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ChrisR
26-06-15, 15:06
Game Management Guidelines are issued by the governing bodies of national rugby unions.

They reflect an attempt by each body to provide consistent interpretation and application of the laws in their areas. They are similar but not universally the same.

Are they, or should they be, binding to a referee under their jurisdiction? What if a referee believes a contradiction exists between the GMG and the Law?

What is preferable, consistency or accuracy?

viper492
26-06-15, 15:06
If only to answer the last part... Accuracy is of course paramount...

But... and of course there's a but... consistency is essential in a game with so many interpretations and it's unlikely the national body is going to send out an interpretation that is completely wrong in law. If there's a mistake, it can be raised with the governing body and they'll probably review it and correct it... One would hope anyway

Someone correct me on this, please, if I've misunderstood... but I have always believed GMG are essentially binding - to me they're like a new testament for the bible... The GMG help me to understand how I should referee (and make us all nice and consistent... if everyone has read them :biggrin:)

There's my 2c... possibly all wrong but hey, it's what I've been brought to understand. I'd still prefer a consistently wrong referee to one that is inconsistent with his interpretations...

crossref
26-06-15, 16:06
Follow the instructions from your society and union.
Really the points of different are so small and so rare, it's not worth sweating about. How often does it really happen that balls bounce along in touch past the 22m AND the QTI is on AND it is taken AND they kick for gain in ground.
It's so rare that consistency is hardly an issue, no one will remember the last time. But if they do look it up to check your decision you best follow the GMG..

Rushforth
26-06-15, 16:06
I'd still prefer a consistently wrong referee to one that is inconsistent with his interpretations...

And that's why I'd say consistency is more important (not paramount).

Essentially, any referee, or rather their decisions within a match, should be SEEN TO BE fair. Players know it is impossible to see everything, and will take advantage of this. Think of hands in ruck on the far side from where referee is standing. Obviously if a referee consistently fails to improve their handling of the ruck, they won't go to a high level in adult rugby.

Also, viper, within a game it is generally impossible to go back for "accuracy" in terms of GMG, as per:

6.A.4 The duties of the referee in the playing enclosure
(a)
The referee is the sole judge of fact and of Law during a match. The referee must apply fairly all the Laws of the Game in every match.

If a referee makes a mistake, then the teams have to suffer it. The sole exception is if a citing commissioner sees foul play that was missed by a full team of three.

If the referee is consistent, there are chances to improve accuracy (and many other skills/attributes, fitness, etc).

If the referee is not consistent, OR IS PERCEIVED TO BE SO, the game will become a mess at adult levels, regardless of his own perceived "accuracy". At youth levels he will (or may) be protected from this not by his own brilliance, but by adult coaches helping in managing the players, or by the better players within the team.

The most difficult part to be consistent in, at lower levels, is the tackle-->ruck. When is immediate "immediate"? We see, at the very highest level, the tackled ball-carrier keeping one hand in control of the ball for a good 3 seconds on television. If both sides are allowed to do that, no problem, and if a ruck has been formed over such a player at my level, I allow those seconds too.

My personal official GMG (as per IRB L2 ref course) is to not whistle unless necessary, and that's about it. I'm not qualifying for IRB2 - don't have the fitness, plus something else - but accuracy is only really important at top level competition, where the teams' performance may be crucial.

And even then, although an accurate performance may be considered essential for World Cup Finals, I'd still argue that a referee of the calibre for such a match needs to be consistent first and foremost.

SimonSmith
26-06-15, 17:06
You'd like to believe that the two go hand in hand.

It's accuracy. When teams travel to different locales - from Virginia to NY, for example - they need to have confidence that the the same thing will get called the same way, and not down to some local variation.

My guidance to RSV members is that we might not agree with them, but we have to apply them. See: scrum half joining the lineout passim

Ian_Cook
27-06-15, 02:06
I believe that only one rugby body should be allowed to issue Laws, Clarifications, Rulings and Game Management Guidelines, and this is World Rugby

I have reposted here part of what I posted in the "22m gain/no gain" thread in reply to another poster because I feel it is relevant to this discussion...

All the NZRFU Law Books that were in use when I was an active referee used to have "Notes on the Laws" These used to take the form of "pink pages" which appeared after each numbered Law. These pink pages were explanations of how each Law was to be interpreted and were numbered using the same numbering system as the Law itself, so for example in the 1996 Law Book

LAW 10. KICK-OFF
Kick-off is (a) a place kick taken from the centre of the half-way line by the team which has the right to start the match or by the opposing team on the resumption of play after the half-time interval or (b) a drop kick taken at or from behind the centre of the half-way line by the defending team after the opposing side has scored.

10 (4) If the ball crosses the opposing team's goal line from a kick-off, without touching or being touched by a player, the opposing team has the option of grounding the ball, making it dead, or playing on. If the opposing team grounds the ball or makes it dead or the ball becomes dead by touch-in-goal or by touching or crossing the dead ball line, they will have the option of either having a scrummage formed at the center of the half-way line, with the put-in, or having the other team kick off again.

