Open play or ruck rules?

FightOrFlight


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
175
Post Likes
12
Red v Blue...poor enough standard.

Red attacking...tackle made by blue...tackler rolls away and lies on their side...red players come over and guard but no blue player engages....blue player comes around the side and picks the ball from the red side and gets PKed.....an older ref who was there seemed to think that as there was no ruck the blue player was entitled to pick it out from the red side and that it was open play....i had to have a think but I can see the reasoning in a way

Thoughts?
 

Stuartg


Referees in England
Joined
Feb 7, 2009
Messages
401
Post Likes
37
Red v Blue...poor enough standard.

Red attacking...tackle made by blue...tackler rolls away and lies on their side...red players come over and guard but no blue player engages....blue player comes around the side and picks the ball from the red side and gets PKed.....an older ref who was there seemed to think that as there was no ruck the blue player was entitled to pick it out from the red side and that it was open play....i had to have a think but I can see the reasoning in a way

Thoughts?

Did he go through the gate at the tackle? If no, then penalty. The red players guarding the ball are technically obstructing, but it's an obstruction we all live with to be able to have a game.
 

RobLev

Rugby Expert
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
2,170
Post Likes
244
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Did he go through the gate at the tackle? If no, then penalty. The red players guarding the ball are technically obstructing, but it's an obstruction we all live with to be able to have a game.

Is it still a tackle? The ball has been placed, all players involved in the tackle are clear of the ball, so why does tackle law still apply?

As for the obstruction surely this (if it is still a tackle) is clearly material and should be penalised before thinking about penalising the player who is forced by the obstruction to go around, rather than through, the gate to get to the ball?

If a Blue player had engaged to form a ruck, the ball would have to be called out and anyone could have come to get it.
 

Pegleg

Rugby Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,330
Post Likes
536
Current Referee grade:
Level 3
Did he go through the gate at the tackle? If no, then penalty. The red players guarding the ball are technically obstructing, but it's an obstruction we all live with to be able to have a game.

This bit, in the OP, suggests he did not come through the gate

FightOrFlight said:
...blue player comes around the side and picks the ball from the red side

The ball doe not appear to have left the tackle area so he's illegal. Yet the Red players have come over to guard.

Poor standard: Blow scum attacking ball. Warn Red not to obstruct and Blue not to come around "you may not get away with it next time".

Better standard: Blow Red for Obstruction. They will know what they are doing.
 

Phil E


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
16,136
Post Likes
2,409
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
Was this blue player who played the ball the original tackler, or an "other player".

The ball is still in the tackle area, so it's still a tackle situation.
If he was the tackler he is legal to play the ball from any angle.
If he was an "other player" he must come through the gate.
 

Pegleg

Rugby Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,330
Post Likes
536
Current Referee grade:
Level 3
THe OP says the tackler "lies on their side". So I'd say it was not the tackler.
 

FightOrFlight


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
175
Post Likes
12
Player playing the ball was not the tackler....he came from the blue side around behind the red "guards" and took the ball out.

I originally had the gate idea however I have never seen this issue transpire quite as blatantly as it did. At any sort of decent standard red guard would pick and carry the ball straight on as there are no blue players to oppose him.

What kind of blurs it in my mind is the fact the red ball carrier had placed it back so it is just inside the back foot of one of the guards...there is no ruck so the ball is neither in nor out of a ruck...it is on the ground....surely ball on the ground in open play anyone can pick it up....it just so happens 2 red players were standing over it and chose not to...so blue did.

If red was tackled and threw the ball back a blue player could play it and not be offside. If red was tackled and placed the ball on the ground and a blue player picked it up they would not be offside....really for me it is the same scenario here.
 

OB..


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
22,981
Post Likes
1,838
This is a gap in the laws that would be picked up by having a matrix of transitions betweeen phases. Law 15 does not say when a tackle ends, so that must leave us free to use our judgement.

This is either a coached technique, or they just don't know what to do when the opponents do not contest. I suggest they are obstructing - that seem equitable because otherwise there is no point in them being there. Technically they prevent a ruck forming because an opponent cannot be over the ball when making contact.
 

Taff


Referees in Wales
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
6,942
Post Likes
383
... What kind of blurs it in my mind is the fact the red ball carrier had placed it back so it is just inside the back foot of one of the guards...
We kicked this one about a few weeks ago.

I still maintain that if the ball is within 1m of the centre of the tackle it is still in the "tackle area" ie the gate still applies.
 

FightOrFlight


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
175
Post Likes
12
We kicked this one about a few weeks ago.

I still maintain that if the ball is within 1m of the centre of the tackle it is still in the "tackle area" ie the gate still applies.

But like OB says it's a gap in law.

If a player is tackled and drops the ball backwards say and it stops within a metre of him and a player coming back wishes to play it are we really saying that they must run around and come back again before doing so even if there is nobody else close. The laws of offside on open play suggest not and there is nothing in law to help. As far as the stated laws say unless there is a ruck if the ball is on the ground it's free to play.

Like I said however at any level where players will challenge you on law my scenario would not be an issue as I imagine one of the guards would scoop it up and charge on as there is nobody "posting" the ruck to stop him.
 

OB..


