A new season is upon us and the questions are flooding in  – keep them coming to dutyref@gmail.com

1. Rolling Substitutions

Question: At a game this weekend a ” discussion” took place on the sideline in which a coach claimed that rolling subs applied to front rows as well as the remining players…can you clarify if a team can continously change their front row ( with suitably trained players) or is there a restriction?

Duty Ref: Rolling subs applies to all players.

Changes under this Law shall include blood replacements and injuries; indeed any time one player replaces another player from the same team other than front-row replacements required after a yellow card.

Refer to https://www.arlb.ie/?page_id=317

2. Kicks in open play and lineouts

Question: Having received a kicked ball from the red outhalf, the Blue full back does likewise and kicks ball forward towards red team tryline.

This goes over the heads of his team mates and heads towrds the touchline going into touch, near the red 22′.

Red winger picks up ball and attempts a quick lineout, but is prevented by blue forwards who were retreating but turned when their blue team mate returned the kick.

So;

Assuming they were not back 10m before re-engaging in play,

a) Is it correct to penalise blue forwards for being offside if they interfere or attempt to prevent the quick line out ?

b) If the blue forwards remained back 10m as the ball went over their heads and bounced, and they then started to run and follow the ball up the pitch as it rolled into touch, are they offside if they interfere with the attempted quick line out ?

Finally,

c) are there any circumstances where players must remain a distance back into their in-goal to be onside, or is tight up behind the tryline always onside ?

Duty Ref: For the first question.

a) As long as the blue players were complying with law, then they are are allowed to advance ONCE the ball has rolled into touch. They cannot move forward even if the ball is in the air and is probably going to go into touch.

If they are within 10m and retreat 1m before the ball goes into touch then they can move forward and as you say prevent the quick throw as long as they are more than 5m in. The emailer says when the  blue team mate returned the kick. Just clarify that blue teammates can move forward not when the kick is returned but when they are put onside.

b) No they are onside.

c) They must remain behind the try line.

3. Lineouts

Question: Using the Under 19 variations is it permissable to throw the ball into the lineout any other way than with an over head throw???

Duty Ref: The ball may be thrown in any way as long as it is straight down the middle and allows for a competition e.g. it may be passed into the lineout.

4. In goal infringements

Question: Hi There, the following scenario is probably highly unlikely, but if it did occur, what would be the correct procedure?

Blue and Gold are playing.  The ball is kicked by Gold and it rolls into Blue’s in-goal area.  A Blue player touches the ball down in his in-goal area.  The game will now re-start with a drop out on the Blue 22 metre line.  In the meantime a Gold player has run into the Blue in-goal area and committed an act of foul play (striking the Blue player in the face with his hand).

Now an act of foul play has occurred, in the in-goal area.  The referee awards a penalty (and perhaps issues a yellow card).  Where is the mark for the penalty.  Is it:

on the Blue 5 metre line (as per law 21.2b) or

where the game would have been restarted, the Blue 22 metre line?

Duty Ref:

This is covered under 22.17  (c) Any other foul play. When a player commits any other foul play in the in-goal while the ball is out of play, the penalty kick is awarded at the place where the game would otherwise have re-started.

The penalty would be where the game would restart.

5. Mark

Question: Can a player call for a mark off a Penalty if (a) a kick a post falls short & (b) if the ball does not reach touch.

Duty Ref: Yes for both scenarios.
A mark cannot be made from a kick-off, or a restart kick except for a drop-out.

6. Anchoring / latching

Question: I was hoping if you could help clarify an interprtation of a particular law

LAW 15.7 FORBIDDEN PRACTICES

(b) No player may prevent the tackled player from releasing the ball and getting up or moving away from it.
Sanction: Penalty kick

Now most referees that I speak with about this concede that (whilst they are fully aware of its existance) it is impossible/impractical to enforce it.
I am coaching at Youths level and everyone teaches this method and I presume that we will do the same unless informed otherwise.
Another view is that it could be a form of obstruction  (strictly interpreted it makes it more difficult for the opposition to exercise their right to compete for the ball.)

By way of an example: Blue player has been tackled by red player, red player moves away, whilst the blue tackled player lays on the ground and presents the ball and then another blue player (second blue player) then straddles the ball and crounching low and on his feet (in a scrum style body position) then grips his team mate (the tackled blue player) by shorts and shirt.

Duty Ref: Blue player has been tackled by red player, red player moves away, whilst the blue tackled player lays on the ground and presents the ball and then another blue player (second blue player) then straddles the ball and crouching low and on his feet (in a scrum style body position) then grips his team mate (the tackled blue player) by shorts and shirt.

Once the blue play is holding his own body weight he is entitled to do this. If he is not holding his own body weight i.e. the tackled blue player on the ground is supporting the player on his feet then he is considered to be off his feet.

15.6 OTHER PLAYERS

(a) After a tackle, all other players must be on their feet when they play the ball. Players are on their feet if no other part of their body is supported by the ground or players on the ground.

The law you refer to

LAW 15.7 FORBIDDEN PRACTICES

(b) No player may prevent the tackled player from releasing the ball and getting up or moving away from it.
Sanction: Penalty kick

is more for the tackler preventing the tackled player from releasing the ball or getting up. What you refer to in your example shows that this has not occurred. Blue was able to present the ball and red moved away. I am not sure which referees you have been speaking to but there are obvious signs as to whether blue arriving player is off his feet. 1. Body position and angle. There are certain angles which would make it impossible for his to be on his feet. 2. Position of knees. If his knees are resting on the tackled player it is likely his is not supporting his own body weight. 3. If he is in a scrum engagement type position ‘crouch’ he is likely to be on his feet. He is allowed to tocuh the player on the ground. The key work is supporting. Who is supporting who.