately up to you.

It not what I do again as youv;ve already been told. This is an RFU insytruction to RFU referees refereeing in RFU land. Sod all to do with Australia nor has it anything to so with MY governing body in the WRU.

THe REU has made a call and that is fine and dandy. Unles you go to England to ref U14s don't worry about it.
 

CrouchTPEngage


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
496
Post Likes
54
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
But we don't end the game on an incorrectly taken re-start, nor a line-out not thrown straight, or do we?

Oh ! Slightly intrigued by that one. Can you advise why not for the line out not straight? Could be. Depends. Was the scrum awarded before time was up or not ?
( I would not end the game if a restart kick is kicked directly into touch )

EDIT:
I think you were referring to the 5.7 - Specifically the clause about "taken incorrectly". Can't argue with that. I was thinking about a situation where a lineout ( awarded before 80 mins ) has to be completed. Is knocked-on in the line out. Would you blow up for time-up or would you award the scrum for the line out not completing and return gin to open-play ? I would blow-up for time.

[LAWS] A half ends when the ball becomes dead after time has expired unless:
A scrum, lineout or restart kick following a try or touchdown, awarded before time expired, has not been completed and the ball has not returned to open play. This includes when the scrum, lineout or restart kick is taken incorrectly.[/LAWS]
 
Last edited:

Camquin

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
1,600
Post Likes
278
I believe a knock on in the line-out ends a correctly taken line-out.
 

CrouchTPEngage


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
496
Post Likes
54
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
I believe a knock on in the line-out ends a correctly taken line-out.
Yep. Agreed. I would blow for time.
It was just my belief that some will read the phrase as a Boolean condition "and the ball has not returned to open play." and interpret that differently - essential as a condition to be satisfied to end the game
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
19,659
Post Likes
2,221
I did ask previously but not sure I got an answer. So here it is again. Did the RFU specifically say that incorrectly taken FKs for U14 should be play on

i have never seen that.
but there is a widespread convention/belief amongst refs in England that incorrectly taken PK in youth games can be ignored (not universal, and not one I share, but widespread)
 

Zebra1922


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
679
Post Likes
195
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
I gave several scrums recently in a match for incorrectly taken penalty kicks. I’m not sure I like the law, but it’s not for me to decide what laws I can/can’t apply so I blew and gave the scrums.
 

Phil E


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
15,458
Post Likes
1,754
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
I did ask previously but not sure I got an answer. So here it is again. Did the RFU specifically say that incorrectly taken FKs for U14 should be play on or this 1 referee's interpretation of what the RFU meant by "keep the game going"?

https://www.englandrugby.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/regulations

Nothing specific but it's hinted at in the second paragraph I have quoted.
It mentions how to take a FK but not what to do if it's done wrong, so you should revert to law for that.

These Under 14s Rules of Play set out below are part of the Playing Pathway that aim to equip
players with the skills they need to safely enjoy rugby union. The Age Grade Rules of Play detail
the level to which children of each can play to, coaches and match officials are encouraged to
discuss necessary or desired pre-game and in-game modifications that reduce the playing level
with the view to provide more appropriate learning opportunities.

Only infringements that affect the oppositions’ play should be sanctioned. If
there is no effect, advantage should be played wherever it is safe to do so.

A free kick is a kick from hand. The kick must move the ball a visible distance out
of the hand or along the ground. This can either be a tap by the player to
themselves, or a kick to gain ground. The opponents must be 10 metres back,
towards their own goal line and cannot start moving until the ball has been played.
 

dave_clark


Referees in England
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
4,643
Post Likes
96
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
i have never seen that.
but there is a widespread convention/belief amongst refs in England that incorrectly taken PK in youth games can be ignored (not universal, and not one I share, but widespread)

U14 cup game, back when i was coaching, circa 2004. we were playing the best side in the county, but somehow we'd stood toe to toe with them and our national champion 200m runner had scored 2 tries (we played him on the right wing, for obvious reasons). we were 10-5 up, they had a penalty about 10m from our line. their scrum half just tapped the ball on his foot and passed it. ref (experienced society guy) apologetically blew up for a scrum, then called full time.

i don't remember whether this was the first incorrectly taken PK, but i don't recall there being much complaint afterwards. but then it was 17 years ago and i would have been bitterly hungover, so perhaps there was.

