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nobackchat
25-03-07, 21:03
Context
Just refereed a game in the USA on a beautiful synthetic field (truly amazing stuff) but the problem was that the university field was used for rugby, soccer, lacrosse, American football and possibly a liberal arts class on abstract line painting. The lines to support the various sports were painted on the green surface. The American football grid had the most prominent white lines (among other lines) and the rugby football lines were brown. The problems were that the goal line was part brown (from roughly the 15m line to touch on both sides) and part white (the inner part), the dead ball line was all brown and the goal posts were Amercan football style and about 5-10m behind the dead ball line.

Situation
White winger has clear run into goal not under much pressure from Orange. White runs through in-goal and dots down just over the dead ball line. After whistling for the dead ball, I knew that the rule was to award a drop-out but, I decided to award a scrum to White because I thought that the line sitatution and the ease of the try warranted some adjustment in the application of the law. I remembered from our esteemed Robert Burns comment in the thread about attacking team knock-on in-goal (that if the defending team grounded the knock-on ball ... there was no advantage to warrant an award of a drop-out becase it provided too much relief to the defending team) and decided that an award of a drop-out to Orange was far too much relief to the fact that a try would have been a certainty on a proper pitch. On second thought after the game I think I should have awarded a scrum to Orange.

End result is that white won the subsequent scrum, spun wide and scored in goal.

What do you think of my interpretation?

OB..
25-03-07, 22:03
The law is clear, even if the lines were not. 22 drop out because the attacking team made the ball dead.

If you are going to start adjusting the laws ad hoc you are going to keep getting this sort of dilemma, and players aren't going to know what to expect.

Stick with the laws and expect the players to adapt to the unsatisfactory pitch. That should be much easier on everybody. (After all, you knew which lines were which, didn't you?)

Coler
25-03-07, 23:03
Although you were acting with the best of intentions, I agree 100% with OB.

SimonSmith
26-03-07, 00:03
Carrs Hill at UVa is the same.

Here's what you should do - make a point of walking the pitch and mentally noting the various lines.

Then make a point of telling the captains at the coin toss what the variations are. Any mistakes after that are the players'/captains' responsibility you warned them.

Faced withwhat you had, you had little option but to give a 22m. A sympathy call sets you up for failure.

Deeps
26-03-07, 00:03
Teams do have the right to complain about the state of the pitch before the game. This includes confused markings though what you do to remedy the situation is another matter. Perhaps a letter to whoever is responsible for sports on that field from the Referees' Society stating that it does not meet requirements in law and will not be acceptable for representative matches until markings are made unequivocal and compliant?

ExHookah
26-03-07, 02:03
Having refereed on similarly confusing pitches up in the North East I can relate.

One piece of advice would be to consider verbally remind tryscorers of the designated dead ball lines if they start looping around through the in goal area.

However that's a generous way of dealing with it, technically your official responsibility would be to determine the lines in advance, notify both captains and then stick rigidly to officiating within those lines. I just gave the other advice on the basis that many of the games we have in the States involve a lot of "green" players, so sometimes we have to be somewhat sympathetic.

didds
26-03-07, 08:03
Firstly, I agree with those that that have said a 22m D/O should have been the call.

Secondly, IF one were to go the sympathy route I would have said (in our hypothetical world naturally ;-) that given the total ease of the try, then awarding it would have been the "fairest" decision. Purely IMO.

22m D/O IS the answer though.

didds

SimonSmith
26-03-07, 12:03
Perhaps a letter to whoever is responsible for sports on that field from the Referees' Society stating that it does not meet requirements in law and will not be acceptable for representative matches until markings are made unequivocal and compliant?

A waste of paper and ink, or of an e-mail.

Representative matches have, in my experience, been on compliant pitches.
Anything less than that - for a lot of clubs or university sides, any pitch is acceptable. Rugby also tends to be a "club" sport at Universities, which means that there is no entitlement to facilities. The sad truth is that for a lot of teams, any pitch is a good pitch.

ExHookah
26-03-07, 14:03
A waste of paper and ink, or of an e-mail.

Representative matches have, in my experience, been on compliant pitches.
Anything less than that - for a lot of clubs or university sides, any pitch is acceptable. Rugby also tends to be a "club" sport at Universities, which means that there is no entitlement to facilities. The sad truth is that for a lot of teams, any pitch is a good pitch.

Of course at some places the facilities are rather more impressive:

http://www.aogusma.org/wpf/news/2andersonpr.htm

SimonSmith
26-03-07, 14:03
And I understand that Stanford and Cal have nice arenas too.

I couldn't believe my luck getting a changing room at SFGG...

Robert Burns
26-03-07, 15:03
I agree that if no one else was around awarding the try and a quiet word to the try scorer that you won't be as generous next time. But if others were around the 22m would be the only option.

OB..
26-03-07, 16:03
Many years ago, during National Service in Hong Kong, we put out a team against a local Chinese High School that had just taken up rugby. Their winger scorched round the outside and "scored" over the deadball line. The referee had no compunction in awarding us a 22 drop out. All part of the learning curve, and we scraped a win.

At the end of the season we played them again and got hammered.

nobackchat
26-03-07, 17:03
I now see the traps from an inconsistency and sympathetic interpretation basis ... 22m drop-out is the only call. BTW the game was a friendly match, not a representative match as someone injected into the thread. The comments were helpful. Thanks.

Coler
27-03-07, 13:03
Carrs Hill at UVa is the same.

Here's what you should do - make a point of walking the pitch and mentally noting the various lines.

Then make a point of telling the captains at the coin toss what the variations are. Any mistakes after that are the players'/captains' responsibility you warned them.

Faced withwhat you had, you had little option but to give a 22m. A sympathy call sets you up for failure.

Good advice from SimonSmith - had a running track around my pitch at the weekend where it was inside touch on one side and outside on the otherside. Couple of mistakes by players as to touchlines - I had covered it in the pre-match and there was no fallout. Except I'm a bit cross-eyed since.

Deeps
27-03-07, 23:03
When faced with a poorly marked or worn away dead ball line as might be found at a tournament, a little compassion for the ball carrier within the bounds of equity when the player has unequivocally carried the ball over the goal line might be the fairest course of action. It's not the player's fault that the crowd has worn the line away and it might be seen as a little petty to disallow the try.

mkottke
28-03-07, 07:03
And I understand that Stanford and Cal have nice arenas too.

I couldn't believe my luck getting a changing room at SFGG...

Agreed, include Ohio State, Chico State, UC San Diego, Pepperdine, and Loyola Marymount on this list.

Include on the confusing pitches are UC Los Angeles, San Diego State, Univ San Diego, and probably countless mens clubs.

But I agree with Simon and his assessement.

-mark

Sinkers
31-03-07, 00:03
I played on a on an american football pitch in chatanooga it was most confusing multi purpose pitches are necessary but or not ideal

Dickie E
04-04-07, 04:04
We sometimes share rugby grounds with soccer which are a bit shorter. Seen a number of occassions a player ground the ball over the soccer goal-line which will be a metre short of the rugby goal-line. He's always surprised when the ref calls play on.