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ex-lucy
21-03-07, 12:03
scenario.
Friendly, yellow v blue.
good crowd with kids and women.
no history betw teams as far as i know. but yellow team have some prior discipline issues which i dont wish to prejudge.
I have reffed blue team 3x now this season. Good discipline, good capt who listens and has his players' respect.
First ruck, yellow over the top. Hand out "advantage". Blue 7 climbs on yellow player, not really stamping nor trampling but definitely boots on body.
Hard whistle.
call Blue 7 and capt over and re-iterate "no boots on body and allow me to police such situations. You had advantage, i am reversing the pen you would have had."
Yellow kick to touch, rumble up the pitch and score a try in the corner. 2 mins gone.
After the touchdown, Yellow 22 (centre) and blue 8 end up in fisticuffs/ handbags. They rumble over the touchline into the crowd. Not really landing punches but still it takes a few players a min or 2 to intervene and separate them.
I call both in with both capts and yellow card them both "unacceptable behaviour". No complaints.
But match descends into a small farce. "oh sir" "oh sir, he cant do that" "oh sir, didnt you see that" "forward" "knock on"
After 10/15 mins, i call capts in and explain that they need to remind their players that this is a rugby match not a soccer match, to play rugby, trust my judgement and to not question decsions and not to swear.
It gets marginally better but i have to blow up quickly at breakdowns to prevent flashpoints and so the game doesnt flow.
Yellow flanker stands up a few times at scrum blindside, i warn him to keep bound but as blue's main ploy from scrums is no8 pickup the capt feels that the yare not getting much change so asks me NOT to play advantage.
So, i dont .. but his flanker now takes out yellow 6 off the ball.... etc.
"why did you blow up so quickly?" "because you asked me NOt to play advantage and your 6 took their 6 out."
Blues win but it wasnt a good match. Some of the spectators said i had a good game in a tough challenge.

Questions: Was i right to send the two players to the sin bin ?
did the 2 ycs make a material diff to the match and its atmosphere?
Could i have handled the handbags incident in another way w/out YCs?
I invite comments ...

didds
21-03-07, 12:03
bin them!

what arev you supposed to do - apparently condone fighting?

don;t berat yourselof up because of player misdemeanoutrs!

All I might say is a few PKs and more YCs for constant backchat might have been in order.

didds

SimonSmith
21-03-07, 13:03
I wouldn't comment on the two YCs w/out having seen the incident in question.

Did it make a material difference? Probably. Every time you take an action like that, you are having an impact of some kind on the game and the players. What the impact is is also defined by the players' reactions. They can either recognize that this guy won't take any crap and he's blowing quick so lets clean up, or they can continue to be idiots...

Again, w/out seeing the incident it's difficult to say if you could have handled it differently. In theory yes, you could just have called the two of them over and given them a royal bollocking.

Not sure about the "not playing advanateg because the captain asked me not to" - think you could be creating a rod for your own back there.

Davet
21-03-07, 13:03
Using the tool of hindsight - first ruck - could it have been managed better. If Yellow was over the top killing the ball where was an advanatge going to come from.

Blow immediately. That would stop Blue offending, and make sure both sides knew you weren't going just be a specatator. And being hard early can let you open up later. It never works the other way round.

As to the handbags - well if they just square up a bit but do nothingthen fine, bollocking - stop pulling hair and scratching, lets play rugby. As you describe it then it went on a bit - spilled into the crowd, so YC seems minimum.

What sparked it?

General whinging? I tend to ignore it if its mild, and then thank the commentator for his help, but point out that its best if they concentrate on their own game rather than do two peoples jobs. Escalation from there is simply call captains over and tell 'em that the next player making suggestions will get penalised. By the time it gets there, they have normally sorted it all out before it does....if you see what I mean.

Wert Twacky
21-03-07, 15:03
ex-Lucy,

As other s have eluded to, I wouldn;t like to say about the YCs without having seen the evidence, but it sounds like you did your best.

Sometimes, we as refs try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - no matter how hard we try, it doesn't work and we beat ourselves about it.

I remember an awful exchange match many years ago that ended 3-3. local derby, lots of niggles and complaining all match. I honestley wandered why I bothered.

As refs we sometimes thinks that poor skills/play/technique/discipline is our fault, when often it's not.

I suspect you did most things OK, but the players were on Planet Fecking Idiot and heading for Moron Central. ;)

Gareth-Lee Smith
21-03-07, 18:03
Hehe... Planet Fecking Idiot ... I like it!

Anything constructive from me? Nah

jboulet4648
22-03-07, 13:03
While you were okay to yellow, once again, how could you have managed it differently.....

