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Refereeing decisions

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by boyo, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. boyo Paul McLean (56)

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    I will say at the outset that this isn't me defending bad refereeing decisions.

    I will defend referees against armchair experts who often are wrong. Often commentators seem to defend the actions of players breaking one or more laws. The commentators and the players should know the laws - if they don't, then why are they there? Surely a team doesn't want points scored against them caused by penalties.

    The referee doesn't make the infringements. Perhaps a solution to the number of free-kicks and penalties would be for the players not to infringe (I know, what a crazy idea).

    BTW this thread doesn't deserve smart-arse responses: this is an important subject.
    suckerforred, Ruggo, KevinO and 2 others like this.
  2. Bruwheresmycar Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    The refereeing this year is of a very high standard all around. And I agree that the armchair experts are almost always wrong. It's extremely hard to tell how a ref is really doing on a TV alone. Because the TV and replays just make people obsessed with decisions that don't raise an eyebrow at the games. (so I suggest we leave reffing to the refs and their coaches)

    But this is a blog and people are free to give their input. It's not as if playing and coaching advice is any better. People just like to discuss rugby and occasionally vent. The difference seems to be that people understand their coaching input is just an opinion, but they are utterly convinced with quite a few ignorant comments about our reffing system.


    It's all well and good for people to give their input. But it does get annoying to read refs being accused of all sorts of nonsense from bias to incompetency over and over again, all the time - for no good reason.
    yourmatesam likes this.
  3. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Bad Refereeing Decisions: How about Steve Walsh and his decision to tattoo his inside forearm? I wonder what it says, but for big matches he has recently started putting tape over it.

    Otherwise anyone criticising referees is welcome to attend the local Foundation course and get qualified to wield the Acme Thunderer to demonstrate how much better they are (or are not as the case is more likely to be).
    Gooch and yourmatesam like this.
  4. yourmatesam Alan Cameron (40)

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    "He who controls himself, controls the game"

    More rugby coaches and players should get their refereeing qualifications, it would really open their eyes.

    Commentators in particular should be qualified, nothing shits me more than when they blabber on about decisions they believe are incorrect when the ref got it right.
    forwards4ever and boyo like this.
  5. Scott Allen Trevor Allan (34)

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    Whenever I've refereed a game at training (or in the one match I did) the laws go out the window and I end up calling "nothing there, play on". Players spend more time complaining about my lack of whistle blowing than actually playing rugby.

    We're very lucky to have those people prepared to be a referee - it's certainly not something I could do.
    Ruggo likes this.
  6. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    The tattoo reads: TOUCH, CROUCH, PAUSE, ENGAGE, SET!
  7. yourmatesam Alan Cameron (40)

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    As a coach, before I became a referee, this is exactly what I would do and I had the same complaints from players.

    As a referee, it makes such a difference to have a coach and/or captain who knows the laws. If I were coaching now, I would send my co-coaches and captain to a Foundation Course to get their coacing and refereeing qualifications and have them actively referee to see the other side of the game.
    Ruggo likes this.
  8. Sidbarret Fred Wood (13)

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    It shocking that it doesn't form part of the normal academy course.

    What would also like to see is rep players serving a ban doing reffing duty in club games. Also guys returning from injury and during bye weekends. Personally I think it would improve them as players and be great way of connecting the pro franchises with the rugby community in their area.
    Nusadan likes this.
  9. Sidbarret Fred Wood (13)

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    Bit of false argument though isn't it. Does that mean I can not criticize Quade's tackling unless I am willing and able to floor a rampaging super rugby loose forward?

    Refs at this level are at the very pointy end of their profession and can not be held to the same standard as the rest of us. As fans we are right to expect them to get more right than wrong (which they generally do). There is nothing wrong with criticizing a ref if he falls short of the expected standard.

    That said, we should also not fall into the trap of blaming poor games on poor refereeing. It is the job of players to make a game entertaining and the refs job to call the players when they transgress the rules. A game where the players continually transgress the rules is rarely a good game of rugby.
    suckerforred and Richo like this.
  10. Nusadan Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Refereed a match up at Fort William in NW Scotland, beaut spot btw, and the coach of the losing team wouldn't talk to me or shake my hand after the match even though we chatted to each other before it.

    He was upset about his team losing at the death, and perhaps my blowing the whistle at the end penalising his team for not releasing the tackled player and thus full time was called.

    He didn't take into account one of his players knocking the ball over the tryline in act of scoring a try earlier on and so forth. That would have made the difference between winning and losing.

    I had a ref's coach at the game and he was there when I approached the coach again to enquire what was his issue, yet still he refused to talk to me. My English wife says it's in the blood of Scots to behave that way!

    The coach should have trained/instructed his players to 'release the tackled player' before trying to get at the ball, his team were pinged several times in the first half yet they continued to do so after ht.
  11. Sidbarret Fred Wood (13)

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    Meh, can't expect to be everyones best mate every week. I know there have been times when I've been absolutely filthy with refs on the day, but once I've cooled down realising that either the ref was right or that it is just one of those bad luck moments that happen in life and sport. The coach should be given room to digest the result.

    All you can do is make sure that you can be proud of your performance each week.
    Ruggo likes this.
  12. Ruggo Mark Ella (57)

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    My brother coaches teenage rugby and he has done this with parents who tend to get mouthy from the sideline. It has worked well for him and the results good.

    We get to see things so much easier from TV. I have reffed in the past and just don't have the attention span for it. It is a real eye opener as to just how difficult and skillful it is to be able to ref a game on the spot and in the split second.
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  13. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    My comments about people criticising the referee attending the nearest Foundation course is more directed at the community/grass roots level.

