Line out History

Camquin

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To see just how good rugby used to be, I was watching Brian Moore play for England in 1985.
This was before lifting, but what interested me was the throw.
Brian, and the other hookers, took the ball back in two hands, then lobbed it in with one.
Which of course meant very few throws actually reached the player they were intended for.
And indeed, it was not clear they were intended for a specific player.

Was this specified in law at the time?
Can anyone remember exactly when this changed?
When was lifting officially permitted?
 

chbg


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The answer may be found here: http://www.rugbyfootballhistory.com/laws.htm

By 2003 only support to a jumper was permitted. Sometime after then ...

The throw was not described in relation to the number of hands. But "The line-out begins when the ball leaves the hands of the player throwing it in", so the pedant probably assumed that the ball had to be held by both hands at some stage!
 

didds

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I can assure you that any such throw
- would have been called to be to a specific jumper
- would have been intended to reach that jumper
- to be caught by that jumper.
- with a post catch plan

Im sure of this because this was exactly what was also being attempted by Old Twatbaggians 3rs XV, let alone the England etc team.
 

didds

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But "The line-out begins when the ball leaves the hands of the player throwing it in", so the pedant probably assumed that the ball had to be held by both hands at some stage!
Or far more likely its the usuual fairly slopping WR wording.

It wasnt that loing ago that wingers used to throw in with almost a one arm cricket bowling technique.

Way back in the 80s I used to play against a club with a one armed hooker, who thew in.

Full application of the laws as writ would see him penalised for not throwing with handS (when he only had one) and for not full binding with two arms in a scrum (cos he only had one!).

I would suggest the use of the plural term is just a poor assumption by the author.
 

Phil E


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You can still throw the ball in with one hand or two hands*.
You can also throw it in overhead or underarm.

* I am not a pedant.
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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SA during their exile years were supporting LO jumpers and were doing it when they reappeared on the International stage in 1992ish It doesn't appear to mandated in Law 'til about 2009.

Captain Carling's successful era of early 90s eg Dooley and Ackford/Bayfield tended to jump on their own. By 1997 LO jumpers during 1997 Lions Tour were liberally "supported" which was still contrary to the law. I think the Laws just chased the "cheating" and caught up by 2009.
 

didds

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SA during their exile years were supporting LO jumpers and were doing it when they reappeared on the International stage in 1992ish It doesn't appear to mandated in Law 'til about 2009.

Captain Carling's successful era of early 90s eg Dooley and Ackford/Bayfield tended to jump on their own. By 1997 LO jumpers during 1997 Lions Tour were liberally "supported" which was still contrary to the law. I think the Laws just chased the "cheating" and caught up by 2009.
I was taught how to "lift" surreptitiously by a saffer in 1990... basicaloly the jumper would jump, and i (crouched) would step into him such that his bum rested on my shoulder, i'd support around his legs and standup...

I thought legalised lifting in the laws / interpretations (!) happened well before 2009 though? When we were basically lifting with hands on the shorts
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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I was taught how to "lift" surreptitiously by a saffer in 1990... basicaloly the jumper would jump, and i (crouched) would step into him such that his bum rested on my shoulder, i'd support around his legs and standup...

I thought legalised lifting in the laws / interpretations (!) happened well before 2009 though? When we were basically lifting with hands on the shorts
#6 - My last sentence ;)
 

Mipper


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I am pretty certain that there are at least a couple of French Top14 hookers who still throw with one hand.
 

crossref


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Just watched some 2003 RWC game. They were definitely lifting in the lineout.

I guess that this is why the laws were changed, as the difference between ‘supporting’ and ‘lifting’ a jumper was quite difficult in many cases.
Also lineouts are more fun, and more creative now you can lift
 

Jz558


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The change to lifting in the line was a gradual creep I seem to remember and largely happened because teams were already supporting the jumper once airborne and became so good at it that distinguishing it from lifting was almost impossible. I may be wrong in my memory but I think the development was largely driven by the southern hemisphere teams, who were all but professional in name, whilst northern hemisphere unions still clung to the notion of amateurism.

The main difference between lifting and not though is a reasonably competent team is much more likely (virtually guaranteed) to win their own lineout and that makes kicking for the corner and the subsequent catch and drive a much more attractive proposition than it used to be. I was wondering the other day if we would see a reduction in the number of penalties at the scrum if we abolished lifting in the line as it would be much less advantageous for the non-penalised side and therefore less reason to "win" the penalty. That said the cyncic in me just says we could end up with more penalties as conceeding one would be less onerous.
 

crossref


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At elite level I would hazard a guess that teams win a lower percentage of their own lineouts than they do scrums.

But would be happy to be corrected by someone with actual data?
 

didds

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The main difference between lifting and not though is a reasonably competent team is much more likely (virtually guaranteed) to win their own lineout and that makes kicking for the corner and the subsequent catch and drive a much more attractive proposition than it used to be. I was wondering the other day if we would see a reduction in the number of penalties at the scrum if we abolished lifting in the line as it would be much less advantageous for the non-penalised side and therefore less reason to "win" the penalty.
I suspect a bigger driver was the own throw on a lineout for PK. Just dropping lifintng but retaining the trow probably may not affect the idea of winning PKs for the lineout. Maybe.
 

crossref


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Lifting is now one of the stand out attractions of rugby union
LineOut3_725px.jpg
 

Volun-selected


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Lifting is now one of the stand out attractions of rugby union
Having seen a variation of the beer boat race where two teams form a lineout and then race by the scrum-half passing a beer to player 1 who gets lifted up and held until their glass is drained, then down they come, scrum-half passes beer to player 2 and repeat…

Drop a glass or player, or fail to drain, or just come second and you lose.

Safe to say the lift is fully part of the sport now.
 

Mipper


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Also lineouts are more fun, and more creative now you can lift
Yes, absolutely agree with that. It’s part of the game that has improved enormously during my lifetime.
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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Yes, absolutely agree with that. It’s part of the game that has improved enormously during my lifetime.
Modern lifting laws certainly give the referee a chance to catch cheating gets like Andy Haden (diving out of the lineout to win a penalty). :)

That said it denied Wales a win - every cloud! 🤣
 
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