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Rules on "ball on the ground"

Quatorze

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Hi all,

I am hoping if someone can clarify this question for me. During a match at the weekend I noticed at one point the ball was on the ground and not being played and the an opposition player arrives and dives on top of it just as one of our players who is on his feet bent over to pick up the ball. The ball is now out of play as it is under the opposition players body. Whilst still on the ground he then passes the ball back to a player who comes into pick up the ball from him. Now is this an illegal move, is he allowed to dive on the ball?

Many thanks in advance if you can clarify this one for me.
 

Munster17

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If his knees touched the ground when diving for it, then he passes it, that's considered playing on the ground. Playing the ball at all when your knees are on the ground is considered playing on the ground.

That actually happened at my game just last Saturday. The referee called playing on the ground for it. Hope this helps :)
 

Quatorze

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Hi Munster17,

Thank you for your reply,

No he was not on his knees, after he dived on the ball he remained led down then passed placed the ball towards his player as if tackled. At one point when he dived on the ball, the ball was under his body therefore unplayable. What do you think?

Reason why I am looking for clarification is because this move gave their team advantage and we lost a lot of territory.

Regards

Quatorze
 

Which Tyler

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My understanding is to think of it like a tackle - you can play the ball, it just has to be more-or-less immediate.
Playing the ball may be placing it on the ground for the SH to pick up, popping the ball up to someone else; or getting back to his feet and running / taking the tackle.

Holding on too long should see a penalty given away; though he hasn't technically been tackled.
 

Quatorze

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Many thanks for the replies, I have given it some thought and looked up the RFU rules for this type of play and it is ok as long as the ball is played eg passed back as it was or getting to the feet and playing, there is no problem with the action.
Glad it is clarified, thanks again.
 

smartcooky

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Many thanks for the replies, I have given it some thought and looked up the RFU rules for this type of play and it is ok as long as the ball is played eg passed back as it was or getting to the feet and playing, there is no problem with the action.
Glad it is clarified, thanks again.


Sorry to be late on this. I see you have answered your own question

FYI, Law 14 deals with all situations where the ball is on the ground, or a player who has not been tackled is on the ground with the ball.

[TEXTAREA]Law 14 Ball on the Ground - No Tackle

DEFINITIONS
This situation occurs when the ball is available on the ground and a player goes to ground to gather the ball, except immediately after a scrum or a ruck.
It also occurs when a player is on the ground in possession of the ball and has not been tackled.
The Game is to be played by players who are on their feet. A player must not make the ball unplayable by falling down. Unplayable means that the ball is not immediately available to either team so that play may continue.
A player who makes the ball unplayable, or who obstructs the opposing team by falling down, is negating the purpose and Spirit of the Game and must be penalised.
A player who is not tackled, but who goes to ground while holding the ball, or a player who goes to ground and gathers the ball, must act immediately.

14.1 PLAYERS ON THE GROUND
(a) A player with the ball must immediately do one of three things:
• Get up with the ball
• Pass the ball
• Release the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(b) A player who passes or releases the ball must also get up or move away from it at once.
Sanction: Penalty kick

(c) A player without the ball must not lie on, over, or near the ball to prevent opponents getting possession of it.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(d) A player on the ground must not tackle or attempt to tackle an opponent.
Sanction: Penalty kick

14.2 PLAYERS ON THEIR FEET
(a) Falling over the player on the ground with the ball. A player must not intentionally fall on or over a player with the ball who is lying on the ground.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(b) Falling over players lying on the ground near the ball. A player must not intentionally fall on or over players lying on the ground with the ball between them or near them.
Sanction: Penalty kick[/TEXTAREA]

So, what your player did was OK because after falling on the the ball, he acted immediately i.a.w. Law 14.1 (a). What he would not have been allowed to do was fall on the ball and cover it up to prevent the opponent getting to it, and then remain coving it up or holding onto it on the ground.

Another thing to keep in mind is that players can approach this area from any direction. It is a common mistake I see with inexperienced referees at grass roots level; they penalise players for entering this area from the side, but in fact this is NOT a tackle situation so there is no gate.
 

Quatorze

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Thank you smartcooky, it is good to know I can get the right answers on here, after all the players work hard enough on the pitch and deserve the right decisions.
 

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