Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

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Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Alex_Germany on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 7:46 am

I need a view from some expert refs here. What exactly constitutes a forward pass?

Following Simpson's interception on about 5 minutes, Young would have scored, except the referee called a passforward.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV16MTE4kWM at 2 min 11 sec.

Simpson passed the ball to a player - can't see who. The player's fingers touched the ball, which went forward and upwards relative to the ground. However, the fingers/hand went forward relative to the ball, so the ball goes backwards relative to the fingers, and hence the hands. In effect the ball comes backwards off hand - and travels backwards relative to player and player's hand.

I would say this was not a forward pass.

If I'm correct, I can't blame the ref as it looked very forward, but this would make a good referee training video.

Views from non Wasps fans picard especially welcome.

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Scottrf on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 8:02 am

It's a forward pass if the players arms move towards the opponents dead ball line, regardless of the travel of the ball.
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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Griff on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 8:33 am

I've watched it a few times and it looks to me like the player swipes the ball and that makes it go forward towards the opposition try line. The ball seems to be to be propelled further forward than it would have been if he hadn't touched it. If that player had caught the ball himself then that would be fine. Juggling the ball and re-catching it before it hits the floor is OK and happens all of the time. But the ball seemed to travel forward before the final Wasps player caught it, so I think that would be classed as a forward pass. A bit like a line-out where the attacking jumper knocks it forwards and his scrum-half team mate catches it in the air and runs off to score a try. I think?! Smile

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by munkian on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 8:57 am

The 'pass' that lead to the Saffacen's try against the Turks looked suspiciously forward to me too...
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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Alex_Germany on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 11:22 am

Scottrf wrote:It's a forward pass if the players arms move towards the opponents dead ball line, regardless of the travel of the ball.

That can't be right. If I run towards the deadball line at 10 metres per second (I wish!), and pass backwards at 2 metres per second, the hands and the ball at release point are still moving forward at 8 metres per second. But I'm still passing backwards.

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Scottrf on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 12:17 pm

Alex_Germany wrote:
Scottrf wrote:It's a forward pass if the players arms move towards the opponents dead ball line, regardless of the travel of the ball.

That can't be right. If I run towards the deadball line at 10 metres per second (I wish!), and pass backwards at 2 metres per second, the hands and the ball at release point are still moving forward at 8 metres per second. But I'm still passing backwards.
Relative to your body, isolating the pass action. i.e. if you were to stop the players legs moving, are the arms travelling towards the line.

You are right though, it's not worded too accurately but that is the law.

http://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=12&i=111
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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Griff on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 12:51 pm

Alex_Germany wrote:
Scottrf wrote:It's a forward pass if the players arms move towards the opponents dead ball line, regardless of the travel of the ball.

That can't be right. If I run towards the deadball line at 10 metres per second (I wish!), and pass backwards at 2 metres per second, the hands and the ball at release point are still moving forward at 8 metres per second. But I'm still passing backwards.

This is why the 'arms/hands aiming backwards' rule was brought in. It's impossible for the ball not to move forward when passed sideways and even backwards at pace. And like you say the body will be moving forward too. Therefore technically all passes would be forward passes as momentum makes the ball travel forward. We'd have to go to walking rugby, which no one wants. Therefore the rule was brought in that the direction of the hands is important. If the hands are moving towards the opposition try line when the ball is released then obviously that is a forward pass. The ball is only going to go forward then. But if it is a genuine attempt to pass the ball backwards (or flat) then the hands will aim and move backwards away from the try line so that, even if the ball travels forward as it is likely to do due to momentum/physics, then for the purposes of rugby it is not a forward pass. Hard to explain!

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Alex_Germany on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 3:16 pm

I think theres a badly written rule then:
[A forward pass]occurs when a player throws or passes the ball forward, i.e, if the arms of the player passing the ball move towards the opposing team’s dead ball line.

But it has to mean "if the arms are moving towards .... dead ball line .....faster than the player"

If you're running forward at full speed, of course your arms move towards the dead ball line.

On 2:08 in the video, at the point of contact, Basset (I think is the passer) has his arms vertically above his head, not really moving forward or backwards.

