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U11-U12 Laws

MIDI RUGBY (UNDER 11 AND UNDER 12)

1. Object
2. Teams
3. Starts
4. General Play
5. Tackling
6. Mauls
7. Rucks
8. Scrums
9. Line Outs
10. Kicking
11. In-Goal

Players and match officials must endeavour to ensure the IRB Laws of the game, modified by the following playing rules, are observed when playing Midi Rugby at Under 11 and Under 12:

1. Object

The object of the game is to score a try (5 points) and conversion (2 points). A penalty try will be awarded if a try would probably have been scored but for foul play by the defending team.

2. Teams

(a) At Under 11- The game is played between teams having a maximum of
twelve players, five of whom will be forwards and form the scrum, with
the remaining players forming the back line. Each side can have an agreed number of substitutes. Substituted players can be re-used at any time. Substitutions may only take place when the ball is ‘dead’ or at half time and always with the referee’s knowledge.


(b) At Under 12 -The game is played between teams having a maximum of
thirteen players, six of whom will be forwards and form the scrum, with
the remaining players forming the back line. Coaches may agree to play
twelve-a-side matches (e.g. where pitch size is restricted) in which case the scrum will still consist of six forwards. Each side can have an agreed number of substitutes. Substituted players can be re-used at any time. Substitutions may only take place when the ball is ‘dead’ or at half time and always with the referee’s knowledge.

3. Starts

(a) A drop kick from the centre line will be used to start the game, the second half, and for all restarts after a score. The kicker’s team must be behind the ball until it has been kicked and the receiving team must be at least 7 metres back from the ball.

If, from the kick off, unless caught by the opposition, the kicking side play the ball before it has travelled 7 metres, a scrum shall be awarded to the opposition on the halfway line.

(b) If, from the kick off, the ball is kicked directly into touch, the opposition has the choice of:

(1) the kick off being taken again; or
(2) their put in to a scrum at the centre spot; or
(3) accepting the kick and contesting a line out at the half way line.

(c) If from the kick off the ball is kicked into the in goal, without having touched or been touched by a player, the ball goes directly into in goal and is then immediately touched down or made “dead”, or the ball goes into touch in goal, the opposition has the choice of:

(1) the kick off to be taken again; or
(2) their put in to a scrum at the centre of the half way line.

(d) Following an infringement for:

(1) offside;
(2) high or late tackle;
(3) hand off/fend off (a hand off being the placing of an open palmed
hand by the ball carrier against an opponent’s face or body while a
fend off is an outstretched arm by the ball carrier towards an opponent
to discourage that person making a tackle);
(4) kicking (including fly-hacking ie kicking a loose ball on the ground);
or
(5) obstruction; the game is restarted at the point at which the
infringement occurred with a penalty kick to the non-offending team.
Note that players should be encouraged to carry the ball in two hands
to reduce the temptation to hand-off/fend off with a free hand.
(e) After any stoppage not covered elsewhere in this section (eg an injury), the match restarts with a scrum to the team moving forward or, if neither team was moving forward, to the team last in possession of the ball.

4. General Play

(a) In general play, the ball can only be passed sideways or backwards – defined as “towards the player’s own try line”. If the ball is passed forward or knocked on, a scrum is awarded to the opposition unless the referee plays advantage to the non-offending team.

(b) Offside in general play is penalised in accordance with the IRB Laws of the Game. A player offside in general play is to be penalised for being offside unless that player is making an obvious attempt to return to an onside position. Penalty:Apenalty kick restarts to the non-offending side.

(c) If a player carrying the ball goes to ground in general play or if a player goes to ground to gather the ball in general play, the player must immediately do one of three things (or he will be penalised):
(1) get up with the ball;
(2) pass the ball to another player; or
(3) release the ball for another player to pick up.
Note: However, that if a player releases the ball by placing it on the
ground and his team mates drive over the ball to prevent the
opposition gaining possession, a ruck will generally be formed and in
this case the ball may not be picked up by hand until the ball has left
the ruck, as described in Section 7. Penalty: Penalty kick.

