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Brian Ravenhill
17-11-05, 11:11
Recently I refereed a Daily Mail U18. By half time the score was 38-0 to the home side (red), and frustration and raised tempers on the losing side resulted. Bearing in mind the ruling that play should end after the scoring of 50 points, I adjusted my interpretation of certain laws to the benefit of the losing team (yellow). If yellow knocked on and reds got possession no mater how scrappy, advantage was over. If reds knocked on yellow got possession advantage lasted until they had gained a significant amount of ground. Red props had to bind with their arms in exactly the right position or else they were penalised. Yellows could do as they wanted as long as they safety of the scrum was maintained (although a quiet word as to what they should do was passed on). If reds didn’t roll away instantly they were penalised. If yellow hang around the ball at tackles I told reds to move him legally. Reds passes had to be at least a considerable distance backwards. Or else I blew for a forward pass. As long as yellows got it the next player I was happy. There was no leeway for foul play and yellow skipper cooled down for 10 minutes after a boot didn’t make contact with the ground at a ruck! As a result the game lasted the full 70 minutes and yellows scored 14 points, whilst conceding no more.

Did I do the right thing to allow the players to run around for the full 70 minutes as opposed to probably 40 had I not seen some ‘forward’ passes?:confused:

Did I make reds work too hard?:confused:

Did I make a mockery of a national cup competition?:confused:

ex-lucy
17-11-05, 11:11
seems fine to me Brian, i would say good empathetic reffing ... i did something similar in a club 14s match and got castigated royally in the clubhouse by the home/winning side coaches ... and parents ... i asked them to think of the wider picture as fas as rugby goes ... do we really want to lose the kids from the losing team when they lose 70 nil? and they get better next season or after that and you may want a fixture with them ...
they said "who are you to play god?"
I havent been invited to ref that team since ... indeed asked to do a game a few weeks ago and got told "no" .. my daughter (same age) has been told by some the boys at school that their coaches think "i am a cheat" ...
what can you do ?

tim White
17-11-05, 12:11
Seems like a cruel, hard lesson to confirm you play it absolutely fair/consistent to both sides in your interpretation of the laws. The empathy bit comes, I think, when you nudge the coach/captains to accept the same view before you implement it.

I also fully accept it is really hard to watch, and participate in such a one sided game and Not do something. Remember the miss-match is not of your making and the coaches/captain/parents should be taking more responsibility here.

ExHookah
17-11-05, 14:11
seems fine to me Brian, i would say good empathetic reffing ... i did something similar in a club 14s match and got castigated royally in the clubhouse by the home/winning side coaches ... and parents ... i asked them to think of the wider picture as fas as rugby goes ... do we really want to lose the kids from the losing team when they lose 70 nil? and they get better next season or after that and you may want a fixture with them ...
they said "who are you to play god?"
I havent been invited to ref that team since ... indeed asked to do a game a few weeks ago and got told "no" .. my daughter (same age) has been told by some the boys at school that their coaches think "i am a cheat" ...
what can you do ?

Ex-Lucy,

I think you had the right idea, but the parents and coaches simply wanted to see their team hand out a royal "ass-whupping".

I was involved in a match recently (team of three) where the home team were decimating the visitors, yet I had the coach in my ear the entire first half screaming about minor technical points. I told him to calm down, look to see if something was really material, and accept that his team was never in danger of losing. To be honest his team was never in danger of being put under pressure it was that one sided.

I think at junior levels it's very important to make sure that the losing team still has fun and learns and wants to come back next week/season/year. While we can't control much of that, some of the onus there could/should be placed on both coaches to ensure the right atmosphere is promoted.

Simon Thomas
17-11-05, 14:11
This is always a difficult issue and I support every effort to encourage the less-able, skilled, funded etc to play rugby.

However as a referee we all know the 'holy trinity' - safety, equity and law (where material and / or if no advantage results).

If you pro-actively try to influence the equity of your law application, in any competitive match (league especially) if it appears one sided, I feel you are making potential rods for your own back.