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Scottrf on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 3:20 pm

We need another Einstein to develop the laws of forward pass relativity.
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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Alex_Germany on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 4:15 pm

Someone - but it's not Einsteinian - just relative.

I'd say: "If the ball moves forward relative to the chest at the moment the ball leaves contact with the player"

In theory, I could be standing still, moving my arms forward, but using finger/wrist action to send the ball backwards. As the law is written now, that would be a forward pass.

If Basset had caught the ball and passed it to Young - who was behind him - it wouldn't have been forward. But in rugby we allow the "knock-along" pass.

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Griff on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 4:16 pm

Alex_Germany wrote:I think theres a badly written rule then:
[A forward pass]occurs when a player throws or passes the ball forward, i.e, if the arms of the player passing the ball move towards the opposing team’s dead ball line.

But it has to mean "if the arms are moving towards .... dead ball line .....faster than the player"

If you're running forward at full speed, of course your arms move towards the dead ball line.

On 2:08 in the video, at the point of contact, Basset (I think is the passer) has his arms vertically above his head, not really moving forward or backwards.

It means the passing motion of the arms, and the direction the hands are aimed in releasing the ball to instigate the pass. Obviously if you are running full speed with the ball then your arms are moving towards the try line, but it's all about the next bit when you instigate the pass. You just need to aim your arms backwards as you pass. The receiving player should be behind the passer anyway so it should be fairly easy to see, and if you don't aim your arms at the player behind you then the ball isn't going to get to them anyway!

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Scottrf on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 4:19 pm

Alex_Germany wrote:Someone - but it's not Einsteinian - just relative.

I'd say: "If the ball moves forward relative to the chest at the moment the ball leaves contact with the player"

In theory, I could be standing still, moving my arms forward, but using finger/wrist action to send the ball backwards. As the law is written now, that would be a forward pass.

If Basset had caught the ball and passed it to Young - who was behind him - it wouldn't have been forward. But in rugby we allow the "knock-along" pass.  
You haven't accounted for wind.
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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Alex_Germany on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 4:31 pm

winds from the chest?

I once played a match and it was so windy that at kick-off, the ball did go 10 metres in the air, but still managed to land behind the kicker, to give the opposition a scrum.

I think "wind rules" are clear. If you pass forward, even if the wind then makes it a backward pass, it's still forward. It's what happens at the moment the ball leaves your hands (or fingers or elbows).

That I assume makes it difficult if you're playing into a strong wind. You might have to pass forward to reach your next player, even if that player is behind you. In the above-mentioned match, we basically had to have backs no more than 3 metres apart - but we never got the ball beyond flyhalf in the first half as we just played pick and drive for 40 minutes.

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Alex_Germany on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 4:36 pm

Griff wrote:The receiving player should be behind the passer anyway so it should be fairly easy to see, and if you don't aim your arms at the player behind you then the ball isn't going to get to them anyway!

In the Wasps - Toulouse case, the receiving player (Young) was well behind the "passing" player (Basset?) at all times.

You just need to aim your arms backwards as you pass.

Basset didn't really get a chance to aim, but the ball definitely went backwards relative to his hand. So on what you say, it shouldn't have been a forward pass?

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Griff on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 4:55 pm

Alex_Germany wrote:
Griff wrote:The receiving player should be behind the passer anyway so it should be fairly easy to see, and if you don't aim your arms at the player behind you then the ball isn't going to get to them anyway!

In the Wasps - Toulouse case, the receiving player (Young) was well behind the "passing" player (Basset?) at all times.

You just need to aim your arms backwards as you pass.

Basset didn't really get a chance to aim, but the ball definitely went backwards relative to his hand. So on what you say, it shouldn't have been a forward pass?


I see it differently. The ball is in the air and Bassett swipes at it and propels it further forward, and it is then caught by the other Wasps player to run in for the try. That action of propelling the ball further towards the try line is the forward pass, essentially.

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Re: Wasps - Toulouse and definition of a forward pass

Post by Griff on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 5:06 pm

Also, was it definetly given as a forward pass? Thinking about it again it is more of a knock on than a forward pass.

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