5. Tackling

(a) Any player who has the ball and is on their feet (except in a maul) can be tackled. Following a tackle:

(1) The tackler must immediately release the tackled player and get up or move away from the tackled player and the ball. The tackler must get
up before playing the ball.

Note 1: Any tackle level with or above the armpit is to be considered
a high tackle.
Note 2: The scrag type tackle (ie swinging the player round by the
shirt) must be considered dangerous play and must be penalised.

(2) The tackled player must immediately pass or release the ball and must get up or move away from the ball. The tackled player may put the
ball on the ground in any direction, or may push the ball along the
ground in any direction except forward (towards the opposition try
line), providing this is done immediately.

(3) At a tackle, or near to a tackle, players other than the tackler(s) or tackled player who play the ball must do so from behind the ball and
from behind the tackled player, or the tackler closest to those players’
goal line.

(4) Any player who first gains possession of the ball at the tackle or near to it may be tackled by an opposition player, providing that player
does so from behind the ball and from behind the tackled player or
tackler nearest that player’s goal line. Infringement of any of the
above will result in penalty kick being awarded to the non-infringing
team.

(b) If, after a tackle, the ball become unplayable, a scrum is awarded. The scrum is awarded to the team that was moving forward immediately prior to the tackle or, if no team was moving forward, to the attacking team (the team in the opponents’ half of the pitch).

(c) No player shall use the technique known or referred to as “Squeezeball” and no person involved in the teaching or coaching of Mini-Midi Rugby may teach or coach to encourage Under 11 or Under 12 players to use the “Squeezeball” technique. Penalty: penalty kick.
Note: “Squeezeball” is a technique where the ball carrier goes to ground, head forward (touching or close to the ground), irrespective of immediate contact with opponents, usually keeping parallel to the touchline, holding and protecting the ball close to the chest and, when on the ground, pushes the ball back between the legs.

(d) It is illegal for any player to voluntarily fall on or over a player lying on the ground with the ball in his possession or to voluntarily fall on or over players lying on the ground with the ball between them, or near them.

Penalty: Penalty kick.

Note:

(1) no advantage shall be played;
(2) a player is assumed to have fallen voluntarily unless the reference is absolutely certain the fall was accidental.
(3) in the very rare instances when the fall is accidental, play must be
stopped and a scrum awarded to the side previously in possession.
The object is to keep players on their feet and to prevent them from
falling to the ground, thus removing a dangerous area of play. This
will create proper rucks and mauls through encouraging players from
each team to remain on their feet.

6. Mauls

(a) A maul occurs when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more
opponents and one or more of the ball-carrier’s team-mates bind on to the ball-carrier. It is helpful if the referee calls “maul formed”. All the players involved are on their feet.

(b) Once a maul is formed, other players may only join the maul from behind the foot of their hindmost team mate in the maul. Players joining the maul from in front of this e.g. from the side are offside and should be penalised.

Penalty: Penalty kick.

(c) A maul ends successfully when either the ball or a player with the ball leaves the maul or the ball is on the ground or the maul is on or over the goal line (when the ball may be grounded for a try or touch down as the case may be).

(d) A maul ends unsuccessfully if the ball becomes unplayable or the maul collapses (not as a result of foul play) and a scrum is awarded. Should a maul collapse, the referee must immediately blow the whistle to stop play, to prevent a pile up from developing.

(e) When a maul remains stationary or has stopped moving forward for more than 5 seconds, but the ball is being moved and the referee can see it, a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge. If it does not emerge within a reasonable time, a scrum is ordered. It is helpful in all maul situations if the referee calls “use it or lose it” prior to awarding a scrum.

(f) When a maul has stopped moving forward it may start moving forward
again providing it does so within 5 seconds. If the maul stops moving
forward for a second time, and if the ball is being moved and the referee can see it, a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge. A scrum is awarded if it does not emerge within a reasonable time.


(g) In the case of a scrum following a maul the team which is not in
possession of the ball when the maul began will throw the ball in at the
subsequent scrum. If the referee cannot decide which team had possession, the team moving forward before the maul stopped throws in the ball. If neither team was moving forward, the attacking team throws in the ball.

