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Dixie
10-11-06, 15:11
Scenario - 18 man team loses a hooker and the captain tells you that their only replacement front-row player can play prop but not hooker. What do you do? Among the options are: b) tell the skipper that due to the size of the squad he must have at least on FR replacement capable of playing in each of the FR positions; and d) continue with uncontested scrums.

The "correct" answer is given as b), due to the old wording of Law 3.5, which stipulated that both hooker and prop could be replaced at the first time of asking. Even under that version (which is no longer in force) I view d) as more apt. I see nothing in law to require the ref to make the statement given in b). It is quite true, of course, that the squad should have contained more FR players, but does the ref force the skipper to play another hooker? Or does he go to uncontested, as suggested by d)? I doubt there is any option other than uncontested - so the answer is either wrong or misleading.

Incidentally, the current wording of the Law makes no reference to covering the various positions until squads exceed 18 players. Does this mean that any FR cover can be a specialist prop or hooker, and so we can expect to go to uncontested at the first time of asking for the position not covered by the specialist?

beckett50
10-11-06, 16:11
At the level you operate, No.

Plus some competitions have different regulations regarding the sizes of squads etc.

If you want the ruling on this particular Law may I suggest you check out the IRB website.

OB..
11-11-06, 10:11
There are no on-field sanctions associated with Law 3.5

I see little point in telling the captain if he has breached the front row requirement (he probably knows already), as only the organisers of the relevant competition can take any action on that.

However as a referee you have an obligation to go to uncontested scrums if there are not enough ST&E front row players. Moreover if you notice that a player, who claimed to be ST&E, clearly is not in practice, you should also go to uncontested scrums then. Safety is paramount.

Deeps
11-11-06, 16:11
Dixie - The referee is not concerned in the slightest with the competition rules; his only concern is the safety issue. Once a FR player has left the field, on the next occasion of a scrum he asks the skipper if he has a replacement FR player. If yes carry on with contested scrums, if no then uncontested.

Dixie
13-11-06, 15:11
Thank you. The consensus appears to be that the answer given by LRL.com is inaccurate and/or misleading, and that answer d) (move to uncontested scrums) would be more appropriate

Account Deleted
15-11-06, 09:11
I agree with D I answered that when I did the quiz.
I would include in my report a comment about the replacement issue andlet the organisers do what they want.

Simon Thomas
15-11-06, 10:11
This is a competitions rules, not a Law issue, and will vary between countries and even between competitons in a country.

The referee should make sure he knows what FR replacement rules are for the match he is doing.

In England these are different for level 1-4 Leagues, and level 5 and below. National Cup and County Cup and Merit Tables will also vary, as will different levels of BUSA, so make sure you know the Regs for the match you are doing. The Clubs should of course know, but often do not !

As OB and All The Time Ref state you should follow the protocol of asking for a qualified FR replacement at the first (and second in some higher levels of competition) time of asking, and go to un-opposed scrums.

It is the organising committee's decision as to what happens re result etc, you just note the time and score at time you went to un-opposed scrums.

Finally the safety issue - if at any time you are not happy that a FR player is suitably qualified and experienced, or patently is not up to it go unopposed on saftey grounds - Vowles and Wilbraham court cases are salutory examples of how a referee can end up in court in an insurance liability case !

OB..
15-11-06, 12:11
The referee should make sure he knows what FR replacement rules are for the match he is doing.
I agree a referee will feel more confortable if he does know the competition rules, but I don't see that it is necessary.

All he needs to do is make sure that every time there is a replacement, that player is ST&E. If he isn't, then unopposed scrums. The consequences of that are for others to deal with. If they want him to certify the conditions under which he went to unopposed scrums, he can do so.

tim White
15-11-06, 12:11
Often we are not told what competition the game is arranged for.:confused:

Simon Thomas
15-11-06, 13:11
We have an agreement between Society and CB in Hampshire, that all appointed referees as well as the Clubs playing are made aware of competition rules regarding numbers of replacements, extra time or not, and FR replacements & un-opposed scrums rules.

So for HRURS refs it is NOT an option of whether they think it is necessary or not, as it is a policy of the Society and all relevant rules are supplied on the Society Web Site, as well as the Competition type on the Appointments sheets - all Societies can do that easily.