Then the pink page immediately after Law 10 is

LAW 10. KICK-OFF
10 (4) This option of grounding the ball must be exercised without delay, and if a defending player, after gathering the ball in In-goal, runs with it or passes it, he has taken the option to play on.

These pink pages were a valuable tool but they disappeared from the Law Books after the 2000 rewrite and rearrangement of the Laws.

I also like the Rugby League way of doing this. Their "notes" appear at the bottom of each Law page.....for example a single page, from the RL Lawbook, complete with notes.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/98915197/RugbyRefs/Section%2010%20ARLLOTG.png

NOTE: Their definitions appear in the Glossary of Terms

KNOCK-ON: means to knock the ball towards the opponents’ dead ball line with hand or arm, while playing at the ball.

FORWARD PASS: is a throw towards the opponents’ dead ball line

Our Knock on and forward throw law - three pages containing two definitions, two exceptions, two diagrams and NO explanations. Despite the fact that it has been clearly established after much argument, that the momentum view is the correct, WR sanctioned view of the Forward Throw, there is still nothing about it in the Laws of the Game!!
WR, give yourself an uppercut :chair:

What I would like to see is for our Laws of the Game to have a similar arrangement to the RL Lawbook, with Game Management Guidelines as part of the book itself in the form of "notes".

When National Unions ask for a Clarification, the answer would be issued as an amendment to the notes in the current LotG, with the amended version immediately replacing the existing one, and downloadable from the WR website. The clarification would then be incorporated into the following year's LotG.

This would mean that

1. Every National Union everywhere in the world is operating off the same set of Laws and interpreting them same way.

2. Whenever someone downloads the Laws of the Game from the WR website, they know they will be getting the latest version including ALL Clarifications and amendments.

viper492
27-06-15, 03:06
Also, viper, within a game it is generally impossible to go back for "accuracy" in terms of GMG, as per:

6.A.4 The duties of the referee in the playing enclosure
(a)
The referee is the sole judge of fact and of Law during a match. The referee must apply fairly all the Laws of the Game in every match.

If a referee makes a mistake, then the teams have to suffer it. The sole exception is if a citing commissioner sees foul play that was missed by a full team of three.

If the referee is consistent, there are chances to improve accuracy (and many other skills/attributes, fitness, etc).

If the referee is not consistent, OR IS PERCEIVED TO BE SO, the game will become a mess at adult levels, regardless of his own perceived "accuracy". At youth levels he will (or may) be protected from this not by his own brilliance, but by adult coaches helping in managing the players, or by the better players within the team.

What I meant by accuracy etc. is that it's something that can be reviewed and sent out in another memo to get the consistency. Of course me walking up to the ref as a player/coach with a rulebook and the GMG in hand isn't going to change anything (unless it's a polite discussion after the game... There it may be plausible that it is ok).

I know 6.A.4 - if a captain takes issue with a decision on a basis of law (they're wrong 99% of the time at juniors anyway - and umpiring men's hockey, I can say that men are wrong 90% of the time) I tend to remind them that it's the same for both teams and if I'm wrong I'm wrong but the decision won't change unless an AR tells me something that haven't seen.

As I said, I'd prefer to be consistently wrong or have a ref that is consistently wrong, have someone tell me/them that and I'll look it up in the rulebook/GMG after the game and then, having learnt something, play the correct interpretation in my next game.

viper492
27-06-15, 03:06
I believe that only one rugby body should be allowed to issue Laws, Clarifications, Rulings and Game Management Guidelines, and this is World Rugby

1. Every National Union everywhere in the world is operating off the same set of Laws and interpreting them same way.

2. Whenever someone downloads the Laws of the Game from the WR website, they know they will be getting the latest version including ALL Clarifications and amendments.

This would make sense... and I feel it would resolve many problems.

The only issue that would arise from this is the inability of a Union to tackle a specific problem within their country. Let's say that in Germany they have a major issue with players using their hands in a scrum and want to take action to cut out the practice by making it an automatic YC to deal with this (under cynical/deliberate infringement or something - haven't put much thought into how they'd justify it but not incredibly relevant). Without being able to issue their own guidelines they can't really (IMO) take this action.

Dickie E
27-06-15, 04:06
This would make sense... and I feel it would resolve many problems.

The only issue that would arise from this is the inability of a Union to tackle a specific problem within their country. Let's say that in Germany they have a major issue with players using their hands in a scrum and want to take action to cut out the practice by making it an automatic YC to deal with this (under cynical/deliberate infringement or something - haven't put much thought into how they'd justify it but not incredibly relevant). Without being able to issue their own guidelines they can't really (IMO) take this action.

Here's a real life example. Locally we have had issues with teams opting for uncontested scrums for tactical reasons. To counter this the local union have decreed that, under certain circumstances, a team must drop a player from the field if they go uncontested.

viper492
27-06-15, 04:06
Cheers Dickie!

