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What is the rule in Mini Festivals or games for U7s carrying the ball in one hand. Should they be penalised?

What is the rule in Mini Festivals or games for U7s carrying the ball in one hand. Should they be penalised?

When I refereed tag, this was described as to be encouraged, that is two hands on the ball.  I would normally shout two hands at the player, but only penalise if the free hand was used to Hand off, Fend or prevent a tag being taken.  Slapping taggers hands away.

Another one to watch for is players having two hands on the ball and using the ball to defend tags.  We had a video that described this as being illegal.

Refereed this last week, and agree with Alex Tom, this is to be encouraged by calling "two hands"; but is not punishable; however preventing a tag with the spare hand or the ball I would punish with  a turnover

Hi Neil, my U7 team played 2 hands all of last season and then at the festival were told it was not in the rules.  I checked, the IRB rules on Tag say you can carry the ball in one hand except whem within 3 metres of another player.  The ref then shouts 2 hans and the player has to put 2 hands on or is penalised.  All of the other quotes about handing off and stopping the tagger are also correct.  I always agree with the other coach first and if there is a change to how a team plays then allow one error per team!

I would always encourage kids in this age group to use two hands on the ball at all times and again if a player is seen with the ball in one hand shout a reminder about carrying the ball in two hands. I feel that the rule stated above "balls can be carried in one hand if they Are 3 meters or more from another player would be confusing for both the U7 players and for the ref to manage!

I wonder if you were at the same Festival I was at the other weekend, Andy...! There were some parents bellowing for "two hands" and demanding a turnover every time our boys ran with it in one hand. I was fuming! The Continuum doesn't mention this anywhere that I can find other than in the context of them handing or fending off. Agree with most things said: i.e. encourage the boys to use two hands, tell them this if you're coaching and reffing but it is NOT a penalty.

As noted, the Continuum doesn't forbid it, but says the two-handed carry is to be encouraged. Agree that the rule about within 3m of an opponent is potentially confusing, and would rather encourage a common sense approach. I penalise if any fending off occurs including using the ball to push opponents away. I also penalise if players continue to carry the ball in one hand after being told to carry it in 2 - usually give the team a couple of warnings first. If coaches are like me in wanting to encourage best practice then they have no problem with it, it's reinforcing what they tell their players. Coaches or parents who take issue with this approach also tend to be the ones who keep a careful note of the score and who got the tries, what the win/loss ratio is for the season etc.

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