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Pablo
01-11-04, 16:11
OK, time we had another topic to discuss and compare notes. A two-pronged question, then:

Referees: To whom do you specifically talk before the game and what do you discuss? Why?

Coaches/players: What do you like from referees with regard to pre-game chats? What would you like them to discuss/not discuss? Again, why?

Personally, I like to give the briefest of chats to the front rows to focus them on the engagement procedure. I say (pretty much verbatim): "This is not a Law chat - you've done this before, so you don't need chapter and verse from me. This is simply a chat about what I expect from you and what you can expect from me at the scrum engagement. Your safety is my priority and it helps me if we're all on the same page. Once the ball is there and both teams are bound, I will give the command "crouch and hold". Come into your ready positions and wait. If you're not happy with something, speak up. At the command engage, come together when ready. I will only give that command once I am satisfied that both teams are set, square and ready to scrummage straight and safely. Sound reasonable? Any questions?"

Then at the first scrum I say as we're waiting for the ball "Remember what we agreed before the game." This works for me and I very seldom have problems with the scrums. What do the rest of you do?

I have not got into a habit of talking to captains, but the two from my game last weekend (my first Level 9 game!) seemed to expect it. I simply asked them if they had any questions from me. Usual stuff about quick penalties (in front of me, at the mark, etc.) One of them asked if I would be talking and warning them about offside lines, etc., so I said I'd give as much info as I could within limits and I tried out Deeps' line (or is it DaveT's?) about them using common sense and me letting them know when they got it wrong. Anyway, he was quite taken aback by this, and seemed to think it was excessively harsh. I thought I'd throw in another RugbyRefs.com line (Simon?) at the end of their chat about me not minding people talking to me as long as it was positive and not argumentative - didn't have any effect in the game, so I don't think I'll bother again, but it was a nice idea.

Anyway, enough rambling. Do you have a set of points to go over with the captains before the game? If so, what are they?

Look forward to your replies.

SimonSmith
01-11-04, 17:11
Yes, that was my line!

I talk to 9, 10, and front row.
I let the 9 know what my definition of "straight" is (no laughing at the back!), and the latitude I give at free kicks and penalties. It usually goes along the lines of : it's your game, so go as quickly as you like. Make sure you're within a yard of the mark, and make sure I can see if. If I can't, you fouled up and it's their scrum. If it's foul play or an injury, I'll bring you back, so you don't lose anything by trying to go quick. Questions?

10 - you control anyone not in the line out. Everyone back 10, and watch my hand. Hold the ten until it comes down; you move before that, it's a penalty. You keep them on-side at the back foot as well! Questions?

Front row - Here's the sequence guys. Want to be sure we're on the same page for safety's sake. If we get the engagement right, you can scrummage all afternoon. Hooker, you're in charge at the engagement. I'll call "crouch and hold". That isn't an instruction, it's an invitation. Once you <point at hooker> have crouched, you're telling me that you're ready for the next one "engage" - and that IS a command. Do not coruch until you're sure you're ready; I don't care if he's the problem <point at prop>, you <point back to hooker> are the one in trouble. We're going on my voice guys, so when I say engage, in you go. Heads above hips, binds up, straight shove. If we get this right, this is all I need to get injvolved with you.
Who's the first lifter in the line out? OK - you get the lines straight, and THIS is the gap, the whole game. Same way the hooker's in charge of the engagement, you're in charge of the line out. Anyone closes the gap, anyone not straight, anyone doesn't give ground, you're the guy in the frame.

Fair enough fellas? OK - questions?

And then the captains at the coin. That one I tailor from game to game.

I know sounds a bit brusque, but the delivery is with a smile. And it seems to work. The guys here in the USA seem to appreciate it anyway....

Simon Griffiths
01-11-04, 18:11
Here's my pre-match chat in bullet form:

> Front rows alone - talk them briefly through what I want "All I want lads is clean engagement. I want you level and parallel to the goal lines. I'll sort it if it isn't." (Continued below).

> Front rows and locks - Engagement - "Then I'll call Crouch, Hold and when I'm ready engage. If you go in before and I can tell who it is, you don't get second chances." - I tend to find that the "no second chances" bit gets them ready for FKs and they respond accordingly. (By that I mean I don't have many going in before I say!)

> Extra - if I'm doing a junior game I'll just remind them the laws, "Remember lads, it's only a 45 degree turn with no turnover and it's a 1.5 metre push, FK to the opposition, I'll call out if you're getting there."

> Scrum-half/fly-half (main quick-tapper) - "If you go for a quick tap, I want to see it, if I can't we'll have it again."

> Captains - "OK, we're a team of three. If you can control your guys then I won't have to, that means no yellows for persistant infingement and no reds for stupidity. If anyone wants to say anything to me I want it to be through you so I've only got to listen to two of you instead of 30!" (Little humour at the start gives a good atmosphere and gets them on your side from the start I think).

That's my general chat. Front-rows etc. at the stud-check, quick chat and we're all happy that I'm out of the way! I speak to the captains at the coin toss.

Also, if I've got society TJs (about 4 or 5 times a season) then I'll chat with the whole team briefly at stud-check. "OK, there's three of us today so you'll have to be on best behaviour! No slipping the bind flankers!" Nothing to serious, more stuff to make them think were good guys really. I'll also have a quick word with the fly-half and wingers, "We've got TJs marking the 10s so line up your defence between them please."

