Law Clarification 3 2022. Jumping into a tackle

Phil E


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Clarification 3 2022​

Clarification in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee​

Clarification
3-2022
Union / HP Ref Manager
NZR
Law Reference
9
Date
28 February 2022
Request
NZR seeks clarity on 2 issues:


  • Law 9.17 states “a player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground”.
  • Law 9.11 states “players must not do anything that is dangerous to others including leading with elbow or forearm”.
  • Law 9.7 states “ a player must not intentionally infringe any law of the game”
Q.1 When a player hurdles/jumps over a tackler who is attempting to make a low legal tackle, this stops the defender from being able to tackle the ball carrier (as the ball carrier is now in the air and not able to be tackled). This seems unfair and against law 9.7 “unfair play”.

Q.2 In 2021, Jonny May scored by leaping/diving over a covering tackler and scoring in the corner. His dive/leap and twist allowed him to score directly in one movement.

Clarification of the designated members of the Rugby Committee
A.1 We agree – jumping to hurdle a potential tackler is dangerous play, as is the act of a ball carrier jumping into a tackle. Even if no contact is made, we believe this act is in clear contravention of law 9.11, and runs contrary to the game-wide focus on player welfare.
In this specific case the sanction should be a PK against the ball carrier.
A.2 A ball carrier may dive with the ball in order to score a try, and we all agree that should be allowed. From an equity perspective, if they do so, a defender may attempt to make a safe and legal tackle on that player. As we have said above, jumping to avoid a tackle should be regarded as dangerous play and should be sanctioned accordingly,even if no contact is made.
Player welfare should remain the priority deciding factor for match officials in these very rare situations. In such instances as this rare example, which involves great player skill and dexterity, match officials have to make a judgement call as to which actions have taken place. If there is any element of dangerous play, in line with the above ruling, then a try cannot be the reward.
In principle, in a try scoring situation, if the action is deemed to be a dive forward for a try, then it should be permitted. If a player is deemed to have left the ground to avoid a tackle; or to jump, or hurdle a potential tackler, then this is dangerous play and should be sanctioned accordingly.

See the full clarification with videos here
 

didds

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that however doesnt also cover what happens if when hurdling dangerously the tackler then ends up tackling the hurdler in the air (as is the case in the related thread currently being discussed)
 

crossref


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that however doesnt also cover what happens if when hurdling dangerously the tackler then ends up tackling the hurdler in the air (as is the case in the related thread currently being discussed)
i think the implication of A.1 is that you PK the ball carrier as both offences are dangerous play and the ball carrier's offence came first / caused the second
 

didds

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seems eminently sensible CR
 

crossref


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they don't quite say what the correct decision should be for the Jonny May try - do they?
 

didds

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they don't quite say what the correct decision should be for the Jonny May try - do they?
"A.2 A ball carrier may dive with the ball in order to score a try, and we all agree that should be allowed. From an equity perspective, if they do so, a defender may attempt to make a safe and legal tackle on that player. "



I will say the next line as part of that is somewhat ... redundant or conflicting depending on how you choose to view its inclusion!

"As we have said above, jumping to avoid a tackle should be regarded as dangerous play and should be sanctioned accordingly, even if no contact is made."
 
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Mipper


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"A.2 A ball carrier may dive with the ball in order to score a try, and we all agree that should be allowed. From an equity perspective, if they do so, a defender may attempt to make a safe and legal tackle on that player. "

???

I will say the next line as part of that is somewhat ... redundant or conflicting depending on how you choose to view its inclusion!

"As we have said above, jumping to avoid a tackle should be regarded as dangerous play and should be sanctioned accordingly, even if no contact is made."
I think that this part is referring to Q2 that specifically asked about the Johnny May try. From memory that was more of a jump than a dive.
I would read this as his try being illegal.
 

crossref


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I think that this part is referring to Q2 that specifically asked about the Johnny May try. From memory that was more of a jump than a dive.
I would read this as his try being illegal.
There is a video in the clarification.
I read it as being legal
I think the authors of the clarification are asking us to make up our own minds
 

Balones

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I refer you to my #40 post in the other thread on this topic. :)
 

Jarrod Burton


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So diving for a try is ok - can I leap over the tackler provided I dive with the ball forward?
 

SimonSmith


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i think the implication of A.1 is that you PK the ball carrier as both offences are dangerous play and the ball carrier's offence came first / caused the second

I'm not sure I'm 100% there. Law 7 makes it clear that both players, for example, can be carded. "The first guy did the first wrong thing" may not be the most solid foundation for a decision.

Player jumps and putative tackler does nothing - PK against jumper.
Player jump, and putative tackler catches him and topples him, turning him through the horizontal - much less clearcut.
 

Jarrod Burton


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I'm not sure I'm 100% there. Law 7 makes it clear that both players, for example, can be carded. "The first guy did the first wrong thing" may not be the most solid foundation for a decision.

Player jumps and putative tackler does nothing - PK against jumper.
Player jump, and putative tackler catches him and topples him, turning him through the horizontal - much less clearcut.
The time between take off and contact in many of these are vanishingly small. If a BC jumps with the ball into a tackle they have to take responsibility for their safety too. I can't see it being fair for a tackler needing to make sure they are low enough to not make contact with a dipping players head while simultaneously worrying about the BC jumping and then being responsible for a that player landing on their head
 

didds

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I think that this part is referring to Q2 that specifically asked about the Johnny May try. From memory that was more of a jump than a dive.
I would read this as his try being illegal.
without at all disagreeing with you ..

define "jump" versus "dive" seems to be the crux here. That May try Id agree there is more vertical take off than horizontal initially - but ... his feet never touch the ground before the ball does and his head is in front of his centre of gravity / hips/feet the entire time.

This isn't an attempt to justify May's effort. More a case of the "clarification" is anything but . It sets up two scenarios, without distinguishing between the two and doesn't really address the May halfway house jump/dive. ie May well have started as a jump but it really ended in a dive.

Meanwhile - in a sport that is 100% about diving... most dives seem to start with a jump!

LOL
 

didds

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I'm not sure I'm 100% there. Law 7 makes it clear that both players, for example, can be carded. "The first guy did the first wrong thing" may not be the most solid foundation for a decision.

Player jumps and putative tackler does nothing - PK against jumper.
until there isnbt a PK awareded against the jumper and the jumper scores. Right call by the "non-tackler" ?
 

Balones

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Perhaps we need to merge threads? I just posted a comment about Tom Daley in the other thread!
 

Balones

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In the May case I think we had too much ‘up’ in a ratio to across or down. I’m sure the TMO could be given some sort of calculating software to determine the correct ratio.:)
 

Balones

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I think the May incident is clouded by the fact that the tackler was coming in from the side. Would his action have been allowed if he had gone over a tackler standing/crouching in front?
 

Balones

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I think WR may be saying that we’ll let the referee decide and whatever the decision we will support them.
 

crossref


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I think WR may be saying that we’ll let the referee decide and whatever the decision we will support them.
the referee should decide, using the guidance and framework in the clarification.

but yes.
 
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