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Bryan
20-08-07, 18:08
Folks,

Sorry for not being on here in a while, but I was just out refereeing at our national championships here this past week. Kangaroo court was on Friday night, and thankfully so b\c Saturday's match was a stormer.

I was appointed the U-19 semi-final between Quebec and British Columbia, and in the prematch talks with the captains I got buy-in that players needed to remain on their feet and I would be heavily enforcing this, as well as clearing players who were on the ground from the contact area.

The game begins, and there are PKs left, right, and centre for players going off their feet and for playing the ball on the ground. There were no issues with positioning (I was spotting the offences correctly i.e. the first offence). Communication was great (only when required when there was a contest for the ball, and preventative when there were likely culprits to identify), but players simply weren't listening. Captains were buying in to my formal warnings (I had to do this twice), and each time I had them talk to their teams about the issue.

The lack of buy-in from players led to a yellow card to both teams for repeated infringements at the Tackle/Ruck. Around 10 minutes into the 2nd half, I brought over the captains once again. We agreed that this game was "turning into a farce" and that everything up to this point has not been effective (note that I say "we", as both captains were in full agreement and I got buy-in from them). They were then told that any further offending at the breakdown would lead me to "use heavier sanctions". 30 seconds later, Quebec No.5 goes flying off her feet at a ruck to seal off and kill the ball. That's when I pulled out the Red. Holy f**k, Batman.

After that point (18 minutes remaining), there was only ONE infringement at the tackle/ruck, right in front of Quebec's posts, that lead to the BC kicker to shank the kick. 3 minutes later, it was full time, and the match ended 0-0 in regulation, at which point we had to go to kicks-at-goal from the 22m, and Quebec won 3-0 (BC weren't so hot off the boot under pressure). I almost wanted to break down and cry after the match as it was so emotionally draining.

Analysis
After the match, both referee coaches couldn't help answer the $20,000 question: How could I have prevented all those penalties. My philosophy was that telling a player who is on their feet to stay on their feet is useless; why tell them to do something that they are already doing? Furthermore, arriving players at the breakdown already have a pre-concieved idea about what they are going to do, so it is easier to manage players on the ground.

There was clearly a management issue in that my management wasn't working, and I didn't change my approach. Not until the red card was shown and the players then realised that I was a total whackjob that shows red cards for repeated infringements by a team did they smarten up.

In discussion with more senior refs at the championships, there were a few suggestions that came out:

- instead of PKs, be more patient and blow lots of unplayables, then tell them that if they want to stop they need to be on their feet. If that doesn't work, go back to PKs.

- Be positive when they are remaining on their feet, and re-enforce that at stoppages in play (I never really did this, b\c the game was always a sh!tshow).

- If it's slow ball to begin with, and players go off their feet, assuming the game is still in good spirit (no Foul play), then let play go on and have a word to those players afterwards.

Any further help would be greatly appreciated. I thought I had one of my best-ever matches, and was duly rewarded with the U-17 Gold Medal match on Sunday, but it still bugs me that I couldn't sort it out. Note that I am NOT debating the use of the Red Card. Debating that is a debate on the symptoms and not the disease.

Gareth-Lee Smith
20-08-07, 18:08
Seems the red card did the trick, but is it justified in Law?

Anyway, regarding your question, the Yellow should probably have been shown at the 'centre' part of your left, right and centre. You warned them once and didn't follow up with it, from what I gather, and perhaps players lost respect for you a little due to this? Either that or, as you say, they just weren't listening.

SimonSmith
20-08-07, 19:08
I asked myself the question when I showed red for perpetually coming at the side of the breakdown last season. 73rd minute, and I had 2.5 hour drive to replay the game to myself.

I agree with the positive reinforcement piece, but you have to be careful not to overdo it. Immediately after the warning, at the next phase that they get right, tell them that that's what you're looking for.

