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Author Topic: Knock-ons and forward passes  (Read 1097 times)

Offline Mugsy

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Knock-ons and forward passes
« on: January 15, 2020, 09:02:27 PM »
I wish the RFU and Referees' Society would hold a summit to discuss this subject, because in my opinion the officiating of knock-ons and forward passes is at an all-time low.

Forward passes have for some time now been routinely ignored - often by Refs and assistants who are dead in line and seem blind to it. Picture, if you would, the following move, which is one in which this happens regularly: The ball is received from a ruck by 10, who straightens his running line and pushes a sharp no-look pass back inside to a runner cutting an 'in-to-out' line. This pass is almost always executed about a metre forward, and is almost never penalised.

By contrast, every game I watch on TV seems to feature at least 4 or 5 'knock-ons' which are nothing of the sort!
Again, as an example, picture this: At a line-out, the ball is caught, brought down and mauled. As it is fed back, the receiver fumbles it backwards and it hits the ground at his feet before he re-gathers. Any dropped ball like this is ALWAYS adjudged a knock-on, whether the ball actually travelled forward or not!
The Referees seem to think ''fumble = knock-on'', and apparently lack any willingness to even consider in which direction the ball actually travelled.

Before I get indignation from our esteemed band of Refs, I must add that I don't see either of these aberrations when watching local Rugby; it seems to be the Prem and Championship's 'Elite' that think this way.

They've got their priorities back to front in this aspect of the game in my opinion. There should be more thought about knock-ons instead of automatically whistling every fumble - they're far too hard on this unintentional error, while being far too soft on blatantly intentional forward passes!!!

Offline Badgerbear77

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2020, 08:49:16 AM »
Our first try on saturday was a knock on missed by the ref. We got lucky... mind he didnt have a myriad of cameras, touch officials, video refs and 4th officials to help him. Are they still interpreting the direction of pass to be based on the position if hands of the passer.... that was the crazy thing a few seasons back
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Offline Renegade

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 10:19:57 AM »
I'm old school, if it goes forward from the hand in either situation it's called that way. If it goes straight down or lateral I tend to go as forward as well (it's a much easier sell and expected).

Backwards is play on, we don't need anymore scrums than is necessary ;D However I make sure I give a loud and clear "play on" call to keep the game going.

The game at the higher level is played at a very much faster speed, I only get to ref at NE1 level which isn't too high and it's quick. When players are running flat out and passing at high speed with spin on a flat line it will invariable go forward in "real" terms. That is why the direction of hands was brought in, if they didn't do it games would grind to a halt so it's a tough one really, I don't mind too much as in reality with a massive bench of finishers and superfit players defences are massively on top and hard to break down so it helps to play right on the gain line.

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 12:03:31 AM »
Have to say that your post disappoints me Les!
Straight down or lateral is not a knock-on, it's that simple and neither should ever be called as such. There is just no reason to call a knock-on when it hasn't been knocked on!! As you say, there are far too many scrums already; let's get on with the game! Certainly ''it's expected'' or ''it's an easier sell'' aren't legitimate reasons, and I don't agree that it is expected anyway.
Knock-ons should only be given when the Ref is 100% certain that the ball clearly and beyond any doubt travelled forward from the hand or arm.

I've never bought the mantra about the ball travelling forward even though it's been passed backwards by someone running quickly; I think that's just plain wrong. Pass the bloody thing level or back or be penalised for cheating.
Badger, the hand position protocol is now out of the game as it was identified as the bollocks I always knew it was. The ball either travels forward or it doesn't; what's going on with the passer's body parts is completely immaterial.

When I complain about the leniency applied to passing forward in the big games, I'm not referring to the marginal stuff you might give the benefit of doubt to - passes are often a metre forward while the Ref and a touch judge run dead in line! That flag should be straight up, but often they seem oblivious to it. I've seen games where it has gone to the Video Ref to check a blatant forward pass which is even more obvious on screen, and heard the 4th official say ''nothing clear and obvious''. What????
I hate to think that they don't consider this important any more - it's a VITAL and fundamental law of our sport!!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 12:09:20 AM by Mugsy »

Offline Renegade

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 08:36:44 PM »
Well youíll be pleased to know Iím not reffing at the moment Mugsy so thatís not an issue with regards to the nuances of what is correct with those laws.

Iím now able to give up my time as a ďPunditĒ, the David Flatman of D&N if you will. It seems thatís my official position now as I spend my Saturdays being asked about every refereeing incident in the games I watch.

Of course I receive no fee ??? but can now recall refereeing through those most famous of rose tinted glasses.

Hoping to see you at Winlaton in the next week or two perhaps?

