Failed Head Butt

FlipFlop

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#21
Didds - the RFU has a legal document, which sets out what you legally accept when you step onto the pitch. I have not read all of it, but it sets out that some action, even if illegal in Rugby, are no longer illegal in the eyes of the law.

If you think this is strange - think about boxing - two people punching in a way that if it happened in the street, would be criminal behaviour.

The RFU document is available to be read in the RFU Library (or certainly used to be), which can be accessed by any member on request to the Museum of Rugby.
 

The Fat

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#22
If one was in this situation, they could write "As AR I was 5 meters from the foul play situation as follows; Blue 6, and Red 7, persisted to push and wrestle each other, away from the ball. I shouted, 'STOP, Leave Him!' Then Blue 6 attempted to head-butt Red 7, red 7 evaded and contact was not made, then Red 7 attempted to punch Blue 6 in the head, blue 6 avoided the punch and no contact was made. Blue 6 was in violation of 10.4.F, 10.4.L, 10.4.M and 10.2.A and was sent off. Red 7 was in violation of 10.4.F, 10.4.L, 10.4.M and 10.2.A and was cautioned and temporarily suspended. This type of thuggery has no place in our game."
The judiciary chairman may then ask you, "So as AR you witnessed a player from each team guilty of the same offences, those being 10.4(f), 10.4(l), 10.4(m) and 10.2(a), and yet you recommended a YC for one and a RC for the other. How do you reconcile your recommendation? Can you be sure that, based on your view that the intent of both player's actions should result in punishment, the head-butt would have caused more injury, had it connected, than the punch?"

Now personally, had I been the AR, I would have described what had happened in the correct sequence with colour/number/action and then waited for the ref to consider and respond. Had the ref then asked for my recommendation, I would have said caution and YC for each player.
 

crossref

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#23
Didds - the RFU has a legal document, which sets out what you legally accept when you step onto the pitch. I have not read all of it, but it sets out that some action, even if illegal in Rugby, are no longer illegal in the eyes of the law.

.
the RFU may have its opinions -- but the RFU does not determine what actions are legal or illegal in Criminal Law.
 

Dixie

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#24
Didds - the RFU has a legal document, which sets out what you legally accept when you step onto the pitch. I have not read all of it, but it sets out that some action, even if illegal in Rugby, are no longer illegal in the eyes of the law.

If you think this is strange - think about boxing - two people punching in a way that if it happened in the street, would be criminal behaviour.
Flipflop, I haven't seen the documetn you mention, but I imagine that it takes as its starting point the fact that people playing contact sports consent to a degree of contact. It is the extent of that degree that is important, though, and that extent is probably itself informed by the laws of the game in question.

You mention boxing. It is fully in accordance with the laws of boxing to punch your opponent in the face as hard as you can. By stepping int the ring, you consent to that degree of violence being inflicted upon you, and you very reasonably expect to be free from prosecution in the event that your own punch hurts your opponent. But if you take off you glove and hit just as hard, I suggest your immunity disappears because the opponent has not consented to being hit with an unmuffled fist. Indeed, I suspect bare-knuckle fighting is not a legal sport in the UK.

In rugby, one consents to being assaulted by an opponent in a prescribed manner; shoulder first, followed by a wrap. If the tackler gets it wrong and executes a shoulder charge instead, with or without intent, that is a deviation that is not acceptable in the laws of the game, but is not sufficiently wide of the accepted mark to make the action actionable (as it were). But if the tackler puts in a studs-up drop-kick, that is probably actionable as being too wide of the degree of violence accepted by stepping onto the pitch. Ditto the haymaker.

As to whether such unacceptable assaults should result in more police intervention, I leave that entirely to the aggrieved party. The offender has rendered himself liable to prosecution by his illegal action. If the aggrieved party decides that no real purpose is served by lodging a police complaint, I am not going to argue him out of that position. But equally, if he feels that the offender needs to be brought to justice, I'm not going to argue him out of that either.
 

ChrisR

Player or Coach
#25
I agree with the following posts:

1. As an AR, describe the actions but leave the sanctions to the referee unless asked.

2. The temper of the game and two players can influence the sanctions.

3. YCs for a cooling off period seem right for what was described. RC is a heavy hammer.
 

thepercy

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#26
The judiciary chairman may then ask you, "So as AR you witnessed a player from each team guilty of the same offences, those being 10.4(f), 10.4(l), 10.4(m) and 10.2(a), and yet you recommended a YC for one and a RC for the other. How do you reconcile your recommendation? Can you be sure that, based on your view that the intent of both player's actions should result in punishment, the head-butt would have caused more injury, had it connected, than the punch?"

Now personally, had I been the AR, I would have described what had happened in the correct sequence with colour/number/action and then waited for the ref to consider and respond. Had the ref then asked for my recommendation, I would have said caution and YC for each player.
That seems reasonable, no sanction, no penalty, no admonishment, does not seem reasonable IMO. A head-butt is almost always a Red for me, a defensive/reactive punch after a head-butt might be yellow. It certainly is subjective.
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#27
Didds - the RFU has a legal document, which sets out what you legally accept when you step onto the pitch. I have not read all of it, but it sets out that some action, even if illegal in Rugby, are no longer illegal in the eyes of the law.

If you think this is strange - think about boxing - two people punching in a way that if it happened in the street, would be criminal behaviour.

The RFU document is available to be read in the RFU Library (or certainly used to be), which can be accessed by any member on request to the Museum of Rugby.

I don;t doubt there is a document - but I don;t follow what you say above?

of course there are actions in game of rugby that are "legal" within the confines of the game - a tackle being an obvious example. Perform a rugby tackle on someone in the high street and that IS assault. When we play rugby we accept that this otherwise illegal act is legal having chosen to participate in a game.