Sometimes I'm not sure that you CAN do anything to prevent the red coming out. It sounds like you went through every appropriate escalation point, and tried to manage appropriately.
Questions you should ask yourself that might help:
Great that the captains bought in; that doesn't make them great captains of their team. They can nod all they like, but if the team doesn't follow their lead, then they're useless to you. In short - good captains get their teams to listen to them. Just how good were the Captains?
Second, why were the players doing it? Poor technique? Coached to do it? Ignorant to the repercussions? If it's either of the first two, then you're on a hiding to nothing. If the third, then they didn't listen to you or the captain.

Lastly - and this is borne of experience in Human Resources AND refereeing: you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. In other words - you can do everything right, but if they don't want to listen to you, you're shafted.

Sometimes you just get a day like that!

Bryan
20-08-07, 20:08
Gareth,
Sorry for the confusion, but I did warn them and follow through:

i. Warning to Quebec captain, re-enforcing our pre-match agreement
ii. Bin for Quebec
iii. Warning to BC captain that they are on the same road as Quebec
iv. Bin for BC
v. Warning to BOTH captains that sanctions are not working and I will have to use further methods. Buy-in that the game is a farce, and will not continue on this road without severe repercussions.
vi. (30 seconds later) Red card



Great that the captains bought in; that doesn't make them great captains of their team. They can nod all they like, but if the team doesn't follow their lead, then they're useless to you. In short - good captains get their teams to listen to them. Just how good were the Captains?
Both captains are strong players, and very influential on their team (TH Prop for BC and Scrum-half for Quebec), and were well aware of what was going on. I think it was that the players just didn't get the message until I pulled the red card and they saw that I wasn't going to let them keep screwing up my universe.

During the disciplinary meeting, the committee berated the Quebec coach. If you've got a referee wo keeps raising the severity of sanctions, teams need to respond. A lack of response is only going to lead to more sanctions.



Second, why were the players doing it? Poor technique? Coached to do it? Ignorant to the repercussions? If it's either of the first two, then you're on a hiding to nothing. If the third, then they didn't listen to you or the captain.

This was a semi-final, with 2 very strong, well-coached teams who knew what was going on out there. I don't think they realised what was coming until it was too late, at which point everyone smartened up and we had a much better game.

SimonSmith
20-08-07, 20:08
Both captains are strong players, and very influential on their team (TH Prop for BC and Scrum-half for Quebec), and were well aware of what was going on. I think it was that the players just didn't get the message until I pulled the red card and they saw that I wasn't going to let them keep screwing up my universe.

The empirical evidence would tend to suggest otherwise Bryan. Either they didn't deliver the message, or the teams didn't receive the message. Either way, I can't see how this comes back to you.


During the disciplinary meeting, the committee berated the Quebec coach. If you've got a referee wo keeps raising the severity of sanctions, teams need to respond. A lack of response is only going to lead to more sanctions.
This was a semi-final, with 2 very strong, well-coached teams who knew what was going on out there. I don't think they realised what was coming until it was too late, at which point everyone smartened up and we had a much better game.

Reading this tends to back up my feeling about this not being about you, but about them. The signals, and I readily admit that I could be reading between the lines incorrectly, is that the teams haven't been pinged for this on a regualr basis by other referees. had they been, they should have been able to react quicker. I also suspect that if they aren't coached to actively do it, they're not being coached to NOT do it. Again, if they had been coached correctly around the correct technique, they should have been able to adapt by the time the yellows came out.

Emmet Murphy
20-08-07, 21:08
Reading through all that I was surprised to see at the end that you seem to blame yourself for what happened ... I don't think you realistically could have done any more than what you did. The fact that the teams responded so noticably to a RC being shown proves they had it in them all along to change. If a YC apiece doesn't alter their mindset then I don't think any of those things suggested to you by other refs would have either. You even warned them about a RC and still it didn't stop!!