I try to keep everything down to the minimum - what I expect plus a dash of humour.

Deeps
01-11-04, 18:11
I have been concerned that skippers were not getting the word across so having consulted a learned collegue on this matter I have decided to chat to the entire team for hopefully no more than 90 seconds after checking studs. I have tried it for the last half dozen games and it has worked better than talking just to the front rows and the skippers. At the risk of criticism, which I welcome as this is one of the best forums to learn new ideas, what follows is my current brief.

My main concern is whether I am briefing too much but I would rather brief early than spend time during the game doing preventative work that is the coaches responsibility. The one area not on here is Law 14 but it is difficult to cover that in a briefing without turning it into a coaching session. See what you think of the following which is written as a briefing sheet for a new referee.

Arrive at a club at least one hour before a game. Having identified yourself as the referee, stick your head in the changing rooms, identify the Captains and agree a suitable time to do studs etc.

Once changed and in track suit, check the ground. Give each post a push to ensure the cross bar is secured and note that the post protectors are fitted. Next, assess the ground looking for hazards including horse (Ellingham & Ringwood) dog or large bird excrement. Check that the flags are placed correctly and that you can identify the white lines, setting up natural transits if the 15s are badly marked.

Watch both teams warming up and practising their set pieces. At the appointed time or when it looks convenient about 30 - 35 minutes before kick off, approach a team and make your presence known.

Explain to the Captain that you would like to check studs and to speak to the team for approximately one minute. Talking all the time, check studs. Ask the players to remain briefly to clarify a couple of points.

"Anyone padded up today, just shoulders please (chest padding Ladies only)?"

"Shin pads? not the hard plastic ones please lads, they have a sharp edge that can skim a face like a bacon slicer in seconds."

"Front row? the call will be Crouch - Hold - Engage. All agree? I shall remind you at the first scrum. Seconds? No early push please."

"Scrum half - quick and straight please! Do you take the quick taps? Where I can see them please and within a metre or so of the mark. If you take them where I cannot see them, I shall assume you have knocked on and the other side can have the put in at the scrum."

[To all] "If the penalty kick is against you please attempt to retire but at least give the kicker his 10 metres. Do not ask me if you are back ten, you know ten as well as I do. Note that taking or kicking the ball away, including the presumption that it is your penalty kick will receive the full force of the law. "

"No 10, what is your understanding of when the lineout is over? [Correct as necessary] I shall attempt to assist you but it is your decision. Do not rely on me to make your decision for you."

"I shall play lots of advantage so play the whistle and watch your offside lines, particularly sentinels at the rucks and mauls. At the tackle, tackler moves, ball carrier plays the ball, other players stay on their feet. As a referee I will normally expect the ball carrier's team to win the ball; if a ruck develops and quick ball is not realised I shall suspect opposition hands in. Consider, as the defending side that at the worst you may be penalised for hands in, at best the opposition will get the put in at the scrum. So if the ball's lost, let it go. Let's try to get the ball away from the breakdown and have an open, enjoyable game."

Any questions?



When you have done both teams take the second Captain to meet the first. Before tossing the coin, remind Captains that they're formally in charge of their team; to work with you to keep the peace; to encourage players to accept referee decisions and to move on. "I am on the field to make decisions, not to discuss them; this can be done in the bar afterwards."

Then do the toss and wish them a good game. Home side tosses, away team skipper calls. Winner can either choose ends or to kick. He cannot choose to 'defend'.

N.B. Do not patronise. It's a "briefing", so keep it brief. Formally, you need to assure yourself about front rows, but the rest is up to you and is to let them know your approach. Prepare it beforehand. Eye contact. Give them a chance to ask a few short questions. It is THEIR briefing, not yours.

Many points can be better made during the game e.g. at the first lineout (front man on either side to set the metre gap, first scrum remind the front rows of the call and the scrum half to keep it straight. For a more senior game, ease up on some of the more patronising stuff.

SimonSmith
01-11-04, 18:11
As a referee I will normally expect the ball carrier's team to win the ball; if a ruck develops and quick ball is not realised I shall suspect opposition hands in. [/I]

Wouldn't go near that one with a very long stick. A very very long stick.
I think that you could be dissuading competition there. I know why you have that expectation, but I don't agree with verbalizing it to the teams.
You're also pre judging. The ball might not come back because the tackled player didn't release it.

I think you could come badly unstuck with that at a higer level. Tell them what you want to see - "tackler roll away; tackled player release the ball and move away. Arriving players on their feet through the gate; and once the ruck's formed, hands off."
That forms part of my captain's brief, which as I said varies from game to game and captain to captain.

Simon Griffiths
01-11-04, 22:11
I know that I don't even think about talking about the tackle/ruck/maul etc. If a player asks me I'll say something along the lines of "You know what the Laws are, I'm the referee not your coach."

Also, you often get those that say "Will you call the ruck?" I say the same to them - "You've played rugby for years, you know the Laws, if I blow the whistle you'll know you were wrong." Now, I might sound whistle-happy but I rarely do this, I will call hands away etc. - preventative refereeing - but I'm not going to say prior to the match, "At every ruck I'll call 'Ruck' and 'hands away' etc." That would be backing yourself in a corner - "But you didn't say it was a ruck sir..." And so on and so forth.

