Obstruction - Article in SAReferees

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Phil E


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2) if when reffing you don;t think a support runner has not obstructed then play on.

It was all going so well Didds until point 2 :biggrin:

Is that a double negative?

If you want me to fix that for you just let me know (mod hat)
 

crossref


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Well, I think the best way to approach this is to say

1) if when reffiing you think the support runner has obstructed then PK.
2) if when reffing you don;t think a support runner has not obstructed then play on.

.

(scratches head) I don't think that's it at all!
following that advice would mean that the incident in the OP IS a PK, and everyone on the thread is wrong!

I think the point is : if you are a genuine support runner, running a credible support line, you won't be done for obstruction
 

Ian_Cook


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OK, can I wind this thread up?
A player's right to run a genuine support line trumps any obligation on him to move so a tackler can take his space.

In a nutshell. So long as he runs his support line, he gives any opponent a fair opportunity to run around him to get to the tackler. Its when the support runner changes his line to block the tacklers that he runs afoul of Law 10.1 (c)
 

Iron_Lung


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In a nutshell. So long as he runs his support line, he gives any opponent a fair opportunity to run around him to get to the tackler. Its when the support runner changes his line to block the tacklers that he runs afoul of Law 10.1 (c)

I don't think you can limit it to line, I think you have to assess position as well don't you? You could hold your line and still adjust your position relative to the potential tackler to obstruct. I think you have to bring it back to that first key fact, that being the position of the player to support the ball carrier. If they are in a position to credibly support the ball carrier and they don't radically adjust that relative position with the express intent of obstructing, then play-on.

If the support carrier in the original post had drifted infield, moved into an offside position or slowed significantly or unpredictably to intercept the ball carrier, then you'd have a credible argument as to his intent to obstruct. He did none of those things an a manner that I'd describe as clear and obvious and was always in a position to receive a pass until he was pushed.

If I was trying to coach a new ref to give them a take away from the subject, that's what I'd get them to look at. Was intent positive (support ball carrier) or negative (obstruct tackler). Unless it's clear and obvious, benefit of doubt towards positive, play on...
 

RobLev

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I agree with that.
That's not in the Laws, it's a de facto exception to 10.1.c , which is just the way the game is played.

It also means we have a judgement call for the referee is : is the player running a 'genuine support line' -- and that's the test that we would apply to the actual incident.

A genuine support line must mean staying in a position to receive a pass, or to receive a offload, or to be first at the breakdown.

I'd agree with all of that. I don't think Ian agrees with your final paragraph.
 

thepercy


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Change so as to not offend Christians



Just a beer will do



No. I believe he would see that this is his No. 7 and he may not make it to the goal-line before being run down so he better run in support.

Its not the job of a referee to try to second guess player's motives, I would just whistle what I see. Especially, I have never been one to look for reasons to blow the whistle.

I do not see any attempt by the support runner to intentionally block the tackler, so no PK. Despite Roblev's attempt to shift the goalposts by claiming that its not about his running line, I maintain that it is about the running line. I would need to see the support runner CHANGE HIS RUNNING DIRECTION to block the tackler's access before I would consider a PK under 10.1 (c).


Could a support player, without deviating from his line, be liable to penalty if they speed up or slowed down, and blocked a tackler?
 

Blackberry


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Could a support player, without deviating from his line, be liable to penalty if they speed up or slowed down, and blocked a tackler?

Good question. Yep, if his support run is not genuine, ping.
 

crossref


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but choosing the genuine support line that also, happily, blocks a tackler is, conventionally, OK
 

Womble

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It is through discipline, control and mutual respect that the Spirit of the Game flourishes and, inthe context of a Game as physically challenging as Rugby, these are the qualities which forge thefellowship and sense of fair play so essential to the Game’s ongoing success and survival.Old fashioned traditions and virtues they may be, but they have stood the test of time and, at alllevels at which the Game is played, they remain as important to Rugby’s future as they have beenthroughout its long and distinguished past. The principles of Rugby are the fundamentalelements upon which the Game is based and they enable participants to immediately identifythe Game’s character and what makes it distinctive as a sport.