It sounds like either a) the captains were humouring you when you spoke to them and then they effectively told their players to carry on regardless or b) the players were simply not listening to their captains in the first place - neither of those scenarios is your fault. It sounds like you were very patient. Lesser referees would have given up, lowered his/her standards and ultimately allowed both teams to do it but you stuck to your guns - well done!

collybs
20-08-07, 21:08
[QUOTE=Gareth-Lee Smith;27300]Seems the red card did the trick, but is it justified in Law?

According to law 10.3 (b) (my highlights)

Repeated infringements by the team. When different
players of the same team repeatedly commit the same offence, the
referee must decide whether or not this amounts to repeated
infringement. If it does, the referee gives a general warning to the
team and if they then repeat the offence, the referee cautions and
temporarily suspends the guilty player(s) for a period of 10
minutes playing time. If a player of that same team then repeats
the offence the referee sends off the guilty player(s).Penalty: Penalty Kick

Therefore according to law you have no choice - after giving a yellow for a repeat offence and the offence is committed again the only sanction you can give is a red card,

Davet
20-08-07, 21:08
The only added weapon is the one you discarded - verbal reminder at point of breakdown.

Then perhaps a progression to YC and then RC faster. Three times is a repeat offence, which can bring a YC quite easily, and 4 times is stupidity, which deserves a red in its own right.

beckett50
20-08-07, 22:08
Bryan, welcome back!

As others have said there is no point beating yourself up about it.

It is always a difficult area to get right, and just because you have agreement from the captains it doesn't automatically follow that the players will buy into this agreement - as in this case. There is also the issue of how the assessor sees the situation from the sidelines.

The verbal preventative of "Stay on your feet" may not - as you say - be relevant to the players that are already on their feet in the tackle zone but may just be the prompt needed for the player(s) about to arrive and dive in.

There is also the question of 'materiality'. Have the team that took the ball in already secured it on their side? In other words, has fair contest finished because the defenders are unable/unwillling to win to the ball by anything other than illegal means or a good counter ruck? If that is indee the case does it really matter if the 4th & 5th arriving players fancy a lie down at the tackle zone? I know that it can look messy, but so can a game with a PK count through the roof.

It is true that the ATP maxim often works, but you need to do it early. I would suggest that a YC on the 3rd repeat of the offence would have either lead to a calming of the situation as the players would know you mean business; especially if a team was down to 13 players because of YCs. Early yellows often settle the nerves - both yours and the players - and get the game flowing as you want it.

OK, so it may be a bit drastic to have a player in the bin after 5 minutes, but I would suggest that by getting the agreement of the Captains before hand you have already done the "Ask" bit of the ATP escalation!

File it under "E" for experience and move on.

Gareth-Lee Smith
20-08-07, 23:08
Apologies to all, especially Bryan. I blame fatigue from a weekend at a music festival

Dickie E
21-08-07, 02:08
There is also the question of 'materiality'. Have the team that took the ball in already secured it on their side? In other words, has fair contest finished because the defenders are unable/unwillling to win to the ball by anything other than illegal means or a good counter ruck? If that is indee the case does it really matter if the 4th & 5th arriving players fancy a lie down at the tackle zone? I know that it can look messy, but so can a game with a PK count through the roof.



I've started to go off this line of reasoning recently. I think it breeds bad habits in players and adds an unwarranted level of complexity (ie both the player & referee need to simultaneously decide if a situation is material or not).

It's a bit like letting your kid get away with not cleaning his/her room because there's no visitor and then getting angry when they won't clean it when Grandma comes over.

All about consistency, I think.

FlipFlop
21-08-07, 08:08
In games like this, I've always been told - are teh players going off their feet actually preventing the oppo contesting the ball? Often the oppo have no real intent to contest the ball - in which case the offence is immaterial, so play on - but advise them at appropriate times that it could be a penalty.

On other thing is that you went from 1 YC a side to the RC. I find that (despite the law) if I have temas like that to pull YC to the side after the warning, and keep doing it each time afterwards. I'd probably stop after 3 YC's and issue the RC warning.