This follows a few occasions where 'the ref got it wrong' over the last few seasons in applying un-opposed scrums, extra time, etc. Matches had to be re-played (one a Guernsey League match at significant cost due to the flights, and why in London 2 S and London 3 SW five FR players are required, compared to four FR replacements in all other NCC Leagues). Of course we should not offer advice or opinion of what the result is, merely entering time and score at time of un-opposed scrums or match abandonment for example and leave the decision making to the appropriate Comps Committee.

Personally I do not do any match without knowing what the competition is, and what rules apply, and would regard it as un-professional of me if I did not. I regards this as part of my research before-hand by checking League postions, playing records, reading recent match reports, and generally viewing the clubs' web site, getting prcise directions to the ground and contact telephine numbers, etc. All part of being prepared for the match imho.

Simon Thomas
15-11-06, 15:11
And just received from Referee Commander-in-Chief Castelcroft taking immediate effect for this weekend's National Cup matches at all levels incl Intermediate and Senior / Junior Vase.

RFU has got itself in a pickle and isn't compliant with IRB Laws about reduced numbers

This applies to Game Regulation 7 - 7.3 Front Row 7.3.1 Requirements
http://www.rfu.com/microsites/handbooks/index.cfm?fuseaction=handbook.detail&storyid=14420

(c) If any front row player requires to be replaced and his team cannot provide a replacement or other player suitably trained and experienced at least eighteen years old from those who started the match or from the nominated replacements to enable the match to continue safely with contested scrums, the referee having made enquiry of and having confirmed this fact with the captain of the team (or such other person nominated by the Club as the manager or other person responsible for the team):

The old : c) • Cup Competitions (including finals) – (i), on the first and second occasion the match will continue with uncontested scrums, the offending team will be prevented from replacing the injured player(s), and (ii), on the third and subsequent occasion the match will continue with uncontested scrums and (subject to Game Regulation 7.3.1 (d) below) the final result will stand.

The new : • Cup Competitions (including finals) - on any occasion, the match will continue with uncontested scrums and the result will stand subject to Game Regulations 7.3.1 (d).”

Apparently this has never happened to RFU knowledge anyway in the National Cups and no team has had to reduce ther numbers at first and second occasions as they had no valid FR replacements

Why I hear you all ask - it is simple really

In order for any Union to deviate from the IRB Laws of the Game on reduction of numbers of players in the case of uncontested scrums, the Union is required to request an Experimental Law Variation (ELV) in accordance with iRB Bye-Law 9.10.

The Rugby Football Union has drafted such a request which will be considered at the IRB’s annual meeting in April 2007 but are endeavouring for this to be dealt with sooner.

This matter became prominent following on from the joint request by the RFU and Premier Rugby Limited to follow the French Premier Clubs’ competition regulations whereby there would be a reduction of numbers of players in the case of uncontested scrums – It is understood that in French Premier Clubs’ competition in seasons 2004 and 2005 that this Variation of the Laws of the game has been applied with great success. The FFR have also amended their regulations to comply with the IRB’s directive.

And you all wonder, what Society Chairmen do all day ?

OB..
15-11-06, 16:11
all relevant rules are supplied on the Society Web Site, as well as the Competition type on the Appointments sheets
We do that as well. There is also a brief summary of points likely to be of interest to the referee. But it is not a requirement for referees to know the regulations.

This follows a few occasions where 'the ref got it wrong' over the last few seasons in applying un-opposed scrums, extra time, etc. Matches had to be re-played (one a Guernsey League match at significant cost due to the flights, and why in London 2 S and London 3 SW five FR players are required, compared to four FR replacements in all other NCC Leagues). In what way did the referee "get it wrong", and why did the match have to be replayed? Why wasn't the relevant decision taken by an organiser, or the captains?

I think it is unhelfpul to confuse the roles of referees and organisers. Locally the cup committee appoints somebody to each cup match to answer questions on the regulations. In the Merit Table, it is the captains' job to know them. How many sets of regulations is a referee expected to cope with?

We had an awkward case recently where the local chairman made a ruling on the night concerning player eligibility. It turned out later he was wrong. How would a referee have fared?

