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Greg Collins
20-01-08, 18:01
U17 league game; closely fought game scores Blue 10 - 6 Green, pitch (AlanT knows it well) runs N-S with a slight slope from N to S. Wind is blowing across the park. 15 minutes to go Green player remains on floor after a tackle, out cold, suspected head injury. Ball was kicked to touch and play stops, ambulance called, player being cared for by team camp followers and his father, and I, the ref, sincerely hope his is ok.

Referee decides to move to adjoining pitch which is at 90 degrees to the original one running W-E and has a pronounced slope from E to W.

Ref decided, because of slope and wind, to insist on another toss for choice of ends and kick off and restarted with a kick from half way. Go call or no?

Ref did not consult with both teams coaches as to his decision to continue play on adjoining pitch but did inform them accordingly that this was what was happening, and allowed a 5- 7 minute break before play was resumed. Comments views suggestions as to better ways to deal with it....

Loosing side coach not at all happy at end of match that I did not a) abandon the game, b) allow more time for the changeover and re-group. (for my part I have little sympathy for a) but, within hindsight can see his point on b) to a degree.

(btw score remained at 10 - 6 at no side)

Gareth-Lee Smith
20-01-08, 18:01
I don't see a problem. You stepped onto a new pitch and gave them the toss - which is exactly what you do at a regular kickoff, start on a new pitch and give them the toss. I can't see a fairer way to go about things.

Abandoning the game... did 29 players still want to play? Did the coach not want to? If not, why didn't he pull his players off the park? As for b), what a load of crap. 7 minutes, plenty of time. What you don't need is all the teammates gathering round the injured player causing distraction and claustrophobia.

Good decisions all round as far as I can see.

Simon Griffiths
20-01-08, 18:01
I can't see a problem either. Dealt with equitably :wink: .

If either coach had a problem they should have said something (it's usually impossible to get a junior team coach to stop spouting drivvel...)

ctrainor
20-01-08, 21:01
I think the way you reorganised the game was as fair as possible but I do beleive you should have consulted more or even abandoned the game.
I for one would have serious reservations about restarting the game until the injured player had received proper medical attention or was seen to be "walking off/ regained conciousness"
I doubt all players particularly his own team now had their minds on the game or indeed wanted to continue..
I've never heard of this particuar circumstance happenning before although with the elements and pitch differences as you described I would not have moved pitch but waited for treatment/moving the player to be completed.
All could have retired to changing rooms prior to restart.
If it was getting dark I would definitely have abandoned the game and left it to the governing bodies.
Number one priority Player safety not getting a game finished.
I doubt you were 100% on your game after the pitch change.
Defeated coach in my opinion has a reasonable gripe.

Dixie
20-01-08, 21:01
Number one priority Player safety not getting a game finished.
I doubt you were 100% on your game after the pitch change.
Defeated coach in my opinion has a reasonable gripe.
Ciaran, can you elaborate? I am not quite sure what point is being made here.

Is it that, for the 15 minutes on the substitute pitch, the safety of the continuing players was put at risk because the referee was no longer competent? I'd have to disagree strongly with that idea.

Or was it that, by not having everyone standing around biting their nails, or else retiring to the changing room, the safety of the player being attended to by the first aiders and his dad was put at risk? I think I'd dispute that even more.

Gareth-Lee Smith
20-01-08, 21:01
Agree with Dixie.

Absolutely nobody had a thing to gain from standing around, hoping that the injured fellow would be alright, nothing too serious, and - even worse - going over to check on him, as though that makes a dying bit of difference either.

When I first refereed juniors at the start of September 2006, I was averaging a serious injury every two games. I say 'I', I mean the matches that I refereed. You learn to shut it out. In fact, I remember on one occasion where the air ambulance was attending, we moved to the pitch opposite, abandoned the pitch as the helicopter landed, resumed whilst it was on the ground, and moved as it went up again. Sure, it was a little bit stop-start, but we made good use of the time, and it was better than the kids doing nothing.

Would I do it again? Yes.

Gareth-Lee Smith
20-01-08, 21:01
Also, ctrainor, you also mention number 1 is player safety. Which player do you mean? Dixie has covered the other 29, but if you mean the injured party then I'm not sure upon what your argument is based.

A player goes down, I blow the whistle and call for the first aiders. I then do nothing. Unless it was an emergency (swallowed a tongue, bleeding profusely, etc.) I would never touch the player. I'm not qualified in first aid, and I'd have qualms about getting involved even if I was. So, I call in the first aiders, and if they no longer require my assistance (and who needs my supervision in a situation like that, anyway?) I go and talk to the players, point out what the next play will be (head injury, scrum to team in position) and wait it out. If an ambulance is required, I'd be tempted to change pitches if at all possible. I would ask the coaches in most situations though, although perhaps only the home coach.

If one of the coaches had a problem, why did he not approach the referee?

Greg Collins
20-01-08, 23:01
I think the way you reorganised the game was as fair as possible but I do beleive you should have consulted more or even abandoned the game.

fair comment


I for one would have serious reservations about restarting the game until the injured player had received proper medical attention or was seen to be "walking off/ regained conciousness".

Can't agree with the specifics of this point at my current stage of enlightenement as a ref. My responsibilities to an injured player surely end when the team 'physio' as taken over and the ambulance, if needed has been called? I'm not a doctor/paramedic & whilst I do have a first aid cert I'm not there as a first aider.