Meanwhile, punching, kicking, stamping, headbutting, elbowing etc is not legal in rugby. Neither is it legal in the high street. Participants in a game of rugby are not accepting that being assaulted in these manners is part of the game.

I am however struggling to think of any sort of assault that would happen in a game of rugby that is illegal in a game, but legal on the high street.


didds
 
#28
I see no reason why something that is "assault" ................. should not be treated as illegal by police etc if they happen in a game.

didds
Are you saying that the Police should be involved in all Assault ?.......crikey..... if so, the sport 'would' have a connundrum (it requires aggression yet wont accept a spill over) or are you confining the view to only the more serious 'Bodily Harm's ?
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#29
There is a tenet in law that permits what would be assault in the high street is permitted within games where that action is accepted and legal within that game and thus participants can expect it to happen. One of the lawyers here can probably tell us chapter and verse.

hence the example of a tackle which is assault outside of the remit of playing and training for rugby.

So tackling someone playing rugby is not assault.

Without this legal nuance, boxing would be finished, along with martial arts and other contact sports.

However, headbutting etc is not legal within rugby, is not thus something that could be expected to happen when playing, and as such remains assault.



I'm surprised this is so difficult to understand.

didds
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#30
Are you saying that the Police should be involved in all Assault ?.......crikey..... if so, the sport 'would' have a connundrum (it requires aggression yet wont accept a spill over) or are you confining the view to only the more serious 'Bodily Harm's ?

That presumably wouldm be up to

* the person attacked to report it
* the police to decide whether a successful prosection is likely and "in the public interest" or somesuch.

I was assaulted just over a year ago. the bloke was so drunk he was thouroughly ineffectual though he did rip my coat to shreds.

It was assault and in front of about 100 witnesses.

I didnt; report it to the police because I didn;t honestly think it was worthwhile pursuing. YMMV of course.

had be broken my nose it might have been a different matter.

In short the police only get involved on the whole if someone reports the assault. If there is a bit of "argy bargy" and/or "afters" and somebody wants to report such an assault they are perfectly at liberty to do so. The same as they are if it happens on a high street.

If of course you think that having a head stamped on, or a nose broken by a headbutt is not worthy of reporting when it happens to you, that is of course your prerogative.

didds
 

thepercy

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#31
I don;t doubt there is a document - but I don;t follow what you say above?

of course there are actions in game of rugby that are "legal" within the confines of the game - a tackle being an obvious example. Perform a rugby tackle on someone in the high street and that IS assault. When we play rugby we accept that this otherwise illegal act is legal having chosen to participate in a game.

Meanwhile, punching, kicking, stamping, headbutting, elbowing etc is not legal in rugby. Neither is it legal in the high street. Participants in a game of rugby are not accepting that being assaulted in these manners is part of the game.

I am however struggling to think of any sort of assault that would happen in a game of rugby that is illegal in a game, but legal on the high street.


didds
Maybe, retaliation? Self-defense in the real world but not allowed in rugby.
 
#33
That presumably wouldm be up to

* the person attacked to report it
* the police to decide whether a successful prosection is likely and "in the public interest" or somesuch.

I was assaulted just over a year ago. the bloke was so drunk he was thouroughly ineffectual though he did rip my coat to shreds.

It was assault and in front of about 100 witnesses.

I didnt; report it to the police because I didn;t honestly think it was worthwhile pursuing. YMMV of course.

had be broken my nose it might have been a different matter.

In short the police only get involved on the whole if someone reports the assault. If there is a bit of "argy bargy" and/or "afters" and somebody wants to report such an assault they are perfectly at liberty to do so. The same as they are if it happens on a high street.

If of course you think that having a head stamped on, or a nose broken by a headbutt is not worthy of reporting when it happens to you, that is of course your prerogative.

didds
OK, i hear your point.
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#34
Volenti non fit injuria is the legal tag that says if you are aware of the risks, you can agree to accept them.
Volenti only applies to the risk which a reasonable person would consider them as having assumed by their actions; thus a boxer consents to being hit, and to the injuries that might be expected from being hit, but does not consent to (for example) his opponent striking him with an iron bar, or punching him outside the usual terms of boxing.
Wikipedia

The defence has been raised (unsuccessfully) in cases concerning serious injury
The Plaintiff (Claimant) was not volens to the risk of injury; he had only consented to the ordinary incidents of a game of rugby.
Smoldon v Whitworth (spinal injury in a collapsed scrum)

If you want to get legal please note that we are talking about "battery", which requires physical contact. In the phrase "assault and battery", assault covers such things as an attempted head butt, because you make the other person fear the contact. On the high street an attempted head butt would constitute an assault.
 
#38
Bit before I got involved in Rugby... This ESPN article says it was an elbow to the face (in the tackle) after the ball was gone. Would it have made any difference, if he'd elbowed the ball carrier in the face, had the tackle NOT been late? I don't think so.
35 penalties ( id love to know how long the ball was actually in play during this battle, my guess 16 mins ! )

Oh........ the good old days !
 

shnipvanwinkel

Moderator Attention - New Usergroup Required
#39
the RFU may have its opinions -- but the RFU does not determine what actions are legal or illegal in Criminal Law.
Technically no: if players assent to certain conduct by prior agreement then there is no recourse in law, as the reasonable person requirement would be that of a reasonable person in that situation.
 

crossref

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#40
Technically no: if players assent to certain conduct by prior agreement then there is no recourse in law, as the reasonable person requirement would be that of a reasonable person in that situation.
that's essentially true (I think it's a bit trickier and more subtle than the way you expressed it) - but that's because it's the way the Law works - it's not because the RFU have decreed it to be so.