Davet
01-11-04, 23:11
I tend to give a fairly brief chat, mainly to front row, but generally including captain and scrum-half, also pack leader, though I do sometimes get a funny look when I ask who that is - ever had the feeling someone just got a surprise appointment?

My main point is with the front-row, and I always ask the question - "have you all played front row before, and are you all happy to do so?" which generally raises a smile from the fine and manly forms in front of me....

I then go through crouch and hold and engage, and make the point that if they are not ready then they must let me know before I call engage. If they need to adjust then they can have the time to do so, just let me know.

I then usually add that since they have all done it before they know that have to keep it straight and level, and not to push early, not twist, dip, pull, drive up, etc.

I then ask if anybody has any questions, and deal with them as they arise. Its usually the scrum-half talking about quick tap penalties (do it where I can see you) or asking if the No8 has to bind with full arms (yes, one full arm). Props often ask about pre-gripping at line-out (as far as Hants Society is concerned that's good and is allowed as a safety aid). Captains will also sometimes ask if I will call ruck (No, its too dynamic, but if you hear me say "hands out" then do so, fast!), they also sometimes ask if I will call lineout over to the backs (yes - look at the hand and listen for the call).

However if they don't ask then I don't make a point of saying - these things will very rapidly become apparant as soon as the whistle goes, and quite often players just want to get on with their preparation rather than listen to yet another ref telling them how to play a game they have only played for the last 5 or 10years, or more.

Robert Burns
02-11-04, 01:11
Yes, that was my line!

I talk to 9, 10, and front row.
I let the 9 know what my definition of "straight" is (no laughing at the back!), and the latitude I give at free kicks and penalties. It usually goes along the lines of : it's your game, so go as quickly as you like. Make sure you're within a yard of the mark, and make sure I can see if. If I can't, you fouled up and it's their scrum. If it's foul play or an injury, I'll bring you back, so you don't lose anything by trying to go quick. Questions?

10 - you control anyone not in the line out. Everyone back 10, and watch my hand. Hold the ten until it comes down; you move before that, it's a penalty. You keep them on-side at the back foot as well! Questions?

Front row - Here's the sequence guys. Want to be sure we're on the same page for safety's sake. If we get the engagement right, you can scrummage all afternoon. Hooker, you're in charge at the engagement. I'll call "crouch and hold". That isn't an instruction, it's an invitation. Once you <point at hooker> have crouched, you're telling me that you're ready for the next one "engage" - and that IS a command. Do not coruch until you're sure you're ready; I don't care if he's the problem <point at prop>, you <point back to hooker> are the one in trouble. We're going on my voice guys, so when I say engage, in you go. Heads above hips, binds up, straight shove. If we get this right, this is all I need to get injvolved with you.
Who's the first lifter in the line out? OK - you get the lines straight, and THIS is the gap, the whole game. Same way the hooker's in charge of the engagement, you're in charge of the line out. Anyone closes the gap, anyone not straight, anyone doesn't give ground, you're the guy in the frame.

Fair enough fellas? OK - questions?

And then the captains at the coin. That one I tailor from game to game.

I know sounds a bit brusque, but the delivery is with a smile. And it seems to work. The guys here in the USA seem to appreciate it anyway....
I must say, I am pleased with my brief as it is almost exactly the same as this.

So there are two of us in the world doing the same thing, we are on the road to full consistency, lol

threegatesexpress
04-11-04, 13:11
As a fairly recent newcomer, only in my second season, this information would have been brilliant a year ago!

I have chatted with other refs in changing rooms and bars, and discussed this on courses, and it seems we're all pretty consistent. One thing I have adopted which I find find works well is a checklist. I print one for every match and use it every time. It means you give the same briefing to both teams, and you have "proof" if you get comeback that you discussed certain points prior to the game; and you still have latitude for game-specific chat.

One caveat I would add from an experience last season. A much higher level referee invited me to follow him around doing his briefing. Very thorough, and I did learn a few points, but....I attempted to follow suit, lost my track during the briefing and then had a pretty dreadful game because I didn't carry out everything that I'd said I'd do. (Sorry KCS!) Be warned, practice what you preach!

I'd post a copy, but can't get the formatting through this site's editing software.

P.S. Any truth in the rumour that Tony Spreadbury's briefing is just "Enjoy your game"????

SimonSmith
04-11-04, 14:11
I did hear a rumour that one senior referee's front row briefing on occasion was:

Head through door. Find front row. Enagage eye contact: "Don't f*ck around guys". Exit.

Sheer quality!

SimonSmith
04-11-04, 14:11
One caveat I would add from an experience last season. A much higher level referee invited me to follow him around doing his briefing. Very thorough, and I did learn a few points, but....I attempted to follow suit, lost my track during the briefing and then had a pretty dreadful game because I didn't carry out everything that I'd said I'd do. (Sorry KCS!) Be warned, practice what you preach!

