KNOW YOUR LAWS: Can a dropped ball going forward be counted as a legitimate pass?

Club Roar Roar Guru

By Club Roar, Club Roar is a Roar Guru

 , ,

13 Have your say

    It’s the try that makes the controversy over James Maloney’s match-winning pass to Josh Addo-Carr look like nitpicking.

    At first glance, the referee’s call – or lack thereof – can be described as nothing short of a Barry Crocker. But could this really be a legitimate try?

    First of all, the player is attempting to offload the ball, which straight away puts this interpretation straight into the forward pass territory, not a knock on ruling.

    Section 10.1:
    The direction of a pass is relative to the player making it and not to the actual path relative to the ground

    In layman’s terms, it means that the ball must leave the hands in a backwards motion but can travel forward with the player’s momentum.

    Physics, right?

    When watching the video in slow-motion, his hands appear to be passing the ball in a backwards motion. Where the ball lands in relation to the ground is inconsequential based on the above, ruling out the possibility of a forward pass.

    But wait, there’s more.

    Who can ignore one gobsmacked spectator’s infamous words: “He can’t! He dropped it!”

    We all know what constitutes a knock-on. The ball being knocked towards the opponent’s dead ball line.

    In this instance, the player is facing towards the sideline when the ball leaves his hands.

    With the positioning of his body (and the camera), it’s difficult to determine whether the ball travelled towards the opposition’s dead ball line. In fact, you could actually feel more confident calling it a knock-back than a knock-on.

    Sorry to cause you more pain anonymous sideline friend but… “He can! He didn’t drop it!”

    What do you think Roarers? Let us know in the comments below.

    Club Roar
    Club Roar

    Club Roar is giving away $10,000 for the best grassroots sporting moments captured on film.

    If you have any videos you'd like to see featured on Club Roar, submit them here!

    Rebuild announcement

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (13)

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2018 @ 10:49am
      Hoy said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

      It looks forward, but honestly, where the play is in relation to the camera makes a big difference…

      • June 14th 2018 @ 12:32pm
        ClarkeG said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        Which is nearly always the problem with TMO reviews of passes.

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2018 @ 11:13am
      PeterK said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

      If you look at the angle of the line shown a couple of secs and use that to determine what is forward or flat then the offload / pass is fine.

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2018 @ 12:44pm
      soapit said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      for mine the ball immediately travels further forward than the player before he changes speed significantly so its forward

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2018 @ 1:12pm
      Ralph said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

      My thought is; the ‘intention’ or ‘attempt’ does not make it a pass. What makes it a pass is that it is caught by someone.

      So my logic is:

      IF nobody caught the ball it is not a pass,

      AND the ball moved forward from the player,

      THEREFORE he lost the ball forward.

      • Roar Guru

        June 14th 2018 @ 1:46pm
        Timbo (L) said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

        I don’t agree, I believe intent makes the pass.
        In principle, It is a distinction without a difference, the sanction is the same.
        The only difference is that a pass allows for a moving frame of reference, a knock on does not (I don’t think).

        In an offload the difference between a fumble and a forward pass, not caught by a runner is fuzzy, and that is where we get into 50/50 territory.

        This conversation dovetails into some weirdness the offside rule, accidental, vs intentional.

        • Roar Guru

          June 14th 2018 @ 4:41pm
          Ralph said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

          The problem with using intent as a measurement is that it is not objectively measurable.

          The less ‘interpretations’ the ref has to make the less pressure on the poor guy.

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2018 @ 1:38pm
      Timbo (L) said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

      It is a curly one, and you have hit all the targets.

      There are a couple of quirks/clarifications to the rules.

      The “Backwards out of the Hand” interpretation requires that the player is facing the opposition line and moving toward it perpendicularly.
      Without this caveat, you could stand side-on or run backwards and pass it forward.

      So, boring the punters with more physics, the frame of reference is the player, and only for a forward trajectory
      The Positive Y Vector component of the ball shall not exceed, the Positive Y Vector Component of the passer.
      Vp cos(Theta p) > Vb cos(Theta b) Where Theta p is between +/- 90 degrees)

      For us poor spectators the camera angles mess with our heads.
      1. Often the camera is on a pivot on the half way line, the lines become skewed.
      2. Often the advertising images are pincushioned and angled so they look square to the pivot camera.

      To make an educated assessment, we need to freeze frame 2 images and apply vanishing point perspective.


      Trust the Ref, who is normally running with the player – in a similar frame of reference.

      Part 2 of the question is what is a knock on? Does a moving frame of reference apply or is it absolute?

    • June 14th 2018 @ 1:49pm
      jacko said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

      There is no way the pass was forward. The passer is running and the ball goes forward from where he passes but it is about momentium. Check this out………….

      • Roar Guru

        June 14th 2018 @ 2:20pm
        Timbo (L) said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

        Fantastic illustration!

      • June 14th 2018 @ 7:10pm
        Dahl said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

        Is that two polar bears passing a white rabbit in a blizzard?

      • Roar Guru

        June 16th 2018 @ 12:37pm
        soapit said | June 16th 2018 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        that doesnt mean that pass doesnt go forward. if he doesnt change speed and the ball end up in front of him its forward in accordance with physics and that video. the ball ends up in front but at what point does he change speed after release.

        and for the record its not momentum, its velocity/motion

      • Roar Guru

        June 16th 2018 @ 12:54pm
        soapit said | June 16th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        prefer this one myself,

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    , ,