succesful end to a maul

Browner

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It has always been the case that if the ball is dropped to the ground, the maul becomes a ruck. However the problem is if a player takes the ball to the ground, the mere fact that the ball may touch the ground should not be deemed to turn the maul into a ruck. That was my point - one I have been making since 1994 when they rescinded the turnover law for a ruck..

It is essential to interpret the phrase "the ball is on the ground" as referring to the ball alone when not in the grasp of the ball carrier.

Thanks for the clarification, we agree then, always did seemingly.

It was when you said
If the ball goes to ground in a maul and is not playable, as far as I am concerned it is an unsuccessful end to a maul.
without mentioning a dropped ball exception, that I took you to mean always/ for ANY reason, seems not.

Strange, because this whole thread has been about the incident where the ball was dropped, so I merely thought it was that incident we were talking about, least I was.

Although
 

RobLev

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If ball carrier and ball go to ground the ball must be available immediately or it an unsuccessful end to a maul (TO Scrum).

If only the ball goes to ground the maul has now turned into a ruck.

If the ball does not come out of the ruck within a reasonable time then you could reasonably blow for unsuccessful end to a ruck(scrum to team going forward/attacking)

What I had in mind (for example) was a maul where there were already players on the ground, the ball drops amongst them and there's no way the ball is coming out; the ball is immediately unplayable, as it hits the ground, just as if it is taken to ground by the BC and becomes unplayable.
 

Taff


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If ball carrier and ball go to ground the ball must be available immediately or it an unsuccessful end to a maul (TO Scrum). If only the ball goes to ground the maul has now turned into a ruck.
... I think a maul becomes a ruck only if the ball falls to the ground on its own, with players still on their feet. This happens once in a blue moon, and if you are reffing it as a ruck I thnk you need a loud yell of 'ruck' so that it's clear to everyone.
Where does it say that the ball alone needs to be on the ground for a maul to become a ruck?

It doesn't gents, so why add in a condition when neither the book or the clarification does? To me, if the ball is on the ground (whether somebody put it there, or more realistically somebody dropped it or even more commonly the BC took it down with him) and there are at least 2 opposing on their feet over the ball, that maul is now a ruck. If the BC can't get it to ground - fair enough, it's not a ruck.

I agree it may be a good idea to call "Ruck" but it may be stating the bleedin obvious, because that's what everybody thought they were looking at anyway.
 
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Dickie E


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To me, if the ball is on the ground (whether somebody put it there, or more realistically somebody dropped it or even more commonly the BC took it down with him) and there are at least 2 opposing on their feet over the ball, that maul is now a ruck.

So in this case, what do you suggest are the obligations on the opponent who went to ground with BC and now has his arms wrapped around ball and BC?
 

chbg


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Where does it say that the ball alone needs to be on the ground for a maul to become a ruck?

It doesn't gents, so why add in a condition when neither the book or the clarification does? To me, if the ball is on the ground (whether somebody put it there, or more realistically somebody dropped it or even more commonly the BC took it down with him) and there are at least 2 opposing on their feet over the ball, that maul is now a ruck. If the BC can't get it to ground - fair enough, it's not a ruck.

Because, under the Law addressing an Unsuccessful End to a Maul, if the ball carrier goes to ground [whether the ball is on the ground or not] then the referee, under the Maul Law, orders a scrum unless the ball is immediately available (17.6(g)). By definition, an unsuccessful end to the maul cannot change a maul into a ruck.

By convention we consider that a ball is available if it can be taken away from the maul. One could argue that a ball could also be available if it could be rucked immediately, i.e. even though he does not have to, the grounded ball carrier has immediately let go of the ball so that it is on the ground, he and any other players on the ground have rolled away, and therefore those still standing can use their feet to win the ball. Under this blue moon, the maul has become a ruck.
 

OB..


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Where does it say that the ball alone needs to be on the ground for a maul to become a ruck?

It doesn't gents, so why add in a condition when neither the book or the clarification does? To me, if the ball is on the ground (whether somebody put it there, or more realistically somebody dropped it or even more commonly the BC took it down with him) and there are at least 2 opposing on their feet over the ball, that maul is now a ruck.

I'm afraid that makes a nonsense of a maul turnover, so it is not a sensible reading of the law.
In 1992 they introduced a turnover for both mauls and rucks. In 1994 they rescinded the turnover at a ruck. Players immediately started to try and preserve possession in a failing maul by going to ground and claiming it was a ruck. Almost as immediately it was clarified that this was not true. A maul could be turned into a ruck only if the ball alone went to ground.

There have been changes in the wording of the law since then but no real reason to change the interpretation.
 

Womble

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So in this case, what do you suggest are the obligations on the opponent who went to ground with BC and now has his arms wrapped around ball and BC?

"you have got to let him up"

In all seriousness guys, make it simple for yourselves and the players. 1 in a million mauls actually turn in to rucks under law so referee it as such !
 