I steer clear of print out outs. First, eye contact is all important, and if you're cross referencing a list, you lose that. Second (and this might sound a bit harsh), you run the risk of looking like a geek, particularly to older world-weary players. You don't want to look worried or over anxious

If you do YOUR talk often enough, you'll find yourself falling into a pattern, and it comes out very naturally. I've found a natural rhythm to my talk, and it flows now. As for the "you told them something you didn't tell us" factor, preface your comments with "OK, I'm going to tell you exactly what I told them..."

Works for me.

Robert Burns
04-11-04, 21:11
If you use a printed sheet i would say you run the risk of looking like you are not sure of what you are doing, i think you need confidence in your briefing. one extra thing i say is to the fly half, i say when the arm comes down blah blah, but I also say that should i forget just give a shout, should i be involved with something else please use your judgement and wait till the lineout is clearly over. covers me incase i forget, which admittedly, i occasionally do

Deeps
05-11-04, 00:11
Reading off a checklist is a no no for me; I think the audience would not be impressed and might be a little concerned too. My brief varies and I am constantly striving to improve it. Thanks to Simon's comments above I have written out my perceptions regarding the outcome of a tackle for example. The key issue has to be brevity - not much more than a minute; the points must be punchy but not patronising.

I will write a script, much as I have recorded above for example, and will learn it but it remains dynamic as I adjust it every couple of weeks. Occasionally I will be caught out if a question is asked mid patter to which I ask them to hold questions until I have covered my briefing points.

I try to remember my keypoints in a logical sequence starting with the scrum, so two punchy lines dealing with front and second rows will follow; I usually finish that short burst with "Are we agreed?". That consults the front five and enables them to take part in the engagement call 'agreement', which can be useful later if it starts going pear shaped "We had an agreement guys!". That's the scrum sorted, now the scrum half who puts the ball in and usually takes the tap penalties. That widens the brief to general behaviour at penalty kicks. Next, lineouts and checking the No 10's understanding of when the lineout is over (I wait until the first line out to ask the two front men to set the gap for me.) Then a general warning on offsides at the breakdown followed by the tackle, restating players' responsibilities and the desire to have an open game by getting the ball away from the tackle area. Then "Any questions?" followed by "Enjoy the game". If the team has a history of hassling referees then I might also remind players that they are there to play and I have been asked to referee and hope that we do not get our roles confused.

At the toss up with the Captains, no more than three quick points - they won't remember anything else.

When reviewing own performance afterwards. one week I may think I have not briefed sufficiently, the next too much. Somehow one has to judge the relative skills and knowledge of the players before starting to brief and hope to get it right. Ultimately one should only have to agree the scrum engagement procedure, the rest is discretionary. Finally and as part of the ongoing effort to improve my own game, I will review the brief from time to time as well as discussing it with colleagues at training meetings and in forums like this.

threegatesexpress
05-11-04, 09:11
I take your point on the checklist, and thought that too at first, but I have to say that it's not been my experience in practice. You quickly know what's on there, and it becomes a case of telling them what you tell them, and then checking off that you have.

If your demeanour is confident, and you use the checklist for other things like captains' names, first aider, TJs, etc. it can also show that you are thorough. I often get comments about being very organised.

Robert Burns
05-11-04, 19:11
thats true enough I suppose

Deeps
07-11-04, 00:11
What I will do is to write the names of the Captains/pack leader in the small space below the team's names on the score sheet. Other names, such as coaches and touch judges, if I can get them, will go on the back. I keep the score sheets chronologically throughout the season so that when I am re appointed to either of these two teams and knocking on changing room doors again I can enquire as to whether Tom, Dick or Harry is skippering again today. It provides a little edge, gives the Captain some kudos in front of his team and shows that you have made an effort.

Although probably an obvious thing to do, I will look up the seasons results for the appropriate League/Merit Table for the two teams so that I have a discussion point to hand.

didds
21-12-04, 11:12
as an ex-front row here's my 2p...

I always hated the call "engage". Or more to the point, not the concept of the call, but the word itself. Frankly its too long!

I always asked "is that on the "e" or the "ge" ? And I could tell the ref rarely had a clue what I was on about! basically, start the engagement on the very start of the word and it gives you maximium opportunity to get your hit in first - wait for the "ge" at the end and the engagement will have already finished with you on the back foot! But make that engagement before the ref thinks he has actually said the word "engage" and you get penalised!

A far better word to use would be monosylabic, with a hard vowel at the end - "hit" would be perfect but I understand that for various reasons this word itself might not be acceptable!

Just hoping this helps you as refs understand the players; perspetive on the enagement sequence...

cheers

didds

Pablo
21-12-04, 11:12
Didds, you raise an interesting point. Of course, the word "engage" is more than just a standard procedure - it is actually enshrined in Law 20.1(h)

The front rows crouch and pause, but only come together when the referee calls 'engage'.

However, I favour keeping the two syllable word. In my experience, scrums make a lot of noise while packing down and two clear syllables are less likely to get lost in that noise, while also focusing the players on my voice so all six front rows are operating in unison. To avoid (as best I can) the problem of one team going on the "en" and the other going on the "gage", I make sure that the length of my pauses gets varied throughout the game, and I snap the word out. Also, as a habit developed during my time as an ice hockey referee, I am very good at not giving the players visual clues about when the "engage" is coming. Nobody has reactions quick enough to go on my "en", and beyond that, it's not my problem if your reactions are slower than your opponents'.

