Was it a tackle?

Na Madrai


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My apologies to Broon. I have read his thread on 'A tackle or not?' but am not sure if the answer to the following appears!

I refereed a match yesterday afternoon between students. Pink (I know!) 13 tackled his opposite number (blue) by grasping the ball. The two players grappled for the ball in the midst of which, blue put one knee on the ground momentarily. Both players had contact with the ball at all times.

I called 'blue release' which he did and the game continued. Afterwards, the blue player came up to me in the bar (I made a point of congratulating him on holding back until we were in the bar) and queried my decision on the basis that the burden is for the tackler to release first.

I stated that once he had gone to ground, his knee, the burden is on him to (1) get to his feet, (2) pass, (3) place the ball in any direction or (4) release the ball. By maintaining contact with the ball, the tackler had effectively prevented the ball carrier from exercising his first three options and therefore the only thing he is able to do is release the ball and his failure to do so resulted in my call and the potential penalty.

Although he was happy with this explanation, the more I think about it, what actually happened is that he exercised option 1 he immediately rose to his feet and the correct action should have been simply play on.

This simply does not appear right and I would appreciate other's thought on this!

NM
 

Taff


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Keep an eye on the other thread. We queried this at our last refs meeting.

I haven't got time to reply to it today (leaving for a game in 30 minutes) but will try and get it done tomorrow.
 

Dixie


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Na Madrai, there are a couple of isssues arising from your interesting scenario.

Firstly, as you've idfentified in the thread title, Was There a Tackle? The other thread deals with this, but it's not clear whether, in the situation you found yourself, you were dealing with Law 15 (tackle) or Law 14 (no tackle). I suggest that your confusion derives from this lack of clarity; by including "place the ball" as one of the tackled player's options, it seems you felt play was governed at this point by Law 15, as Law 14 doesn't include the placement option. Equally, you say that Pink "tackled" the ball carrier by grasping the ball, and in your explanation you say the "tackler" has prevented the 1st three options by holding onto the ball. Let's assume that you were correct, and a tackle had indeed taken place.

The sequence we look for in a tackle is:

a) tackler release the tackled player (and the ball) and roll away, thus enabling:
b) tackled player to exercise his options.

The whole point about the tackler releasing is to enable the tackled player to exercise his options. You took the view that the tackled player had no real options other than to cede possession, precisely because the tackler had not released. This should be a PK against the tackler, for failing to allow the tackled player to exercise his options.

This is diametrically opposite to the position under Law 14, where the arriving player does NOT have to allow the ball carrier to exercise his options, and can prevent him doing any of them except release the ball. IMO, you have taken this Law 14 protocol and incorrectly applied it to what you believed was a law 15 situation - as a result of which you penalised the wrong team.

I hope that makes sense.
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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Given that you were looking for one from:-

(1) get to his feet, (2) pass, (3) place the ball in any direction or (4) release the ball

and he put one knee on the floor momentarily (your words) then I'd considered he'd done #1) so play on.

IIUC I think you now think that's what you should've done.:biggrin:
 

OB..


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Since Pink 13 never went to ground, he cannot be a tackler. If we take the strict view that Blue was tackled as soon as his knee hit the ground, then Pink has to release, but provided he is on the correct side of the tackle, can immediately go for the ball. He does not have to wait while Blue exercises his options.[LAWS]Law 15.5 (e) If opposition players who are on their feet attempt to play the ball, the tackled player must release the ball.[/LAWS]This appears to be in conflict with [LAWS]Law 15.7 (a) No player may prevent the tackled player from passing the ball.[/LAWS]My solution is that you may go for the ball, but not eg the arms, shoulders.

If it was a tackle, then Blue is not allowed to regain his feet until he has released the ball. So who offended first? Normally, of course, other players would come driving in and you would get maul/ruck/pile-up. However if you are left with just the two contestants, I suggest "offsetting penalties" as they say in grid iron. Stop play for a scrum under 20.4 (d).

It is not a Law 14 situation, according to the Definitions.
 

Na Madrai


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How I love this game!!!

