I have seen and heard many variations as to when the ball is out of the scrum/ruck and is challangable, Some people say when the scrum half has both hands on the ball, some say when its lifted. Is there an official view?
This is a question that referee's get asked a lot. The official view, is the one in the law book.
Law 16.6 SUCCESSFUL END TO A RUCK
A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.
Law 20.10 ENDING THE SCRUM
(a) The ball comes out.When the ball comes out of the scrum in any direction except the tunnel, the scrum ends.
Unfortunately the official (Law Book) view is anything but clear. What is the definition of "leaves the ruck"? They don't say. So it is down to the referee's interpretation.
The best advice is to ask the referee for his definition of "ball out" before the game.
The Rugby Ref says "The ball is out when it leaves the ruck, that means beyond the back foot of the breakdown, or lifted off the floor".
Thanks for the question.
The Rugby Ref.