The national championship in the US two years back. Islander team vs an Irish team. First two minutes, and islander and a irishman square off. Each throws a punch or two, not handbags. Ref blew the whistle, called players and captain over, said something, and then got on with it, not another incident the whole match.

My opinion is if a referee can be an effective manager of the match, and can gain the captains and players respect and rapport, and a lot has to do with the language and tone when delivering the message, a one on one of two players getting something out of there system, can be dealt with. The pkayers got their testosterone out, you demand in a cool, calm way, that they clean up their act, you warn them that you will go to red right away if you see their number again, and you restart with a scrum or penalty depending on situation. What have you just done? If you do it correctly, you now have a player from each side on your side. They basically owe you....they will help convince their side to listen to you....now if they are a malicious player, you will see their number again....and then screw the yellow, red them.

It all comes down to management, and getting the players to trust you. Someone told me that the goal to reffing a rugby match is that at the end of the match, you should be able to sell both sides a bridge. If you can do that, then you had a great match. Basically, you can have 50% of the calls wrong in a match but if you do it the right way, the players won't care!

SimonSmith
22-03-07, 13:03
What he said

ex-lucy
22-03-07, 13:03
judah, i like your thinking, i believe this is what the assessor was eluding to when he suggested that there was a case for me not carding the two players.

I really couldnt u/stand his thinking but i am beg to now ...tah.

my chat would have been then ... "ok you two. That was a bit silly wasnt it? I want you to shake hands and get on with playing rugby. I dont want to have to talk to either of you 2 again in the next 78 mins. If i do i will go straight to a red card (big show of pointing to the clubhouse). Now, do you understand that?"
upon affirmation....
"right, you two owe me .... so let's play rugby"

sounds good?
I think this is the approach that the society/ assessor wants me to take in future with cards etc.

the issue i have with this approach is... as a player, i would think that we all have one punch today with this referee .... and what about next week? if one of these 2 decide to do something similar .. "but last week's ref let me off with a verbal warning for a punch"..

if only players just wanted to play rugby...

jboulet4648
22-03-07, 14:03
I wouldn't make them shake hands IMO

Your second point about refs from one week to the next....that may be the case, but which ref will they remember and appreciate more...you or the next guy. You come off as teh referee with empathy for the players. The next time you ever ref those teams, those players will try even harder than the normally would for you, because you have earned their respect!

Emmet Murphy
22-03-07, 14:03
I think management and warning players is certain situations is absolutely fine but there are definitely occasions where a YC is necessary first time round ... I had a match several weeks ago where there was a definite edge to it. 25 mins in the fly half was tackled slightly late and responded with a punch. Because of the edginess I felt a YC was appropriate & there was a marked improvement afterwards in terms of that edge. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying all punches warrant a YC I just think we need to consider the overall temper of a match when deciding which option to take

Robert Burns
22-03-07, 15:03
I dont want to have to talk to either of you 2 again in the next 78 mins. If i do i will go straight to a red card (big show of pointing to the clubhouse)

I wouldn't say it like that because you may be making a rod for your back when said player gets a warning from you for his second hands in ruck or something, I think the wording of some people that their "options will be very limited" is better because you are not backing yourself in a corner.

jboulet4648
22-03-07, 18:03
I think management and warning players is certain situations is absolutely fine but there are definitely occasions where a YC is necessary first time round ... I had a match several weeks ago where there was a definite edge to it. 25 mins in the fly half was tackled slightly late and responded with a punch. Because of the edginess I felt a YC was appropriate & there was a marked improvement afterwards in terms of that edge. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying all punches warrant a YC I just think we need to consider the overall temper of a match when deciding which option to take

I hoped you gave the YC to the late tackler and not the fly half....hell if I was tackled late and the ref did not blow a quick whistle in an edgy game so I know he saw it, I would take it in my own hands and punch the *******....

if a punch is thrown there is a reason for it usually. why give the advantage to the team who caused the player to throw a punch, all you do is reward negative behavior.

Davet
22-03-07, 19:03
I really would not make then shake hands - its beyond your powers, not a lawful request, and what the hell are you going to do if they don't?

Also I would not make a big show of pointing to the clubhouse and threatening red cards - they'll just think "What a twonk!"

Decide first what you are going to do - NOT part way through a discussion. If the decision is that its handbags and needs to be cooled then do just that. You don't cool things down by being heavy handed and threatening yourself.

Just say words along the lines of "OK guys, finished? Good. Can we play rugby now - no more sillies eh? Thanks, lads."

Rugby players are like kids - if your kid falls down and you rush up and say OH NO - oh, poor mite - oh where does it hurt... all you'll get are tears.

If you simply say "up you get" then 9/10 they will simply get on with things without a fuss.

Make a fuss, and you create more fuss.

