Thursday, 30 December 2010

Urban Myth No 1. "They can't take a quick one ref".

How often does The Rugby Ref hear this?

It usually goes along these lines.  The Rugby Ref gives a penalty for some infringement or another.  The defenders do something that causes The Rugby Ref to advance the mark for the penalty forward 10m; usually kicking the ball away to prevent the attackers taking a quick tap.

As The Rugby Ref measures out 10m the defenders stand in front of the new mark shouting "they can't take a quick one ref".

Now there are two issues here:
  1. The defenders shouldn't be there, they should be a further 10m back, so they are all offside.
  2. There is no such law as "can't take the second penalty quickly".
What the law actually says is:

21.7 What the opposing team must do at a penalty kick

(a) Must run from the mark. The opposing team must immediately run towards their own goal
line until they are at least 10 metres away from the mark for the penalty kick, or until they
have reached their goal line if that is nearer the mark.

(b) Must keep running. Even if the penalty kick is taken and the kicker’s team is playing the
ball, opposing players must keep running until they have retired the necessary distance.
They must not take part in the game until they have done so.

(c) Kick taken quickly. If the penalty kick is taken so quickly that opponents have no
opportunity to retire, they will not be penalised for this. However, they must continue to
retire as described in 21.7(b) above or until a team-mate who was 10 metres from the mark
has run in front of them, before they take part in the game.

(d) Interference. The opposing team must not do anything to delay the penalty 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 penalty kick, 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. The kicker may change the type of kick and may
choose to kick at goal. If the referee awards a second penalty kick, the second penalty kick
is not taken before the referee has made the mark indicating the place of the penalty.

The Rugby Ref has highlighted the last sentence of the sanction.  As you can see the attackers can take the second penalty kick, once the referee has made the new mark.  No mention of "they can't take it quick".

It works like this, the referee will walk 10m.  While he does this the defenders must run back 20m, to put themselves onside.  The law specifically says they must "run from the mark" and "keep running".  Once he has advanced 10m the referee will make the new mark.  As soon as he has done so the attackers may go.

Standing in front of the referee shouting "they can't take a quick one ref" is a breach of 21.7 above, it is also dissent towards the referee and could be construed as deliberate offending.  So at best the penalty is moving forward another 10m, and you could easily get a yellow card.

Urban Myth No 1...........Busted!

No comments:

Post a Comment