Often as well it is how early you pull the YC that matters. The later you pull it, the more they think that they can get away with it/not get YC'ed and so you lose that little bit of control (pull it too early, and you look a over officious idiot). I've reffed 2 teams I were told wanted to cheat all day. In the first 5 minutes had 4 penalties and a YC. No trouble after that, but I suspect if I had not been overly harsh in the first 5 minutes it could have been so much worse (as the return fixture proved apparently). So it is the old adage of being easier to relax your stance, than to tighten it up.

Picking the right time for the YC is so easy in hindsight, but (at least for me) is one of the challenges on the day.

didds
21-08-07, 11:08
During the disciplinary meeting, the committee berated the Quebec coach.... This was a semi-final, with 2 very strong, well-coached teams who knew what was going on out there.

Why the coach ? The REF has already said that in his opinion the players weren't listening to either him or the captains and that the captains were "good" captains - why were they going to listen to the coach (presuming this was the inferred criticism) when they weren't already listening to the blooke with the whistle and the cards, and the "strong" captains? Why not also berate the physio, the bus driver, the tea lady, the groundsman - all these people probably would have had as much influence on the players in the circumstances described.

(This ain;t a knock of the ref - but certainly of the disciplinary committee!)

didds

didds
21-08-07, 11:08
I also suspect that if they aren't coached to actively do it, they're not being coached to NOT do it. Again, if they had been coached correctly around the correct technique, they should have been able to adapt by the time the yellows came out.

This is where I start to get uncomfortable. I see the point being made. But it just doesn't fully wash IMO.

Coaches get (typically) 3.5 hours a week contact with players. take out a minimum of 30 minutes from that for warmups, and you have stuff all time to coach much at all. Not that this makes the idea totally incorrect of course.

Meanwhile coaches face the "arms race" decision: does the coach actively coach something they personally disagree with - but if not accept they leave their players less well "armed" than possible opposition that ARE coached in such a "skill" and subsequently do not normally get pinged for it. And IF the coach doesn;t coach the "skill" does said coach then actively DISCOURAGE individuals from using it on a unilateral basis? And even if the coach DOES actively discourage it in training - what can the coach in reality do IF players STILL use the "skill"? Especially if the coach does NOT have any veto in selection? And what if the players breaking the laws don;t actually train, but nevertheless still get selected (see above). I have yet to ever coach (or play) at a club that has been able to enforce a no train no play policy - there will be players that never train I would wager at most clubs.

Not all coaches run the entire club from coaching through to selection through to discpline etc - in fact I have never ever been at such a club (YMMV!). The one example I kow of where the coach actively attempted to do such a thing he got sacked by the club - despite having coached his team to a top league spot with only a handful of games remaining in the season.

Coaches do have a role to play - obviously. But to merely lay all blame at one individual's door (or if a team is lucky, two or three) for the actions of several dozen players is a pretty poor. And also merely mirrors the viewpoint that apprently seems commonly held that players have no responsibility for their actions, committment and involvement in the game of rugby and that everybody NOT on the pitch does! This sin;lt to say a coach has NO place to play - but there are limits to what that individual can effectively do, especially given the foibles and realites of the vast majority of clubs (IME).

Finally - as noted in a thread on RFU.com, refs at the elite level fail to ping exactly the behaviour described by the OP. Maybe the players were being "coached" by watching what is allowed at the top level?

cheers

didds

didds
21-08-07, 11:08
repeated post

didds
21-08-07, 11:08
I've started to go off this line of reasoning recently. I think it breeds bad habits in players and adds an unwarranted level of complexity (ie both the player & referee need to simultaneously decide if a situation is material or not).

It's a bit like letting your kid get away with not cleaning his/her room because there's no visitor and then getting angry when they won't clean it when Grandma comes over.

All about consistency, I think.

Totally correct Dickie. Players in the heat of battle - and certainly spectators 50 metres away! - will not always understand the nuances between what is let go at one juncture and not at another.