FlipFlop


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In all this "the ball is on the ground - it is a ruck" arguement, people seem to have forgotten that a requirement for a ruck is only part met by the ball. IT also requires 1 player from either side, being on their feet, in contact blah blah blah.

So 99% of the time that bodies go to ground in a maul, all the bodies come crashing down. We don't have the requirement for a ruck, even though the ball is on the ground.
 

Browner

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In 1992 they introduced a turnover for both mauls and rucks. In 1994 they rescinded the turnover at a ruck. Players immediately started to try and preserve possession in a failing maul by going to ground and claiming it was a ruck. Almost as immediately it was clarified that this was not true. A maul could be turned into a ruck only if the ball alone went to ground.

There have been changes in the wording of the law since then but no real reason to change the interpretation.

Perhaps, clarification 2/2011 helped remuddy the water??

When asked
[FONT=fs_blakeregular]c) When a maul collapses, is there any obligation on players to roll away from the ball in order to make the ball available?[/FONT]

IRB answered,
[FONT=fs_blakeregular](c) At a collapsed maul there is no obligation in Law for players to roll away [/FONT][FONT=fs_blakeregular]unless a ruck subsequently occurs. [/FONT][FONT=fs_blakeregular][/FONT]

It seems to be that some Referee interpretation rests on how soon subsequently commences!

Case study ( the 1% rare case?)
Maul commences, original BC & one opponent (within the maul) both collapse to the ground inside this maul [ ie... as per 2/2011 (c) ] and both these maulers still have (encased) other players standing above in contact AND the ball is now on the ground.
THEN
Q? Is this is the ruck/picture/scenario that the IRB were clarifying in (c) above, where it means there is an obligation for both the collapsees to roll away from (presumably this also means release their hold on ??) the ball on the ground.

?
 

crossref


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Case study ( the 1% rare case?)
Maul commences, original BC & one opponent (within the maul) both collapse to the ground inside this maul [ ie... as per 2/2011 (c) ] and both these maulers still have (encased) other players standing above in contact AND the ball is now on the ground.
THEN
Q? Is this is the ruck/picture/scenario that the IRB were clarifying in (c) above, where it means there is an obligation for both the collapsees to roll away from (presumably this also means release their hold on ??) the ball on the ground.

?

not for me. if the ball is loose an available to the 9 and he plays it, play on -- otherwise if the ball is trapped that's a maul thats ended unsuccessfully. turnover.
 

Browner

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not for me. if the ball is loose an available to the 9 and he plays it, play on -- otherwise if the ball is trapped that's a maul thats ended unsuccessfully. turnover.

So what 'Ruck example' are the IRB expecting in the answer in Cla 2\2011 (c) ?
 

crossref


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I think Clarification 2/2011 is a complete mess, and not very helpful.
I don't think its clear what it means, and I am not convinced the authors were clear either - it reads like a committee-compromise answer to me.

So I am not attempting to tell you what the authors meant, but instead how I ref it : and I am with womble : about one in a million mauls will turn into a ruck, so in practical terms ref it that none do
 

Taff


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Because, under the Law addressing an Unsuccessful End to a Maul, if the ball carrier goes to ground [whether the ball is on the ground or not] then the referee, under the Maul Law, orders a scrum unless the ball is immediately available (17.6(g)). By definition, an unsuccessful end to the maul cannot change a maul into a ruck.
But which comes first? If the BC has gone to ground and all the other requirements of a Ruck exist (ie 2 opposing players - in physical contact - on their feet - over the ball on the ground) then we're immediately in a new phase of play; ie the maul phase has finished and the ruck phase has started. If the new phase ends unsuccessfully, it makes no sense to me to apply the laws applicable to the previous phase.

... In all seriousness guys, make it simple for yourselves and the players. 1 in a million mauls actually turn in to rucks under law so referee it as such !
Honestly Womble, I'm amazed. I must get 2 or 3 of these every game. Sometimes they succeed - sometimes they don't. The team who took it in realise that there is a danger of a turnover .. and will do their damnedest to either get it out .. or at the very least create a ruck. We see these on televised matches every game surely. If I remember, I will make a note of the game time for a few from this weekends 6 Nation games. If we don't get at least a couple per game, I'll buy you a pint.

In all this "the ball is on the ground - it is a ruck" argument, people seem to have forgotten that a requirement for a ruck is only part met by the ball. IT also requires 1 player from either side, being on their feet, in contact blah blah blah. So 99% of the time that bodies go to ground in a maul, all the bodies come crashing down. We don't have the requirement for a ruck, even though the ball is on the ground.
In fairness FlipFlop, I did say "provided all the requirements of a ruck exist". I accept it's not an automatic ruck; if the conditions for a ruck haven't been met, it gets treated for what it is - a collapsed maul.

I think Clarification 2/2011 is a complete mess, and not very helpful. .. it reads like a committee-compromise answer to me.
I agree it could be worded better; eg why does any player have to "Roll away" at a ruck? I've just checked the ruck section of the laws, and the word "Roll" doesn't appear in there once.