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2020, 11:45:51 AM »
You know I respect your refereeing mate, I've said so many times on here and elsewhere. At least your post was honest, which is what we all want from our officials!
In my opinion the Refsoc should be less obsessed about using league games, which are often vital to both clubs involved, to develop young kids who've barely played the game themselves and more concerned with putting older, more experienced lads like yourself in charge. We all value fledgling Refs highly and it's great to see them picking up the whistle. They have to step up at some stage of course, but give them a good grounding in second/third team games first. with that in mind, I find it ridiculous that you aren't Reffing every week.
I'll see you at Axwell View in a fortnight; mine's a Guinness.


Offline Neil Roseberry

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2020, 08:44:43 AM »
Why aren't you refereeing at the moment Les? Are you injured mate?

Offline Renegade

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2020, 03:48:45 PM »
I pulled a hamstring at Westoe last week so did the last 10 on one leg, most said they hadn't noticed a change so.... ;D. Unfortunately I've only done 2 games since start of November, a mixture of cancelled games and tbh lack of games in the county and too many refs. Partly explains the injury I guess, my last game was a month ago at beginning of December then had Barney v Stockton which was postponed two weeks in a row then Xmas/NY. I was reserve the first week in Jan the the Westoe game, quite a game to go into cold as you would.

It's a hard one but most weeks you're lucky if there is 20-25 games in the whole county at all levels on a Saturday so it means a fair few are left kicking their heels at the moment. Plenty of Alickadoo stuff to do of course so I won't get bored.

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2020, 04:42:45 PM »
It's fantastic that there are more Refs than fixtures - contrast that with the current state of local Cricket officiating, in which there are nowhere near enough umpires and many second team matches don't have any at all, forcing the batting team to take turns, and it seems this aspect of our game is currently in blooming health.
That's the positive, and here comes the negative for balance!
We both, Renegade, watched a game at the end of last season after which the Ref was promoted a level. It was what I considered to be an abject performance by said official and I was left shocked and wondering what the assessors consider to be good refereeing.
Meanwhile there are lads on the circuit with a real feel for the game and a superb style of interaction with the players who get nowhere, treading water for season after season.
I think I know how and why that type of thing happens in Durham but it's a thought I must keep to myself as I don't believe this forum should be a vehicle for criticism of individuals.

Offline Renegade

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2020, 07:40:48 PM »
As with most things life is never fair, I canít complain if Iím honest the society give me very good games and up until November I had done plenty of excellent including reffing at a new club, Kendal.

I think most of the problems lie with rugby itself, lack of participation so lack of games. I wouldnít like the job of allocating the games as you just canít win. Personally I really benefit from reffing every week so missing weeks is a problem for me, it suits other refs to have breaks.

As a side issue I may come along to offer some local support to Ryton this week in their cup game against Wetherby, would be nice to get one over the Yorkshire lot! Mines a Boddies 😉

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2020, 11:28:13 PM »
You don't fool me, fella. Never mind 'local support', you're coming to spy!
You won't learn much, we have several key players unavailable.

Offline AcmeThunderer

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2020, 10:48:16 PM »
Have to say I agree with every word Mugsy has posted on this thread.  Annoys me very much when refs call a knock on when the ball clearly went straight down or was even fumbled backwards. I shall have to have a stern word in Renegade's lug next time I see him.  Forward passes are just that, they travelled across the ground towards the defence goal line, it's not rocket science.  Mind you, ignorant spectators who shout 'not straight' when 50m away when the ref is in line aren't my favourite people either.  I'm also not very happy when a ball is ripped forwards from a player and is given as a knock on - it isn't, yet another directive that is being ignored.
As far as 'blooding' up and coming refs is concerned I've always held the view that every match deserves the best referee that's available, however old or young he/ she is. There are some very mature young refs around at the moment who can handle League matches, and there are some who need more nurturing. The hard part is working out which is which but agree that most need hardening with hairy a*sed 2nd and 3rd teams before being given important League matches

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2020, 11:09:31 PM »
Yep, you've got that all spot-on for me Acme; and I'm pleased you mentioned the ball being ripped in the tackle and being given as a knock-on - I forgot to include that in my rant, and it's bloody annoying!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 11:12:05 PM by Mugsy »

Offline davebarnes

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Re: Knock-ons and forward passes
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2020, 11:01:06 AM »
Quite refreshing watching the ladies play - forward passes, not straight at lineout and feeding scrums ALL penalised correctly.

Sad to see top level male refs basing decisions on business criteria rather than the sport itself. Happy to follow the guidelines from the top and ignore infractions to pander to the money men
Bring back the ruck.