Incidentally if grandma has a problem with a dirty room why can't she clean it ;-)



didds

didds
21-08-07, 11:08
I also suspect that if they aren't coached to actively do it, they're not being coached to NOT do it. Again, if they had been coached correctly around the correct technique, they should have been able to adapt by the time the yellows came out.

This is where I start to get uncomfortable. I see the point being made. But it just doesn't fully wash IMO.

Coaches get (typically) 3.5 hours a week contact with players. take out a minimum of 30 minutes from that for warmups, and you have stuff all time to coach much at all. Not that this makes the idea totally incorrect of course.

Meanwhile coaches face the "arms race" decision: does the coach actively coach something they personally disagree with - but if not accept they leave their players less well "armed" than possible opposition that ARE coached in such a "skill" and subsequently do not normally get pinged for it. And IF the coach doesn;t coach the "skill" does said coach then actively DISCOURAGE individuals from using it on a unilateral basis? And even if the coach DOES actively discourage it in training - what can the coach in reality do IF players STILL use the "skill"? Especially if the coach does NOT have any veto in selection? And what if the players breaking the laws don;t actually train, but nevertheless still get selected (see above). I have yet to ever coach (or play) at a club that has been able to enforce a no train no play policy - there will be players that never train I would wager at most clubs.

Not all coaches run the entire club from coaching through to selection through to discpline etc - in fact I have never ever been at such a club (YMMV!). The one example I kow of where the coach actively attempted to do such a thing he got sacked by the club - despite having coached his team to a top league spot with only a handful of games remaining in the season.

Coaches do have a role to play - obviously. But to merely lay all blame at one individual's door (or if a team is lucky, two or three) for the actions of several dozen players is a pretty poor. And also merely mirrors the viewpoint that apprently seems commonly held that players have no responsibility for their actions, committment and involvement in the game of rugby and that everybody NOT on the pitch does! This sin;lt to say a coach has NO place to play - but there are limits to what that individual can effectively do, especially given the foibles and realites of the vast majority of clubs (IME).

cheers

didds

Bryan
21-08-07, 13:08
The empirical evidence would tend to suggest otherwise Bryan. Either they didn't deliver the message, or the teams didn't receive the message. Either way, I can't see how this comes back to you.
In hindsight, obviously the captains weren't effective with their team. Goes to show that no matter how much of a good player/motivator, if your team won't listen, there's nothing you can do to change.



In games like this, I've always been told - are teh players going off their feet actually preventing the oppo contesting the ball? Often the oppo have no real intent to contest the ball - in which case the offence is immaterial, so play on - but advise them at appropriate times that it could be a penalty.
In all but one occasion, the PKs for going off-feet were against defenders. The Quebec sin-bin was from their nationally capped No.13 playing the ball off her feet at ruck time 5m from her own goal line. I agree that a quiet word would be great, and I was competent at determining whether there was an actual 50/50 contest (to the point where I wasn't calling "ruck" when there wasn't a contest at a ruck), but in most cases (I don't have the video, so I can't say "all") the offending player had a severe impact on the outcome.



On other thing is that you went from 1 YC a side to the RC. I find that (despite the law) if I have temas like that to pull YC to the side after the warning, and keep doing it each time afterwards. I'd probably stop after 3 YC's and issue the RC warning.

I had thought about this after issuing the 2nd YC (one for each team). At this point, I thought teams were not listening at all despite the repeated sanctions, and to issue further YCs would have turned the match into a total farce of 12 v 13. If one yellow card won't stop players, then issuing further yellows is merely delaying the inevitable (a red card). Furthermore, while it was a "hard" decision, I was 100% certain that it was the only available option after Quebec infringed again, and it was fully warranted.


