Law Clarification 3 2022. Jumping into a tackle

Mipper


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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
I well remember didds, that at the time of the May try I vehemently agreed that it was legal. My view now is that it was not legal.

I think that you sum it up well, it started as a jump and ended as a dive. So I still don’t really know.

what I do know is that when I ref on Saturday, I will know the difference between a jump and a dive. Except if some smart arse does the hybrid Johnny May thing. Then it’ll just be down to the usual decision making process of considering the score/attitude of teams/balance of the game/time remaining, and then considering the attitude of the players again before coming down firmly and visibly decisively one way or another?
 

SimonSmith


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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
I'd like to agree with you, except WR doesn't play that way.
In every other area of the game, the responsibility lies with the player on the ground, not the player in the air. Jumping to get a high ball? The responsibility for you landing safely is on the player on the ground, even if you're the one jumping into previously occupied space. I'm not clear why jumping a tackler would be treated any differently. Committing the first act of foul play shouldn't trump safety, at least not if we're being consistent.
 

Jarrod Burton


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I'd like to agree with you, except WR doesn't play that way.
In every other area of the game, the responsibility lies with the player on the ground, not the player in the air. Jumping to get a high ball? The responsibility for you landing safely is on the player on the ground, even if you're the one jumping into previously occupied space. I'm not clear why jumping a tackler would be treated any differently. Committing the first act of foul play shouldn't trump safety, at least not if we're being consistent.
Kick/catch is different to carrying a ball into contact. There are other laws requiring that a BC enters contact safely (raised knees/elbows to the face) so there's a precedent for BC having a duty of care to the tackler. Jumping into contact during a tackle isn't safe, not only for the tackler, but also for the ball carrier.
 

Mipper


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I'd like to agree with you, except WR doesn't play that way.
In every other area of the game, the responsibility lies with the player on the ground, not the player in the air. Jumping to get a high ball? The responsibility for you landing safely is on the player on the ground, even if you're the one jumping into previously occupied space. I'm not clear why jumping a tackler would be treated any differently. Committing the first act of foul play shouldn't trump safety, at least not if we're being consistent.
You’re not wrong Simon.

however, imho the two examples are demonstrably different and easy to regulate differently. Not least because jumping for a high ball is expected, and so can be anticipated by the other players, whereas jumping into a tackle is unexpected, so the other players cannot prepare for it.
 

Stu10


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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 WR will find themselves explaining too many options to directly address it here, so it is easier to not address directly, leaving the ref to decide with consideration of other laws. For example, in situation A the tackler is surprised by the jump and barely even makes a tackle but ball carrier collides and rotates in air, versus situation B where tackler catches the ball carrier in the air and spears him into the ground... both of these scenarios result in tackler making contact with ball carrier in the air, and ball carrier going beyond horizontal, but I would only penalise the tackler in situation B.
 

Phil E


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I'd like to agree with you, except WR doesn't play that way.
In every other area of the game, the responsibility lies with the player on the ground, not the player in the air. Jumping to get a high ball? The responsibility for you landing safely is on the player on the ground, even if you're the one jumping into previously occupied space. I'm not clear why jumping a tackler would be treated any differently. Committing the first act of foul play shouldn't trump safety, at least not if we're being consistent.

The difference is in all other situations you are jumping to claim the ball in some way.
With jumping a tackle you already have the ball.

While this clarification isn't perfect or black and white (the laws are not meant to be) it does serve the purpose of notifying everyone that jumping into a tackle is illegal. Referees now have something to hang their hat on in this regard.
 

Locke


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You’re not wrong Simon.

however, imho the two examples are demonstrably different and easy to regulate differently. Not least because jumping for a high ball is expected, and so can be anticipated by the other players, whereas jumping into a tackle is unexpected, so the other players cannot prepare for it.
I find this to be an important point. If a ball carrier suddenly decides to jump, the tackler has no time to adjust or react and cannot keep the ball carrier or himself safe. Hurdling or jumping into a tackle is negative and unsafe play.
 

Jarrod Burton


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The difference is in all other situations you are jumping to claim the ball in some way.
With jumping a tackle you already have the ball.

While this clarification isn't perfect or black and white (the laws are not meant to be) it does serve the purpose of notifying everyone that jumping into a tackle is illegal. Referees now have something to hang their hat on in this regard.
The extra bit in the clarification re diving also brings a grey area into the space which gives an opening for criticism of referees around what they interpret as a dive.. The clarification could have stopped prior to that and just made a BC jumping over a player illegal and left it at that. That wouldn't stop the vast majority of dives for the corner but would allow sanctioning of the dangerous play which the clarification was written in response to.

In my 15-20 years as an engineer I've learnt that keeping messaging simple is the best and to not add fluffy stuff to instructional documents that might confuse the issue. IMO this clarification started well and then added fluff that confused the original message.
 

Jarrod Burton


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I find this to be an important point. If a ball carrier suddenly decides to jump, the tackler has no time to adjust or react and cannot keep the ball carrier or himself safe. Hurdling or jumping into a tackle is negative and unsafe play.
The lack of time to adjust by the tackler also occurs when a player ducks into contact but that is treated differently in the law set.
 

Volun-selected


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Quick question - In the high tackle guidelines there is specific mitigation for a sudden change in height, is there any such mitigation mentioned or implied in any guidelines around this or other clarifications? Positioning for a tackle only for the BC to take off seems to fit ‘sudden change’ and mitigate the offense of tackling player in the air.

The clarification does state that “From an equity perspective, if [the BC dives], a defender may attempt to make a safe and legal tackle on that player.” am I reading this correctly that as long as the tackle starts legal, if the act of jumping causes the tackle to become unsafe or cause an injury to the BC then it’s going to be on the BC, not the defender.

Based on reading, A1 implies a BC hurdles/jumps over defender anywhere - penalty.
A2. Implies a dive over a defender except for a reasonable chance of a try - penalty (so no, you can’t dive over a defender on the 22 and roll back up to keep going).
A2. Also implies that a dive for a try is legal… *if* I think 1) it was a dive, and 2) you had a fighting chance of touching the ball down in goal.

Next question - hurdling BC makes contact with defenders head or neck. Hurdling is now officially “dangerous play” so dangerous play with strike to head = RC?
 
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Jarrod Burton


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Next question - hurdling BC makes contact with defenders head or neck. Hurdling is now officially “dangerous play” so dangerous play with strike to head = RC?
If it was arm/knee/foot making contact with the head then yep. General bulk of the body then maybe just a YC
 
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