FlipFlop
22-03-07, 19:03
Personally I would follow something similar, but wouldn't directly mention the red card. Perhaps saying something along the lines of "If I have to talk to either of you two again, you'll leave me with few options, and you might not like the option I pick". Or if use the "If I see you again, you'll meet one of my friends in my pocket, and you don't want to risk which friend that is". Both infer card, but not which one, and still lets you YC them if you need to.

Importance of not saying "I'll do X" is that you might not want to in the actual situation that occurs 42 minutes later, but as you've created that rod for your posterior, you lose respect which ever way you go.

Emmet Murphy
22-03-07, 19:03
I hoped you gave the YC to the late tackler and not the fly half....hell if I was tackled late and the ref did not blow a quick whistle in an edgy game so I know he saw it, I would take it in my own hands and punch the *******....

if a punch is thrown there is a reason for it usually. why give the advantage to the team who caused the player to throw a punch, all you do is reward negative behavior.

The yc was for the punch ... the tackle's 'lateness' was marginal at best! Imho the punch had more to do with the edginess in the game than the tackle itself.

jboulet4648
22-03-07, 21:03
But once again, why was the punch thrown? The punch was thrown only because the player felt he was tackled dangerously (late) and nothing was done about it. Just like someone grabs you balls in a ruck, you are going to pop the guy....is the nut grabbing seen, not usually, however the punch usually is.

Why is it fair that a nut grabber gets off scot free? When a punch is thrown, it is usually for a reason that was missed.

SimonSmith
22-03-07, 21:03
Colin Meads recounts a story in his autobiography about a player who complained to the referee that he kept getting punched. The referee said "yes, and if it happens once more, I'm sending you off."
When asked about THAT piece of logic, the referee used Judah's reasoning m- if you're getting punched like that, you're doing something to deserve it...

beckett50
22-03-07, 22:03
A senior referee related a story to me about a match in which he officiated. Local derby, loads of niggles.

About 15 minutes in there is an almighty scrap, mainly handbags. Manages to get calm, talks to Captains, but as he didn't get the numbers of the players that started it he didn't issue a card but awarded a penalty to restart.

Blue kicked for touch and was awarded the lineout. Teams formed the line and he asked the hooker to hold the throw. He walked up the line to the back, paused then down the front and paused and then to the back again. By this time both sets of forwards are exchanging glances and questioning what is going on. The referee then says, to a prompt from the hooker waiting to throw in, "Can we now get on and play some rugby?!"

Not an ounce of trouble the rest of the game.

It's all about game management.

Robert Burns
22-03-07, 23:03
Colin Meads recounts a story in his autobiography about a player who complained to the referee that he kept getting punched. The referee said "yes, and if it happens once more, I'm sending you off."
When asked about THAT piece of logic, the referee used Judah's reasoning m- if you're getting punched like that, you're doing something to deserve it...
The days when a ref's personality was allowed to be part of his law and people didn't get sued for silly things.

Ahhh Nostalgia!

Emmet Murphy
23-03-07, 00:03
The punch was thrown only because the player felt he was tackled dangerously (late) and nothing was done about it

Players feel aggrieved by refereeing decisions all the time but they don't always resort to throwing punches to communicate that!!

OB..
23-03-07, 01:03
How do you know that the punch you saw was in retaliation for something illegal? What if the offender threw a punch (somebody has to start it), the other player retaliated, and the offender "counter-retaliated"?

Penalise what you see, not what you think might have happened. Note that the word is "might", not "must".

Law 10.4 (j) A player must not retaliate. Even if an opponent is infringing the Laws, a player must not do anything that is dangerous to the opponent.

Davet
23-03-07, 13:03
The days when a ref's personality was allowed to be part of his law and people didn't get sued for silly things.

Ahhh Nostalgia!

Rob - except in the US, people don't get sued fpr silly things, and I have never, even in the US, heard of anyone suing a rugby ref for that sort of comment / action.

Can we PLEASE stop being so scared of big bad lawyers.

I really do get frustrtated by the attitude that says we better not because we may get sued.. thats what leads to councils banning conkers.

We do NOT want to go there.

To paraphrase Walpole - Sue and be damned.

SimonSmith
23-03-07, 14:03
Hmm - there is a rumor that there is a referee here in the States who sued/threatened to sue his assessor for a bad assessment...

He now gets zero assessments!

ex-lucy
23-03-07, 14:03
i have been threatened to be sued this season by a player (not an assessor)! didnt come to much, he got 6 weeks ban.
but nevertheless he aggressively threatened to sue me !

Dixie
23-03-07, 15:03
nevertheless he aggressively threatened to sue me ! You should sue him for the needless anguish thereby caused!:) Agree with DaveT's sentiment about fear of lawyers. Paralysis by letigiophobia.

