What is a maul in rugby union?
Many fans feel bewildered when switching from a game with a round ball to an oval ball, especially when it comes to certain delicate aspects of the sport.
The mauls in particular are an item that may leave casual pub-goers scratching their heads.
But don’t worry, this explainer will help you show that it’s about a little more than just well-organized fights, well most of the time…
What is the point of a maul?
The theory behind them is that they allow teams to compete for a ball while it is still held above the ground.
The carrier and at least one player from each opposing team stand up.
Anyone who snatches the ball from the player holding it must also maintain contact with that player until they have passed it.
Whenever a maul is formed, it must always move towards a goal line.
When can a player join a maul?
Any player joining may only do so from behind and with head and shoulders no lower than their hips.
The ball carrier is the only player allowed to go to ground – but he must also make the ball immediately available.
It may seem like an inappropriate piece, but it’s an essential part of the game.
Why are penalties given during a maul?
A penalty is awarded if a player intentionally collapses a maul, jumps on it, or attempts to drag an opponent out of a maul.
Serious injuries are certainly not unheard of.
When a maul has stopped moving towards a goal line, it must restart within five seconds.
Normal play may resume when the ball or carrier leaves the maul.
Alternatively, if the ball is on the ground or over the goal line.
However, they can also end in failure if the ball is rendered unplayable, if it collapses, if it stops moving, or if the ball is not “used” after the carrier has fallen to the ground.