The laws of rugby stipulate that when a player passes the ball, it must be released from their hands in a direction that is not towards the opponent's goal line. The pass can be made to a teammate either laterally or behind the player passing the ball. This ensures that the game promotes teamwork, strategy, and skillful ball movement.
If a player throws or knocks the ball forward, it results in a penalty known as a "forward pass." The opposing team is awarded a scrum, where they gain possession of the ball. The scrum is formed by the forwards of both teams binding together and competing for possession of the ball by hooking it backward with their feet.
However, there is an exception to this rule. A player is allowed to kick the ball forward during open play as long as they do not throw it forward with their hands. Kicking the ball forward is a legitimate method of advancing the ball towards the opponent's goal line, and other players can then attempt to catch or gather the ball.
It's worth noting that a player can pass the ball forward if they are behind or level with the teammate they are passing to. In this case, the pass is considered legal as the ball is not traveling towards the opponent's goal line. This type of pass, known as a "flat pass" or "flat ball," allows for quick and efficient distribution of the ball to players in a better attacking position.
Overall, in the game of rugby, passing the ball forward is not allowed. The ball must always be passed backward or sideways to ensure fair play and to maintain the principles of the sport.