21 Aug 2020
With Superugby Aotearoa ended, some interesting play in touch occurred that created some confusion and debates around the braais: Is the ball out or not?
By Referees Department
The 3 clips in question shows players are in touch when the ball was played. An important fact to know.
For an AR to adjudicate whether in touch or not he needs to know from where the player started and ended, with or without the ball, and whether the Plane of Touch (The vertical space rising immediately above the touch line) comes into play or not.
Let’s look at the 3 clips and the applicable law:
Player in touch, jumps and catches the ball that crossed the plane of touch and lands infield with it - PLAY ON. Why?
Law 18.2.b: The ball is not in touch or touch-in-goal if a player jumps, from within or outside the playing area, and catches the ball, and then lands in the playing area, regardless of whether the ball reached the plane of touch.
Player in touch, jumps and knocks the ball, that crossed the plane of touch, backwards infield and lands in touch again - OUT. Why?
According to Law 18.2.d, a player, who is in touch, may kick or knock the ball backwards infield, provided it has not reached the plane of touch. In this case the ball has reached the plane of touch and the player was in touch and remained in touch when he played the ball. He did not take the ball out.
Player in touch, jumps and knocks the ball, that crossed the plane of touch, backwards infield and he lands infield without the ball - OUT. Why?
Same principle as clip 2. The mere fact that he landed infield is immaterial. Should he have caught the ball and landed infield with it, play could have carried on. He did not take the ball out.
For the ball not to be out players in touch may jump and catch the ball, that crossed the plane of touch, and land infield with it.
Who said to run touch is easy.
We have also covered the scenarios regarding players jumping from the field of play and then lands in touch with the ball. This can be read at https://www.sareferees.com/laws/view/2831510/