Often as well it is how early you pull the YC that matters. The later you pull it, the more they think that they can get away with it/not get YC'ed and so you lose that little bit of control (pull it too early, and you look a over officious idiot)...So it is the old adage of being easier to relax your stance, than to tighten it up.
I agree with you, and I thought the timing was correct. I will try to get the statistics from the referee coaches (they had a time track of the match, with cards and PKs and warnings). Judging from my process above, I thought the warnings and sanctions came appropriately, and there was no indication from either referee coach that it should have come earlier, later, etc, and I never had the feeling during the match (or after) that I should have done anything differently in terms of captain warnings and cards.

As for the last point, I'm not sure if it's easier to relax your stance. If you make the gamble of carding early, then all offences afterwards are potentially cardable offences b\c you've already drawn the line, and the next thing you know you've given 4 YCs in the first half and if you back off it looks like you jumped the gun too early. However, if you use timely warnings to captains, then follow through with cards, you've maintained your level of control and shown that you've exhausted all options before raising the sanctions.

In a knock-out match like this, you want to avoid turning it into a farce. I am convinced that had this been a WC Semi-final, I would be torn to shreds and I would never referee again. That being said, at that level I would have a better management "toolkit" in dealing with this and hopefully things would be different (players would actually adapt).


But to merely lay all blame at one individual's door (or if a team is lucky, two or three) for the actions of several dozen players is a pretty poor.
I have no idea whether the coaching staff (there were numerous coaches on both teams) had any effect on their players. I think it was more a lesson-learned all around and the coaches were taken to task, rightly or wrongly. I think Simon Smith is correct in that the players were not used to being patrolled at such a high level (maybe my expectations were too high).

Davet
21-08-07, 16:08
In a knock-out match like this, you want to avoid turning it into a farce.


I think it is a little harsh if the ref gets the blame for a farce like the one you describe. The game is played by players. The referee can only do so much to create a game. Yes, game management techniques help - but in the end if players don't respond then that's their decision.

My only real worry about what you say is when you wonder if the players were not used to being patrolled to such a level. If that's so then why were you out of step with what is normal at their level? If you are used to a higher standard then perhaps you might have revised your expectation downwards?

Emmet Murphy
21-08-07, 20:08
Sorry Brian - I still think you are being way too hard on yourself: "if this had been a WC Semi-final, I would be torn to shreds and I would never referee again". Why? It seems like you feel disappointed at having to send a player off and that in itself represents a failure on your part at some level. Players have to take responsibility for their actions. You issued a warning threatening "heavier sanctions" after you had yellow-carded one player from both teams and then, thirty seconds later, someone goes and commits that exact offence ... as Tony Spreadbury would say "Stupid!!!"

As for the argument that you pitched your standards too high and the players were not used to it, how is it they were they able to play the way you wanted after you sent the player off?

peter789uk
22-08-07, 13:08
I might have been very lucky in that I have never given a red card for repeated technical offences.
I would explain to Captains at the match chat what I want and expect from the players during the match.
In the first quarter I would be very strict on technical offences in effect this gives credence to the pre match chat.
Couple of warnings and straight to Yellow thats it this approach I found works for me.
I would say last season my yellow count was around 1 a match perhaps very lucky as I say

didds
22-08-07, 21:08
I think it is a little harsh if the ref gets the blame for a farce like the one you describe. The game is played by players. The referee can only do so much to create a game. Yes, game management techniques help - but in the end if players don't respond then that's their decision.


Hear hear Dave

didds

Bryan
23-08-07, 21:08
I think it is a little harsh if the ref gets the blame for a farce like the one you describe. The game is played by players. The referee can only do so much to create a game. Yes, game management techniques help - but in the end if players don't respond then that's their decision.

Let me be clear: the referee coaches did not feel that I was to blame, and I don't think that I was fully to blame for the leading up to the Red Card. However, I still think it is important to discuss and find out what techniques others have used in this situation. I can't come up with anything better than a few "Maybe this would have worked", but at least next time I'll probably try them out.


