SH pulling the ball with their hands in a long ruck

breako


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
310
Post Likes
2
Some SH's use their feet to pull a ball back from a long ruck, some use their feet only.
Recently, a french game, a french ref said the ball was out when the ball was pulled back with the hands (sorry no clip). Is it?
 

Balones

Referee Advisor / Assessor
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
1,201
Post Likes
327
It is something that tends to managed rather than penalised or or deemed out by a lot of referees. A couple of seasons ago referees were advised that the only way they could guide the ball back at a long ruck was by their foot and not hands. The reason being that by using hands it confuses opposition as to whether it is out. Some referees are more stringent about it than others. I cańt remember any clear guidance about what a referee should do if it is handled back, but it could be argued that it is handling in a ruck but then again that is a law that seems to be much ignored nowadays by its strict interpretation. Scrum halves have for some time been allowed to dig the ball out if it has been stuck and that is a good thing but nowadays there seems to be much more latitude fir other players as well. (I’ll get off soap box now.:))
 

Decorily

Coach/Referee
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
1,248
Post Likes
256
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
In my opinion if the ball has been won and the ruck phase is effectively over then I'm not particularly interested in how the ball is moved.

Get on with the game and don't get caught up in technicalities!
 

Shelflife


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
618
Post Likes
145
If they want to make a caterpillar ruck then they shouldn't be allowed to use their hands to get the ball to the end of that ruck.

As soon as the ball is available the ref should call use it, The SH then has 5 secs to play it, if he wants to use it up rolling the ball with his foot, fine but I wouldnt allow him to play it with his hands after he contrived a situation to help him make it easier to clear the ball.

Manage once, penalise after
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
13,457
Post Likes
1,674
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
when the ball is, or is not, out of a ruck, maul or scrum is such a fundamental part of rugby, that it is hard to fathom why it is left to individual referees' interpretation. "hands on", "lifted up", "bird could shit on it", "outside rubber band" etc, etc ... SMH
 

Phil E


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
15,527
Post Likes
1,811
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
when the ball is, or is not, out of a ruck, maul or scrum is such a fundamental part of rugby, that it is hard to fathom why it is left to individual referees' interpretation. "hands on", "lifted up", "bird could shit on it", "outside rubber band" etc, etc ... SMH
I am finding some of these definitions very hard to manage in a game situation.
The birds are never around when you need them and even if they fly over they steadfastly refuse to have a shit.
The rubber bands big enough to go round a normal ruck are very hard to get hold of, and even harder to get round all the players who just won't stand still while you stretch it round them. Then there's always some clumsy prop who snaps it.
It's alright for the top flight with their trained birds and rubber teams, but down in the weeds, all on your own, it's increasingly difficult!
:rolleyes:
 

Zebra1922


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
692
Post Likes
208
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
I penalised a SH recently for pulling the ball back with his hands through a caterpillar. I had warned him earlier in the game not to use his hands to do this, he chose to ignore me so was penalised.

I’m happy for the SH to dig around with his hands, but if the ball is clearly won and on the floor, he shouldn’t use his hands at that point to get the ball In the ideal position.
 

Decorily

Coach/Referee
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
1,248
Post Likes
256
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
I penalised a SH recently for pulling the ball back with his hands through a caterpillar. I had warned him earlier in the game not to use his hands to do this, he chose to ignore me so was penalised.

I’m happy for the SH to dig around with his hands, but if the ball is clearly won and on the floor, he shouldn’t use his hands at that point to get the ball In the ideal position.
But if the ball is "clearly won" what difference does it make whether they use their hands or not? Contest over ....get on with the game!
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
19,815
Post Likes
2,275
But if the ball is "clearly won" what difference does it make whether they use their hands or not? Contest over ....get on with the game!
But a caterpillar ruck is not getting on with the game ...

For me I still think the solution might be to change "use it" from meaning 5s to meaning "without delay". A simple change which should hurry them up considerably
 

Jz558


ELRA/Club Referee
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
320
Post Likes
89
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
The irony for me in all this is that most rucks in the professional game involve several players adopting a position where it is impossible to ruck the ball backwards so rather than enforcing the law, professional referees evolved a practive whereby the 9 is allowed to dig the ball out to keep the game going. In the one area of the ruck where we actually have players on their feet and capable of rucking the ball backwards we allow the 9 to walk forward to an offside position and play the ball!
 