Ian_Cook
27-06-15, 06:06
Here's a real life example. Locally we have had issues with teams opting for uncontested scrums for tactical reasons. To counter this the local union have decreed that, under certain circumstances, a team must drop a player from the field if they go uncontested.


That is already in the Laws and requires no special Guideline...

3.5 THE FRONT ROW - REPLACEMENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
(k) When 23 players are nominated for a match, or if the Union having jurisdiction over a match
or a match organiser decides that where uncontested scrums are ordered as a result of
there being no suitably trained and experienced front row replacement for any reason the
team concerned shall not be entitled to replace the player whose departure caused
uncontested scrums.

This is known as the "man off" rule and is available within the existing Laws framework.

crossref
27-06-15, 08:06
World Rugby could really help consistency. if

1 all clarifications that are now dead (ie incorporated into Law or superseded by a later Law) should be removed from website

2 each annual update of Laws should incorporate that years clarification.

3 guidance memos should be in the website, as well as cascaded. And put of date guidance removed

All the above is not hard.

Ian_Cook
27-06-15, 10:06
World Rugby could really help consistency. if

1 all clarifications that are now dead (ie incorporated into Law or superseded by a later Law) should be removed from website

2 each annual update of Laws should incorporate that years clarification.

3 guidance memos should be in the website, as well as cascaded. And put of date guidance removed

All the above is not hard.


I wouldn't quite go that far, as Clarifications are of historical interest.

Perhaps something in the header and footer of the Clarification....


FOR INFORMATION ONLY
Incorporated into or superseded by Law X (n) 2XXX issue

beckett50
27-06-15, 10:06
Can I just throw this grenade?

Guidance is just that.


guidance
ˈɡʌɪd(ə)ns/
noun



1.
advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty, especially as given by someone in authority.
"he looked to his father for inspiration and guidance"


synonyms:
advice (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+advice&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCIQ_SowAA), counsel (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+counsel&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCMQ_SowAA), direction (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+direction&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCQQ_SowAA), instruction (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+instruction&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCUQ_SowAA), teaching (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+teaching&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCYQ_SowAA), counselling (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+counselling&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCcQ_SowAA), enlightenment (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+enlightenment&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCgQ_SowAA), intelligence (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+intelligence&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCkQ_SowAA), information (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1362&bih=679&q=define+information&sa=X&ei=DHOOVcbyLMfa7Abi9oPoBA&ved=0CCoQ_SowAA); More



















2.
the directing of the motion or position of something, especially an aircraft, spacecraft, or missile.
"a laser guidance system"








A guide is to provide a framework within which we are to ply our profession and apply the LotG.

The game is a flowing living creature and each level and match presents their own unique challenges. Coupled to that, we are each individuals with our own concerns and standards. As long we strive to be correct and equitable at all times then play on.

OB..
27-06-15, 12:06
A guide is to provide a framework within which we are to ply our profession and apply the LotG.
If there is official guidance, I expect a referee to apply it just as he would the laws. It is not down to an individual to choose.

What causes problems is differing guidance issued by national unions. I have quoted before the perfect example: NZ and Australia gave differing official guidance on the thorny matter of a player with a foot in touch catching a kick. Who put the ball in touch - kicker or catcher? The IRB eventually ruled, and and everybody then conformed.

When such a problem first arises, local organisations and National Unions are likely to respond faster than WR, since they have fewer people to consult, so we may get a period of confusion. How will referees at the RWC be expected to deal with the concept of the extended 22m line?

OB..
27-06-15, 12:06
LAW 10. KICK-OFF
Kick-off is (a) a place kick taken from the centre of the half-way line by the team which has the right to start the match or by the opposing team on the resumption of play after the half-time interval or (b) a drop kick taken at or from behind the centre of the half-way line by the defending team after the opposing side has scored.

Another can of worms. Before the 2000 re-write, Kick-off and Drop-out were separate laws. In 2000 they were amalgamated into Law 13 Kick-off and restart kicks.The kick-off represents the start of the match, or the restart of a match after half-time or after a score.
In 2002 that definition was changed.The kick-off occurs at the start of the match and the restart of the match after half-time. Restart kicks occur after a score or a touch down.Despite drawing this distinction, the paragraphs that follow (before the section on Drop-outs) make no mention of restart kicks. Everybody assumed that the paragraphs referred to both, as previously.

Then in 2003 some headings were changed:
13.2 How a kick-off or restart is taken.
13.3 Who takes the kick-off and restart kick.

However that change is not made in 6 other paragraphs. Do those apply to restart kicks as well?

In 2005 31.1 and 13.2 were amalgamated, and the reference to a restart kick was dropped, leaving it just in the re-numbered 13.3 (now 13.2)

Why distinguish kick-offs from restart kicks, when there is a separate section on drop-outs? The referee is required to blow his whistle to start each half, however for a restart kick it is up to the players. "In your own time, gentlemen". It is reasonable to treat the laws as applying to both kick-offs and restarts in all cases except this one. Does the kicking team have to wait for their opponents to get into position, and what happens if they don't? There is no valid answer in the laws, so referees take different views.