- A maul can take place only in the field of play.
- It consists of a ball-carrier and at least one player from each team, bound together and on their feet.
- Once formed, a maul must move towards a goal line.
- Each team has an offside line that runs parallel to the goal line through the maul participants’ hindmost foot that is nearest to that team’s goal line. If that foot is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.
- A player must either join a maul from an onside position or retire behind their offside line immediately. Sanction: Penalty.
- Players who leave a maul must immediately retire behind the offside line. These players may re-join the maul. Sanction: Penalty.
- Players joining a maul must:
- Do so from an onside position.
- Bind on to the hindmost player in the maul.
- Have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips. Sanction: Free-kick.
- The ball-carrier in a maul may go to ground provided that player makes the ball available immediately. Sanction: Scrum.
- All other players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet.
- All players in a maul must be caught in or bound to it and not just alongside it.
- Players must not:
- Intentionally collapse a maul or jump on top of it.
- Attempt to drag an opponent out of a maul.
- Take any action to make opponents believe that the maul has ended when it has not. Sanction: Free-kick.
- When players of the team who are not in possession of the ball intentionally leave the maul such that there are no players of that team left in the maul, the maul continues.
- When all players of the team who are not in possession of the ball intentionally leave the maul, they may re-join provided that the first player binds on the frontmost player of the team in possession of the ball. Sanction: Penalty.
- When a maul has stopped moving towards a goal line for more than five seconds but the ball is being moved and the referee can see it, the referee instructs the players to use the ball. The team in possession must then use the ball within a reasonable time. Sanction: Scrum.
- When a maul has stopped moving towards a goal line, it may restart moving towards a goal line providing it does so within five seconds. If it stops a second time but the ball is being moved and the referee can see it, the referee instructs the team to use the ball. The team in possession must then use the ball in a reasonable time. Sanction: Scrum.
- A maul ends and play continues when:
- The ball or ball-carrier leaves the maul.
- The ball is on the ground.
- The ball is on or over the goal line.
- A maul ends unsuccessfully when:
- The ball becomes unplayable.
- The maul collapses (not as a result of foul play).
- The maul does not move towards a goal line for longer than five seconds and the ball does not emerge.
- The ball-carrier goes to ground and the ball is not immediately available.
- The ball is available to be played, the referee has called “use it” and it has not been played within five seconds of the call.
- If a maul is formed immediately after a player has directly caught an opponent’s kick in open play, a scrum that is awarded for any of the above reasons will be to the team of the ball catcher.
The purpose of a maul is to allow players to compete for the ball, which is held off the ground.
Forming a maul
Offside at a maul
Joining a maul
During a maul
Ending a maul