Tue 14 Jun 2016 | 01:07

Law discussion: intentionally

Law discussion: intentionally
Tue 14 Jun 2016 | 01:07
Law discussion: intentionally
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Other words have been tried – wilfully, deliberately, voluntarily – and discarded but the idea of intentionally offending, e.g. the intentional knock-on, dates back to 1874.

The opposite on law is probably accidental, as in accidental offside (Law 11.6).

I think the misunderstanding of the law seems to come from the suggestion that the referee is a mind-reader of some sort. That is obviously not the case. It is when a player does something of his own doing in such away that an infringement results.

Take the intentional knock-on. A player clearly knocks on. The player, who knocks on, put his hand out of his own accord. Nobody forced it on him. His hand was out parallel to the ground, palm down. It is impossible to catch the ball in such a case. If it then goes forward, there is an infringement, brought about by the way he acted. His intention, by the way he acted, was not to catch the ball but to stop the ball from reaching its destination. That is an intentional knock-on and an intentional infringement earns a penalty.

The player does not say to himself: "I'm going to knock the ball on." But the way he put his hand out resulted in a knock-on.

Accidental is different. It happens when a player is technically guilty of an infringement through no act of his own – no act at all. He does nothing that could lead to an infringement.

This can happen when a team-mate behind him kicks the ball straight into him. The ball strikes him, rather than he does anything to make contact with the ball. It would be intentional and an infringement if a team-mate behind him kicked the ball and he tried to grab it.

Another example is a from a knock-on. A player knocks the ball on and it makes contact with a team-mate in front of him. There is no infringement if the ball makes contact with the team-mate who makes no attempt at all to play the ball. If he tries to grab the ball then he is liable to be penalised if by so doing he prevents an opponent from playing the ball.

A top referee who is also a senior member of the legal profession said: "'Intentional" will mean to do on purpose. It shows a subjective willfulness which is mostly pre-planned."

Below are examples of the use of intentional/intentionally in law. They may help to develop the concept.

Intentional in Law

Law 10.1 OBSTRUCTION
(b) Running in front of a ball-carrier. A player must not intentionally move or stand in front of a team-mate carrying the ball thereby preventing opponents from tackling the current ball-carrier or the opportunity to tackle potential ball-carriers when they gain possession.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(c) Blocking the tackler. A player must not intentionally move or stand in a position that prevents an opponent from tackling a ball-carrier.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(d) Blocking the ball. A player must not intentionally move or stand in a position that prevents an opponent from playing the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Law 10.2 UNFAIR PLAY
(a) Intentionally Offending. A player must not intentionally infringe any Law of the Game, or play unfairly. The player who intentionally offends must be either admonished, or cautioned that a send-off will result if the offence or a similar offence is committed, or sent off.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(b) Time-wasting. A player must not intentionally waste time.
Sanction: Free Kick
(c) Throwing into touch. A player must not intentionally knock, place, push or throw the ball with his arm or hand into touch, touch-in-goal, or over the dead-ball line.
Sanction: Penalty Kick on the 15-metre line if the offence is between the 15-metre line and the touch-line, or, at the place of the infringement if the offence occurred elsewhere in the field of play, or five metres from the goal-line and at least 15 metres from the touch-line if the infringement occurred in in-goal.
A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored.

Law 10.4 (k) DANGEROUS PLAY AT SCRUM, RUCK OR MAUL
Players must not intentionally collapse a scrum, ruck or maul.
Sanction: Penalty kick.
(o) Late-charging the kicker. A player must not intentionally charge or obstruct an opponent who has just kicked the ball.

Law 11.1 OFFSIDE IN GENERAL PLAY
(a) A player who receives an unintentional throw forward is not offside.

Law 11.3 Being put onside by opponents
In general play, there are three ways by which an offside player can be put onside by an action of the opposing team. These three ways do not apply to a player who is offside under the 10-Metre Law.
(c) Intentionally touches ball. When an opponent intentionally touches the ball but does not catch it, the offside player is put onside.

Law 11.6 ACCIDENTAL OFFSIDE
(b) When a player hands the ball to a team-mate in front of the first player, the receiver is offside. Unless the receiver is considered to be intentionally offside (in which case a penalty kick is awarded), the receiver is accidentally offside and a scrum is formed with the opposing team throwing in the ball.

Law 12.1 (f) Intentional knock or throw forward. A player must not intentionally knock the ball forward with hand or arm, nor throw forward.
Sanction: Penalty kick. A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored.

Law 14.2 PLAYERS ON THEIR FEET
(a) Falling over the player on the ground with the ball. A player must not intentionally fall on or over a player with the ball who is lying on the ground.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(b) Falling over players lying on the ground near the ball. A player must not intentionally fall on or over players lying on the ground with the ball between them or near them.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Law 16.3 RUCKING
(b) A player must not intentionally fall or kneel in a ruck. This is dangerous play.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(c) A player must not intentionally collapse a ruck. This is dangerous play.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(f) A player rucking for the ball must not intentionally ruck players on the ground. A player rucking for the ball must try to step over players on the ground and must not intentionally step on them. A player rucking must do so near the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Law 17.2 (e) A player must not intentionally collapse a maul. This is dangerous play.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Law 20.9 SCRUM – GENERAL RESTRICTIONS
(a) All players: Collapsing. A player must not intentionally collapse a scrum. A player must not intentionally fall or kneel in a scrum. This is dangerous play.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Law 21.7 WHAT THE OPPOSING TEAM MUST DO AT A PENALTY KICK
(d) Interference. The opposing team must not do anything to delay the free kick or obstruct the kicker. They must not intentionally take, throw or kick the ball out of reach of the kicker or the kicker’s team-mates.
Sanction: Any infringement by the opposing team results in a second free kick, awarded 10 metres in front of the mark for the first kick. This mark must not be within 5 metres of the goal-line. Any player may take the kick. If the referee awards a second free kick, the second free kick is not taken before the referee has made the mark indicating the place of the free kick.

PV: 3


Law Discussion: Intentionally | Rugby365