OB..
23-12-04, 10:12
The problem is similar to that of calling soldiers to attention. The word has 3 syllables, so they use the first two as a heads-up, and the final syllable becomes the command word. In my day, the army simply said "Squad. Squaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad SHUN" whereas the RAF said "Squad. Atteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen-SHUN"

Of course "Engage" is not meant to be a command: "This call is not a command but an indication that the front rows may come together when ready." I don't think any front rows are aware of that!

If referees did start saying "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen-gage" then they would be coverting it into a command. You can't win.

Deeps
23-12-04, 13:12
Of course it is a command, how else does the referee co-ordinate the engagement of the two front rows safely? If it is an advisory, 'You may now engage' and one front row decides not to then chaos occurs. On grounds of safety alone, it has to be a command and for the law book to deem otherwise conveniently abrogates the referees responsibility for a safe engagement which is contrary to current case law.

Paint the scenario whereby one is in court defending a charge of negligence because you failed to ensure a safe engagement thereby resulting in injury. 'Well your honour, I advised the front rows that I was quite content for them to engage when they were ready, unfortunately one front row was ready and the other one was not, so it's not my fault. I turned the responsibility for safety over to them." See how far that gets you!

SimonSmith
23-12-04, 13:12
Of course it is a command, how else does the referee co-ordinate the engagement of the two front rows safely? If it is an advisory, 'You may now engage' and one front row decides not to then chaos occurs. On grounds of safety alone, it has to be a command and for the law book to deem otherwise conveniently abrogates the referees responsibility for a safe engagement which is contrary to current case law.

Paint the scenario whereby one is in court defending a charge of negligence because you failed to ensure a safe engagement thereby resulting in injury. 'Well your honour, I advised the front rows that I was quite content for them to engage when they were ready, unfortunately one front row was ready and the other one was not, so it's not my fault. I turned the responsibility for safety over to them." See how far that gets you!

Totally agree. Which is why I break it down thus:
Crouch - and the "crouch" is the invitation. When everyone is crouched, they've indicated that they're ready for the command engage. I pick on someone - usually the hooker- and tell him it's his responsibility. When he crouches, he's saying his pack are good to go. Any problems after the crouch, and I'll be penalizing HIM for messing me about.

Then engage!

Can't remember where I got this one from, but I have to say the front rows love it - we're all on the same page, and going on one voice.

didds
24-12-04, 09:12
thanks for the clarification OB ;-)

Whether a command or an indication that front rows may engage the reality is the same... at the first sound that emanates from refs mouth following crouch & hold, the front rows will be trying to get in before their opposite number! And if that means "E" then that's good enough for front rows!

cheers

didds

didds
24-12-04, 09:12
good points deeps... cos of course if it were only an invitation to engage, the front row that failed to engage following the call (because they chose not to accept the invitation) could not be penalised for NOT engaging - correct?

didds

Bryan
14-03-05, 03:03
thanks for the clarification OB ;-)

Whether a command or an indication that front rows may engage the reality is the same... at the first sound that emanates from refs mouth following crouch & hold, the front rows will be trying to get in before their opposite number! And if that means "E" then that's good enough for front rows!

cheers

didds

Every once in a while I see that after having called "Crouch-n-Hold", I see something wrong with the binding, etc, and blow the whistle. Of course, both teams engage b/c they hear a noise, then about 3/4 of the way into the shove they realise it was a whistle and it all goes pear-shaped, and all because I was trying to correct something in the first place!

I've tried saying words instead of whistling e.g. "No", but the truth is that any buff of wind out of my mouth is automatically translated into "engage" in the minds of the players.

Once you've called "Crouch-n-Hold", there's pretty much nothing you can do to stop them from engaging, unless of course you say absolutely nothing, in which case that will only cause the players to get really annoyed, or it may lead one "trigger-happy" front row to charge the opposition!

-Bryan

Robert Burns
14-03-05, 10:03
Bryan,

Welcome to the forums try this:

Talk softly to the front row but keep the crouch n hold loud, so as they crouch you then go back to soft talking so that only they can here, they will be listening for a loud call of some sorts, if you see something wrong just say stand up please guys, thats not right and normally they will listen without engaging.

Thats what i find anyway.

Bryan
14-03-05, 13:03
Robert,

Thanks for the welcome and advice. May I add that this forum seems so much more "mature" than the RFU forum. There are so many windbags who enjoy discussions about criticizing the IRB refs each weekend that it appears as if it's a Forum to berate them as opposed to make us better referees and share resources.

This one's also much better organised. Big fan of the categories!

-Bryan

SimonSmith
14-03-05, 13:03
Hey, some of us are regulars at the RFU site too. ;)

The crap that OB endures there sometimes.....

Pablo
14-03-05, 13:03
I'm a lurker at the RFU forums, and sometimes post as Pablo B, but I have to say that the presentation of them puts me off making any regular contribution. Credit to OB, though, for having the patience of a saint with some of the less constructive posters...

Bryan
14-03-05, 13:03
Hey, some of us are regulars at the RFU site too. ;)

The crap that OB endures there sometimes.....