(h) Any player at any stage in a maul who has or causes an opponent to have, his shoulders lower than his hip joint must immediately be penalised by awarding a penalty kick. The object of this rule is to prevent the collapse of a maul. It is to help the coach to teach good technique and the referee to penalise bad technique. Any player who has his shoulders lower than his hip joint can only move downwards unless he has very great strength. The force through the shoulders should be directed forwards and upwards; all players should remain on their feet, thus preventing a pile up and possible injury.

7. Rucks

a) A ruck occurs when one or more players from each team, who are on their feet, in physical contact, close over the ball on the ground. It is helpful if the referee calls “ruck formed”. Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play. Players must not stand on any part of another player’s body in a ruck.

Penalty:
Penalty kick.

(b) Once a ruck is formed, other players may only join the ruck from behind the foot of their hindmost team mate in the ruck. A player may join alongside this hindmost player. Players joining the ruck from in front of this (eg from the side) are offside and should be penalised.

Penalty: Penalty kick.

(c) Players must not use their hands to pick up the ball while it is still in the ruck.

Penalty: Penalty kick.

(d) A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line (when the ball may be grounded for a try or touch down as the case may be).

(e) A ruck ends unsuccessfully when the ball becomes unplayable and a scrum shall be awarded. Should a ruck collapse, the referee must immediately blow the whistle to stop play, to prevent a pile up from developing.

(f) Scrum following ruck: The team that was moving forward immediately
before the ball became unplayable in the ruck throws in the ball. If neither team was moving forward, or if the referee cannot decide which team was moving forward before the ball became unplayable in the ruck, the team that was moving forward before the ruck began throws in the ball. Before the referee blows the whistle for a scrum, the referee allows a reasonable amount of time for the ball to emerge. If the ruck stops moving or if the referee decides that the ball will probably not emerge within a reasonable time, the referee must order a scrum.

(g) Any player at any stage in a ruck who has or causes an opponent to have, his shoulders lower than his hip joint must be penalised by awarding a penalty kick. The object of this rule is to prevent the collapse of a maul. It is to help the coach to teach good technique and the referee to penalise bad technique. Any player who has his shoulders lower than his hip joint can only move downwards unless he has very great strength. The force through the shoulders should be directed forwards and upwards; all players should remain on their feet, thus preventing a pile up and possible injury.

8. Scrums

(i) At Under 11 the scrum will be made up of five players from each
team – the front row (a row of three players, i.e. a prop on either side
of the hooker) and two locks forming the second row. The locks must
bind to each other using the inside arm, with the outside arm around
the hips (not between the legs) of the front row (props). Neither of the
locks may unbind to pick up the ball at the rear of the scrum but must
remain bound onto the scrum until the ball is carried or passed out by
the scrum half.

Penalty:
Penalty Kick.

(ii) At Under 12 the scrum will be made up of six players from each team
– the front row (a row of three players, i.e. a prop on either side of the hooker, two locks forming the second row and a back-row player who
shall bind between the two locks (3-2-1 formation). The locks must
bind to each other using the inside arm, with the outside arm around
the hips (not between the legs) of the front row (props). The back row
player must have their head between the hips of the second row bound
with the arms around the hips (not between the legs) of the second
row (locks). No player may unbind to pick up the ball at the rear of
the scrum but must remain bound onto the scrum until the ball is
carried or passed out by the scrum half.

Penalty:
Penalty Kick

(b) The front rows from each team will bind together approximately half a metre apart, and the locks will bind to each other and to the props – the referee should check that each sides’ locks are bound on to the front row before proceeding. Each prop will then touch the upper arm of his opponent, and then pause before the engagement. The referee will talk the players through the engagement procedure in the sequence Crouch, Touch, Pause, and Engage. On the grounds of safety, it is important that the referee manages the engagement of every scrum in this way.

