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Rugby Backwards Pass + Physics

+4 HS
Zimmy07's picture
March 2, 2019 at 5:36pm

I was watching the Las Vegas Rugby 7’s tourney & something the announcer said blew my mind.  It involved whether a player had made an illegal forward pass (was ruled he did in Chile v Japan).  I thought it was obviously forward because the pass was received well forward from where it was thrown.

Here’s the rub - the announcer mentioned that when you’re running at that speed and lateral, the ball’s existing momentum from traveling with the runner can carry it downfield even if it was a backwards pass.  I paused & thought about this for a few moments.  I went into much more descriptive detail than the announcer - but he’s absolutely correct - it’s just a definition issue of what “backward” means.  Does it mean the angle at which you throw the ball, or is it the difference between where it was thrown from & where it was caught?

Does anyone know the actual American football rules on this?  I would assume the rule should follow since football is derived from rugby.

Also - I think they said USA is in the quarterfinal & will play the winner of the game I have paused now (England v S Africa).

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