Fending / Face palming... where's the line?? :/

fatscally

Rugby Club Member
#1
I had about 4 bloody noses last week and I know exactly why. Punches from the butt of the palm.

All happening in a few seconds that make a RL tackle... let's say we have a heavy RED forward tackled low by 2 BLUE light backs. The 2 blues stop him but don't get him down. As the 3rd blue runs in high to topple the RED, RED punches out with the butt of his palm in a move that I would consider intent on breaking a fella's nose. 3rd blue falls backwards (holding his face) and the other 2 may or may not topple him.

How can I take it from a Fend to a Punch? I know the brat is enjoying it too much. :/




LEIN0180.jpg
 
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Phil E

, Referees/Trains Referees in England
#2
In order to do what you describe, the ball carrier needs to straighten his arm.

A hand off should be an open hand and a bent arm. It's a judgement call.

Of course, if you tackle properly, around the thighs, the chances of a stiff arm to the face are severely diminished.
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#3
in the OP there were alrteady two blokes arapped around the thighs that hadn't stopped the runner!

didds
 

Phil E

, Referees/Trains Referees in England
#4
in the OP there were alrteady two blokes arapped around the thighs that hadn't stopped the runner!

didds
You can't run with two people wrapped round your thighs.
It's only a matter of a couple more paces.
If you go In high, you are asking for a face plant.
 

4eyesbetter

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#6
I had about 4 bloody noses last week and I know exactly why. Punches from the butt of the palm.

All happening in a few seconds that make a RL tackle... let's say we have a heavy RED forward tackled low by 2 BLUE light backs. The 2 blues stop him but don't get him down. As the 3rd blue runs in high to topple the RED, RED punches out with the butt of his palm in a move that I would consider intent on breaking a fella's nose. 3rd blue falls backwards (holding his face) and the other 2 may or may not topple him.

How can I take it from a Fend to a Punch? I know the brat is enjoying it too much. :/
For me, a legitimate fend goes one of two ways. Either the ballcarrier puts a hand on an opponent with his arm bent and then extends it after making contact, or else he puts his arm out straight and lets the opponent run into his stationary hand

If, on the other hand, he sees someone coming, raises his hand with a bent arm, and then straightens it to make contact, then I've got a penalty against, and most likely at least a sin-bin for dangerous contact. If you're certain that he's deliberately targeting the opponent's head to do damage with it, send off and make sure you put in a very good report for the inevitable hearing to refer to.

You can't run with two people wrapped round your thighs.
It's only a matter of a couple more paces.
On the other hand, in this context, what you can do with the ball free is pop up a deadly offload to your support player, or you can be sure of getting into a good position for a quick play-the-ball.
 
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didds

, Resident Club Coach
#7
*shrug* whatever.

the OP said " RED forward tackled low by 2 BLUE light backs. The 2 blues stop him but don't get him down."

Its offload time. So time to stop him offoading. You could put a 3rd defender (defence now down to 9) and allow him to offload. Or you could target the ball and try and prevent the offload, slow down the play the ball and realign the defenders . Of course going in high may end up with a hand off. Sometimes its still a good option.

didds

didds

didds
 

Phil E

, Referees/Trains Referees in England
#8
Or you could target the ball and try and prevent the offload, slow down the play the ball and realign the defenders . Of course going in high may end up with a hand off. Sometimes its still a good option.
You pay your money, you take your choice; or to put it another way, you go high, you take the risk.
 

The Fat

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/australia
#9
I had about 4 bloody noses last week and I know exactly why. Punches from the butt of the palm.

All happening in a few seconds that make a RL tackle... let's say we have a heavy RED forward tackled low by 2 BLUE light backs. The 2 blues stop him but don't get him down. As the 3rd blue runs in high to topple the RED, RED punches out with the butt of his palm in a move that I would consider intent on breaking a fella's nose. 3rd blue falls backwards (holding his face) and the other 2 may or may not topple him.

How can I take it from a Fend to a Punch? I know the brat is enjoying it too much. :/
OK, so I have this picture in my mind of a ball carrier close to or stationary and a defender approaching to presumeably wrap his arms around ball/upper body/ball & upper body etc, and the ball carrier lining him up and extendinghis arm so that the base of the palm hits the defender square in the nose. Is that the scenario you are trying to describe? If so, then I would penalise and possibly YC the ball carrier for striking under Law 10-4(a). It is not a punch as the fist is not closed but I would argue that it could do just as much damage.
 

ctrainor

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#10
I've penalised people many times for what I call a hit to the face.
It is a judgement call and it doesn't have to be a a straight arm to do damage.
You can normally just tell when a ball carrier looks at approaching tackler and aims his hand to the face.
 

Taff

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/wales.png
#11
.... If, on the other hand, he sees someone coming, raises his hand with a bent arm, and then straightens it to make contact, then I've got a penalty against, and most likely at least a sin-bin for dangerous contact.
Law reference?

The strange thing is that the hand-off you would penalise above, is a text book example of how we were told to do them. In fact the word "piston" was used several times.

Sounds to me that we are talking about a "Palm Strike" in the OP? See the YouTube link below - the important bit is at 1min 30 secs.

http://youtu.be/Tg118HhDRDU

He may make a good bouncer, but he's definately no plasterer. :biggrin:
 
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crossref

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#12
I'd like to explore more about this whole straight-arm / bent-arm thing

- I don't think there is any Law, clarification or guidance that discusses straight/bent arm hand offs? (correct me if i am wrong)
- and I hear a lot of confusing - and sometime completely contradictory views from refs and coaches. the the extent that some say arm MUST be bent, orther say arm must NOT be bent.