I doubt all players particularly his own team now had their minds on the game or indeed wanted to continue.

Not how I read it, very much the opposite in my view, but prepared to accept I may have read the situtation wrong.


I've never heard of this particuar circumstance happenning before although with the elements and pitch differences as you described I would not have moved pitch but waited for treatment/moving the player to be completed.
All could have retired to changing rooms prior to restart.
If it was getting dark I would definitely have abandoned the game and left it to the governing bodies.

fair comment


Number one priority Player safety not getting a game finished. Injured player was safe from further injury and in the charge of competant adults and paramedics on the scene before we restarted.

I doubt you were 100% on your game after the pitch change. My concern was for the safety of the 30 guys playing on, I tightened up like it was the first 10 minutes and put the injury, which I could have done nothing to prevent, out of my head until no side.


Defeated coach in my opinion has a reasonable gripe. and I have some sympathy with his arguement. Had I declared no side and abandoned the League Committee might have insisted that the match be replayed but then again they might not...

Had his side won would he have complained?

Thanks for sharing your comments, really valuable to hear opinions different to my own.

AlanT
21-01-08, 00:01
If the losing coach didn't say anything before the restart about not wanting to continue I don't think he can validly take that position retrospectively.

Just a couple of thoughts to add to those above.

1. I can see situations where I would want agreement from both coaches for a pitch change and restart. Can't tell if this would have been one of them.

2. I think deciding ends can be tricky. I had to restart on a new pitch in the second half of a 7s final and proposed (and got agreement from both teams) that the fairest way of deciding ends was for the team with the benefits of the conditions when we stopped (in this case a slight downhill advantage and side wind) should choose ends on the new pitch (which was flat, but had a breeze end-to-end). Everyone happy.

Knowing the two pitches involved with Greg's match I would have considered suggesting that each team has the benefit of that significant slope for half the remaining time each - unless the wind was a balancing factor. I'm not keen on tossing because one team could gain advantageous conditions for longer than the other just by luck - an equity thing?

3. I think I would have restarted the match wherever and however the restart would have been on the first pitch rather than a kick off from half way. That's what I did in that 7s match, anyway! Why should one team gain/lose territory/posession because of the change?

OB..
21-01-08, 00:01
This has happened twice in games I when I was playing. In the first case the player broke his leg. Spectators, including first aiders, looked after him and we moved to an adjacent pitch to continue the match.

The second was a broken/cracked pelvis. The player recognised it since he said it had happened to him 15 years before. Again the match was moved to an adjacent pitch, having made sure the injured player was being kept warm etc.

In both cases the ambulance took about 10 minutes to arrive. In the second it then took 30 minutes to stabilise the player and get him in the ambulance, by which time the match had ended.

The mood was rather subdued, but nobody wanted to abandon the game - and they were all "friendlies" in those days..

Simon Griffiths
21-01-08, 00:01
3. I think I would have restarted the match wherever and however the restart would have been on the first pitch rather than a kick off from half way. That's what I did in that 7s match, anyway! Why should one team gain/lose territory/posession because of the change?
Ah, I missed that part of the original post. I agree with this.

I'll restate my assertion that the coach had little grounds for complaint. He had every opportunity to question/complain/refuse the suggested idea - as I also said earlier, I can't imagine a junior coach who wouldn't (they don't usually shut up all game, they've usually got something to say...)

PS. Alan... Haven't you heard, equity doesn't matter anymore... ;)

Greg Collins
21-01-08, 08:01
1. I can see situations where I would want agreement from both coaches for a pitch change and restart. Can't tell if this would have been one of them. As can I, and this may have been one of them. But if he has made not a murmer when told, allows his players to troop over to the other pitch, gets his assistant to get them in a huddle, they wamr up, etc, etc, has he not consented in actions if not explicitly in words.?[/QUOTE]

(OK I protest too much I know - could have been handled it better)


2. Knowing the two pitches involved with Greg's match I would have considered suggesting that each team has the benefit of that significant slope for half the remaining time each - unless the wind was a balancing factor. I'm not keen on tossing because one team could gain advantageous conditions for longer than the other just by luck - an equity thing??

And that thought entered my head "7.5 minutes each way lads" and might, indeed, have been more equitable but it just didn't "feel" right at the time. Who gets to go uphill in that last seven minutes... let's toss for it maybe? Probably what I'd do next time though, toss and then 7.5 each way.


3. I think I would have restarted the match wherever and however the restart would have been on the first pitch rather than a kick off from half way. That's what I did in that 7s match, anyway! Why should one team gain/lose territory/posession because of the change?

good point well made. Had we not moved restart would have been a line out more or less on halfway green throw - with the move the hookers' got a different wind to contend with (not one line out after the restart went straight) is missing his target jumper, etc..

Just not enough erxperience of this sort of stuff under my belt to make it easier. I live and learn (I hope)

PaulDG
21-01-08, 09:01
The way I'd think I'd handle this would be to call the coaches over (at adult matches the captains) and say simply that it's not safe to carry on on this pitch and did they wish to continue and if so what options did they have.

Had we restarted on a new pitch I'd probably have gone for a scrum at my best guess of the relative place of the previous stop. If I'd no idea where that was I'd have gone for a scrum at the centre.

As it was a league game, I'd expect to record all this on the score sheet (including score at the time of the change of pitch) and leave it to the league to sort out what the result meant.