In real time, I had two players stuggling for possession of the ball. One, in my opinion, went to ground and I therefore required him to release his hold on the ball on the unofficial basis that a player on his feet his king. He did so and the game continued without a problem.

However, a simple query gives rise to so many possibilities.

Did a tackle occur? Looking back, I do not see how it could have done. The player went to ground as a result of his own actions in attempting to release the ball from the grasp of an opponent and not from the latter's actions. Or did it, did the actions of the opponent unbalance him? Quandary, quandary!

The question is, of course, what do I do in a similiar postition in tomorrow's match?

The easy answer is what feels right but where does this leave us in terms of refereeing consistancy!

NM
 

Davet

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Player was held and on ground. That's a tackle. I have no time for the theory that he had to be forced to ground for it to be tackle.

If it's a tackle then BOTH players must release the ball. They mustvtgen be on their feet again before they play it. In addition if the player making the tackle did not go to ground then he must come through the gate before playing it.

If the ball carrier released as per your instruction but his opponent kept hands on then he is the offender and should be penalised.

All you have to do is call "tackle", the rest follows naturally.
 

Na Madrai


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Player was not held when he went to ground, an opponent was co-holding (sic)the ball when he did so. I think, therefore, that this cannot be construed as a tackle situation.

Contact with the ground by his opponent was minimal and in real time, there is not a rugby player in the world who would release his hold on the ball some feet off the ground if he has himself is on his feet, is not holding an opposing player and has never gone near the playing surface.

In this scenario, please define the gate as I would be most interested in same. Similarly, I gave an instruction which was obeyed by both players, on what grounds could I now possibly penalise one of them, for not doing something I didn't tell him to do?

As to the call 'tackle' this is not something that is normally in my matchday vocabulary.

If we take the situation that the tackler (pink) has brought the ball carrier (blue) to ground and his hands are in the vicinity of the ball, my instructions go-

Tackler - pink - away
Play the ball
Roll away
Take deep breath, have a go at the Daily Mail quick crossword, take another deep breath
Ruck Hands off

My reasoning is, players rarely seem to hear the very first word in a volatile situation therefore they will only actually hear 'pink away'. Identification is clear, instructions are clear, excuses not acceptable.
'Play the ball' is clear and concise. I need the ball carrier to exercise his options.
'Roll away', though primarily directed at the ball carrier, is also directed at anyone else who may be on the ground near the ball.
The long pause is to give time for players on their feet and arriving through the gate to play the ball.
Finally, 'Hands off' is a clear direction to everyone that a ruck has formed.

Most tackle situations received a variation on the above but I would rarely if ever simply call 'Tackle'. At higher levels this may suffice but at grass roots, unlikely in my opinion.

NM
 

OB..


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Player was not held when he went to ground, an opponent was co-holding (sic)the ball when he did so. I think, therefore, that this cannot be construed as a tackle situation.
If two players are holding the ball it is almost impossible for their arms not to be intertwined in some way.
 

Dixie


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Player was not held when he went to ground, an opponent was co-holding (sic)the ball when he did so. I think, therefore, that this cannot be construed as a tackle situation.
Fair enough - a reasonable point, which can be validly argued. In that case, the definitions to law 14 are relevant:

[LAWS]This situation occurs when ... a player is on the ground in possession of the ball and has not been tackled.
The Game is to be played by players who are on their feet. A player must not make the ball unplayable by falling down. Unplayable means that the ball is not immediately available to either team so that play may continue. A player who makes the ball unplayable, or who obstructs the opposing team by falling down, is negating the purpose and Spirit of the Game and must be penalised. A player who is not tackled, but who goes to ground while holding the ball, or a player who goes to ground and gathers the ball, must act immediately.[/LAWS]

In that case, and following your argument, you were correct to penalise Blue for making the ball unplayable by falling down and failing to release immediately. But you need to get your rationale so firmly embedded in your head that you don't use phrases that include words such as Tackle, Tackled, Tackler - as you are operating under a law that applies only when such concepts have specifically NOT occurred.
 

Rit Hinners

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If two players are holding the ball it is almost impossible for their arms not to be intertwined in some way.

