A “knock on” in rugby refers to when the ball is knocked forward and out of the hands, either by the player carrying it or by another player, before it has been touched to the ground or caught. This is considered a turnover and results in a scrum awarded to the other team.
Why is a knock on considered a penalty?
A “knock on” in rugby is considered a penalty because it goes against the laws of the game, which state that the ball must be played backwards or kicked forwards. When a player knocks the ball forward, it creates an unfair advantage for the opposing team as they are more likely to gain possession. The awarding of a scrum to the non-offending team ensures that the ball remains in play and allows for a fair and competitive contest for possession. The scrum also gives both teams an opportunity to compete for the ball in a safe and controlled manner.
What happens when there is a knock on?
When there is a “knock on” in rugby, the play is stopped and a scrum is awarded to the non-offending team. A scrum is a set piece restart where the players bind together in three rows and attempt to push the opposing team backwards to win the ball. The team that wins the scrum has the opportunity to put the ball back into play. The scrum half of the team awarded the scrum puts the ball into the tunnel formed by the front rows of the scrum, and the two packs of forwards then compete for the ball.
When is it not a knock on?
In rugby, a “knock on” is not called if the ball is deliberately kicked forward, if the ball is knocked backwards, or if the ball comes into contact with a player’s hand or arm and goes forward as a result of a legitimate attempt to play the ball. Additionally, if a player catches the ball and then loses control and drops it, but the ball does not touch the ground, this is not considered a knock on.
A “charge down” is not considered a “knock on” in rugby. A charge down occurs when a player from the defending team jumps up and blocks or deflects a kicked ball from the attacking team before it has gone 10 metres. The charge down results in a turnover and the defending team gains possession of the ball. If the ball goes forward and hits the ground, it is not considered a “knock on,” but instead it is called a “knock-forward.”