Rules and Regulations

Rugby and Dodgeball

Rugby- Equipment Rules

Below left shows the dimensions of the pitch- the maximum length being 144m long by 70m wide from dead ball line to dead ball line and from touch line to touch line.
The actual playing area is smaller than this at a maximum of 100m long (goal line to goal line).

Below centre shows the official dimensions of the rugby ball as stated by the IRB. This is the official size for games however for certain age groups a different size may be used. The ball should be inflated to between 9.5 and 10 PSI.

Below right shows the dimensions of the rugby goal posts, these are placed on the goal line, the ball is kicked between the posts during a penalty or conversion. As stated on the diagram the posts must be of a certain size; the distance between the two vertical parts of the post must be 5.6m. The minimum height of the verticals in 3.4m and the horizontal post must be 3m from the ground (from its upper edge).

Rugby- The Team

The team consists of fifteen players plus any substitutes or replacements who take the place of a starting player. If a player becomes injured they can be replaced temporarily or permanently through a “replacement”. However if they are replaced as a tactical decision it is known as a “substitution”.
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Rugby- Scoring System

In Rugby there is a number of ways to score points.
The first is scoring a try, this is achieved by grounding the ball in an opponents 'in-goal' area (behind their goal line). Scoring a try awards five points.

Another method of scoring is a penalty try, this happens when a player would have scored a try but is prevented because of foul play by an opponent. The fouled player is then awarded a try between the goal posts. As with a normal try the penalty try is worth five points.

A third method of scoring points is the conversion goal. The opportunity to score in this way happens after a successful try (or penalty try). The team's nominated kicker will place or drop kick the ball, aiming to get between the posts. If successful the team is awarded another two points.

A penalty goal is another method of scoring. When a team is awarded a penalty they can kick for a goal, if successful the team is awarded three points.

Dropped goal is the final method of scoring, this happens when a player scores a goal from a dropped kick during general play. This however cannot happen from a free kick. A dropped goal is worth three points.

Jonny Wilkinson- Penalty Goal

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Three in-game situations

Situation 1- Poor rucking

A ruck is formed when a player goes to ground with the ball and players from both teams form a open/ loose scrum over the downed player. The team defending the ball push forward and step over the player to protect the ball.

During our games a number of rucks formed however these were not always formed correctly.
Occasionally players were not releasing the ball after hitting the ground which gives a penalty away, this was awarded as a tap penalty. Another fault was that players were coming in from the side which is not allowed. Players must enter the ruck from behind the rearmost player of their team. If they do not they are offside which gives away a penalty.

Because of these faults a number of penalties were awarded, slowing play down.

Situation 2- Dangerous play

Players must not deliberately attempt to injure another player through dangerous play. "Dangerous play" is categorised as any of the following; punching, kicking, stamping or trampling, tripping and dangerous tackling (tackling higher than the shoulder line).

Any player caught doing any of the above will give away a penalty to their opponents.

During the matches there was a few incidents where players attempted to trip their opponents to gain the ball. Tripping a player is dangerous play and therefore the team with the ball would be awarded a tap penalty because of the incident. This occurred because the players did not feel confident enough and were not good enough tacklers to tackle correctly.

Situation 3- Forward pass

All passing of the ball in rugby must be made backwards, or towards a team's own goal line. It is therefore important a referee stays inline with the ball during the game to ensure no forward passes are made.
Differentiating between some passes can be difficult as some passes are almost level.
There are a number of sanctions for forward passes, depending on whether the pass was deliberate or accidental.

If the ball is unintentionally passed or thrown forward by a player a scrum is awarded at the point where the incident took place.

If the ball is intentionally or unintentionally thrown forward, by either team, inside of the goal line a 5-metre scrum is awarded. This should be inline with where the incident took place but at least 5 metres from the touchline.

An intentional forward pass or throw results in a penalty kick being awarded to the opposing team.

In our games of rugby during practical there was a number of forward passes during general play, this was largely due to the inexperience of the majority of the class.
If we had played a full game the referee would have indicated a forward pass then the ball would be turned over and the opposing team would have a tap penalty.


Dodgeball- Equipment

The required equipment for dodgeball is very simple. Balls and a court is all that is needed.

3-10 balls on court (at least 6 for official rules)

7 inch balls are used- made from foam, rubber or padded canvas.
There is no official playing surface for dodgeball but there is specific court dimensions;

Total length: 14.63-18.29m

Total width: 7.32m

Player return line (from back line): 1.83m

Non-contact zone (centre of court): 0.63m.
Dodgeball can be played on hardcourt type surfaces such as basketball or volleyball courts or grass.

Dodgeball- Team structure

A dodgeball team is made up of ten players, six of which start on the court (the other four being substitutes). In a casual match more of less players can start, with no need for substitutes.
In an official team the team can be mixed and is made up of two female and four male players.

Dodgeball- Timing & game structure

Dodgeball games are made up of sets, with the team with the majority of sets winning the game.
There is usually three sets per game but there can be one or five.
Sets last for two and half minutes each. A timeout can be called once per set per team for a maximum of thirty seconds.

Situation 1- Hit by a bouncing ball

There was a number of occassions where a ball would bounce before hitting someone, once the ball bounces, or hits something it becomes a "dead ball" and cannot knock a player out of the game.
In our games a number of conflict situations occurred when players were shouting for people to be out when they had hit them with a "dead ball". The referee was unable to determine whether a ball had been live or dead when these situations occurred and was sometimes caving to the pressure from some players are calling people out when they were in fact still in the game.
The referee should have used his/ her assistants to help his decision making if he could not determine the true outcome him/herself and should have ignored any shouts from the players, potentially sanctioning the players if they repeatedly called out players who they had hit with a dead ball.

Situation 2- Stepping over the neutral zone line

During the opening rush players run forwards and attempt to pick up a ball from the centre line and pass it off to a team mate, gaining more balls at this time can provide a tactical advantage by knocking a number of opposing players out of contention early in the game.
Players are not allowed to step over this mark, if they do they are out of the game.

There were a number of occasions where players in our games would run forwards during the rush and the referee could not determine whether they had or had not stepped over this line.
In this instance the referee should have used their line judge assistants to help them make an informed decision on whether the players had stepped over the line, rather than (as was sometimes the case) guessing and causing conflict between themselves and the players.
The line judges have a better view point on these lines as they can focus only on this area of the court, where the referee will be looking at the full court, the referee should therefore rely on their verdict to help their own.

Situation 3- Holding onto a ball for too long

The ball must not be simply held onto to waste time during a match; players have five seconds in which ton throw the ball at their opponents, holding on after this point will lead to a player being called out.

Monitoring this during our matches proved difficult for the referee and this lead to some conflict. There were times where the referee missed players holding onto the ball for too long and did not call them out, this lead to players complaining and greater confusion.

The referee could have improved this by distancing themself further from the court to give a better overall view of the court, or use their assistant referees to watch for ball holding, while they focussed on other aspects of the game.