I am of the opinion that "bringing the ball carrier to ground" requires an act of volition, an effort to do so. If not ball carriers are given free rein to exploit the Law whenever they encounter a "skilled ball stripper" by simply putting one knee down and forcing someone who made no effort to tackle them and now has as much possession of the ball as they do to release the ball.
 

Davet

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Na
You hav consistently used the words tackle and tackler. If that's not what you mean then don't say it.


If it is a tackle then everyone involved must release the ball, they cannot play the ball again unless they are on their feet, and players who are not the tackler or tackled player (sensu stricto) must go through the gate - ie re-approach the ball from directly behind the tackle zone -which in this cse is quite narrow.

In other words if its a tackle then play tackle law.

If it is not a tackle then the player going to ground gives up rights to the ball. Bu tif that is the case don't use the word "tackle", because it isn't. To use the phrases appropriate to a tackle when it isn't leads to confused and fuzzy thinking all round.

You would not always need to call tackle, most times it's obvious, but when here may be doubt it won't hurt. You have to call the phases in your own head anyway, you must identify what is happening or you wil never get the call right. All you really need to do is vocalise the thought, Tackle, Ruck, Play on etc.

You shouldn't need to keep explaining the laws to players, especially at L8 where they are quite serious about rugby and will generally be training twice a week at least, they should know what to do at each phase. IF a player is trying to handle in a ruck and has interfered with play then penalise him, if he hasnt then a preventive call of of "red 7 - no hands!" is fine, he will then either comply, get pinged, or the ball will be got away without him impacting on it so play on and talk to him next opportunity.

Rit

Held and brought to ground constitutes a tackle, the ball carrier may be forced down physically or be left with going to ground as the best option by the situation. regardless - it's a tackle. If you feel that would be taking advantage of the laws then I would suggest that whole point of the game is to use the laws to your best advantage.
by simply putting one knee down and forcing someone who made no effort to tackle them and now has as much possession of the ball as they do to release the ball

And remember he is not just forcing his opponent to release, he must release as well. And if it is not a tackle then actually the only person who has to realeaseis the ball carrier, so it becomes a stupid move not a clever one.
 
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crossref


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And remember he is not just forcing his opponent to release, he must release as well..

no he doesn't - though - tackled players options are to release, pass or place. He'll put his knee down to force the opponent to release the ball, and then immediately pass it.

I'm with Rit, if two players are wrestling for the ball it doesn't make sense (to me) that one of them can gain possession by putting his knee down.
especially when you consider that other one would lose possession if his knee went down, as he'd have to release it.
 

Davet

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If he hangs on he gets pinged.

If he can pass the ball then he has used the Law to his advantage. Why do you feel that taking advanatge of the Laws to gain an advanatge is wrong? Surely it's the very basis of any game from chess to rugby. Laws provide a framework for all games, and playing within those Laws, and understanding them well enough to use them to your advantage is what its all about - you may see "sharp practice" I simply see intelligent play.
 

crossref


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I see your point, but..

how about this

- yellow ball carrier is caught by green, and both player still on feet begin to tussle for the ball, both with hands on ball.

- yellow, remaining on his feet, forces the green player down on to to one knee...

Has green, the would-be tackler, now been tackled?
so yellow now has to release the ball, so that green can exercise his options?

Or has yellow successfully evaded green's attempted tackle, and green, no longer on his feet, must release?
 

Davet

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Sounds like a tackle to me, so both must release.

I have never seen two players stand at arms length from each other and tussle for the ball. Invariably one gets his hand and arm around it, trying to rip with shoulder power and they are in close contact with at least arms intertwined.
 

crossref


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Sounds like a tackle to me, so both must release.

I have never seen two players stand at arms length from each other and tussle for the ball. Invariably one gets his hand and arm around it, trying to rip with shoulder power and they are in close contact with at least arms intertwined.

yes, that's what I meant by 'tussle'... and then one is forced to the ground

if it's a tackle only ONE must release - -the tackler. The other one can then immediately PASS. It's not a symmetrical situation as you keep implying. it makes a lot of difference who is the tackler, and who is tackled.
 

Phil E


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Was it clear and obvious?

Appears not :chin:
 
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