Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Taking a penalty kick incorrectly

Has the law on how to take a penalty kick been changed?
2017 Law 21.4 "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."
The current Law book uses the same criteria but gives no specific Sanction.
We were told there were no changes in the "simplified" rewrite, so is this an error or a change?  Should we apply 9.7 (a) " A player must not intentionally infringe any law of the game" and award a Free Kick?
Locally referees often merely require a correct retake for the first offence.
 Hi Peter

Been a while since you submitted this question, but The Rugby Ref has only recently been able to get a definitive answer.

You are correct in saying that match officials were told there were no changes in law when the law book was "rewritten" for clarity.  However we have to be pragmatic, that information is now three years old and we have to work with what we have, which is the current 2020 law book.

The Rugby Ref has now sought advice from three or four Premiership Referees, who all came to the same conclusion.  If a kick is taken incorrectly (from the wrong spot, wrong type of kick etc) then the kick has in fact not legally taken place, and the game has not restarted.  So we bring them back to take it again correctly.

However if this is done repeatedly then the referee may consider "repeat offending" or "intentionally infringing", but good game management should prevent things getting that far.

The Rugby Ref

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Lazy runners & deliberate actions

Dear Ref,
I am familiar with the rules\laws for lazy  runners, but I want to question the actions of the attacking team if the scrum half deliberately passes a ball into a retreating lazy runner who has his hands up signalling that he knows he is offside.
I am not saying that he was making a pass and the ball hit a lazy runner; what I’m saying is that he picked up the wall and post it directly into the lazy river and there was no one in line of the boss so he deliberately, almost cynically, threw the ball at a player and then shouted “lazy runner”
Hi Simon

Technically the lazy runner is offside and interfering with play and this will result in a penalty.  The fact that the lazy runner puts his hands in the air just highlights the fact that he is offside.

The simple answer is that if the lazy runner is not in the vicinity of the scrum half this can't happen, so don't put yourself in a position where the opposition can take advantage of you being offside.

However The Rugby Ref would be talking to the scrum half about appealing and not trying to "buy a penalty".

The Rugby Ref