Issue 25

Y Sgrym: Cyfiawnder a Chyfrifoldeb (The Scrum: Justice and Responsibility)

In this article we argue that the current laws of the scrum in Rugby Union inevitably lead to unfairness. The scrum is so biomechanically complex that it is impossible for a referee to reliably determine who deserves punishment when the scrum collapses. Consequently, undeserved penalties are inevitable. Furthermore, the players who are penalised may not be causally or morally responsible for the offence. Under certain pressures, they have no choice but to collapse. Resolving the issue is not an easy matter. There is an inevitable trade-off to be negotiated between fairness on the one hand and tradition, excitement and entertainment on the other.


Rugby, scrum, referee, sports, ethics, merit, fairness, epistemological privilege, ontological authority, offence, rules.


Jones, C. a Henessy, N. (2017), ‘Y Sgrym: Cyfiawnder a Chyfrifoldeb’, Gwerddon, 25, 70–85. 

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