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2018 laws are in production

The laws of rugby have been simplified and retructured for the 2018 law book. World Rugby is working to roll out this new content across our various languages. Your chosen language is not yet available. In the meantime you can browse the 2017 laws site.

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11 Knock-on or throw forward


  1. A knock-­on may occur anywhere in the playing area.
  2. It is a knock-on when a player, in tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent, makes contact with the ball and the ball goes forward. Sanction: Scrum.
  3. A player must not intentionally knock the ball forward with hand or arm. Sanction: Penalty.
  4. It is not an intentional knock-on if, in the act of trying to catch the ball, the player knocks on provided that there was a reasonable expectation that the player could gain possession.
  5. The ball is not knocked-on, and play continues, if:
    1. A player knocks the ball forward immediately after an opponent has kicked it (charge down).
    2. A player rips or knocks the ball from an opponent and the ball goes forward from the opponent’s hand or arm.
    Charge down

    Throw forward

  6. A throw forward may occur anywhere in the playing area. Sanction: Scrum.
  7. A player must not intentionally throw or pass the ball forward. Sanction: Penalty.