The toothless beast that is the Free Kick.

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
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How can we give a free kick some teeth?

A free kick differs in three siginificant ways from a PK:

1: Gain in ground

PK gain in ground wether the ball goes in to touch on the full or not.

FK gain in ground only if the ball does not go into touch on the full.

2: Line out throw

PK the ball is not turned over the kicking team has the throw.

FK the ball is turned over the non kicking team has the throw.

3: Scoring

PK You can score directly from one
FK You can not core directly from one

We know that he FK was introduce for less serious offences that did not need the full weight of a PK. SO how do we alter the differences to give the FK some teeth?

For me it is to change either point 1 or point 2. I would not change point 3. After all that is possibly the strongest part of a PK sanction, it gives the non offender a good change of points.

So I'd either allow the FK to be kicked out "on the full" with "Turnover ball" or allow gain in ground only from kicks not "on the full" But allow the Kicking side to retain the throw into the line out.

I think I'd edge towards allowing gain in ground "on the full" A this would allow the kick to the corner but the turnover would discourage the tactic of going to the corner for the inevitable catch and drive try.

What do others think?
 

damo


Referees in New Zealand
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Slight threadjack, but one day I expect to see the following scenario:

Blue are trailing by 2 points with time almost up. Red knock on in front of their posts and blue get a scrum. At the scrum, blue position their first-five for a drop goal attempt.

Red engage early and the ref awards a free kick to blue. Blue elect to set another scrum. From the scrum blue pass to their first-five who slots a drop goal. Ref awards a 22m drop out but time is up and so blows for full time.

Ugly confrontation between blue captain and ref.
 

damo


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To address the OP. I think the change should be to allow a gain in ground for a kick to touch but give the non-kicking team the throw in.
 

SimonSmith


Referees in Australia
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To address the OP. I think the change should be to allow a gain in ground for a kick to touch but give the non-kicking team the throw in.
A nice balance
 

Rich_NL

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That is still potentially too far the other way, IMO.

Blue make a minor technical infringement on their own lineout just past halfway. Result: FK on the 15 and they have to retake the lineout on their 5m line. Seems harsh.
 

Marc Wakeham


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A "minor" technical offence is a scrum offence. A FK offence is between that and a PK.
 

Pinky


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A "minor" technical offence is a scrum offence. A FK offence is between that and a PK.

So a FK is an opportunity to play the ball without the contest of a scrum (if you consider a scrum still to be a contest) and inside the 22 an opportunity to kick to relieve positional pressure without having to tap and pass.

I think, though I would consider changing the law to allow a DG from a scrum taken instead of a FK for the reason stated above. But that really only works if you consider a scrum to be a contest.
 

crossref


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Perhaps one change we could consider is that when a FK is awarded at a scrum, the 9 could take it from where he stands, rather than having to pass it to the #8 (so that he can take it from behind the mark. ) . This would make a quick tap possible, and a quick tap is very attractive when most of the forwards are bound I to the acrum
 
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