Quote from the Law book. Why are you all trying to add something that has never been there ! I am not gong to give you the answers you want because your trying to make me describe a unicorn !
 

RobLev

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It is through discipline, control and mutual respect that the Spirit of the Game flourishes and, inthe context of a Game as physically challenging as Rugby, these are the qualities which forge thefellowship and sense of fair play so essential to the Game’s ongoing success and survival.Old fashioned traditions and virtues they may be, but they have stood the test of time and, at alllevels at which the Game is played, they remain as important to Rugby’s future as they have beenthroughout its long and distinguished past. The principles of Rugby are the fundamentalelements upon which the Game is based and they enable participants to immediately identifythe Game’s character and what makes it distinctive as a sport.

Quote from the Law book. Why are you all trying to add something that has never been there ! I am not gong to give you the answers you want because your trying to make me describe a unicorn !

By which you mean?
 

crossref


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I think Womble is saying that you can't find the right way to ref this by looking in the Law Book
Which kind of takes us full circle :)
 

Ian_Cook


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If the support carrier in the original post had drifted infield, moved into an offside position or slowed significantly or unpredictably to intercept the ball carrier, then you'd have a credible argument as to his intent to obstruct. He did none of those things an a manner that I'd describe as clear and obvious and was always in a position to receive a pass until he was pushed.

Absolutely right, and despite what Roblev and crossref have been saying, the support runner does not have to stay in, or maintain some fixed, relative position to the ball carrier to always be in a position to receive a non-forward pass or offload, or to go into a tackle through the gate. All he needs to do is be in that position AT THE TIME THE PASS, OFFLOAD OR TACKLE IS MADE, and it only takes a single check step for a player who is running beside his ball carrier to achieve that.

A support runner in the situation shown in the video might just slow down and cross behind his ball carrier if he thinks, anticipates (or if his ball carrier has indicated) that he is about to cut infield, so that he can receive ans outside pass or offload.

If I was trying to coach a new ref to give them a take away from the subject, that's what I'd get them to look at. Was intent positive (support ball carrier) or negative (obstruct tackler). Unless it's clear and obvious, benefit of doubt towards positive, play on...

Spot on, again, and the other thing to consider, of course, is materiality. Have a look at the direction the would be tackler was running in the first few frames of this clip...

LTvSF.gif


He was initially running in a direction that would have taken him in front of the support runner. IMO, had he continued running in that direction, there may have been a small possibility that he could catch and stop the ball carrier, or at least try to put him into touch. That chance evaporated (along with any materiality that might apply if you thought the support runner was obstructing) when he chose to change his running line to push/charge into the support runner. Again despite what Roblev will have you believe, it is clear and obvious that the player steps off his left foot and changes direction towards the support runner. This is the only C&O infringement - 10.4 (e) - in this play, and one in which there would have been a very good case for a PT and YC had he succeeded in pushing the support runner to plant the ball carrier into touch.
 
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RobLev

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Absolutely right, and despite what Roblev and crossref have been saying, the support runner does not have to stay in, or maintain some fixed, relative position to the ball carrier to always be in a position to receive a non-forward pass or offload, or to go into a tackle through the gate. All he needs to do is be in that position AT THE TIME THE PASS, OFFLOAD OR TACKLE IS MADE, and it only takes a single check step for a player who is running beside his ball carrier to achieve that.

A support runner in the situation shown in the video might just slow down and cross behind his ball carrier if he thinks, anticipates (or if his ball carrier has indicated) that he is about to cut infield, so that he can receive ans outside pass or offload.



Spot on, again, and the other thing to consider, of course, is materiality. Have a look at the direction the would be tackler was running in the first few frames of this clip...