IAs for the argument that you pitched your standards too high and the players were not used to it, how is it they were they able to play the way you wanted after you sent the player off?
This is a very good point. Never really thought of that, so now I'm feeling a bit better. I had thought that the Red card scared the bejaysus out of them so they smartened up pretty quickly.

beckett50
24-08-07, 10:08
If you are used to a higher standard then perhaps you might have revised your expectation downwards?

This is a slippery slope and one that can catch you out. I would suggest that it is better to expect high standards at lower levels. In my experience the players often respond to it.

Lets face it, when we 'go down a couple of levels' we often spot offences before they happen and have more time to look for the other offences. Yes, preventative refereeing takes on a slightly different stance and maybe the 'immediate' is stretched by a few more tenths of a second.

However, we should still expect the basics to be right.

Bryan I just think you came up against 2 teams that didn't want to listen to their Captains and were just interested in playing like idiots, or maybe the gravity of the match and nerves got to them. If that is the case then it is down to their own psychological preparation - and that given by their coaches.

At least they weren't trying to punch 7 bells of s*** out of each other!

Davet
24-08-07, 10:08
Beckett50 - I accept that. It can be difficult, I wasn't suggesting wholesale relaxation, but perhaps more "coaching" verbals than simple directives.

In a decent level game one might simply call "Ruck" - everybody knows that means hands out, offside lines are in effect etc.

At a lower level then the additional information may be supplied "Ruck - hands out - back feet - get back..Stay on your feet." Perhaps not all everytime - that costs breath - though hopefully the slower pace will help in that respect.

ex-lucy
24-08-07, 12:08
Bryan, welcome to my world !! I had a couple such matches last season.... see bad experiences threds.
1. Colts match. repeated offences at tackle/ ruck by one team, who were obviously coached to seal/bridge/ slow ball down.. whatever. I think they came second or even first in the league, so a good team. ATP. Prematch I asked. I warned verbally several times after I penalised, reminding capt of prematch chat. Eventually in second half i issued 2 or 3 YCs.
Could i have done any more? i dont think so, they had been coached to do that and other refs werent as strong with them. I watched them in anotehr match where another ref let them get away with it. it was horrible, messy 6-3.

2. Blues 4s v Reds 2s. Blues players consisted of some ex-1st xv players (National 3S) who thought they could do what they liked at rucks/ tackles, despite ATP. They didnt listen to me and didnt like my strong reffing at the tackle/ ruck. 5 YCs. 1x RC for a second YC. 1st YC was on 25 mins. RC was with 10 mins to go.

The diff for me i guess was that in both cases it was one team who were guilty of repeat offences.
I have racked my brain for how i would have approached the matches differently and i cant see how to ref them much differently.
Other refs say i should have been more empathetic and more lenient. I disagree. To allow cheating is anathema to me, it is collusion of illegality and then this leads to possible frustration and flashpoints.
So, in summary .. i agree with most of what SimonSmith said on the matter. In times like this i go to the experts and he is an expert in management issues. Dont beat yaself up about it. Easy to say, cos i did just that for weeks in both cases.
Coaches are coaching players to cheat at the breakdown. I have first evidence of that. The intelligent team/ players will adapt to you/ your interpretations. Dont adapt to them. Be strong.

Davet
24-08-07, 15:08
I have had issues with ex National League palyers who have dropped down and played a vets game - they too seemed to think that the ref was their to make up the numbers, and that since their natural level was way above mine I should defer to their greater experince.

The game developed into a battle of wills, though to be fair to them a couple of YCs sorted it out. But certainly the old rugby adage of play the ref took on a whole new meaning.

Simon Thomas
25-08-07, 13:08
DaveT

If it is any consolation, exactly the same has happened to me (e. ex-National3 players in the Vets - and some of whom I played County rugby with / against 20 years ago, and have also refereed nat 2nd XV [level 6/7] in the last 5 years !).

I believe it is a general issue of anyone playing at a lower level than their peak trying to get away with it, and not specifically a referee (or individual referee) related one.