    I have seen many young and keen kids turned off refereeing due to overenthusiastic parents and spectators dishing out abuse during their early games.

    Our game can not survive without the volunteer referees. Every Steve Walsh, Joubers, Peter Marshall, Romaine Poite etc had to start refereeing at some stage, and they would have been as nervous as hell.
    suckerforred, boyo and yourmatesam like this.
  14. Scott Allen Trevor Allan (34)

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    YMS, knowing the laws is easy - you can study those without the pressure of a match. Once under the pressure of a match, it's so easy to miss lots and even though I may know the laws I find it's easier to just let the game flow.

    Having done a foundation course it didn't help me - some people are cut out to be referees and I tip my hat to them. I know I'm not.
  15. Bruwheresmycar Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    You should see how simplified the top refs have made the job for themselves. (Ask them if you ever get the chance.)

    Basically it seems the philosophy of reffing games that fast seems to be, "if I can absolutely ensure no one breaks these 3 or 4 laws today, we will have a smooth game".

    So if a super15 ref does miss a hands in the ruck or collapsing the ruck call. It's probably because at every single breakdown for 80 minutes his brain is processing "did the tackler roll? Was the entry good? Are they holding their own weight? - yes? - play on" all in the space of 2 seconds.

    So one guide to use if you are evaluating the how much control the ref had on the game is - how many different penalty offences did he punish?
  16. yourmatesam Alan Cameron (40)

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    [USER=1784]Scott Allen[/USER] I guess the intention behind trying to educate coaches and players extends from my own experiences at a regional level here where a lot of coaches and players may not have the time or inclination to learn the laws or study trends in the game in the same way that a premier level coach might do. I agree that its difficult to pick up on the process of refereeing well and that's why I would like to see more people at this level of the game become qualified referees in order to show them that there is more to the game than how they see it from the sidelines.

    I think that to become a decent referee takes a lot of mentoring and the path to becoming a good referee requires a lot of constructive criticism and self reflection on your performances. I find myself constantly learning and evaluating situations even in the game.

    I don't believe the Foundation Course prepares anyone to referee well, I think it serves a purpose for the ARU, its up to the local association or state referee DO to do the work after the course that really helps new referees to improve their skills.
    Scott Allen likes this.
  17. suckerforred Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Careful here. Technically, as per the laws, they are banned/suspended from participating in all aspects of the game. Allowances are made for training & other club duties (e.g. pr & sponsorship stuff). You will notice that when players are suspended they do not run the water at games or sit on the bench. Unlike players that are returning from injury.
  18. suckerforred Chilla Wilson (44)

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    My experience of refereeing is from Netball & I hate it, so have all respect for those that do the job. Yes I know I have vented plenty about decisions. We all do. There is a few points I would like to make.

    From a player perspective - I played defence (GK or GD for those who know) and since my job was to disrupt the attacking team's ball I would push the envelope. The first 5 mins of the game is feeling out what the ref (or umpire) is going to call and what you can get away with. The same applies for rugby. That is why Richie is so good. He adapts to the ref each and every game. He is also very good at having a reasonable discussion with the ref and talking them around to his point of view. Love it or hate it this is part of the game and some players need to learn to adapt.

    From a reffing point of view - My brain just doesn't work fast enough to adjudicate all of the rules all of the time. In sections of the field (or court) there are particular rules (laws) that have a more significant effect on the game or are more applicable. For example, within the circle of a netball court you are looking for contact & obstruction above all else, other infringments may be let slide or not be noticed. I am guessing that the same would happen on a rugby field. Not excusing it, just saying that that is how my brain operates in that situation & I guess others would be the same.

    From a spectator point of view - I would like to role of the touch judges, sorry, assistant referees to be clarified. There are times when we have all seen infringements that the there is no way that the ref could have seen for one reason or another. These we have to forgive, they are not gong to see all things all of the time. But in some of these incidents the assistants should have seen what had happened. So why wasn't it pulled up? Did the assistant just not call it, did the asistant just not see it, or did the ref ignore advice from the assistant?

    The other thing I would like to see, is if there is one of the more educated amongst us on this forum could look at some of the more contriversial decisions in terms of the law and the application of such. That way we moght all learn something.

    I suppose any-which-way there are always going to be times when an infringment is going to be missed. We, as a code, just need to try to minimise these, and live with it when it happens.
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  19. elementfreak Trevor Allan (34)

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    Why didn't you invite local referees down to your training sessions to referee the 'live' aspect of training? They could also give insight into breakdowns etc and what the focuses for the year are going to be.
  20. elementfreak Trevor Allan (34)

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    It's interesting because I have only been reffing for 4 years and when I first started it was all about making a "checklist" for your own sanity for the different aspects of the game. For example here is a quick one about a tackle:

    Tackle Happens:
    Was it legal?
    Did the tackler go to ground?
    Did the tackler release?
    If he didn't go to ground has he come through the gate?
    Has the ball carrier played the ball?
    Has the 1st arriving player got his hands on the ball
    Do we have a ruck?
    Offside lines now apply, where are the defenders standing?
    Did the "jackler" get his hands on the ball before the ruck was formed?
    Are people using the gate?
    Are people staying on their feet?
    Anyone using their hands in the ruck?
    Is the ball coming out?
    How are the offside lines looking?
    Am I in the way if I stand here?
    Has anyone interferred with the halfback?


    I am sure I have missed a couple of things there, but seeing as in 80 minutes of rugby there are roughly 200 tackles that is a lot to go through each time. Nowadays we talk about "pictures" and knowing what a good 'picture' looks like and knowing what each bad 'picture' looks like. It amazingly frees up a lot of brain capacity.
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