LTvSF.gif


He was initially running in a direction that would have taken him in front of the support runner. IMO, had he continued running in that direction, there may have been a small possibility that he could catch and stop the ball carrier, or at least try to put him into touch. That chance evaporated (along with any materiality that might apply if you thought the support runner was obstructing) when he chose to change his running line to push/charge into the support runner. Again despite what Roblev will have you believe, it is clear and obvious that the player steps off his left foot and changes direction towards the support runner. This is the only C&O infringement - 10.4 (e) - in this play, and one in which there would have been a very good case for a PT and YC had he succeeded in pushing the support runner to plant the ball carrier into touch.

Try looking at the long shot from behind, which I've referred you to before in this thread. And look at the whole sequence, not just the few frames in the GIF you've selected.
 

Ian_Cook


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Try looking at the long shot from behind, which I've referred you to before in this thread. And look at the whole sequence, not just the few frames in the GIF you've selected.

I have looked at the long shot from behind as you referred me to earlier, and here it is

LTvSF2.gif


Clear and obvious change of direction by the would be tackler. You see his jersey number momentarily disappear as he steps off his left foot and turns his body towards the support runner to push him

How much more obvious does this need to be?
 

Ian_Cook


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I have also made another clip that goes back slightly earlier

LTvSF3.gif


This clip also clearly shows that the support runner is not running ahead of the ball carrier (and at no time does he ever do so). I have even put in a pause when the two players cross the 22m line and another pause as the support runner is about to be pushed just to make it clearer for you.

The support runner catches the ball carrier just prior to them both reaching the 22m line, and from there until he is pushed, he maintains the same relative position to his ball carrier, never ever getting ahead of him. They are side-by-side and stride-for-stride throughout.

Therefore he does not, as you have asserted, accelerate or decelerate in order to block the tackler.

How much more obvious does this need to be?
 

OB..


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Which is exactly what makes it an interesting discussion. If we are reffing to conventions that are not in the Law book, what are those conventions...
I hear that sort of question at just about every pre-match briefing: "Sir, when is the ball out of a ruck?" Players ask because it happens a lot, and they get different answers.

This particular incident is much rarer, and so far nobody has ever raised it.

Perhaps there are 2 general principles:
(1) a genuine support runner does not have to get out of the way of a would-be tackler
(2) if the referee thinks the support runner has deliberately moved to block rather than support, he should penalise him.

In other words, it is for the referee to judge.
 

RobLev

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Some still pictures:

Start of the run - 1½-2m behind:

SFLeics1.jpg

Approaching the 22 - approaching tackler seen - 1m behind:

SFLeics2.jpg

Tackler closing - virtually level:

SFLeics3.jpg

Just before contact - marginally (and I mean only marginally) ahead:

SFLeics4.jpg
 

RobLev

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So, ian:

Your animated .gif of the long shot demonstrated that the tackler could not have gone around the support runner.

You accept that running alongside your ball carrier is not the place to be to take a pass/offload:

All he needs to do is be in that position AT THE TIME THE PASS, OFFLOAD OR TACKLE IS MADE, and it only takes a single check step for a player who is running beside his ball carrier to achieve that.

and you ignore the fact that being tackled does slow you down (or the tackler isn't doing it right), so the support runner you had alongside you is now a couple of metres ahead and struggling to get back to take an off-load.


And the sequence of stills I have posted shows that the support runner was moving up from a good position to take a pass/offload from the time the would-be tackler was in view.

TBH, whether he was level or marginally ahead makes little difference - in either position, he wasn't going to take a pass/offload if the BC was tackled.

I entirely agree that the tackler steps off his left foot to push the support runner out of the way - but given the size differential, don't see this as relevant to the price of fish.

I agree with the summaries of OB, crossref, Blackberry and paule of the principles to be applied. You don't. We also disagree over what exactly happened - but that is a subsidiary issue.
 
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