Two New Clarifications

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:25
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Clarifications of rugby law, previously called rulings, are important as they have the force of law.

Clarifications are made by a specially appointed committee called the designated members of the rugby committee.

These two clarifications are not earth shattering.

The first one affirms the law and is probably meant as a directive to referees to apply the law; the second one makes life easier for referees.

Clarification 4 – 2016, 19 December 2016

Law 21

Request from the Sevens high performance referee manager

Below is a link showing three players taking penalty kicks during the recent Sevens. They are doing so by dropping the ball onto their foot and then playing the ball:

KICK- Definition.
A kick is made by hitting the ball with any part of the leg or foot except the heel, from the toe to the knee but not including the knee .a kick must move the ball a visible distance out of the hand or along the ground.

Law 21.3 (a) How Penalty and Free Kicks are taken. Any player may take a penalty or free kick awarded for an infringement with any type of kick, punt, drop kick, or place kick. The ball may be kicked with any part of the lower leg from knee to the foot excluding the knee and the heel.

Law 21.4 (d) A clear kick. The kicker must kick the ball a clear distance If the kicker is holding it, it must clearly leave the hands, if it is on the ground it must clearly.

Clarification of the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee

The Designated Members have reviewed this request for clarification and the below are the relevant responses.

Dropping the ball onto the foot does not constitute a correctly taken penalty or free kick and Law 21.4 (d) must be complied with.

Law 21.4 (d) A clear kick. The kicker must kick the ball a visible distance. If the kicker is holding it, it must clearly leave the hands. If it is on the ground, it must clearly leave the mark
Sanction: Unless otherwise stated in Law any infringement by the kicker’s team results in a scrum at the mark. The opposing team throw in the ball.

To be applied from: 1 January 2017

Clarification 5 – 19 December 2016

Law Reference Law 19 – Global Law trial

Request from England

We are seeking clarification that the changes to the touch definitions (Law 19) in the Global Law trials will also apply to the dead ball line. If this is not the case then there will be significant differences in outcome in the following circumstances:

1. How the game is restarted could depend on whether or not the ball was picked up by a player who had a foot over a touch-in-goal line or whether the player's foot
was over the dead-ball line;

2. Whether or not the ball is dead following a player returning the ball to the playing area could depend on whether the ball was over the touch-in-goal line or dead-ball line. The different outcome could lead to a try being awarded in one case and not in the other.

There is urgency to this request as the Global Law trial will commence in the Southern Hemisphere on 1 January 2017

Clarification of the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee

The changes to the touch definitions (Law 19) will also apply to the dead-ball line and to the goal-line. Also, note that whether the ball is moving or stationary is no longer relevant.

Three video examples maybe helpful

• = Try
• = New decision - 22m drop out as kicking team took ball into in-goal instead of scrum back to where ball originally kicked from
• see video at 22.9 (c). New Decision - scrum 5m attack instead of 22m drop out

To be applied from: As per global law trial implementation dates:

• 1 January 2017 – Southern Hemisphere
• 1 July 2017 – Northern Hemisphere