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Rules Question (Play The Ball)


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I'm just wondering on an interpretation that comes up every now and again and happened in the Widnes V Fax game last week. Ben Kavanagh takes the ball in to contact and falls to the ground and stands up and plays the ball thinking that he has been tackled, he mistakenly thought he was touched by a Widnes player on the ground but it was actually one of his teammates. He looked to the ref for guidance who probably shouted to play on to which Kavanagh mistakingly tplays the ball rather than run. The ref blows his whistle and signals a penalty to Widnes.

What is the actual rule on this? Its one I can never get my head around because to me at worst it should be given as a knock on placing the ball on the floor and I struggle to see how the attacking team are gaining an advantage doing this. Also any player at any time in open play is free to place the ball on the floor if they so wish and roll it backwards so I assume the rule is based in some way around simulation. There seems to be a shift at the moment where incorrect play the balls are now punished with a scrum rather than a penalty so it seems strange that this is still interpreted as a penalty.

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15 minutes ago, The Blues Ox said:

I'm just wondering on an interpretation that comes up every now and again and happened in the Widnes V Fax game last week. Ben Kavanagh takes the ball in to contact and falls to the ground and stands up and plays the ball thinking that he has been tackled, he mistakenly thought he was touched by a Widnes player on the ground but it was actually one of his teammates. He looked to the ref for guidance who probably shouted to play on to which Kavanagh mistakingly tplays the ball rather than run. The ref blows his whistle and signals a penalty to Widnes.

What is the actual rule on this? Its one I can never get my head around because to me at worst it should be given as a knock on placing the ball on the floor and I struggle to see how the attacking team are gaining an advantage doing this. Also any player at any time in open play is free to place the ball on the floor if they so wish and roll it backwards so I assume the rule is based in some way around simulation. There seems to be a shift at the moment where incorrect play the balls are now punished with a scrum rather than a penalty so it seems strange that this is still interpreted as a penalty.

As you say when you break it down to its parts there’s nothing wrong with a PTB. No knock on or offside but the rule is definitely in place that a PTB in open play is a penalty. I assume it’s because if a player does it the opposition will run back for a new tackle despite that one not being complete 

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6 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

As you say when you break it down to its parts there’s nothing wrong with a PTB. No knock on or offside but the rule is definitely in place that a PTB in open play is a penalty. I assume it’s because if a player does it the opposition will run back for a new tackle despite that one not being complete 

It would be at least a knock-on if played properly?

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3 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

So why isn’t that a knock on at a normal PTB. They only give a knock on when someone does actually knock on. 

Technically, a knock on is not given if a player loses the ball after a tackle has been effected and before the ball is played.  It is lost possession. 

If, after being tackled, he accidentally loses possession, a scrum shall be formed except after the fifth play-the-ball.

https://www.rugby-league.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/laws-of-the-game

This matters because losing possession is losing possession whether the ball travels forward or not.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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1 hour ago, The Blues Ox said:

I'm just wondering on an interpretation that comes up every now and again and happened in the Widnes V Fax game last week. Ben Kavanagh takes the ball in to contact and falls to the ground and stands up and plays the ball thinking that he has been tackled, he mistakenly thought he was touched by a Widnes player on the ground but it was actually one of his teammates. He looked to the ref for guidance who probably shouted to play on to which Kavanagh mistakingly tplays the ball rather than run. The ref blows his whistle and signals a penalty to Widnes.

What is the actual rule on this? Its one I can never get my head around because to me at worst it should be given as a knock on placing the ball on the floor and I struggle to see how the attacking team are gaining an advantage doing this. Also any player at any time in open play is free to place the ball on the floor if they so wish and roll it backwards so I assume the rule is based in some way around simulation. There seems to be a shift at the moment where incorrect play the balls are now punished with a scrum rather than a penalty so it seems strange that this is still interpreted as a penalty.

It's a pen because players would do it frequently otherwise. Major advantage to being 'tackled' and playing ball quick as you put every defender offside.

May be harsh if a genuine error by the ball carrier but it's the way it has to be

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Just now, Dunbar said:

Technically, a knock on is not given if a player loses the ball after a tackle has been effected and before the ball is played.  It is lost possession. 

If, after being tackled, he accidentally loses possession, a scrum shall be formed except after the fifth play-the-ball.

https://www.rugby-league.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/laws-of-the-game

This matters because losing possession is losing possession whether the ball travels forward or not.

The point is placing the ball on the floor is not a knock on or losing possession. 

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6 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

The point is placing the ball on the floor is not a knock on or losing possession. 

I think the point was that if a tackle hadn't been called then placing the ball on the floor could be described as a knock on. But after a tackle it is part of the play the ball process.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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Just now, Dunbar said:

I think the point was that if a tackle hadn't been called then placing the ball on the floor could be described as a knock on. But after a tackle it is part of the play the ball process.

It’s either a knock on /losing possession or it’s not. It’s irrelevant to this question anyway as at this non PTB referred to in the OP the ref gives a penalty not a scrum. 

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As an aside, something I`ve noticed a lot more in the NRL this year - especially due to players attempting fast PTB`s usually with players hanging all over them - planting the ball on the ground and leveraging themselves to their feet with hand on ball then lurching forward, playing the ball with foot.

Clever I thought, removes the chance of the fumble from players attempting to stand and PTB, and ball being dislodged by a stray knee, elbow, arm et.al.

Just a little thing, but clever technique to remove likelihood of knock-on at the PTB.

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Just now, The Rocket said:

As an aside, something I`ve noticed a lot more in the NRL this year - especially due to players attempting fast PTB`s usually with players hanging all over them - planting the ball on the ground and leveraging themselves to their feet with hand on ball then lurching forward, playing the ball with foot.

