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Definitions

The kick-off occurs at the start of each half of the match and at the beginning of each period of extra time. Restart kicks occur after a score or a touch down.

13.1 Where and how the kick-off is taken

(a)

A team kicks off with a drop kick which must be taken at or behind the centre of the half way line.

(b)

If the ball is kicked off by the wrong type of kick, or from the incorrect place, the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have the ball kicked off again, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the half way line and they throw in the ball.
13.2 Who takes the kick-off and restart kick

(a)

At the start of the game, the team whose captain elected to take the kick after winning the toss will kick off, or the opposing team if the winning captain elected to choose an end.

(b)

After the half-time interval, the opponents of the team who kicked off at the start of the game kick off.

(c)

After a score the opponents of the team who scored restart play.

13.3 Position of the kicker’s team at a kick-off

All the kicker’s team must be behind the ball when it is kicked. If they are not, a scrum is formed at the centre. Their opponents throw in the ball.

13.4 Position of the opposing team at a kick-off

All the opposing team must stand on or behind the 10-metre line. If they are in front of that line or if they charge before the ball is kicked, it is kicked off again.

Kick-off

13.5 Kick-off of 10 metres

If the ball reaches the opponents’ 10-metre line or reaches the 10-metre line and is blown back, play continues.

13.6 Kick-off of under 10 metres but played by an opponent

If the ball does not reach the opponent’s 10-metre line but is first played by an opponent, play continues.

13.7 Kick-off of under 10 metres and not played by an opponent

If the ball does not reach the opponent’s 10-metre line the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have the ball kicked off again, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the half-way line and they throw in the ball.
13.8 Ball goes directly into touch

The ball must land in the field of play. If it is kicked directly into touch the opposing team has three choices:

  • To have the ball kicked off again, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre and they have the throw-in, or
  • To accept the kick.

If they accept the kick, the lineout is on the half way line. If the ball is blown behind the half way line and goes directly into touch, the lineout is at the place where it went into touch.

13.9 Ball goes into the in-goal

(a)

If the ball is kicked into the opponents’ in-goal without having touched or been touched by a player, the opposing team has three choices:

  • To ground the ball, or
  • To make it dead, or
  • To play on.

(b)

If the opposing team grounds the ball, or if they make it dead, or if the ball becomes dead by going into touch-in-goal, or on or over the dead ball line, they have two choices:

  • To have a scrum formed at the centre, and they throw in the ball, or
  • To have the other team kick off again.

(c)

If they opt to ground the ball or make it dead, they must do so without delay. Any other action with the ball by a defending player means the player has elected to play on.

(d)

If the ball does not travel ten metres and ends up in the kicking team's in-goal and:

  • it is made dead by a defending player, or
  • the ball goes into touch in goal, or
  • lands on or over the dead ball line;

a 5-metre scrum is awarded and the attacking team throw in.

13.10 Drop-out

DEFINITIONS

A drop-out is a drop kick taken by the defending team. The drop-out may be taken anywhere on or behind the 22-metre line.

A drop-out is used to restart play after an attacking player has put or taken the ball into the in-goal, without infringement, and a defending player has made the ball dead there or it has gone into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead ball line.

13.11 Delay in drop-out

The drop-out must be taken without delay.

Sanction: Free Kick on the 22-metre line.

13.12 Drop-out incorrectly taken

If the ball is kicked with the wrong type of kick, or from the wrong place, the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have another drop-out, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line and they throw in the ball.
13.13 Drop-out must cross the line

(a)

If the ball does not cross the 22-metre line, the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have another drop-out, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line. They throw in the ball.

(b)

If the ball crosses the 22-metre line but is blown back, play continues.

(c)

If the ball does not cross the 22-metre line, advantage may apply. An opponent who plays the ball can score a try.

13.14 Drop-out goes directly into touch

The ball must land in the field of play. If it is kicked directly into touch, the opposing team has three choices:

  • To have another drop-out, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line, and they throw in the ball, or
  • To accept the kick. If they accept the kick, the throw-in is on the 22-metre line.
13.15 Drop-out goes into the opponents’ in-goal

(a)

If the ball is kicked into the opponents’ in-goal without having touched or been touched by a player, the opposing team has three choices:

  • To ground the ball, or
  • To make it dead, or
  • To play on.

(b)

If the opposing team grounds the ball, or makes it dead, or if the ball becomes dead by going into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead ball line, they have two choices:

  • To have a scrum formed at the centre of the 22-metre line from where the kick was taken and they throw in the ball, or
  • To have the other team drop-out again.

(c)

If they opt to ground the ball or make it dead, they must do so without delay. Any other action with the ball by a defending player means the player has elected to play on.

13.16 The kicker’s team

(a)

All the kicker’s team must be behind the ball when it is kicked. If not, a scrum is formed at the centre of the 22-metre line. The opposing team throws in the ball.

(b)

However, if the kick is taken so quickly that players of the kicker’s team who are retiring are still in front of the ball, they will not be penalised. They must not stop retiring until they have been made onside by an action of a team-mate. They must not take part in the game until they have been made onside in this way.

Sanction: Scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line. The opposing team throws in the ball.

13.17 The opposing team

(a)

The opposing team must not charge over the 22-metre line before the ball is kicked.

Sanction: Free Kick at the place of infringement.

(b)

If an opponent is on the wrong side of the 22-metre line and delays or obstructs the drop-out, the player is guilty of misconduct.

Sanction: Penalty kick on the 22-metre line

Drop-out