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
22,981
Post Likes
1,838
I still maintain that if the ball is within 1m of the centre of the tackle it is still in the "tackle area" ie the gate still applies.
Presumably you are relying on 15.6 (d) "At a tackle or near to a tackle ..." That surely applies to the "tackle zone" (undefined) which includes tackled player and tackler(s) - a much larger area.

The impact in this case is to allow a form of obstruction which I do not see as good for the game.
 

Taff


Referees in Wales
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
6,942
Post Likes
383
... The laws of offside on open play suggest not and there is nothing in law to help. As far as the stated laws say unless there is a ruck if the ball is on the ground it's free to play.
This is where we will differ. I think there is something in the law to help us.

15.6(d) At a tackle or near to a tackle, other players who play the ball must do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal line.

Near: Within one metre.


... If a player is tackled and drops the ball backwards say and it stops within a metre of him and a player coming back wishes to play it are we really saying that they must run around and come back again before doing so even if there is nobody else close.
If you deem the ball to still be in the "tackle area" then yes.

We have to draw the line somewhere. It doesn't happen often mind; I think I PKd just 1 team last season for it.
 
Last edited:

FightOrFlight


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
175
Post Likes
12
This is where we will differ. I think there is something in the law to help us.

15.6(d) At a tackle or near to a tackle, other players who play the ball must do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal line.

Near: Within one metre.


If you deem the ball to still be in the "tackle area" then yes.

We have to draw the line somewhere. It doesn't happen often mind; I think I PKd just 1 team last season for it.

I see your logic. I just think like OB said it is a little bit of a grey area when you factor in the guards.
 

Diego


Referees in America
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
14
Post Likes
1
Location
Maine - USA
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
Red v Blue...poor enough standard.

Red attacking...tackle made by blue...tackler rolls away and lies on their side...red players come over and guard but no blue player engages....blue player comes around the side and picks the ball from the red side and gets PKed.....an older ref who was there seemed to think that as there was no ruck the blue player was entitled to pick it out from the red side and that it was open play....i had to have a think but I can see the reasoning in a way

Thoughts?


No ruck, tackle laws applied….side entry in the tackle area. Pk against blue …correct answer?


Edit: If the time between the tackle and the blue player “entering from the side” was 2+ seconds I can consider the tackle situation is over and is general play…sorry for my bad English – I’m working on it-
 
Last edited:

Taff


Referees in Wales
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
6,942
Post Likes
383
No ruck, tackle laws applied….side entry in the tackle area. Pk against blue …correct answer?
This is what we're trying to get clear Diego. Some say the tackle has finished when the ball carrier (BC) has placed the ball back - some (well just me so far) reckon the tackle isn't over till the ball has gone 1m from the centre of the tackle. You're the Ref - you'll have to decide when the tackle is over. If you decide the tackle is over - there is no "gate" any more.

... Edit: If the time between the tackle and the blue player “entering from the side” was 2+ seconds I can consider the tackle situation is over and is general play.
Mmmm. I'm not sure about 2 seconds because some tackles can easily take more than 2 seconds to complete. Personally, if someones taking the piss, it's amazing how a quick call of "Ball's out" gets them moving.

.…sorry for my bad English – I’m working on it-
I understood you, so it can't be that bad. :biggrin:
 

Diego


Referees in America
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
14
Post Likes
1
Location
Maine - USA
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
Question: can the referee uses the "5 seconds law" -applicable for ruck and maul-
to “push” the clearance of the ball in the tackle?
 

menace


Referees in Australia
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
Messages
3,657
Post Likes
633
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
This is where we will differ. I think there is something in the law to help us.

15.6(d) At a tackle or near to a tackle, other players who play the ball must do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal line.

Near: Within one metre.


If you deem the ball to still be in the "tackle area" then yes.

We have to draw the line somewhere. It doesn't happen often mind; I think I PKd just 1 team last season for it.

I tend to side with Taff on this. It's why coaches want the tackled player to give a long place, so as to narrow the 'gate' and make it more difficult for the opposition to access the ball. It takes some skill to do that, and they do that because the law provides them some protection/insurance to help retain the ball. Provided the guards have not stepped too far beyond the ball (for obstruction) then I'm expecting the opposition to use the gate.

If the ball is 'clear' of the tackle zone even though it may not be quite a metre then I'll allow play on.
I think we all agree it's a judgment call on what that metre looks like in a dynamic situation.
 

Browner

Banned
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
6,000
Post Likes
270
I tend to side with Taff on this. It's why coaches want the tackled player to give a long place, so as to narrow the 'gate' and make it more difficult for the opposition to access the ball. It takes some skill to do that, and they do that because the law provides them some protection/insurance to help retain the ball. Provided the guards have not stepped too far beyond the ball (for obstruction) then I'm expecting the opposition to use the gate.

If the ball is 'clear' of the tackle zone even though it may not be quite a metre then I'll allow play on.
I think we all agree it's a judgment call on what that metre looks like in a dynamic situation.

Yes but ....1m from where????, Ball placed? Where held/unheld? Where landed? (before the twist jackknife placement ) etc?
 

ChrisR

Player or Coach
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
3,231
Post Likes
356
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
If the Red BC places the ball back and Red support take a position with the ball under their feet then I don't think they should be PKd for obstruction. If they take up a position in front of the ball then it's a different matter.
 
Top