Deciding whether or not ball has been touched down...

j3ref

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#1
Red 10 chips over blue back line into blue 22. Red 12 reaches ball first kicking it along ground into in goal. Blue 15 reaches ball first this time and, looking rather uncertain about what to do, stoops over ball (his back to the opposition) as though intending to pick it up, whilst his team mates yell "touch it down". Blue 15 has touched the ball whilst it is on the ground, but he hasn't picked up the ball and touched it down again, and it isn't clear to me that he has applied any downward pressure. He stands up again looking confused. No knock-on. If anything ball moves towards dead ball line. The blue 15's action looks to me like a failed/aborted attempt to pick up the ball rather than a proper touch down. Split seconds later, red 12 comes steaming in and dives on the ball. I awarded the try because I felt that blue 15 had not completed a touch down - more of a failed/aborted attempt to pick up the ball. Blue team not happy. I explain my view of things and we carry on. Any thoughts?
 

crossref

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#2
There are two ways a player can ground the ball:
(a) Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.12
(b) Player presses down on the ball. A player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player’s body from waist to neck inclusive.

He didn't do (a)
Did he manage (b)?

It does say he has to 'press down' but to me the way you describe it sounds as if you are possibly technically correct... but a bit harsh?

I wonder what the attacking players were expecting you to give? I often think that if all thirty players are expecting a particular decision, thats most likely the best decision to give...
 
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j3ref

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#3
Thanks. Yes, I came away from the match feeling that I could justify the decision, but that it could also be viewed as harsh. It really was a scenario where I felt it was necessary to consider what I believe was the intention of the blue player to pick up the ball. If he had succeeded in picking up the ball, and had run the length of the pitch to score, my job would have been a whole lot easier! There was little reaction from spectators and coaches to the decision - I'm guessing because they could see that the fullback wasn't sure of what he was doing in this instance!
 

crossref

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#4
And I am not saying you necessarily made the wrong decision . At the end of the day you have to see it to call it.. And you saw it... And called it
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#5
I often think that if all thirty players are expecting a particular decision, thats most likely the best decision to give...
You should give the decision that your experience and training tells you is correct. Players are often wrong, eg "Let him up".
 

Dickie E

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#7
I remember this happening once when I was playing. I pressed down on the ball in-goal then picked it up to trot out to the 22. An opponent took the ball out of my hands and scored the "try". I wonder if I had a confused look on my face too. :shrug:
 

The Fat

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#8
You should give the decision that your experience and training tells you is correct. Players are often wrong, eg "Let him up" .
A la Phil Kearns whilst commentating during the Wallabies v Italy game.
Aaaaarrrrrrgggghhhh!!!!
 
#9
grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.
is it possible to ground the ball without there being any downward pressure?, ie...physics?
 
#11
j3ref;258075[B said:
]a failed/aborted attempt to pick up the ball.[/B]
It's entirely possible that a failed attempt to pick up the ball, could still be a grounding.

The Lesson for players is to help the referee decide in your favour by making it C&O.
 

Dixie

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#12
is it possible to ground the ball without there being any downward pressure?, ie...physics?
I don't think so.
I disagree. Grass 1" long. I (defender) running parallel to DBL, need to stop the rolling ball going dead, in order to launch a last-ditch attack. I dive to catch the ball, and to avoid grounding it I keep my hands under the ball, fingers splayed. As I slide along the deck, the back of my hands touch the ground. The top 1/2" of each blade of grass hits the ball; and one end of the ball just touches the soil for a fraction of a second. The ball has been grounded. In case of doubt, make me a rather stupid attacker - why is this not a try?

It's entirely possible that a failed attempt to pick up the ball, could still be a grounding.

The Lesson for players is to help the referee decide in your favour by making it C&O.
This
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#13
is it possible to ground the ball without there being any downward pressure?, ie...physics?
Hold the ball in one hand, palm upwards. Place the back of your hand on the ground and let the ball tilt so that part of it touches the ground. You are applying no downward force yourself, just allowing gravity to do its stuff.

You may choose to argue that you are applying a minuscule force, but the point that really matters is the distinction from the case where you are not holding the ball: then you must clearly apply a downward force, not just touch the ball.
 

crossref

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#17
You should give the decision that your experience and training tells you is correct. Players are often wrong, eg "Let him up".
if all 30 players believe they have to let him up, then they'll just let him up .... and no offence committed and I'll smile to myself and play on.


I wouldn't be be frightened to make a decision that all thirty players disagreed with, but it's hard to think of a scenario where that would happen.

In practice if all 30 players think one thing, and the referee has another view, I am guessing something has gone badly wrong.
 
#18
Hold the ball in one hand, palm upwards. Place the back of your hand on the ground and let the ball tilt so that part of it touches the ground. You are applying no downward force yourself, just allowing gravity to do its stuff.

I'd suggest you are applying a minuscule force :pepper:



 
#19
I disagree. Grass 1" long. I (defender) running parallel to DBL, need to stop the rolling ball going dead, in order to launch a last-ditch attack. I dive to catch the ball, and to avoid grounding it I keep my hands under the ball, fingers splayed. As I slide along the deck, the back of my hands touch the ground. The top 1/2" of each blade of grass hits the ball; and one end of the ball just touches the soil for a fraction of a second. The ball has been grounded. In case of doubt, make me a rather stupid attacker - why is this not a try?

This
That minuscule force again :pepper:

Or maybe you're saying that grass isn't the same as ground/soil/sod, when it comes to grounding !
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#20
Hold the ball in one hand, palm upwards. Place the back of your hand on the ground and let the ball tilt so that part of it touches the ground. You are applying no downward force yourself, just allowing gravity to do its stuff.

You may choose to argue that you are applying a minuscule force, but the point that really matters is the distinction from the case where you are not holding the ball: then you must clearly apply a downward force, not just touch the ball.

I'd suggest you are applying a minuscule force :pepper:



I already dealt with that point. The suggestion is pointless.