Law Question: Line Out Thrown blown back by strong wind

Question:

Hooker throws the ball both straight and beyond the 5 metre line but it is blown back by a gust of wind and the hooker, who has advanced into the field of play, catches his own throw.

Any issues?

Society response:

Unusual but play on: The throw has complied with Law 18. 23 (b) by reaching the 5 metre line and subsequently when it then enters the area between the 5m line and the touchline, the lineout has ended despite not having been played by a participating player – before the hooker catches it.

Elsewhere in law, kick offs, restarts and 22m dropouts explicitly state that play continues when the ball has reached a specific “plane”.

However, for a kick at goal if it crossed the bar before being blown back, the goal is awarded.

Response written December 21st, 2018.

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