Table 2

Ruck descriptors and definitions

DescriptorDefinitions
Ruck28 A ruck is formed when at least one player from each team is in contact, on their feet and over the ball, which is on the ground. Once a ruck is formed, additional players joining the ruck to compete for the ball, without being guilty of foul play, are considered rucking.
Frequency of ruckCount of ruck events during match play.
Defender
How did the ruck start Tackle.
Maul.
Lineout.
Number of defenders in ruckCount of defenders actively engaged in ruck.
Speed of entry into ruck Fast: Running or sprinting – purposeful running with maximal effort, with high knee lift.
Moderate: Jogging – non-purposeful slow running with low knee lift.
Slow: stationary or walking, or no visible foot movement.
Time in ruckDuration (in minutes:seconds) from when the ruck has formed to when the ball is available to be played.
Activity at the ruck23 27 No pressure: defenders are not actively attempting to regain possession.
Early counter ruck: defenders compete for the ball without the use of their hands before attackers had secured possession.
Late counter ruck: defenders compete for the ball without the use of their hands after attackers had secured possession.
Attacker
Number of attackers in ruckCount of attackers actively engaged in ruck.
Speed of entry into ruck Fast: running or sprinting, purposeful running with maximal effort, with high knee lift.
Moderate: jogging, non-purposeful slow running with low knee lift.
Slow: stationary or walking – no visible foot movement.
Ruck arrival23 Early: ball-carrier’s teammates are first to arrive and engage in the ruck.
Late: tackler’s teammates are first to arrive and engage in the ruck.
Activity at the ruck23 27 Clearing: attackers are actively pushing and/or driving opponents off the ball, either on their own or binding to team members.
Protecting the ball: attackers are positioned over the ball to prevent access to the opponents.
In sequence, a combination of clearing and protecting: attackers actively clear the ruck first, before protecting the ball.
In sequence, a combination of protecting and clearing: attackers actively protect the ball first, before clearing the ruck.
Ball-carrier falling direction23 Forward: ball-carrier falls with the ball positioned between the ball-carrier and the opposition’s try-line.
Sideward: ball-carrier falls with the ball positioned between the ball-carrier and either side-line.
Backward: ball-carrier falls with the ball positioned between the ball-carrier and their own try-line.
Active ball placement23 Yes: ball-carrier actively placed the ball after going to the ground to continue play.
No: ball-carrier fails to actively place the ball after going to the ground to continue play.
Ruck outcomes
Ruck result23 27 Attacker retains the ball: attacking team maintains possession of the ball after the ruck contest and the ball is made available to be played.
Defender gains the ball: attacking team fails to maintain possession of the ball after the ruck contest.
Ball unplayable: ball is unavailable to be played by either team.
InfringementsPenalty awarded against defender.
Penalty awarded against attacker.
Handling error by attacker.
Handling error by defender.
(Reason for infringement can also be captured).
InjurySee injury in table 1.
Injured player Attacker.
Defender.
Not clear.
Injury locationSee injury location in table 1.