Friday, 16 March 2012

Jack Finnegan asks The Rugby Ref a question

"Why are players allowed to clearly handle the ball in the ruck? I regularly see the following situation in internationals:

  1. Ball carrier gets tackled
  2. He goes to ground and places the ball on the floor as the ruck forms
  3. As the ruck continues the ball gets kicked further towards him and away from his scrum-half
  4. The tackled player will pick the ball up, while still laying on the floor, and simply place it at arm's length away from him, putting it in a better position for his scrum half and making it harder for the opposition to win the ball back through the ruck.
Why is this allowed? It seems like a flagrant breach of the rules to the detriment of the opposition.
Jack then has a follow up.....

"I just asked a question about hands that it seems you answered HERE:
I have a follow on question though. Why is handling in the ruck simply not allowed at schoolboy level whatsoever? The inconsistency is illogical and difficult for players to reconcile between what they see and what they play. If the logic of letting it slide is that the ruck was probably already won and it helps play continue, why are schoolboy refs not instructed to do the same?


There are two things in play here.  Contextual Judgement and Materiality, both of which are explained in the article you linked to.  So why do schoolboy referees do it differently?

The Rugby Ref is not conviced that ALL schoolboy refereees do this, however"Contextual Judgement" and "Materiality" are two of the hardest things to learn and understand, and it may simply be that the schoolboy referees you see have not yet learned how to apply it?

Referee Societies do not usually appoint to schoolboy games and they may be getting referees who are teachers or other students.  They may not be getting the training and coaching that Society referees get and there could be a difference in standards.  This is not to say they are doing it wrong, just that they are doing it differently for the game they are refereeing.  That is what contextual judgement is all about.

Thanks for the question Jack.

No comments:

Post a Comment