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The Forward Pass

Vieux Talonneur

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Interesting piece in the Torygraph about whether the forward pass law needs overhauling.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/11/14/rugby-debate-does-forward-pass-law-need-overhaul/

I know this has already been debated on here at length and will no doubt continue to be each time there's a contentious decision.

For me, the answer is an unequivocal yes, change is necessary. All this direction of hands stuff is 24 carat guff if the ball clearly travels forward from the point of release. I'd like the law revised so that it actively requires the ball to travel backwards towards your own posts from release. Effects of that might be that players have to be closer together and run on to the ball from deeper. Good, the game might start looking like rugby union again.
 
'Good, the game might start looking like rugby union again.'

Hahaha unless the scrum is sorted and being able to compete at the breakdown is allowed again then not a chance!
 
I'd like the law revised so that it actively requires the ball to travel backwards towards your own posts from release. Effects of that might be that players have to be closer together and run on to the ball from deeper. Good, the game might start looking like rugby union again.
Say goodbye to any skillful runners if you want that, there'd never be more than two passes strung together and teams would never stop kicking. The forward pass rule is fine.
 
Or there's just a chance that players might actually draw an opponent and use the pass to take them out of the game. Fanciful, I know. Or perish the thought, but if players are closer together there might even be some space for a winger to try and take their man on the outside. If memory serves that's a great sight.

'Good, the game might start looking like rugby union again.'

Hahaha unless the scrum is sorted and being able to compete at the breakdown is allowed again then not a chance!

Bring back rucking and don't let the TMO adjudicate on them!
 
Requiring the ball to actually go backwards in the modern game is ridiculous. A back who is reasonably athletic should be running at top speed at about 8-8.5m/s taking a 12 to 13 second 100 m for a modern outside back. The average pass speed of a rugby ball is about 31mph so this is 13.858m/s. Requiring the ball to travel backwards means that your pass would have to leave your hands going about 8-8.5m/s backwards just to cancel out your forward momentum. This slows down the ability to pass the ball across the field from travelling at 13.8m/s to 11.07m/s. Meaning that for a backs move spreading the ball let's say 30-40m across the pitch out to the wings this will add an extra 0.53-0.76 seconds for the ball to get across. Now since the average back is running at about 8-8.5m/s now we have all the defending backs will be 4-6m further across the pitch meaning the wider channels will be more congested and better covered. Also the addition of passing the ball backwards at 8.5m/s means that for a 10m pass the player will now be 7.7m behind the passer and thus the defender has nearly 1 whole second to readjust to the ball being moved before the new ball carrier reaches the defensive line. With the increased speed, fitness and organisation in the modern game far from opening space this move will in fact shut down the wider channels and give defences greater time to organise. The net result far from being a return to the "glory days" of rugby would in fact be a stifled game with less expansive attacking opportunity.
 
I'd say rugby is right up there with basketball in allowing really athletic people to do super athletic awesome things and you want to get rid of that... just watch games from the 70s if that's what you want.
 
We'll done Tadginator, although i think you've forgotten the effects of gravity on the longer passes, thus resulting in more looped passes and a further slow down! Jk.

it would also be extremely difficult for a player to judge how far backwards he's need to throw the ball to negate the forward momentum generated by his running! The current law is perfectly fine, and the only fair way to reff it.

there was a goof irb video demonstrating how it all works, with an example of a player throwing the ball backwards over his head, but demonstrating how the ball still travelled forwards relative to the ground. It'd be unfair to call such a pass forwards!
 
I'd say rugby is right up there with basketball in allowing really athletic people to do super athletic awesome things and you want to get rid of that... just watch games from the 70s if that's what you want.

Early 90s would be fine, thanks.

I knew I'd be in a minority in this one. Tadginator, you put up an excellent argument and owe me for teeing you up for so many likes. I'm sure others could put a similarly technical counter argument, but that's not my bag. But when a TMO has to have multiple views to see if a pass that went 2 meters forward is a forward pass and decides it isn't then something's not quite right and the game is jeopardizing one of its unique distinguishing features. Maybe the answer's not as extreme as I originally suggested, but I definitely feel the subject needs looking at. And who knows what impact a potential rule change will have until its trialled?

EDIT. Emoji malfunction, There are supposed to be a couple of smileys in there!
 

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