Zebra1922


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
692
Post Likes
208
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
But if the ball is "clearly won" what difference does it make whether they use their hands or not? Contest over ....get on with the game!
A fair point, but we allow the 9 to handle the ball, and even move offside, when we don’t allow that to other players. I understand about keeping the game flowing and whether it really matters, but for me I’m trying to make sure they don’t take the p*ss as they do it.

I don’t penalise it straight away. If I’m not happy I’ll warn the SH, and penalise if it happens again. It’s usually only when you have a form of caterpillar ruck where it’s a problem.
 

Shelflife


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
618
Post Likes
145
But if the ball is "clearly won" what difference does it make whether they use their hands or not? Contest over ....get on with the game!
If the ball is clearly won then the ref should call use it. The SH now has 5 secs to use it

If the SH then wants to create an ideal situation so that he can easily clear the ball.

We shouldn't allow the SH to move the ball with his hands in order to facilitate this.

I want them to do as you say "get on with the game" facilitating them to create a boring caterpillar doesn't do this imo
 

Decorily

Coach/Referee
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
1,248
Post Likes
256
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
If the ball is clearly won then the ref should call use it. The SH now has 5 secs to use it

If the SH then wants to create an ideal situation so that he can easily clear the ball.

We shouldn't allow the SH to move the ball with his hands in order to facilitate this.

I want them to do as you say "get on with the game" facilitating them to create a boring caterpillar doesn't do this imo
I'm not saying 'clearly won' and available are the same thing.
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
201
Post Likes
61
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
I think forming a long caterpillar and allowing the scrum half to more quickly roll the ball back with his hands to more of those 5 seconds is spent will the ball nicely presented at the back of the caterpillar is letting the scrum half have his cake and eat it... when the ball is available the SH should choose to use his time making the caterpillar longer and having to roll the ball back with his foot, or uses the whole 5 seconds to focus on his kick. IMHO allowing SH to roll the ball back quickly and more easily by hand is facilitating/enabling longer caterpillars... it that really what we want?
 

tim White


Referees in England
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,870
Post Likes
114
I struggle to comprehend when a scrum-half has clear control of the ball -albeit within the confines of the ruck (or scrum), that the ruck (or scrum) is not over -should we at least call 'use it'. Am I in a minority here? I can be frequently heard saying "get a move on". Maybe the elite athletes need a rest.
 

Arabcheif

Player or Coach
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
668
Post Likes
70
Current Referee grade:
Level 1
Now, I can't remember where I heard this. (Best guess is at a Q and A at my ref soc). We were told they can use their hands to roll it back, but as soon as they do this call "use it." If they roll it back with their foot, then call "use it" when the ball gets to the back foot. Personally While I would ref it the way I've been told, I personally think use it should be called as soon as the ball is under control of whichever team has won the ruck. The SH can then decide if he wants to box kick from where the ball is or waste a few seconds giving more room for the kick but having a rushed kick.
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
10,840
Post Likes
1,228
maybe if the PTB created an environment where ruckers remained on their feet instead of flopping everywhere, and so mostly pushed past the ball and left it behind them, with the oppo dealing with a retreating offside line, all this shenangins would be removed.

whatever. crazy idea.
 

Jolly Roger


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
210
Post Likes
66
Current Referee grade:
Level 6
Law 15.4
Each team has an offside line that runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any ruck participant. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.

So if a SH steps in front of the back foot they are offside.
Applying that law would solve all of the issues associated with caterpillar rucks.
No new laws or guidance required just have the elite refs apply the laws and we would have a much cleaner and simpler game....just saying
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
671
Post Likes
159
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Law 15.4
Each team has an offside line that runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any ruck participant. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.

So if a SH steps in front of the back foot they are offside.
Applying that law would solve all of the issues associated with caterpillar rucks.
No new laws or guidance required just have the elite refs apply the laws and we would have a much cleaner and simpler game....just saying
I don't think it would. A SH placing one foot in front of the rearmost feet at a normal ruck isn't significantly impacting the game and makes recycling the ball accurately to his team easier, especially to players behind the first line (ie kickers)

There are a couple of ways of getting rid of caterpillar rucks that I can see:
- make it illegal to have more than 2 players only bound onto their own team mates in a ruck to discourage long lines.
- redefine what constitutes a ruck ending.
- Once the 9 touches it with any part of their body the 5 second countdown starts and actually enforce that timing.
 

BikingBud


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
298
Post Likes
38
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Ever get that feeling of deja vu?
 
Top