Clever I thought, removes the chance of the fumble from players attempting to stand and PTB, and ball being dislodged by a stray knee, elbow, arm et.al.

Just a little thing, but clever technique to remove likelihood of knock-on at the PTB.

It should really be a penalty as you are supposed to get to your feet first then place the ball on the floor. 

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15 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

It’s either a knock on /losing possession or it’s not. It’s irrelevant to this question anyway as at this non PTB referred to in the OP the ref gives a penalty not a scrum. 

In a play the ball, the player is directed by the laws of the game to place (or drop) the ball in front of him.  At any other point in the game, that would be classed as losing possession or a knock on.

Edited by Dunbar

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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6 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Of course it's not irrelevant.  In a play the ball, the player is directed by the laws of the game to place (or drop) the ball in front of him.  At any other point in the game, that would be classed as losing possession or a knock on.

Dropping would but players wouldn’t get away with that at a PTB it would be awarded as a knock on / losing possession. I just don’t believe placing is but it’s irrelevant because it’s a discussion on what the ref awards in this situation. He doesn’t give a scrum he doesn’t give a diliberate knock on either. The only times I’ve seen it done he he tells the players you can’t PTB because you aren’t tackled. So I’d accept it’s either classed as a voluntary tackle or it’s own rule were the actual PTB is prohibited in open play. 

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1 minute ago, bobbruce said:

Dropping would but players wouldn’t get away with that at a PTB it would be awarded as a knock on / losing possession. I just don’t believe placing is but it’s irrelevant because it’s a discussion on what the ref awards in this situation. He doesn’t give a scrum he doesn’t give a diliberate knock on either. The only times I’ve seen it done he he tells the players you can’t PTB because you aren’t tackled. So I’d accept it’s either classed as a voluntary tackle or it’s own rule were the actual PTB is prohibited in open play. 

I misread your point on irrelevant, I have edited my post.

I agree that this is really about the ref penalising a voluntary tackle but I was just commenting on the difference between a lost ball and a knock on as they are different.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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28 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I misread your point on irrelevant, I have edited my post.

I agree that this is really about the ref penalising a voluntary tackle but I was just commenting on the difference between a lost ball and a knock on as they are different.

How are they different? A lost ball backwards would be play on. A lost ball forwards would be a knock on. At the ptb it would be incorrect ptb.

How is "lost ball" an offence?

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2 hours ago, The Blues Ox said:

I'm just wondering on an interpretation that comes up every now and again and happened in the Widnes V Fax game last week. Ben Kavanagh takes the ball in to contact and falls to the ground and stands up and plays the ball thinking that he has been tackled, he mistakenly thought he was touched by a Widnes player on the ground but it was actually one of his teammates. He looked to the ref for guidance who probably shouted to play on to which Kavanagh mistakingly tplays the ball rather than run. The ref blows his whistle and signals a penalty to Widnes.

What is the actual rule on this? Its one I can never get my head around because to me at worst it should be given as a knock on placing the ball on the floor and I struggle to see how the attacking team are gaining an advantage doing this. Also any player at any time in open play is free to place the ball on the floor if they so wish and roll it backwards so I assume the rule is based in some way around simulation. There seems to be a shift at the moment where incorrect play the balls are now punished with a scrum rather than a penalty so it seems strange that this is still interpreted as a penalty.

It should be the loss of a tackle and a re playing of the ball at the spot he ' assumed ' he was tackled , when the Ref has re set the defensive line 

Well that's what common sense would dictate , but this is RL 🙄

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5 minutes ago, Wholly Trinity said:

How are they different? A lost ball backwards would be play on. A lost ball forwards would be a knock on. At the ptb it would be incorrect ptb.

How is "lost ball" an offence?

I have already quoted the law, here it is again.

If, after being tackled, he accidentally loses possession, a scrum shall be formed except after the fifth play-the-ball.

https://www.rugby-league.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/laws-of-the-game

So.  In normal play, if a player loses possession it is only an offence if it goes forward... I.e. a knock on.  A player can drop the ball backwards and regather and it is play on.

But after a tackle has been  effected, if a player loses possession before the ball is played then an offence is called.  And it doesn't matter which direction the ball is lost... simply that it has been lost.

Edited by Dunbar

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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55 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

It should really be a penalty as you are supposed to get to your feet first then place the ball on the floor. 

Fair enough, but I`m just happy to see fast PTB`s especially when so much of the game these days revolves around slowing down the PTB so defences can get set. There`s nothing like a retreating or staggered defensive line to provide opportunities for opening the game up.

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6 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I have already quoted the law, here it is again.

If, after being tackled, he accidentally loses possession, a scrum shall be formed except after the fifth play-the-ball.

https://www.rugby-league.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/laws-of-the-game

So.  In normal play, if a player loses possession it is only an offence if it goes forward... I.e. a knock on.  A player can drop the ball backwards and regather and it is play on.

But after a tackle has been  effected, if a player loses possession before the ball is played then an offence is called.  And it doesn't matter which direction the ball is lost... simply that it has been lost.

It wasn't after a tackle 

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8 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Fair enough, but I`m just happy to see fast PTB`s especially when so much of the game these days revolves around slowing down the PTB so defences can get set. There`s nothing like a retreating or staggered defensive line to provide opportunities for opening the game up.

Yes we know the Aussies don't follow the rules 😉 

And as you've laughed at that one ,I'll add 

So what you really mean is the defending team is cheating by holding down , so the attacking team can cheat by not playing the ball correctly 

Why not just not cheat and stick to the rules ? 😉

Edited by GUBRATS
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