(c) Although scrums are contested at Under 11 and Under 12, under no
circumstances is the scrum to be:

1) pushed or pulled more than 1.5 metres towards either try line.
Penalty: A penalty kick at the original spot against the side that has
pushed or pulled the scrum;
2) wheeled more than 45 degrees.
Penalty: If a team intentionally wheels a scrum, a penalty kick will
be awarded against that side. If the scrum is wheeled more than 45
degrees without a penalty kick award, the scrum will be reset with the
same team throwing the ball in.

(d) Front rows must not be allowed to charge at each other. If they start to engage too close together and with necks and backs bent, they must be stopped and the scrum reformed. Props’ body positions must be parallel to the touchline (not boring in). There must be no downward pressure exerted by hands or arms. Shoulders must always be above the level of the hips.

(e) If the scrum collapses, the whistle must immediately be blown and the appropriate penalty awarded, or the scrum reset. If a player is persistently involved in collapsing or illegal binding they must be replaced. If a player’s lack of technique or strength is a danger then they must be replaced.

(f) A non-contested scrum must replace a contested scrum in any of the
following circumstances (on safety grounds):

(1) if a player in a scrum has to be replaced and there is no adequate
replacement;
(2) if players involved in a scrum have not been properly trained;
(3) if one side is obviously stronger and more experienced than the other and the referee has been unable to get the stronger side to reduce their push to take this into account.

In a non-contested scrum the teams do not contest for the ball. The
team putting the ball in must win it. Neither team is allowed to push
the other team away from the mark.

(g) Any player at any stage in a scrum who has or causes an opponent to have, his shoulders lower than his hip joint must immediately be penalised by awarding a penalty kick. The object of this rule is to prevent the collapse of a scrum. It is to help the coach to teach good technique and the referee to penalise bad technique. Any player who has his shoulders lower than his hip joint can only move downwards unless he has very great strength. The force through the shoulders should be directed forwards and upwards; all players should remain on their feet, thus preventing a pile up and possible injury.

(h) The back lines of both teams must remain 5 metres behind the hindmost foot of their respective scrums until the ball emerges or the scrum half places his hands on it. If a scrum is awarded within 5 metres of the goal line, the scrum is to be taken at a mark such that the middle line of the scrum is 5 metres from the goal line.

(i) The scrum half not throwing the ball into the scrum may remain directly alongside his opponent, however, he/she must not move beyond the middle line of the scrum until the ball has emerged fro the scrum or an opponent has placed their hands on the ball. In the event of a strike against the head (the side putting the ball in losing the ball in the scrum), the scrum half who has thrown the ball into the scrum is similarly restricted.

(j) Referees should pay particular attention to ensure that the scrum half putting the ball into the scrum is not “feeding” his own players: the scrum half must hold the ball with both hands, with its major axis parallel to the ground/the touchline, midway between his knees and ankles. The scrum half must release the ball from outside the tunnel so that it lands midway between the two front rows and beyond the width of the nearer prop’s shoulders.

(k) In the interests of player safety, where a penalty is awarded for an infringement during a scrum, the penalty kick may not be taken quickly and players must wait until the referee signals that the kick may be taken.

9. Line-Outs

(a) If the ball or player carrying the ball goes out of play, a contested line-out at the point at which the ball or player crossed the touchline will take place. If a lineout is awarded within 5 metres of the goal line, the line out is to be taken at a mark 5 metres out from the goal line. The opponents of the team who carried or last touched the ball before it went into touch throw the ball in. A quick throw in is not permitted.

(b) The line out will be made up at Under 11 of four players from each team and at Under 12 of five players from each team (who stand between 2 and 10 metres from the touchline) plus the player throwing the ball in and an immediate opponent (who must stand within 2 metres of the player throwing the ball in) and one player from either side in a position to receive the ball (ie scrum half). Both the thrower in and his immediate opponent are able to take an active role in the line out as soon as the ball has been touched by one of the players in the line out. Players not taking part in the line out must stay behind the offside line until the line out ends.

(c) The offside line for all players not participating in the line out (all players other than those described under Section 9(b)) is 7 metres back from the line of touch, parallel to the goal line, and they must remain behind that offside line until the line out has ended. If the line out is closer than 7 metres to the goal line, the goal line is the offside line.

