Playing the ball whilst on the ground

Zebra1922


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There were a couple of instances at the weekend during 6N games of players playing the ball when they were on the ground. For example ball comes out of a ruck/tackle area, a player still off their feet from a previous phase gathers the ball and passes it on, or even tackles a player before they‘ve got back to their feet. It was let go at the weekend but I’ve always refereed it as a player on the floor is out of the game.

What’s the forum’s view on this? Can a player off their feet play the ball and/or tackle players?
 

crossref


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At elite level they are starting to ignore this Law (I have noticed it as well) and quite often players on the ground in open play are allowed to quickly play the ball if / when it comes to them.

Prior to 2017 we used to argue occasionally about whether that was legal (it wasn't quite so clear in the laws then) Then in the rewrite it was made clearly illegal .. guess we are creeping back
 

crossref


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For me .. I would change the law and allow a player on the ground to grab and pass a ball that happened to come his way .. makes for a fast exciting game.
 

didds

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We've been here before. We generally agree that players can't do this, though there is some feelings that when the ball comes TO the player that may provide some leeway.

It seems that the general principle of the game is to be played by players on their feet says this shouldn't happen, but as in the OP this can be seen not to be implemented fully.

It is what it is.
 

didds

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For me .. I would change the law and allow a player on the ground to grab and pass a ball that happened to come his way .. makes for a fast exciting game.
It would certainly clear up this area of sometimes yes, sometimes no. maybe with the caveat that the ball must be played away "immediately" [ cue 200 post thread on what constitutes "immediately" ;-) ]
 

timmad

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Law 13 is very clear - why not enforce it? Typically, sadly, the interpretation at show biz level will filter down.
  1. A player on the ground without the ball is out of the game and must:
    1. Allow opponents who are not on the ground to play or gain possession of the ball.
    2. Not play the ball.
    3. Not tackle or attempt to tackle an opponent.
 

crossref


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Law 13 is very clear - why not enforce it? Typically, sadly, the interpretation at show biz level will filter down.
  1. A player on the ground without the ball is out of the game and must:
    1. Allow opponents who are not on the ground to play or gain possession of the ball.
    2. Not play the ball.
    3. Not tackle or attempt to tackle an opponent.
well some problems might include

1 - 13.3 contradicts 13.1 which explicitly says that you ARE allowed to go to ground, and play a loose ball .. so it seems to depend on how long you have been on the ground and how you got there.
2 - in the in-goal, when an attacker dives in for a try we allow defenders to slide in on the ground in an attempt to get under the ball for held up. This is in contravention of 13.3 - but always allowed
3 - conventionally we allow tackled players to place the ball backwards but keep their hand on it, and then stretch out their arm

So off the top of my head there are three situations we do allow players on the ground to play the ball/opponent.
This area of the law has always had ambiguity, 13.3 was introduced to try and be clearer but (as often) they didn't really think about all the scenarios. It's not quite as clear as we'd think
 

chbg


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well some problems might include

1 - 13.3 contradicts 13.1 which explicitly says that you ARE allowed to go to ground, and play a loose ball .. so it seems to depend on how long you have been on the ground and how you got there.
2 - in the in-goal, when an attacker dives in for a try we allow defenders to slide in on the ground in an attempt to get under the ball for held up. This is in contravention of 13.3 - but always allowed
3 - conventionally we allow tackled players to place the ball backwards but keep their hand on it, and then stretch out their arm

So off the top of my head there are three situations we do allow players on the ground to play the ball/opponent.
This area of the law has always had ambiguity, 13.3 was introduced to try and be clearer but (as often) they didn't really think about all the scenarios. It's not quite as clear as we'd think
'Going to ground to gather the ball or going to ground with the ball' (13.1) is a very different situation to 'being on the ground without the ball' (13.3). So not contradictory. Don't be misled by the mythical shorthand (there are others too) that "players on the ground are out of the game".

But, without thinking it through fully, in-goal could/should be different. Law 13 could be rewritten just to apply to the field of play.

Tackled players' responsibilities are addressed in Law 14, not 13 (as you well know).
 

crossref


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a Player dives to catch a pass, fumbles it, ball goes loose, player hits ground, he reaches out to get the ball and passes it up from the ground ?

b Two players go to ground to get the same ball, they collide, ball bounces free, hits boot of anotjher player , bounces back and one of them on the ground is able to grab it and pass it

c 15 positioning himself to catch ball steps backwards trips over, lands on his back, and manages to catches the ball, lying on his back

Anyone else inclined to play on in all of those ?

A and C break 13.3
B might break it, especially if it took too long
 

Balones

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a.) If it is a knock on and prevents the opposition obtaining an advantage then the player can be subject to sanction. If it’s not a knock on then it is still a case of going to ground to play the ball in my mind.
b.) Still a case of going to ground to complete an action. It all depends how long you want them to take to complete the action. To ‘complete’ may take a number of linked actions.
c.) Went to ground to complete the catch. I am assuming the kick was taken before the fall. If he was on the floor and then the kick was taken and he then caught it that is a far different scenario.
 

crossref


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So I think we are seeing quite a few scenarios where law or convention allow a player on the ground to play ball

D Red ruck, failure of communication. Red forward, expecting box kick goes down on knee to tie lace, red 9 expecting a pod , passes to him, he catches ball and passes on

E maul, red 12 and green 7 both have hands on ball, maul collapses and neither player (both on ground) releases the ball

F red and blue players jump for high ball, both miss and end up on the floor , ball bounces back within reach and red player plays it

All of the above are ok IMO

F actually happened on TV and there is a thread here about it somewhere . The ref played on and (as I recall) we generally agreed, but with some disagreeing
 

Phil E


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F actually happened on TV and there is a thread here about it somewhere . The ref played on and (as I recall) we generally agreed, but with some disagreeing

As we constantly say on here, don't use TV rugby as a good example of adherence to the laws.
They play to a different set of standards with pressure to keep the game flowing for entertainment value.

We should never try to translate what happens on TV to what happens in all other rugby.
 

timmad

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So I think we are seeing quite a few scenarios where law or convention allow a player on the ground to play ball

D Red ruck, failure of communication. Red forward, expecting box kick goes down on knee to tie lace, red 9 expecting a pod , passes to him, he catches ball and passes on
Yes, this happens so frequently we have come to accept it. Similarly:
G. Just as Red 9 is about to pass the ball there is an earthquake and Red 10 falls to the ground but is allowed to receive the pass and play on.
 

crossref


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As we constantly say on here, don't use TV rugby as a good example of adherence to the laws.
They play to a different set of standards with pressure to keep the game flowing for entertainment value.

We should never try to translate what happens on TV to what happens in all other rugby.
For F you would blow and PK that one ?
 

crossref


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Yes, this happens so frequently we have come to accept it. Similarly:
G. Just as Red 9 is about to pass the ball there is an earthquake and Red 10 falls to the ground but is allowed to receive the pass and play on.
:)
I have bumped some (actually quite similar ) scenarios that actually happened ..

Balones for A I don't think it makes any difference if knocked on or not , it's either legal (ko regathered, so no adv / play on respectively ) or illegal (PK in either case )
 
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Phil E


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:)
I have bumped some (actually quite similar ) scenarios that actually happened ..

And the answer to every one of them is the same:

Don't use TV rugby as a good example of adherence to the laws.
They play to a different set of standards with pressure to keep the game flowing for entertainment value.

We should never try to translate what happens on TV to what happens in all other rugby.
 

crossref


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Well it inevitably influences

And in one of the TV scenarios you comment that play on is correct

which of the scenarios A to F would you PK in your games?
 
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