Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Grounding with delay!

Hi Ref,

In 13.9 of the law book before 2018, 



(b) If the opposing team grounds the ball, or if they make it dead, or if the ball becomes dead by going into touch-in-goal, or on or over the dead ball line, they have two choices:

• To have a scrum formed at the centre, and they throw in the ball, or

• To have the other team kick off again.

(c) If they opt to ground the ball or make it dead, they must do so without delay. Any other action with the ball by a defending player means the player has elected to play on.

We found in law book after 2018,

it became 12.9 as below description

If the ball is kicked into the opponents’ in-goal without touching any player and an opponent grounds the ball without delay or it goes dead through in-goal, the non-kicking team has the option of having the kick retaken or a scrum.

In the past we awarded 22 drop out instead of center scrum or retaken when the defense player delayed grounding the ball.

According to the wording of new law book, shall we do the same decision as before since they deleted the 13.9(c).



Hi Bly

Good questions.  If the defender does not ground the ball without delay then the have elected to play on, and we are effectively in open play, so do whatever you would do if the team hadn't just kicked off.

In practise this means they can run it out of in-goal, or ground it.  If they ground it (having delayed) we look at who took the ball into in-goal (the attackers) and thus award a 22 drop out.  They have effectively waived their right to any other options.

You should also note that they need to press down on the ball to ground it.  Merely picking up the ball is not grounding it.

Thanks for the questions, sometimes simplifying the Law book doesn't always make it clearer.

The Rugby Ref

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