The scrum

The scrum is a means of restarting play after a stoppage which has been caused by a minor infringement of the Laws (for example, a forward pass or knock on) or the ball becoming unplayable in a ruck or maul. The scrum serves to concentrate all the forwards and the scrum halves in one place on the field, providing the opportunity for the backs to mount an attack using the space created elsewhere.

Aims for the MOs

  • To restart play with a fair contest for the ball and ensure a safe engagement.

Referee’s focus

  • Safety issues as a top priority.


  • Voice: Engagement sequence.
  • Signal: Not applicable at this phase.
  • Whistle: Blow early if the safety of any player is at risk.

Laws (top three priorities)

  • Before: Engagement procedure, steady and square.
  • During: Stability and ball, binding continuous.
  • After: Offside lines of non-participating players.