Oh I am also well versed in the RFU Forum. The problem I have is how a discussion on the Tackle Law can turn into a discussion on how it's the fault of "TV rugby" which leads to "The game is going to the dogs" which brings us back to "What I would do if I was on the IRB Panel" which leads to "HOly crap did you see the mistake such-and-such made" which then goes to "It's the Panel Refs fault I had a bad game on the weekend"!

If this happens here, I'm out!

-Bryan
PS: Yes, OB is a real Trooper in the RFU Forums. He has the patience of a Saint.

PPS: Is there a Patron Saint of Rugby?

Pablo
14-03-05, 13:03
If this happens here, I'm out!



Rob and I will do our best between us to make sure it doesn't...

Robert Burns
14-03-05, 23:03
Indeed,

The forums are seperate to stop that sort of thing, I (and Pablo soon) have the ability to split threads so ones in the wrong place can be put in the correct place.

I too am not a fan of the RFU forums format, it's too bundled.

Luckily though I have not had to even edit a single persons post here, long may it continue!

OB..
14-03-05, 23:03
I think the big advantage here is that it is announced as for referees only. On the RFU Forums, people can wander in from other areas, and they have the standard negative attitude towards referees and the standard knowledge (!) of the laws.

I will admit that even some of the refs make me count to 10 (days) before I reply.

Robert Burns
15-03-05, 00:03
Indeed, it is for refs, though we do allow others in, like Didds, providing they realise it's not the RFU type replies.

Simon Thomas
15-03-05, 09:03
Yes Bryan,

his name is Barry John !

Simon Griffiths
15-03-05, 17:03
No official Patron Saint of Rugby (though Barry John would be good), which is suprising given that there is a Patron Saint of ... Gravel :eek: !

Bryan
15-03-05, 19:03
No official Patron Saint of Rugby (though Barry John would be good), which is suprising given that there is a Patron Saint of ... Gravel :eek: !

Perhaps if one year the Italians win the 6 Nations the Pope will feel inclined to change this. With Italy's record as it stands, I don't see the Vatican doing any favours for the game...
-Bryan

didds
15-03-05, 22:03
"I think the big advantage here is that it is announced as for referees only."

Is it? When I signed up I was able to stipulate that I was a coach (as I am) so I presumed Robert intended for non refs to be involved.

I frequemnt refs forums

1) because I like to get a better insight into the laws, their interpretations and understandings (and I'm not so sure that I DO know the laws backward unlike some coaches!) in order to help my players and sides improve their chances

and

2) I am a very sad rugby nut that just cannot get enough intelletual debate over matters rugby!

didds

didds
15-03-05, 22:03
Indeed, it is for refs, though we do allow others in, like Didds, providing they realise it's not the RFU type replies.


I am honoured Robert ;-)

I hope I don't come across as knee jerk "all refs are idiots" - I mainly seek clarification and enlightenment, and occassionally to offer a small explanantion as to why players may do what they do.

Interestingly though I don;t find the RFU forum as bad as you fellas do - maybe I'm just thick skinned (or just plain thick!)

cheers

didds

OB..
15-03-05, 22:03
I didn't express that very well, did I? What I meant was that this forum is only about refereeing, but of course non-referees are welcome to join in. However we do not discuss selection for the British Lions etc so it is less attractive to many of those who frequent eg the RFU forums. If the Referee's section is just next door, so to speak, they feel free to drop in and stir trouble.

It's not me, it's the neighbours.

didds
15-03-05, 22:03
gertcha OB!!! :-)

didds

Robert Burns
16-03-05, 00:03
lol,

It's very helpful I find to have a coaches perspective on the way the laws are applied at times.

ex-lucy
04-10-05, 16:10
as a recently semi - retired loose head prop ... i found that i hardly ever listened to a ref's pre-match chat. To be honest, i was/am too focussed towards the match. Usually the ref had his chat either after the warmup or during and in these cases my pulse rate is up and my i am sweating profusely and i am ready for scrummaging, mauling and rucking.
My advice is then either do it well before the warmup gets going or when they are practising line outs (a less arduous set piece) .... but keep it short.... 30 secs maximum. Wofflers and lecturers will get blank faces as us props just shut off and visualise that first hit (in the scrum, of course).
"dont mess/p1ss me about or i'll ping you'.... with good stern eye contact ...sometimes is good enough.

Bryan
14-11-05, 15:11
Being the anal retentive one that I am, I now bring a copy of this sheet with me to each match and go through it as a routine. Does anyone have anything that would be useful to add to this?

I keep them in one of those plastic covers and tape it up each game, using a felt-tip pen to tick-off things as I go along. Goals change every match and normally become measurable e.g. be first arriving person at the tackle 90% of the time.

-Bryan

Robert Burns
14-11-05, 16:11
Do you actually tick as you blow for kick off?

;)

Davet
15-11-05, 13:11
Its a bit late to be checking you have your kit when you are actually at the ground.

Other than that what you have written pretty much sums up what I do, though I don't have a list. Its just a routine that I tend to follow.

ex-lucy
15-11-05, 13:11
Arrival at TRM- make J-loops in Warm-up to visualize

pls explain this .... TRM =tackles/ rucks/ mauls? J-Loops ? a new cereal?

Bryan
15-11-05, 15:11
Arrival at TRM- make J-loops in Warm-up to visualize
pls explain this ....

