8 Kick Off & Drop Out

Kick off 1. The kick off is a place kick from the centre of the halfway line. The team which loses the toss for choice of ends kicks off to start the first half of the game and their opponents kick off to start the second half.
When points have been scored, the team against which the points have been scored shall kick off to restart the game. The loose head and put-in goes to the kicking side when finding touch other than on the full. It should be noted that the law applies to goal line and 20 metre restarts but not optional kick restarts.

Restarting play at 20m – with an optional kick (i.e. any type of kick) 2. The game is restarted with an optional kick from the  centre of the 20m line if:

(a) an attacking player last touches the ball before it goes out of play over the dead ball line or into touch in-goal except from a penalty kick (see Law 3), or from a kick off from the centre of the halfway line. (see 4(g) and 6(b) below).

(b) an attacking player infringes in the in-goal area. In the event of a deliberate breach by an attacking player a penalty kick is awarded 10 metres in the field of play in line with where the breach was committed. (See Section 13.)

(c) a defending player, in his in-goal, takes a kick in general play from an opponent on the full. The ball may be kicked in any manner and in any direction and is immediately in play. Opposing players shall retire ten metres from the 20m line and shall not advance until the ball has been kicked. Defending players shall not advance in front of the ball before it is kicked. Any deliberate offence by either team shall incur a penalty to be awarded at the centre of the 20m line.

– with drop-out 3. If the ball goes dead in the opponents’ in-goal from a after unsuccessful penalty kick (not necessarily a kick at goal) the game penalty is restarted with a drop-out by a defending player from the centre of the 20m line.

Drop-out from Goal line 4. The game is restarted with a drop-out by a defending player from the centre of his goal line if:

(a) a defending player last touches the ball before it goes over the dead ball line or into touch in-goal.

(b) a defending player accidentally infringes in the in-goal area.

(c) a defending player touches down in the in-goal area.

(d) a defending player in possession is tackled in the in-goal area.

(e) a defending player kicks the ball into touch on the full from his own in-goal.

(f) a defending player kicks or passes the ball in his own in-goal and the ball accidentally strikes an opponent and goes into touch in-goal or over the dead ball line.

(g) the ball or a defending player carrying the ball touches the referee, a touch judge or an encroaching spectator in the in-goal area and play is thereby irregularly affected.

(h) the ball goes over the dead ball line or into touch in-goal other than on the full from a kick off from the centre of the halfway line .

(i) where a kick is made dead by a defending player straddling the dead ball line or touch in goal line.

Ball caught 5. See Law 2 of this Section re ball caught on the full in-goal before being made ‘dead in-goal’.

Offences incurring penalties – kicker 6. A player who kicks off or drops-out shall be penalised if he:–

(a) advances in front of the appropriate line before kicking the ball.

(b) kicks the ball on the full over the touch line, touch in-goal, or over the dead ball line.

(c) kicks the ball so that it fails to travel at least ten metres forward in the field of play.

(d) kicks the ball other than in the prescribed manner.

– other players 7. Any other player shall be penalised if he:–

(a) willfully touches the ball from a kick off or dropout before it has travelled ten metres forward in the field of play.

(b) runs in front of one of his own team who is kicking off or dropping out.

(c) approaches nearer than ten metres to the line from which the kick is being taken when an opponent is kicking off or dropping out.

Penalties – 8. A penalty kick resulting from an offence at the kick where taken off shall be taken from the centre of the halfway line.
Any penalty kick arising from the restarting of play from the 20m line shall be taken from the centre of that line.
A penalty kick resulting from any offence at the dropout from between the posts shall be taken from the centre of the line drawn parallel to and ten metres from the goal line.

NOTES

V.I.P kicks offs 2. If a person other than a player is invited to ‘kick off’, the ball after being kicked shall be brought back to the centre of the halfway line and the game shall then commence in the normal way as described above.

Intentional breach 4. (b) If a defending player in his own in-goal is penalised for in-goal an intentional breach of the law, the penalty is awarded in the field of play, 10 metres from the goal line and opposite where the breach occurred. (See Section 13, para 1).

Players not 6. (a) If a kick to start or restart play is taken quickly and the retiring 10m opposing players have not had adequate opportunity to retire ten metres, they may be penalised if they wilfully interfere with play before the ball travels ten metres forward. If such interference is accidental a scrum shall be formed but if the offending player has had adequate opportunity to retire ten metres his offence must be assumed to be deliberate.

Ball hits post (b) Hitting the post or cross bar in flight does not negate the breach