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Robert Burns
28-01-04, 07:01
What do you say to the teams/specific players.

is there anything you make sure they are aware of?

How do you brief the front row on the scrums?

Davet
28-01-04, 11:01
What do you say to the teams/specific players.

is there anything you make sure they are aware of?

How do you brief the front row on the scrums?

I probably do it different to many refs I have spoken to.

My pre-match chat with the teams is quite brief. My major interest is to meet the front rows, ensure they and their replacements are suitably trained and experienced. I then explain the engage procedure I will use - breifly and succinctly to them and Captain, Pack Leader and Scrum half.

They have all it done it before, and know what is required. They don't need a couple of chapters from me. I then ask if they have any questions - sometimes this elicits things they are concerned about.

And thats it, takes about a minute. I don't give lectures on staying back 10 at lineouts, staying on feet after a tackle, all the standard bits - they know all this. If they have specific things they want to ask me about then I will answer.

I do sometimes get asked if I will call when a ruck forms and when it ends. I say no, I cannot commit to do that every time - and explain that rucks are very dynamic, it may well be over by the time I have vocalised the call that its begun. I simply say that if you hear me call "hands out" then do just that, if you hear "play on" then you can - if you hear neither use your judgement, I will tell you when you get it wrong!

It would be interesting to know from other refs if they have a different approach to calling the phases.

Robert Burns
28-01-04, 22:01
I do the engage procedures with the front row, tell the fly half that i'll hold my hand up at line outs and lower it when they can come up.

Read in the rfu message board about advising about quick penalties and that they need to be infront of you not behind you, and on or inline behind the mark, I may start bringing this into my briefings as I think it's quite a good thing to explain to them.

Davet
29-01-04, 13:01
I do the engage procedures with the front row, tell the fly half that i'll hold my hand up at line outs and lower it when they can come up.

Read in the rfu message board about advising about quick penalties and that they need to be infront of you not behind you, and on or inline behind the mark, I may start bringing this into my briefings as I think it's quite a good thing to explain to them.

The line out thing is fine - thats telling them something about the wau YOU personally will communicate with them.

But as far as general law, penalties on or behind the mark, stay on your feet at ruck, etc.etc. surely they already KNOW all this. They play every week.

I try not to bore them with all of this stuff - I do the front rows and the engage beacuse firstly I have got to be sure that the FR are competent, and my engage procedure may vary slightly from another refs particular procedure. For instance I never put a hand out, I always tell them to tell me if they are not comfortable, if they say nothing and I call Crouch and Hold, then they need to do just that. etc.

But as far as general law - they ought to know.

And talking to captains etc., and having played a bit myself, I know that if the ref witters on about this that and the damned other then I for one would simply have smiled nodded and forgotten. Players have better things to do that listen to me.

MrBadger
29-01-04, 13:01
is also a good idea to let the captains know that discipline is "theirs" ie up to them to sort out - if they don't, then you will sort it for them! One v good piece of advice is to tell captains not to get in your face at the award of a fk/penalty, but to concentrate on getting their side back 10. If they have a query they can put it to you in an appropriate manner at the next breakdown...

Davet
29-01-04, 15:01
is also a good idea to let the captains know that discipline is "theirs" ie up to them to sort out - if they don't, then you will sort it for them! One v good piece of advice is to tell captains not to get in your face at the award of a fk/penalty, but to concentrate on getting their side back 10. If they have a query they can put it to you in an appropriate manner at the next breakdown...

I hear what you say - but WHY do you need to say it?

If I give a PK and the defending captain wants to talk then I am not going to listen just then. All he is doing by coming to me is taking himself out of the game.

There are lots and lots and lots of things like this I COULD talk about, but life is too short.

MrBadger
29-01-04, 16:01
why? because it helps thinks run smoothly out on the pitch, establishes boundaries and lines of communication with the captains, and assists you to manage the game. Players like to know where they stand! Alternatively, don't bother, but you might find as you go up the levels that rapport with and management of players is key for the players and you to get the most out of the game.

Alternatively, do an off-hand, inadequate briefing, and then battle it out with the teams when you get out there!

What's the phrase? Oh yes...

don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

Davet
29-01-04, 17:01
What's the phrase? Oh yes...

don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

But I have tried it. I tried it for quite a while, and found that it made absolutely NO difference. What makes the difference is the fact that I penalise them - not that I threaten to.

The players are not prepared to listen to whole string of dos and don'ts. I find that it wastes my time and wastes theirs. When I was a captain, playing, then the obligatory chat was basically a pain in the neck. The refs said basically the same thing every week.

Players all KNOW what the laws are, and if they don't then a quick pre-game chat isn' going to help. What they need to know are any personal traits - scrum management is one area where refs all do it slightly differently so I tell them. There are other areas.

What do you do half way through a game when you find some law you haven't reminded them about and you penalise someone....is it then legit for the captain to say, "But, Sir, you never said anything about staying on our feet?"

Have a chat with captains after your next game and ask them what they got out of the pre-game chat.

MrBadger
29-01-04, 18:01
you experience is not my experience Davet! IMHO used correctly, briefing can help you manage a game and I was giving you a concrete example. However am prepared to concede that at lower levels (are you C2?) players do not listen - a question of matching approach to circumstance, surely? In any event I was talking about management, not about explaining laws to players before game - this is best avoided.

