Rugby and the forward pass


Sir, – Thank you Owen Doyle for raising the matter of rugby’s forward pass, and talking sense on this vexed subject (“Officials must be clearer on forward passes”, Sport, October 24th). But I fear more is needed. It is reasonable to assert that what the laws imply is a judgment of relative velocity at the instant of passing. But relative to what? The passer’s centre of mass at the time of the pass? That is the obvious choice, and one might just say “body”. No more talk of the hands, please.

If the authorities would care to clarify the rule, they should also comment on its application on windy days. Should there be some explicit dispensation for slightly forward passes that end up being backward? – Yours, etc,


(Emeritus Professor,

School of Physics,

Trinity College Dublin),

Dublin 6.