Simon Thomas
15-11-06, 17:11
But it is not a requirement for referees to know the regulations.?
It is in Hampshire Society (and others I know of), based on Society and CB Committee decisions. I leave it to Glos Society committee to make their choice for their referees, but it is certainly recommended by Castelcroft to know his/her comps regs before a referee starts a match !


In what way did the referee "get it wrong"
Prop yellow carded, after FR replacement had been used, so corectly as per regs he played un-opposed but incorrectly continued to do so for final 10 minutes after prop came out of bin !

and why did the match have to be replayed?"
This was a London 4 League match and the close final result, and the fact it affected promotion chances, made London Comps Committeee order replay after consideration - so the relevant decision was taken by the organiser. It is nothing to do with captains.

In a second example a referee played a County Cup match by National Cup extra time regulations, as he hadn't checked. Only in the Final of County Cup is extra time played. As he started extra time, the match was stopped by an elderly member of County Comps Committee running on waving the regs booklet - making a senior referee feel very silly. We have now managed to persuade the County to use National Cup Regs instead.


I think it is unhelfpul to confuse the roles of referees and organisers. Locally the cup committee appoints somebody to each cup match to answer questions on the regulations. In the Merit Table, it is the captains' job to know them.
Totally agree - referees officiate, organiser organise. But I need to know the rules before I can officiate.
You must have a massive cup committee to cover of dozens of matches on one day !
It is Captain, Coach, Club Sec etc job to know all relevaent regs - agreed.


How many sets of regulations is a referee expected to cope with?
As many sets of regs as there are Comps if necessary. Referees Societies are there to service our clubs / unis / colleges / schools and apply the IRB Laws, and whatever rules they have agreed for their comps as validated and approved by the CB. It is not our place to question those. NCC, Cups, Merit Tables, 2nd XV Leagues, BUSA, Daily Mail, county Cup. Youth Leagues, Womens Rugby all have varous rules and regs to apply, some of which affect size of squad, numbers of replacements, extra time, etc.


We had an awkward case recently where the local chairman made a ruling on the night concerning player eligibility. It turned out later he was wrong. How would a referee have fared?
Not a referee's issue re player eligibility - we wouldn't get involved.

OB..
16-11-06, 11:11
Simon – I will mention your views to our committee (I'm just a foot soldier), but I am unconvinced myself that it is the right way to go. Unless Regulations affect something the referee has to do during the play, I do not see why he needs to know them. The responsibility lies elsewhere.

The referee who got it wrong – was that not a mistake in Law?

Extra time: the referee should enquire from a suitable person what should happen next, rather than assume he knows. The referee looked silly because he got it wrong. That is one of the dangers of having the referee try to do it when he has to deal with a wide range of competitions.

One example of a regulation the referee does need to know is the "silver try". In some junior competitions locally, if a match is drawn, the winner is the team who scored the first try. The referee needs to note this down, but the coach should make him aware of this before the game starts.


Referees Societies are there to service our clubs / unis / colleges / schools and apply the IRB Laws, and whatever rules they have agreed for their comps as validated and approved by the CB.
I agree with the first part, but I am questioning the need for the second italicised part.


Not a referee's issue re player eligibility - we wouldn't get involved.
But it is part of the regulations!

SimonSmith
16-11-06, 12:11
Simon I will mention your views to our committee (I'm just a foot soldier), but I am unconvinced myself that it is the right way to go. Unless Regulations affect something the referee has to do during the play, I do not see why he needs to know them. The responsibility lies elsewhere.

Wholeheartedly agree.

Simon Thomas
16-11-06, 14:11
This isn't up for a debate as far as Hants is concerned - we have a formal agreement between Society and CB at Committee levels, all the various regs are published and both clubs and referees are expected to know them (# of reps, extra time, etc).

SimonSmith
16-11-06, 15:11
This isn't up for a debate as far as Hants is concerned - we have a formal agreement between Society and CB at Committee levels, all the various regs are published and both clubs and referees are expected to know them (# of reps, extra time, etc).

But those that you have outlined are pertinent to the referee on the pitch as OB outlined.
What happens outside the pitch - i.e. repercussions if scrums go uncontested - is outwith the responsibility set of the referee, and I don't believe that we should be held accountable to them. We carry enough as it is - it's time for the clubs to step up and stop using administrators and referees as crutches.