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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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13 Players on the ground in open play

    Principle

    The game is played only by players who are on their feet.

  1. Players, who go to ground to gather the ball or who go to ground with the ball, must immediately:
    1. Get up with the ball; or
    2. Play (but not kick) the ball; or
    3. Release the ball.
    4. Sanction: Penalty.
  2. Once the ball is played or released, players on the ground must immediately either move away from the ball or get up. Sanction: Penalty.
  3. A player on the ground without the ball is out of the game and must:
    1. Allow opponents who are not on the ground to play or gain possession of the ball.
    2. Not play the ball.
    3. Not tackle or attempt to tackle an opponent.
    4. Sanction: Penalty.
  4. Players on their feet and without the ball must not fall on or over players on the ground who have the ball or who are near it. Sanction: Penalty.
  5. No player may fall on or over a tackled player