Sorry- my shorthand is only something I understand. Yes, TRM means at tackles, rucks and mauls. The J-loop reference is that I should make a conscious effort to approach the tackle situation running at 75% speed and anticipating where the ball will be, so that instead of running directly at the tackle at full pace and getting caught in "no man's land" between the 2 offside lines once a ruck forms, I identify who is likely to win the ball, and run i the shape of a "J" towards the tackle, so that I'm approaching it "through the gate" much like arriving players. This allows me to keep track of the ball and arriving players, as well as be able to spot the ball (and therefore hands-on!), particularly when the play moves across the pitch.

Hope this helps. Worse comes to worse I'll draw a darn diagram!
-Bryan

Simon Thomas
15-11-05, 16:11
Crickey Bryan

All embracing - but ticking as you go ? Wow

Don't you get shirt colours when match is confirmed ?

You have not allocated any time for meeting and agreeing protocol with your adviser.
My kit is all packed and ready the day before, as once at ground it's too late.
I would do skippers toss and chat well before team chats - this reduces my chat time and puts onus on them to communicate re tackler away, ball out two hands on, offside lines, etc
I have a very important 'routine' at 30 minutes to go (same when I played), which takes 5 mins.
After that I am into visualisation of each key match component - then final stretchjes and ready to go.

But mostly my routine is on automatic pilot and my watch timed to give 15 and 5 minute warnings to the teams.

Bryan
15-11-05, 16:11
All embracing - but ticking as you go ?
Yeah, I'm afraid I'm that bad.

Don't you get shirt colours when match is confirmed ?
Yes, but sometimes the person I talk to isn't the one who brings the jerseys, so the other set could arrive, which is why I pack 2 sets of kit just in case.


You have not allocated any time for meeting and agreeing protocol with your adviser.
This of course implies I have one :rolleyes:

I would do skippers toss and chat well before team chats - this reduces my chat time and puts onus on them to communicate re tackler away, ball out two hands on, offside lines, etc
Interesting rationale. I like doing them at the end once all's done for any final questions and to let them have the final word instead of the first. To each their own, and an interesting take on things. never thought of it your way so I'll ponder it more!


But mostly my routine is on automatic pilot and my watch timed to give 15 and 5 minute warnings to the teams.
Normally I just give 10 min warning. Will scrap that and try 15 and 5 this weekend.

-Bryan

Robert Burns
15-11-05, 20:11
Bryan,

I always have 4 shirts, AND I have had it before where the 4 shirts were all useless as the teams both played in quads of which were the four colours I had. This was a touring team tournament (so not pre discussed colours).

(Had to wear an England top in the end Yuck!)

Simon Thomas
15-11-05, 22:11
Blimey Robert - you wait, over a few years you will build up dozens of shirts !

I have a car boot full - dozen or so Society ones in varoious colours, assorted tournament freebees, Kooga and Gilbert reps stash, overseas tour shirts, etc.
Long sleeved, short sleeved, with collars and without collars, heavy weight, lite weight.

Simon Griffiths
15-11-05, 22:11
It's quite interesting to see everyone so organised pre-match. Half the time, I don't even know what time I'll turn up at! Anywhere between over one hour before kick off to about half-an-hour. I've found that both are more than adequate, although I do prefer getting there early so I can do everything at half-pace, in a laid-back way.

I turn up, introduce myself then scurry off to the changing room. Don kit and track-suit. Have a jog around and introduce myself as and when I come across players. Try to find captains and ask them when's best for studs and talks (for me about 2 mins per team - short, succinct and focused). Then either more jogging, find a spectator to chat with or go back and remove track-suit and (if necessary) change shirt.

I have this 'auto-pilot' that Simon T talks about, but mine is the pre-patch verison - not organised or direct, but gets it all done with the minimum of fuss for me and interuption for the teams.

Simon Griffiths
15-11-05, 22:11
On the shirt front. I've always got at least four or five in my bag - essentially most of my shirts used for refereeing live in the bag (replaced periodically with playing shirts). Usual colours are: sky blue, yellow, green and white. Not to mention the obligatory box with whistles, cards, watches etc., plus half of Gloucester's supply of rugby socks and half a dozen shorts!

As a point of interest, what's your favourite shirt to referee in? Mine is my newest - a sky blue, society, KooGa shirt - my only short sleeve one (is sleeve length a factor?).

Deeps
15-11-05, 23:11
Simon,

I agree, my sky blue Kooga is probably my favourite shirt but we have the new RFU Gilberts now. They are mainly black or navy blue with only flashes of contrast in grey, red and royal blue which is limiting although they are quite comfortable.

Out of interest I have noticed that when I wear an older emerald green shirt I seem to get less hassle. Perhaps it has a calming effect? Red seems to wind players up. If I wear white, I try to reserve this colour for when the ground is bone dry otherwise players will take advantage of muddy conditions and the handshakes at the end of the game will be accompanied by slaps on the back.

AlanT
16-11-05, 01:11
Add ball to list?

Robert Burns
16-11-05, 04:11
I have a white Ram Rugby shirt that I got for the BUSA 7's which is my favourite, it used to have a massive Ram patch on the back, but after I got rid of that it's a very good looking, comfortable shirt.

I'll see if I can get a picture to show you!

