Can rugby be played on a snow field?

Updated: 12/10/2022
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14y ago

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Snowy ground is not explicitly discussed in either Code of Laws in Rugby Union or Rugby League in England.

In the Rugby League Code of Laws, the note to Section 6 Rule 9 (Scoring) contemplates that "When a kick at goal is being taken it is permissible for a teammate of the kicker to hold the ball in position by placing a hand on it. This may be necessary if there is a strong wind or the ground is extremely hard."

There is therefore no specific prohibition on Rugby being played on snowy or even frozen ground.

However, as a matter of common sense it is dangerous to play on ground which is hardened due to frost, ice or snow, since the risk of injury in the form of cuts, sprains and broken bones is greatly increased.

In England & Wales, legal liability for personal injury sustained as a result of hardened ground would probably be shared between the club hosting the match, the referee, and the injured player.

As such, where the ground is hardened and dangerous, either the groundsman or the referee will abandon the match as a matter of common sense. Some degree of flexibility may be required in countries which routinely experience cold weather.

However, the mere presence of snow does not indicate that the ground beneath is hardened. If the soil is soft enough to play on, then the match should continue.

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Q: Can rugby be played on a snow field?
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