The International Rugby Board has a subcommittee of the Rugby Committee, named the Designated members. They are the watchdogs of the laws of the game and national bodies from time to time ask them questions, to which they give clarifications/rulings which have the force of law. This one is from the French Federation and is about grounding in in-goal (law 22). The clarification is dated 10 April 2012.
The FFR request a clarification for the following:
Following a kick ahead, the ball goes over the goal line and whilst it is still up in the air, a player places his hand on it and grounds it. However, before this player grounds the ball, his feet are in touch.
We would like to know:
• Whether Law 22.4 (g) applies only to a ball already on the ground before it is touched down or other situations as described above;
• Whether the situation, as described above, is equivalent to “carrying the ball”.
Clarification of the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee
Law 19 or Law 22.4 (g) applies;
• If player is carrying the ball, enters the opposition in-goal area and the player’s feet touch the touch-in-goal line or beyond then the player is in touch-in-goal and a try is not awarded. Law 19 Touch and line-out – Definitions
• If a player is not carrying the ball then Law 22.4 (g) applies - Player in touch or touch-in-goal. If an attacking player is in touch or in touch-in-goal, the player can score a try by grounding the ball in the opponents’ in-goal provided the player is not carrying the ball.
The designated members confirm that:
1. A try should not be awarded,
2. The player is considered to be carrying the ball as the ball is in the air when it is first played and,
3. Law 22.4 (g) applies only if the ball is on the ground.
Law 22.4 (g) Player in touch or touch-ingoal. If an attacking player is in touch or in touch-in-goal, the player can score a try by grounding the ball in the opponents’ in-goal provided the player is not carrying the ball.
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