Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Materiality.........what's that then?

Hi RugbyRef,

I am all questions tonight!

Some violations in some sports are automatic, no matter how minor they might be.

For example, in hockey, the tiniest amount of offside at the blue line is called, no matter if it might affect play or not.

I suspect that even the slightest indication of a knock-on or a forward pass, if detected, is blown down (or advantage) in rugby.

In contrast, we have the 45 possible calls at a scrum, as you have mentioned before, some of which might be called at every scrum.

Can you advise which technical calls in rugby are "always" called (or advantage played) as opposed to the calls which may be "managed" as trifling or not affecting the play of the game?


Hello again Steve, interesting question.

You are correct in thinking that some offences are always blown, or advantage applied.  As you have surmised the knock-on an the forward pass are always deemed to be material.

It is that word material, or more precisely "materiality", that governs what a referee may choose not to enforce.  For instance if a kick-off  is taken to the left, but the winger on the far right is in front of the kicker by half a yard, then he is having no material effect on the game and The Rugby Ref may ignore it for now.  The Rugby Ref will however, have a word with the winger at the first opportunity and let him know that his offside was noticed.

The Rugby Ref will never let players think he has either not seen, or ignored an offence.  A quick call of "seen it, play on", will give the players confidence that the referee is doing his (or her) job.

In normal weekend rugby (where physio's and doctors don't run onto the pitch to deal with every injury), anything safety related will be blown straight away.

Keep the questions coming Steve.

No comments:

Post a Comment