Monday, 20 November 2017

Poorly Refereed game

Hi there ref,
I had a poorly refereed game yesterday where the ref had no understanding of the rules and it took players and spectators to keep him informed.
I then filed a complaint to the schools director of sport which i ended the letter as anonymous. It has now arisen that i have not remained anonymous is this allowed?
Kind Regards,
Hi Anonymous

The Rugby Ref can't comment on school policy regarding complaints, but The Rugby Ref can comment on the referees ability.

Every game needs a referee.  Every referee has to start somewhere.  Unless you are prepared to step up and get a refereeing qualification yourself, then you are in no position to criticise.

You see a poor referee being instructed on what to do by the players and spectators.  The Rugby Ref sees a young referee doing his best and being abused by the players and spectators.  What will probably happen is that young lad will stop refereeing and next time you play you wont have a referee and therefore wont be able to play.

The Rugby Referees experience is that most players struggle to understand the "Laws" (not rules), so any advice given is usually wrong.

The Rugby Ref

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Quick tap penalty

Played today, we were given a penalty advantage at a breakdown. our scrum half put the ball on the floor and asked the ref if we could have the penalty as we wanted to go quickly, he then stopped her going quickly because she'd "asked for the penalty". 
Is it correct that she can't go quickly because she's asked for the Penalty? If so what irb law is this as I've had a look and can't see it online.
Hi Becky

There is no law that covers this other than that the kick must be taken at the place of the infringement. However there are sometimes management issues for the referee that preclude a quick penalty being taken and the referee may take the opportunity to slow the game down for a number of reasons.

If the referee says you can't take it quickly, then you have to wait.  The Rugby Referee is interested in the phrase "she asked for the penalty", this could mean a number of things.  It could mean the player didn't want the advantage and asked to have the penalty instead.  That is a request that many referees will go with.  It could also mean the player appealed for the penalty, which is dissent.  In that case the referee might well slow the game down.  If one team appeals for a penalty and gets it, the other team may think it's ok for them to do the same, next thing we have 30 players all appealing for penalties.  If a player appeals for a penalty it makes it difficult for the referee to give it because of that and they may take the opportunity to slow the game down and possibly speak to the player or the captain about it.

The Rugby Ref

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Alain Rolland ruck video

Hi ref
There is some mixed messages arriving from new ruck video. Can you please clarify . 
1 man ruck from completed tackle . 
As in video team mate of ball carrier steps over tackle area.  There is now an off side line as explained by alaine rolland
If 1 man ruckers steps back in front of ball.  Alaine rolland suggests off side lines are now gone . 
Question 1 ) If lads in middle from opposition were already off side .Do they now automatically become on side 
Question 2 ) If lads who are lazy runners , who were off side in 1 man ruck .Do they now become on side again & can they now intercept a possible pass or tackle ball carrier .From an originally off side position , providing they 1 meter from original tackle zone .
Regards jacky 
Hi Jacky

Once a ruck has formed offside lines are created.  When that ruck ends the offside lines disappear for the ruck and we are back to open play.  However players who were in an offside position need to get back onside before they can participate in the game.

They can do this as follows.
When a ruck, maul, scrum or lineout forms, a player who is offside and is retiring as required by Law remains offside even when the opposing team wins possession and the ruck, maul, scrum or lineout has ended. The player is put onside by retiring behind the applicable offside line. No other action of the offside player and no action of that player’s team mates can put the offside player onside.
If the player remains offside the player can be put onside only by the action of the opposing team.
There are two such actions:
Opponent runs 5 metres with ball. When an opponent carrying the ball has run 5 metres,the offside player is put onside. An offside player is not put onside when an opponentpasses the ball. Even if the opponents pass the ball several times, their action does not put the offside player onside.
Opponent kicks. When an opponent kicks the ball, the offside player is put onside.

The Rugby Ref

Monday, 4 September 2017

More Questions Than Answers

After watching a club game yesterday I have two queries.
My first query is: the defence passes the ball into the in-goal area and the resulting clearance kick by them is charged down by an opposition player, also in the in-goal area. The ball goes dead over the dead ball line. How should the game be restarted.
Secondly. if a quick throw-in is taken when the ball has gone into touch. Can an opposition player be deemed off-side when intercepting the ball being thrown in?

Hi Steve

For your first query the game should restart with an attacking 5m scrum.  It's not about who made the ball dead, it's about who put it into in goal.  The defence took it into in goal and it was made dead (it doesn't really matter how), so it's an attacking scrum.

For your second query it depends on where he starts from.  Was he offside before the ball went into touch?  If he wasn't then he is legal to attempt to block the quick throw in, provided he doesn't do so from within the 5m channel.   So if he was ahead of his kicker when the ball went into touch he is offside, but he wont be penalised unless it becomes material.  If the quick throw is not on then it wont become material.  If it is and he interferes then he is liable to be penalised.