Bryan
27-08-07, 19:08
Thanks to the referee coaches, I've managed to get the statistics for the match:

Penalties (approx. time) to-penalty

1st half

(2) BC-obstruction in open play
(3) PQ - hands in ruck
(5:) PQ - off feet at ruck
(10) PQ -Squeeze Ball
(11) BC - not release ball at tackle (player isolated)
(12) PQ - not release ball at tackle (player isolated)
(13) BC - off feet at tackle (Warning to captains)
(14) PQ - Squeeze Ball
(15) BC - off feet at tackle
(19) BC - off feet at tackle (yellow card)
(20) BC- offside at ruck
(28) PQ - hand in ruck

2nd half

(2) PQ - FK - engage early at scrum
(3) PQ - off feet at ruck (Warning to captains)
(6) PQ - off feet at tackle (yellow card)
(7) PQ - off feet at tackle
(8) BC - off feet at ruck
(8) PQ - hold ball after tackle (chat/warning with captains)
(9) BC - FK - balk throw at lineout
(10) PQ - off feet at ruck/seal ball (red card)
(14) PQ - playing ball on ground
(14) PQ - not 10m at PK
(16) BC - off feet over player on ground
(18) PQ - from side of ruck

Looking at it, the warning should have one PK earlier (after both teams were penalized for not releasing at the tackle, and the Yellow Card to BC could have come one offence earlier.

So, 3 PK incidents after the Red Card, but the first one was 4 minutes after (this was a relatively long time), and they were not all against the same team. Miraculously, 12 minutes without a single PK, but by this time it was still 0-0 and both teams knew that they were going to get a hiding if they gave up a penalty.

I don't see how they didn't get it in their heads...

FlipFlop
27-08-07, 20:08
Looking at that, I would have said (and granted this is purely from what you've told us, and not being in the middle - you've also not said where the PK's were on the field):

Warning to PQ after 10min PK - repeated infringements (3 in a row). Then assuming the same PK's - the YC would have come after 12m PK.

BC warning would have come later - either after the 15m or 19m PK. Certainly a BC player would have been YC'ed by the 20m PK.

Then at HT if I'm not happy I would have the talk with the Captains. Might have used a YC or two more in the 2nd Half, and then given the RC warning. (I know what the law says, but this is management, and saving the RC paperwork!)

Personally I think this would have been an equitable result - if you look at the PK sequence, PQ would have been laughing that BC had the first player in the bin as, while the count was 5/5 on PKs, PQ commited their 5 in 11minutes, whereas BC spread theirs over 17. This might have lead to PQ thinking they could get away with lots of PK's before you took any further action.

As I mentioned a bit above, I haven't seen the game, nor was I in the middle, and I am a ref who believes in showing a card at the earliest opportunity. Perhaps that might have worked in this game? Or perhaps no matter what you did......

Davet
28-08-07, 11:08
Simon

As it happens - I sort of enjoyed the experience. The attitude certainly boosted concetration levels in order to avoir the B**s getting the better of me.

SimonSmith
28-08-07, 12:08
DaveT

If it is any consolation, exactly the same has happened to me (e. ex-National3 players in the Vets - and some of whom I played County rugby with / against 20 years ago, and have also refereed nat 2nd XV [level 6/7] in the last 5 years !).

I believe it is a general issue of anyone playing at a lower level than their peak trying to get away with it, and not specifically a referee (or individual referee) related one.

Agree with that. Had the pleasure of doing Neath 3rds/vets a few years ago...we had a fun afternoon with me catching them, and them being as good as gold about not doing after they'd been caught. They kept pushing to find what I'd allow, and I'd smilee and shake my head sorrowfully as I caught them again.

Made for a very enjoyable afternoon. All the management challenge and none of the stress because it was done with a smile

ex-lucy
30-08-07, 16:08
"because it was done with a smile"

that could be the secret ... i may have to try that tactic...