Offsides at a scrum for the scrum-half whose team is in possession of the ball?

jdeagro


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Law 19.29: Once play in the scrum begins, the scrum-half of the team in possession has at least one foot level with or behind the ball.

That's about all that's said in regards to the scrum-half whose team is in possession of the ball.

It's quite clear what options the other scrum-half has, whose team is not in possession. (E.g. both feet behind the ball but close to the scrum, or retires permanently at their teammates hindmost foot in the scrum, or permanently retires at least 5 meters behind that same last foot.)

But the laws don't seem to be as restrictive towards the scrum-half whose team is in possession. Does this mean that the scrum-half whose team is in possession of the ball, is free to go anywhere on the pitch so long as they have "at least one foot level with or behind the ball"?...And no legal decision of where they choose to go on the pitch during this time is permanent, unlike the other scrum-half's options?
 
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Decorily

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I guess the ball is the offside line as per the law quoted by you so theoretically the 9 could move away from the scrum on that line. Can't think of any reason they'd want to.
 

jdeagro


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Can't think of any reason they'd want to.
If a scrum play was designed to utilize the 8-man as the person who takes the ball out of the scrum, that frees up the scrum-half to be elsewhere, such as part of the back line, or an in-between point from the scrum and the back line to reduce pressure on them from the other scrum-half. Or they could navigate to the other side of the scrum where the opposing scrum-half wouldn't be able to follow, to reduce pressure for themselves when taking ball out of the scrum. Quite a few different ways this could be utilized.
 

chbg


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Correct. See diagram under Law 19.33 (yellow SH).
 

didds

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I guess the ball is the offside line as per the law quoted by you so theoretically the 9 could move away from the scrum on that line. Can't think of any reason they'd want to.
scrum half backs off the scrum a bit away from it... and number eight picks up, moves forward, draws the oppo flank and passes to the 9. You see it all the time?
 

jdeagro


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scrum half backs off the scrum a bit away from it... and number eight picks up, moves forward, draws the oppo flank and passes to the 9. You see it all the time?
Yea I didn't think about that til you mentioned it, but we actually run that play. But our 9 stays close to the scrum when he's working his way around to the other side until the 8 takes the ball out. It's cool to know he can go anywhere on the pitch behind the ball unrestricted and come back etc.
 
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