Robert Burns
23-03-07, 15:03
Rob - except in the US, people don't get sued fpr silly things, and I have never, even in the US, heard of anyone suing a rugby ref for that sort of comment / action.

Can we PLEASE stop being so scared of big bad lawyers.

I really do get frustrtated by the attitude that says we better not because we may get sued.. thats what leads to councils banning conkers.

We do NOT want to go there.

To paraphrase Walpole - Sue and be damned.
I think if a player complained about getting repeatedly punched, and you said what that ref did, and then he got seriously injured (loss time injury) that player would have grounds for a complaint if not compensation.

It's not a silly thing. And I don't believe the society would be able to back you either, would they Simon T?

tim White
23-03-07, 16:03
To paraphrase Walpole - Sue and be damned.

Wasn't this the Duke of Wellington "Publish, and be damned!" in response to a blackmail threat?

Dixie
24-03-07, 10:03
I think if a player complained about getting repeatedly punched, and you said what that ref did, and then he got seriously injured (loss time injury) that player would have grounds for a complaint if not compensation.

It's not a silly thing. And I don't believe the society would be able to back you either, would they Simon T?

To succeed in a compensation claim, the claimant would have to show three things:

a) (most importantly) that the referee discharged his duties negligently - not just had a bad game
b) that as a direct result of that negligence, the claimant suffered damage
c) that the claimant did personally not do anything to contribute to the negligence

In the context of one man controlling 30 others during a potentially violent sport, and having to put his eyes somewhere, it is in the nature of the game that he will not see much of any skulduggery that happens. That is not negligence.

Even if he negligently ignored, or failed to deal decisively with, a piece of violent conduct, is any future punch, gouge, trip or dump tackle attributable to the referee's negligence? I suspect any lawyer would prefer his client to make a claim against the actual perpetrator. The ref's highly indirect role and undoubted lack of personal violent conduct makes him a very tough target.

As to contributory negligence, if the ref can show that the claimant had been winding up his oppo, or even that other members of his team had done so, that will reduce any damages. The same is true of the undoubted fact that the claimant deliberately put himself in harm's way by taking to the field.

I am not a personal injury lawyer, having occupied a different legal field for 25 years, so am out of date. However, I have absolutely no worries on the litigation side in the UK. I have built up a bank of assessments that indicate broad competence at the level at which I ref; I have no recurring history of players being removed from my pitch in ambulances; I have a personal integrity that precludes the possibility of letting a SOB player get his just desserts; and I will never resort to physicality. The law is on my side.

So relax. Do your best. If it all kicks off, it is the fault of the players, not you - even if your management style was not sufficiently capable of keeping the peace. But it would be interesting to know whether, if a ref's standards slipped into negligence, the Society's insurance would cover the claim. Does anyone know?

OB..
24-03-07, 11:03
Following the Richard Vowles case, there have been two statements from the RFU.

"Following the decision in the recent case involving the WRU and Richard Vowles, the Rugby Football Union has considered the issues raised in that case and believes that its guidance, insurance cover and procedures currently in place for referees officiating in England are appropriate." RFU press release February 2003

"[…] the safeguards and insurance we have in place make it extremely unlikely that there will be a successful action brought against any of our officials." Ken Bracewell, Referees managers report April 2003

Robert Burns
24-03-07, 12:03
That's reassuring,

However I do know of a story of a referee that punched a player, he wasn't covered.

:rolleyes:

didds
24-03-07, 15:03
That's reassuring,

However I do know of a story of a referee that punched a player, he wasn't covered.

:rolleyes:

are we surprised??!!!

didds

Davet
24-03-07, 20:03
Rob - I'm not advocating punching players. Indeed as a 5foot9inch 12 stone ex winger now in his 50s its something I would probably seek to avoid.

If a ref punches a player, all bets are off, including the player gettying any disciplinary against him if he then punches the ref in return.

What I was saying was that - as Dixie put it far better - I am not going be intimidated by ANY threats of legal action. If a player wants to wate his money on a court case then frankly I'm up for it. I ref games to which I am appointed, I am confident that I am not negligent, etc.
In the Colin Meads thing reported above the ref is clearely saying to the player you got punched bcaus you transgressed - and if he did as promised there would be only one more punch anyway - after the player had been warned... not too hard a job to defend. And I'd like to see a player try sue for being sent off.

And Tim is right - Wellington not Walpole - Walpole was more for letting sleeping dogs lie.

Robert Burns
25-03-07, 12:03
That's why I added the rolleyes emoticon Mr T. ;)

Davet
25-03-07, 18:03
I tend to ignore emoticons - they're all dutch to me.