To dismiss briefing in this fashion concerned me a bit. Better to look at how it should be done:

- Keep it to a couple of mins at most
- Deal with 9/10 and front rows
- Quick word with captain - I usually just tell him "discipline is yours today" and "I want the tackler to move". Tailor to suit game.

Job done.

Robert Burns
29-01-04, 23:01
I have to admit the higher level games that I have done the captains do tend to listen more, but I don't dwell on too many bits, all I really want to tell them is my approach to make the game run more smoothly. which is all communication really.

didds
30-01-04, 11:01
One v good piece of advice is to tell captains not to get in your face at the award of a fk/penalty, but to concentrate on getting their side back 10. If they have a query they can put it to you in an appropriate manner at the next breakdown...


So what happens if the captain's word is to point out that a refs assistant/TJ/whatever they are called this week has his flag out? (and he is a qualified TJ blaghh b;ah blah not just one team's coach blah blah blah)

Do you instead waste possibly several minutes in the enxt phase of play until you do see him? What if you ignore the "word", allow the next phase (kick to touch?) and blow full time ... and then notice the TJ ... which would have been a penalty the "other way" ... and might have altered the result of the game?

In short, how do you KNOW that the captain is actually incorrect in his approach?

didds

Davet
30-01-04, 14:01
Better to look at how it should be done:

- Keep it to a couple of mins at most
- Deal with 9/10 and front rows
- Quick word with captain - I usually just tell him "discipline is yours today" and "I want the tackler to move". Tailor to suit game.

Job done.

2 mins max - agreed.

I involve (as mentioned) FR, 9, Captain and Pack leader. So pretty much agreed.

The quick word with captain - if quick then fine, but does he not KNOW that he is responsible for his players discipline? Does he not KNOW that the tackler must move away? Are you not the 15th ref this season to tell him this?

I agree that the briefing is a mangement tool - I use it as just that. To tell teams how I specifically will do certain stuff, and for me to see and check the experience of the FR. And for them to ask me about any issues they wish to raise prior to the game. Sometimes they ask if pre-gripping is OK (it is) etc., or they mention they have a certain move or tactic which I may need to watch for, or whatever.

I just tend to avoid saying things like, ensure players stay on their feet. They are already aware that this is required.

But I suspect everybody has his own way of doing things.

Robert Burns
30-01-04, 16:01
Indeed they do, and what works for on e ref, may not work for another, so it's all the refs preference

MrBadger
30-01-04, 19:01
No didds, you use your common sense! Was just passing on a tip for dealing with the problem of a captain being in yer face all the time, and for managing this v important relationship.

I always think reffereing and treating advice as absolutes are two things which do not go well together! Everything requires the application of common sense, does it not?

BTW I was assuming no TJs. At levels 6/7 where I ref, don't have TJs with powers.

All is within reason and subject to the dictates of common sense. If players are telling me there's an injury problem, I am going to listen! If was a flag in, would I stop game? Yes, unless genuine advantage to non-offending side, and no-one was about to die, and non-offending side had just tapped and gone...

common sense!

SimonSmith
04-02-04, 19:02
I agree with Badger - again - and I suspect that as referees head up the grades, the talks follow a pattern. 9, 10, front rows. And I speak to the captains together so all 3 of us know that we are all on the same page.

The first thing to remember is that this is where you set your stall out, before kick off. Do you treat the players with respect? Are you off hand or desultory or just going through the motions? Are you disinterested in any phases of the game? You can generate a lot of goodwill and respect in those 2 minutes that will help later.

WRT to the captains - you're not telling him anything new, you're highlighting your expectations of him. You could always be different from the referee from the week before. Some refs never bollock the players for sinning, but bollock the captain and expect him to pass it down the chain; others want to speak to the players directly. It may also be his first game as captain for a while - you never know!

This is your chance to lay out your expectations, not make commitments about what you will and will not do during the game. The first time you break your pre match word, your credibility is shot.

One touch that I add - and this my "personal" quirk - is that I make it clear that I have no problem with guys chatting to me. As long as it doesn't become "you're missing....what about....negative negative..." I'm quite happy to talk. Anything that can generate goodwil.l The reason Iadded it was that for a few weeks I had captains telling me that it made a wlecome difference as they had had arun of referees who wouldn't say two words to the players. Even at higher levels, it is still possible to try to make sure that 31 people enjoy themselves.

Frankie
04-02-04, 22:02
you experience is not my experience Davet! IMHO used correctly, briefing can help you manage a game and I was giving you a concrete example. However am prepared to concede that at lower levels (are you C2?) players do not listen - a question of matching approach to circumstance, surely? In any event I was talking about management, not about explaining laws to players before game - this is best avoided.

To dismiss briefing in this fashion concerned me a bit. Better to look at how it should be done:

- Keep it to a couple of mins at most
- Deal with 9/10 and front rows
- Quick word with captain - I usually just tell him "discipline is yours today" and "I want the tackler to move". Tailor to suit game.

Job done.


I have to agree with you here. Although I'm only @ district level, I've found the approach outlined is of the most benificial to a 'smooth' running of the game.

I don't stand infront of the teams in the dressing room and lecture them for 10mins, because they've being playing the game for long enough and should know what they can and can't do. The Captain is responsible for keeping his team disciplined not the referee (IMO).

My routine is:

A quick chat to the front row (replacements and all),
Protocol for quick taps and scrummage with the 9,
Chat to the captain about what I expect from his players,
Any questions?,
Then I tell them they've got 5/10/15mins before I want them on the pitch.

Jobs a good'un!!!