Thanks for the questions Steve
The Rugby bRef

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Player Catching the Ball in the Air

Please can someone explain to me the difference between:
Challenge by players to ball in the air – Super Rugby Final on 05 August 2017 at Ellis Park between Crusaders and Lions - resulting in a red card.
Challenge by players to ball in the air – Currie Cup match on 12 August -  resulting in penalty.
Would love to understand the difference.
Kind regards, Jack (rugby fan since 1947)

Hi Jack

The best way to explain this is to look at the World Rugby Law Application Guidelines.

Challenging players in the air - Law 10.4(i)

  • Play on – Fair challenge with both players in a realistic position to catch the ball. Even if the player(s) land(s) dangerously, play on
  • Penalty only – Fair challenge with wrong timing - No pulling down
  • Yellow card – Not a fair challenge, there is no contest and the player is pulled down landing on his back or side
  • Red card – It’s not a fair challenge with no contest, whilst being a reckless or deliberate foul play action and the player lands in a dangerous position

Video examples can be seen here:

The Rugby Ref

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Law changes for the coming season

Following their trial in the Southern Hemisphere from January, the following law changes will be introduced to English Rugby for the coming season (from August 1st).

Law 3, number of players: If a game goes to uncontested scrums there must be eight players from each side in the scrum.  This is to discourage teams from deliberately offending to go uncontested.

Law 5, time: If a Penalty Kick is kicked into touch after time has elapsed without touching another player, the line out is allowed.  This is to discourage teams from offending in the dying moments of the game.

Law 8, advantage: When multiple penalty infringements are made by the same team the referee may allow the captain of the non-offending team to choose the most advantageous penalty mark.  This is to discourage repeat offending when advantage is already being played.

Law 9, scoring: A penalty try is now worth 7 points, no conversion need be taken.  This is to discourage teams from preventing a probable try and also to save time on the clock.

Law 19, touch: A player who is juggling the ball is deemed to be in possession. This brings into law something which is already applied in practise; it means a player need not be in contact with the ball at the exact moment of touching the touchline or the ground beyond it to be deemed in touch.

Law 19, touch: The ball is not in touch if a player jumps from the playing area and returns the ball to the field of play before the player lands in touch.  This is to simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Law 19, touch: The ball is not in touch if the ball-carrier reaches the plane of touch but returns the ball to the playing area before landing in touch.  This is to simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Law 19, touch: A player in touch who catches or picks up a ball that has not reached the touchline has taken the ball out of play. This is to simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Law 19, touch: A defending player in the 22 meter area who catches or picks up a ball that has not reached the 22 meter-line has carried the ball into the 22 meter area. It does not apply to make a successful mark.  This is to simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Law 22, in-goal: A defending player in the in-goal who catches or picks up a ball that has not reached the goal-line has carried the ball into the in-goal.  This is to simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Law 22, in-goal: A player in touch in-goal or in the dead-ball area who catches or picks up a ball that has not reached the touch in-goal line or the dead-ball line has taken the ball out of play.  This is to simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Throwing the ball into the scrum
Law 20.5 & 20.5 (d) 5
No signal from referee. The scrum-half must throw the ball in straight, but is allowed to align their shoulder on the middle line of the scrum, therefore allowing them to stand a shoulder width towards their own side of the middle line.
Rationale: To promote scrum stability, a fair contest for possession while also giving the advantage to the team throwing in.

Handling in the scrum – exception
Law 20.9 (b)
The number eight shall be allowed to pick the ball from the feet of the second-rows.
Rationale: To promote continuity.

Striking after the throw-in
Law 20
Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel, any front-row player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball. One player from the team who put the ball in must strike for the ball.
Rationale: To promote a fair contest for possession.
Sanction: Free-kick

Law 15.4 (c)
The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their own side of the tackle “gate”.
Rationale: To make the tackle/ruck simpler for players and referees and more consistent with the rest of that law.

Law 16
A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside lines are created. Players on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives, no hands can be used.
Rationale: To make the ruck simpler for players and referees.

Other ruck offences
Law 16.4
A player must not kick the ball out of a ruck. The player can only hook it in a backwards motion.
Rationale: To promote player welfare and to make it consistent with scrum law.
Sanction: Penalty

Monday, 3 July 2017

Law 10.4 and running/jumping

Would love to hear some discussion of the tackle in the 77th min of the ABs v Lions game. The law is 10.4, but if this is applied then surely there are many in game situations which could be penalised, especially around the goal line.
Law 10.4 Dangerous play and misconduct (e): "Dangerous tackling. A player must not tackle an opponent whose feet are off the ground
All the best,
 Hi Simon

The referee stated that the penalty was for tackling the player in the air.  The player was receiving a badly thrown pass and jumped to take the pass.

By the letter of the law the referee was correct, however The Rugby Ref believes this is a dangerous precedent to set.  If all a player has to do is jump when he sees a tackle coming in, so that his feet are off the ground when he gets tackled, and gets a penalty kick as a result, then The Rugby Ref believes the game would become unplayable.

Both your feet are off the ground quite a lot when you are running, but we don't penalise tackles on people who are running.

It may be that the referee gave the penalty for dangerous play since the tackler didn't wrap the ball carrier, but if that is the case, then his wording didn't help the situation at all.

The Rugby Ref