Even with the dodgy wording, the clarification does make it clear that a maul can become a ruck, and if I'm looking at a ruck .... then I apply ruck laws ...not maul laws.
 
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OB..


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I think we agree that:
If the ball alone goes to ground in a maul, we have a ruck.
If the ball carrier goes to ground in a maul, that does not constitute a collapsed maul; however the ball must be immediately available, or it is an unsuccessful end to a maul.

The tricky point is what happens if the ball touches the ground when the ball carrier goes to ground. In 1994 it was made abundantly clear that this did NOT create a ruck. Subsequent changes in the wording of the law and Clarifications have muddied the waters because the situation is not actually addressed. We are trying to draw inferences.

I prefer to stick to the earlier interpretation for two reasons:
(1) referees do not have to be sure if the ball actually touched the ground or not;
(2) the rationale for removing the turnover law from a ruck is still valid - it was too easy to make the ball unplayable, therefore it was not good to provide an easy way to make the maul turnover law ineffective. (Consistency).
 

crossref


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Honestly Womble, I'm amazed. I must get 2 or 3 of these every game. Sometimes they succeed - sometimes they don't. The team who took it in realise that there is a danger of a turnover .. and will do their damnedest to either get it out .. or at the very least create a ruck. .

which is rather worrying, isn't it ? Taff and I referee to the same Laws but our interpretations differ so much that 2 or 3 times a game he declares that a maul has become a ruck - and in two seasons with the Society I don't think I have ever done.

Without saying who is right and who is wrong - that's a quite a big difference ! In the precise same situation Taff might be PK players for use of hands or falling over ball or, if the ball gets stuck, awarding scrums to the team going forward. Whereas I will be penalising no one, but blowing my whistle and awarding a turnover.

We have to feel sorry for players encountering that sort of inconsistency from one week to the next :chin:
 
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ChrisR

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Taff referees in Wales. Perhaps they are better coached. Or not.

When a team takes the ball into contact, forms a maul and skillfully move the ball to the back there is rarely a need to convert the maul into a ruck as, if the foward drive stalls, the ball can be kept in play by rolling out/breaking off or simply hand the ball back to the SH.

However, the ball can get tied up by the ops when taken into contact in general play. Then, a poorly coached team will hang on for dear life and concede the turnover. A better coached team will break the ops hold by forcing the ball downward and convert the maul into a ruck. Perhaps this is Taff's scenario.

Then there is the BC who, when tied up by the ops in a maul, tries to drag the ball free by going to ground. If he is successful in getting the ball free and places it then we have a ruck and the ball is in play.

If the tied up BC goes to ground but the ops still have their hands on the ball then the ball is not in play and we have a turnover for unsuccessful end to the maul. This must be crossref's scenario.

This is not a difficult thing to coach but it seems to be a lost art. Except, perhaps, in Wales.
 

crossref


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if the ball is available and played -- then we can discuss forever whether or not the maul became a brief ruck, it makes no difference either way -- the ball has gone..

its only when the ball is not available and you blow your whistle that makes any difference what you call it. And now it makes a BIG difference (the 'ruck' camp are giving PKs for blocking the ball, or scrums to teams going forward, the maul camp are giving turnover scrum)
 

didds

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i may have missed a nuance but it makes a difference if a BC goes to ground with the ball and another player than handles the ball.

- if its a ruck its a PK
- if is a maul-where-the-ball-must-be-immediately playable... either it continues as a maul again/still, or its an unsusccessful end to a maul as the ball was not played away from it ... depending on whether one requires that to occur.

didds
 

Ian_Cook


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I'll see your Law 17.5, and raise you Law 17.6(b):

[LAWS](b) A maul ends unsuccessfully if the ball becomes unplayable[/LAWS]

So the ref still has to make a judgment on whether the ball is playable; a ball on the ground but unplayable is an unsuccessfully ended maul (so scrum ordered), not a successfully ended maul segueing into a ruck.

When the ball is dropped onto the ground in a Maul it becomes a ruck, so you cannot apply 17.6 (b) or any other Maul Law; you should apply 16.7 (a)

[LAWS]16.7 UNSUCCESSFUL END TO A RUCK
(a) A ruck ends unsuccessfully when the ball becomes unplayable and a scrum is ordered.[/LAWS]

This might seem like just a nitpicking technicality, but its more important than that because it can change who feeds the scrum.

At a scrum following maul, the first priority is that the ball is thrown in by the team not in possession when the maul began, but at a scrum following a ruck, the first priority is that the ball is thrown in by the team that was moving forward immediately before the ball became unplayable.

i may have missed a nuance but it makes a difference if a BC goes to ground with the ball and another player than handles the ball.

- if its a ruck its a PK
- if is a maul-where-the-ball-must-be-immediately playable... either it continues as a maul again/still, or its an unsusccessful end to a maul as the ball was not played away from it ... depending on whether one requires that to occur.

didds

Its not a ruck if a player in the maul takes the ball to ground in a maul without the ball touching the ground.
 
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