How do people here referee the hand-off, fend off?
 

Taff

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/wales.png
#13
I'd like to explore more about this whole straight-arm / bent-arm thing. .... How do people here referee the hand-off, fend off?
For what it's worth I was just told to make sure it was an open palm and not a clawed fist. No mention of straight or bent arm.

I assume the straight arm is suggested to prevent the "Palm Strike" above.
 

Dixie

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#14
I'd like to explore more about this whole straight-arm / bent-arm thing

- I don't think there is any Law, clarification or guidance that discusses straight/bent arm hand offs? (correct me if i am wrong)
- and I hear a lot of confusing - and sometime completely contradictory views from refs and coaches. the the extent that some say arm MUST be bent, orther say arm must NOT be bent.

How do people here referee the hand-off, fend off?
Good point.

It's not that "straight vs bent" is a defining factor, but that the circumstances in which the question arises tend to make it a relevant factor in those circumstances. When the defender is gaining on an opponent from behind, the closing speeds are low and he can safely run full pelt into an open palm on the end of a straight arm. cf my favourite photo of Dixie Jr:

View attachment 2572

But in the context of a centre running straight at an opponent, with far higher closing speeds, a straight arm is a dangerous weapon, irrespective of whether there is a fist or a palm on the end of it. In that circumstance, the straight arm has to be a PK - ideally (but unrealistically) before it makes contact. The weapon status of the palm can be mitigated, though, by flexing the elbow so there is some give at impact - the same principle as crumple zones on a car. If the elbow is flexed on impact to reduce the collision, but the arm is then straightened to push the defender away, the question then focuses not on the push, but on whether the degree of flexation (flexion?) successfully takes the impact down from dangerous to acceptable in the referee's personal judgement. But if the arm starts flexed and the straightening takes place before impact - we call this a strike and issue :noyc: or :norc: depending on the power of the impact (note: not on whether the defender was killed or merely stunned - that can be a matter of luck, which does nothing to mitigate the act itself).
 

fatscally

Rugby Club Member
#15
Thanks lads. Forget about the playing/tackle scenario. Let's just concentrate on the hand to face contact. With the base of the palm there's shoving someone away and then there's punching someone away. From reading this I can see we agree it's a "strike to the face".
How do substantiate the penalty? Someone stated law 10.4 - What's the wording of that? (I have a pretty thin rule book)





the base of the palm hits the defender square in the nose. Is that the scenario you are trying to describe? If so, then I would penalise and possibly YC the ball carrier for striking under Law 10-4(a). It is not a punch as the fist is not closed but I would argue that it could do just as much damage.
In martial arts you are thought to hit with the base of the palm because the bones in your fingers are too small and delicate. (not sure how that (in their reasoning) relates to the wrist)

I've penalised people many times for what I call a hit to the face.
It is a judgement call and it doesn't have to be a a straight arm to do damage.
Can also tell by the tackler holding his face and trying to straighten his nose.


Law reference?
Sounds to me that we are talking about a "Palm Strike" in the OP? See the YouTube link below - the important bit is at 1min 30 secs.

http://youtu.be/Tg118HhDRDU
^^ This is a good example of the palm-punching my lad is doing. :mad:


this to me is a fend = shoving someone off balance away.
 

crossref

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#16
that picture is a great picture: but it doesn't tell you anything: tell tell if this was a blow, or a shove would need a video.
 

Taff

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/wales.png
#17
... Let's just concentrate on the hand to face contact. With the base of the palm there's shoving someone away and then there's punching someone away. From reading this I can see we agree it's a "strike to the face".
How do substantiate the penalty? Someone stated law 10.4 - What's the wording of that? (I have a pretty thin rule book)
The whole Law book is available HERE

... ^^ This is a good example of the palm-punching my lad is doing. :mad:
10.4 Dangerous play and misconduct
(a) Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

OK so we (ie the referees) now have to decide whether his action is a legitimate hand-off or a "strike". If his action is like the "Marine" in that video, I think nearly all of us would class that as a "Strike", which is a PK offence. No wonder he was enjoying himself.

... In martial arts you are thought to hit with the base of the palm because the bones in your fingers are too small and delicate. (not sure how that (in their reasoning) relates to the wrist)
Your wrist is far stronger than your pinky finger. I chipped a bone in my my middle when a 13yr old fell on me in a swimming pool. It looked innocent enough, but obviously wasn't.
 
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KieranW

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#18
Slightly :eek:fftopic: I know but earlier this year I did some U18 girls 7s matches...in one particular match one team clearly hadn't been told by their coach they could hand off - and the other team had obviously been actively encouraged to do so! One girl managed to sprint half the pitch with a hand in the face of a defender before being tackled! I didn't see anything illegal - everything was with an already straight arm which the defender then ran into (which in my opinion is the best & safest type to use).
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#19
Back in 1970 I remember going over to Leicester with my father to see the touring Fijians play East Midlands. My cameo memory is of Tikoisuva going down the left wing, handing off a would-be tackler. He basically put a hand on top of the player's head and used that as a pivot to run round him, his body at 45 degrees to keep his legs out of reach of the flailing arms.
 

4eyesbetter

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#20
Fatscally, I believe that the law you're looking for to deal with your lad is Section 15, Law 1(a): "A player is guilty of misconduct if he trips, kicks or strikes another player." Maybe it would help to put these kinds of questions in the RL forums? We could certainly use the activity.