(d) The line out will extend from 2 to 10 metres from the touchline. Should the ball be thrown beyond 10 metres without contact, the opposition will be awarded the throw. Should the opposition then throw beyond 10 metres without contact, a scrum will be awarded to the side originally throwing in. The scrum will be formed 10 metres in from touch opposition the point where the ball went into touch. No advantage is to be played in any of these circumstances.

(e) The line out begins when the ball leaves the hands of the player throwing it in. the line out ends when the ball or player carrying it leaves the line out. This includes the following:

(1) when the ball is thrown or knocked out of the line out;
(2) when a line out player hands the ball to a player who is peeling close to and parallel to the line – Note: “peeling” occurs when a player
leaves the line out (after the ball has been thrown in) to catch the ball knocked or passed back by a team mate;
(3) when a ruck or maul develops in a line out, and both feet of all the
players in the ruck or maul move beyond the line of touch; and
(4) the ball has been passed or carried out of the line out or it the catcher decides to drive through the line out.

(f) When the ball becomes unplayable in a line out, play restarts with a scrum to the team moving forward or, if neither team was moving forward, to the team last in possession of the ball. The scrum will take place 10 metres in from the touchline opposite the point where the line out took place.


(g) All “peeling off” movements must be close to and parallel with the line out. Players must keep moving. Lifting/supporting is prohibited at this level (ie a player may not bind to a jumper until they return to the ground). The player designated to receive the ball (ie the scrum half) may not enter the line out to compete for the ball.

10. Kicking

(a) All the IRB Laws of the Game including ELV 2008 pertaining to kicking in open play will apply, with the following exceptions:

(1) Players may only kick the ball out of their hands.
(2) On a kick, the offside zone is 7, rather than 10 metres: the kicker’s team mates must either be behind the kicker or behind a line 7 metres in front of the receiving opponent (or the place where the ball will land) or they are offside.
(3) Kicking a loose ball when it is on the ground (often called fly
hacking) is not permitted – this includes a front row player kicking a
ball out of the scrum.

Penalty: A penalty kick

(b) After a try has been scored, the team can attempt to convert the try with a goal. The kick at goal may take place from anywhere in front of the posts and may be by a place kick or a drop kick.

(c) When an infringement occurs, a penalty or penalty kick will be awarded in accordance with the IRB Laws of the Game. The referee will make a mark for the kick. The opposition will retire quickly to 7 metres from the mark. If the kick is taken so quickly that opponents have no opportunity to retire, they will not be penalised for this. However, they must continue to retire without interfering with the game until they are either 7 metres from the mark or a team mate who was standing 7 metres from the mark has run in front of them. The opposing team must not do anything to delay the penalty kick or obstruct the kicker. Any infringement by the opposing team results in a second penalty 7 metres in front of the mark for the first kick. On the second occasion the kick will not be taken until all opponents have retired 7 metres. No penalty kick can be taken within 5 metres of the goal line.

(d) Following the award of a penalty, a kick at goal or drop goal is not
permitted. Should the side awarded the penalty opt to kick to touch and do so directly they will be awarded the subsequent throw in at the line out.

(e) Drop goals are not permitted.

11. In-Goal

(a) The in goal area includes the goal line (ie the try line) but not the touch in goal line, the dead ball line or the corner posts.

(b) If the attacking team grounds the ball in the in goal without having
committed an offence then a try is awarded. Aball is grounded by applying downward pressure by hand or chest when the ball in contact with the ground.

(c) If the attacking team is unable to ground the ball for a try because the ball is not in contact with the ground (eg a hand or body is in between) or the attacking player is unable to apply downward pressure, a scrum is awarded to the attacking team on a line 5 metres out from the goal line.

(d) If the defending team grounds the ball in the in goal or the ball becomes “dead” by going or being carried into touch then:

(i) If the attacking team carried the ball into the in goal or last touched the ball before it went into the in goal, a drop out is awarded to the defending team on a line 15 metres out from the goal line;
(ii) If the defending team carried the ball into the in goal or last touched the ball before it went into the in goal, a scrum is awarded to the attacking team on a line 5 metres out from the goal line.

Effective from 1 August 2012

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