Monday, 7 December 2015

Advantage....who decides?

Discovered your blog through Rugbyrefs and am impressed with your answers and explanations.
Question - Under law 8.5(a) where a team infringes for a 2nd time and advantage cannot be played or does not accrue , the ref applies the sanction most advantageous to the non-offending team - does he have to/may he/should he give the non-offending captain an option as to what is 'most advantageous' or does he have to decide that himself without consulting the captain, like he does when 'playing advantage' ?
Law 8.1(a) gives the ref a wide discretion as to whether advantage occurred and makes him the sole judge thereof - does this mean (pertaining to the question) that the ref may do as he wishes or does it mean that he cannot 'delegate' his duty ito law 8.5(a) ? 
Thank you for your insightful views.

Hi Johan

Thank you for the compliments.

To answer the first part of the question we turn to Law 8.1 (a)
(a) The referee is sole judge of whether or not a team has gained an advantage. The referee has wide discretion when making decisions.
The referee would only offer an option where the law stipulates one for the offence.  However if the referee calls advantage some teams may shout "we'll take the penalty please Sir".  Most referee's see nothing wrong with this.  In your scenario the referee will decide, usually based on which offence is the more serious.

To answer the second part, the referee is sole judge, but must make his decisions within the framework of the law.

Many consider the law on advantage to be the most important one in the book, as it allows the referee to keep the game flowing, without disadvantaging a team that has been offended against.

Whether to offer an advantage, and which offence is most advantageous if there is more than one, is based upon the referee's experience, as well as guidelines on what types of advantage there are (tactical or territorial) and the criteria for deciding it is over.

The referee must be happy that the advantage is clear and real. A mere opportunity to gain advantage is not enough.

Thanks for the question.
The Rugby Ref

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