Mike Whittaker
16-11-05, 04:11
With the increasing use of sponsored shirts we do unfortunately have some horrible sights on the pitch - even to the point of potential colour clashes. And as for shorts and socks, nobody seems to care now if they are the same as the players. Even the players don't seem bothered.

Perhaps it never mattered?

Simon Thomas
16-11-05, 09:11
Simon G - there is no way I can turn up less than an hour before kick off.
With a body battered by 25 years of playing and the 'ageing process' (50 is not far away now) I need at least 30 mins warm up to loosen, stretch and warm up correctly - even better if one of the team's physios can do my hamstrings properly !
Also at level 6-7-8 I find it vital to have time for conversations with both coaches, assorted blazered brigade, and Club TJs. The hour goes by very fast !
Last season the Society Kooga shirts (and navy blue or white matching logo-ed shorts) were very popular and my favourites are the sky blue and the red. Love the feel and short sleeves.
There should be no excuses for our Society guys looking scruffy or clashing as all the shirts are subsidised by our generous sponsors SERCO, and over the last 3 years we have offered many colours (red, blue, yellow, gold, bottle green, emerald green, and now the Gilbert navy blue with colour side flashes).
If you look the part to start with. Remember you start off with the players and coaches respect, but it is easy to lose it !

AlanT - some refs I know do carry a ball with them, plus pump. Personally I leave that to the home club.
Others have spanners or mole-wrench to get dangerous studs out of boots - but I don't.

Deeps
16-11-05, 10:11
I bring out my boot bag containing a veritable treasure trove of boy scout implements and hang it over the half way line touch flag. My excuse for this is the breadth of games that I am priviledged to referee so that I can usually cover most (non medical) contingencies.

Tesco sells a neat little pump for 2, there is nothing worse than a flat ball and negative vibes from the coach as you wait at the half way line. A 'compact' mirror for lost lenses. Stud spanner. My half time isotonic drink. A hand towel to mop sweaty brow. Changing room key. Spare whistle and pencils (in addition to onboard spares). Pen and referee feedback cards (some teams will make a quick getaway on international days). Jungle formula bite and sting relief (some of the Hampshire mozzies are 4 engined b*stds). Blue asthma inhaler - I can get a good wheeze on in the hay fever season.

I'll not bother you with my match preparations nor the lists (bag packing - well I sometimes have to plan 3 games ahead), chits by telephone so that wife and indolent teenaged children can note down salient points from fixture secretaries, my current pre match brief. Ho hum.

ex-lucy
16-11-05, 11:11
good point about the white shirt ..... didnt think of that .. but i used to do something similar as a player so I should have thought of it ..

anyone been dragged into scrums/ mauls/ rucks ?
i tried it once as a prop on a ref, for some reason he didnt see the funny side.

anyone had their toes crunched by a nasty ugly loose head prop ?

I like a good hard hit (as a lucy, to ensure the thp thinks it aint gonna be easy)... so sometimes my boots and studs can catch a ref unawares if he is one of those that calls engage too close ...

we dont get sponsored shirts in my society so my favourite shirt is a canary yellow Brazil RFU shirt.
second favourite is a Lions red shirt, old style. But interesting comment about colours and moods of players etc ...
must try and obtain a green shirt.
over the years i have 'collected' lots of shirts but no green ones ...

Simon Griffiths
16-11-05, 16:11
Simon T, I can see your point about turning up early - especially for high level games, cup games or ones which you've got society TJs for. As it is, my warm-up is perhaps slightly too short, but I manage as my pre-match briefings are very short.


anyone been dragged into scrums/ mauls/ rucks ?

I wouldn't say dragged in as such - I've been run over by a maul though! :D As it happens, I believe I was wearing a white shirt! Funny these things isn't it... There the odd occassion where I'm stood just a tad to close and get knocked by the flanker as he piles in.


anyone had their toes crunched by a nasty ugly loose head prop ?
No, but a huge Number 8 stood on them. This was in February and the bruise under my toe has yet to go!

Robert Burns
16-11-05, 19:11
I have ocasionally got scrapes from being to close to tackles where tackled player is spun to the ground, but luckily nothing worse than that.

As a player I broke and dislocated my wrist and then finally had the muscle ripped away from some of my spine, which stopped a semi decent playing career (L3 ish) and put me into refereeing. And I've never looked back (probably why I always hear spectators telling me about offsides)

ExHookah
16-11-05, 21:11
Mine is my newest - a sky blue, society, KooGa shirt - my only short sleeve one (is sleeve length a factor?).

Mine too. Same one as posted recently with the photo of myself and Mr. Picard reffing at West Point for the Army match.

Will be wearing that on Friday night for Yale against Harvard.

AlanT
17-11-05, 00:11
AlanT - some refs I know do carry a ball with them, plus pump. Personally I leave that to the home club.

I was refering to Bryan's list of things to do/check and only suggesting getting hold of the match ball before kick off - couldn't see that on his list!

Mike Whittaker
17-11-05, 08:11
I was refering to Bryan's list of things to do/check and only suggesting getting hold of the match ball before kick off - couldn't see that on his list!

... and I once arrived early enough to help the team mark out the pitch.!!

But do remember fellahs... you are there to ref the match.