(not sure this anecdote added much to the discussion, so thank you for listening to my interesting story)
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
19,659
Post Likes
2,221
Great story.
I feel sad because all the refs before that who had let it go, or let him take it again, basically failed him, as they set him up for that mistake in a game that really mattered
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,379
Post Likes
1,639
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
https://www.englandrugby.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/regulations

Nothing specific but it's hinted at in the second paragraph I have quoted.
It mentions how to take a FK but not what to do if it's done wrong, so you should revert to law for that.

Thanks Phil.

Only infringements that affect the oppositions’ play should be sanctioned. If
there is no effect, advantage should be played wherever it is safe to do so.

That's a fairly cavalier use of the word "advantage"
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
10,765
Post Likes
1,186
our national champion 200m runner had scored 2 tries (we played him on the right wing, for obvious reasons).

Not the left then? ie passes going off dominant right hands leftwards? Unless of course the entres awere both left handed I suppose!

:)
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
10,765
Post Likes
1,186
Great story.
I feel sad because all the refs before that who had let it go, or let him take it again, basically failed him, as they set him up for that mistake in a game that really mattered


This. and his coaches that presumably allowed him to do it unchecked. Unless of course theyd tried and he chose to ignore them (being fair all round!)
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
130
Post Likes
34
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
I think people need to consider the age of the players. Th OP did not reference age so if we assume we are talking about adults I would say you go straight to the sanction. With kids the RFU has taken a route that says to keep the game going and manage it: Rationalle the kids are learning and, even for a 13/14 year old, it could be one of their first games. So empathise and "coach". Perhaps let it go first time. At he next FK check with the kicker that they understand what to do and make them takie it again if they get it wrong. Work with Kids to help them learn the game.

I only coach age grade (currently u15) and would not let an incorrectly PK go - as per my previous post, players on the defending team do tend to get angry at any infringement that is ignored. I'm generally happy to allow the player to retake it the first time, however, by u14 and u15 the scrum half typically takes the tap and by this age is rarely a new unexperienced player... in my experience, most of them trying to take a quick PK off the knee know exactly what they are doing and are intentionally trying to get a head start on the defence. You can quickly get a feel whether the scrum half is inexperienced or knows what he is doing (largely based on the amount of lip he gives the ref ;) ).
 

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,316
Post Likes
553
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
That is why I said "I think people need to "CONSIDER" the age of the players. I think you can rarely make sweeping catch all judgements that fid every situation. Clearly the RFU wants referees to let it flow "whenever possible".

In Wales we have no such guidence but If I was doing, for example an U9 game I'd look to possibly let the first one go with a following word the second would be called back. and I'd judge the players standard / experience. An Ubder 14 game here is played to youth laws. I'd sanction it straight away. They are no longer playing a rugby varient they're playing the "proper stuff".

Read this other rule from the U11 RFU continumm:

9.D
Other than from a restart, a free kick or charge down, if from a kick the ball is played in flight by a player of the non-kicking team and knocked forward, a scrum will be awarded to the non-kicking team from where the ball is touched.

A very strange rule to watch and referee for the first few occasions. Having regularly done a couple of festivals across the border it is odd but by the end of the day you get the fell of it.
 
Last edited:

Flish


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
1,379
Post Likes
286
Current Referee grade:
Level 9
Ex player parents on the touch line don’t get it, I’ve had some very odd looks in the past.
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
10,765
Post Likes
1,186
Read this other rule from the U11 RFU continumm:

9.D
Other than from a restart, a free kick or charge down, if from a kick the ball is played in flight by a player of the non-kicking team and knocked forward, a scrum will be awarded to the non-kicking team from where the ball is touched.

A very strange rule to watch and referee for the first few occasions. Having regularly done a couple of festivals across the border it is odd but by the end of the day you get the fell of it.

AIUI its to discourage aimless kicking that has no real purpose or thought etc ... so a kicm that can be caught because it goes near an opponent is (the theory says) a poor kick so it cannot "win" by the attempted catch being a knock on and the kicker's team gain territory and the scrum feed as a result of a poorly directed kick.

thats my understanding anyway
 

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,316
Post Likes
553
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
That was how it was explained to us. Very odd but there is a reason behind the RFU thinking. Fair play to them
 
Top