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Offside confusion - I have been coaching mini rugby?

Offside confusion - I have been coaching mini rugby in Scotland for just over a year and had just got used to the idea that the ball is the off side line. Now under the new SRU law variations it is the same as the adult game. Can someone assist with the follwing scenario - A defender comes forward to tackle the ball carrier. The ball carrier side steps the defender and carries on going forward. The defender turns to give chase only to find that the ball carrier has passed the ball backwards across his path in attempt to reach his team-mates. If the defender catches the ball is he off-side? Would the answer to this question change if the defender was on the right side of the ball at the time the interception was made even though he was beyond the ball carrier at the time which the pass was made?

It's open play so the defender is not offside.

I'd love clarification on this point too. The IRB laws speak of "offside" only for the ball-carriers team-mates, but there I've often heard it claimed that deliberately interfering with a legitimate pass from what might be termed a would-be offside position is "foul play" - this, though, I can't find in the rule book.

Folks

Brian is quite right - in open play there is no offside.

Have a look at IRBlaws.com and go to Law 11 - there are videos which show you all the different situations.

I hope this helps

Simon

All restarts ie... scrum/line outs start with a new offside line, from then it's open play until a new offside line is created (normally a ruck or a maul creates a new offside line) it's legitimate to catch a pass that is thrown in open play and in open play you can't be offside, although it's not unusual for referees to have a lack of understanding of this point in the lower reaches of the game. I had a U10 player who 'unilaterally' decided to stand inside the inside centre and was wrongly penalised for 'not attempting to get onside' when it was still open play and he could stand anywhere he wanted... we supported the ref, but we did laugh at the players 'outside the box' thinking ...!

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