In a high profile National Cup competition such as Daily Mail and at U18 level, I would continued to referee as normal to the 50 pts and stop.
At lower ages perhaps more flexibilty is possible, and in a friendly / trials I would do as you relate above Brian. This is why I am so opposed to Leagues below Colts level, as it will concentrate all on the win and maximum points, rather than enjoyment and encouragement for as many young players as possible.

robertti
17-11-05, 15:11
Whilst I think this issue has been debated pretty heavily in another thread, I would say that although I can understand where you are coming from Brian - I think you did go a little bit too far. Maybe a bit of empathy towards the losing side is okay, to a limited extent. But blowing forward passes for ones that clearly arent forward and blowing binding infringements up when they arent relly material is going a but too far.

[Edited to say "Brian" and not "Bryan"]

Simon Griffiths
17-11-05, 18:11
I will make a basic assumption here Brian...


Did I make reds work too hard?:confused:
Too right! I was only on for fifteen minutes or so and was well and truly knackered! :D Mind you, my ankle didn't help matters!


Did I make a mockery of a national cup competition?:confused:
It would be fair to say that the yellow captain managed that on his own (on many occassions). I think all you did was give yellows a chance to play rugby (as they only touched the ball about once in the first half) which is what everyone was there for. Their two tries were certainly not 'made' by the empathetic refereeing, one very poor missed tackle ( :o ) and a charge down.

As it happens, everyone (certainly on our side) was very impressed with the refereeing and I'm sure yellows appreciated it too (sort of).

Brian Ravenhill
18-11-05, 13:11
A direct question to Noddy really but a coaches view would also help.
Would you or any of your team-mates have preferred me not to have blown the 'forward' pass immediately after half time which stopped an otherwise certain try, and thus had to end the game after the following try, probably immediately after the restart and finished the game before 40 minutes.
Noddy, your not allowed to say yes just to save your blushes for the missed tackle that lead to the try, or had you caught the empathy bug and trying too to keep yellow interested!

didds
18-11-05, 15:11
well, here's ONE coach's viewpoint. I stress it may not be one shared by others.

IMO the 50 point rule is a valid one, and one FWIW I would see uised at senior levels too - at least below some level or other (national leagues?). I feel that while empathy is certainly part of a referee's armoury by the same token it is not within a referee's remit to see fit to ignore the laws as (s)he sees fit. I do accept that the actoiopns described in this thread were done for the best of reasons BUT nonetheless they were outside of the scope of the laws at times as described.

"Dicking" or not IMO the laws should have been applied as equally in the 42nd minute as they were in the 1st.

IF I were the coach of the side that got walloped I would have preferred to have my players put out of their misery by a 50 point no-side ratyer than a - WADR - patronising application of the laws presented in order to "keep them in the game". There is no shame in being destroyed by a better team. The only shame is in not trying to the end (whenever that "end" comes) - and that is no concern of the referee.

YMMV.

cheers

didds

Pablo
18-11-05, 15:11
- WADR -

:confused:

OB..
18-11-05, 16:11
Waste Acid Detoxification and Reclamation (WADR) (http://picturethis.pnl.gov/picturet.nsf/All/3REM44?opendocument)

Jacko
18-11-05, 18:11
Or "with all due respect" for those not wanting to torment others with their googling skills.

didds
18-11-05, 18:11
wadr = with all due respect

didds

baaas
22-11-05, 23:11
if the game had been managed from the first minute against reds ,neither team would have noticed the difference.as you clearly state one team was better than the other.
teams know that when they play a side that is weaker than they are, they tend to play within the laws for fear of bbeing penalised all the time for 'minor' offences.
the important phrase here is 'managing the game'.if the game management is right then ther is no need to 'assist' yellow.

Jacko
23-11-05, 01:11
Are you suggesting being overly harsh on a team that starts strongly? This seems like a bad idea. Many's the time a team doesn't start well in the first 5/10 minutes but recover to compete. Making calls that aren't what you actually see early on could swing the result of the match.

Simon Griffiths
23-11-05, 17:11
A direct question to Noddy really but a coaches view would also help.
Would you or any of your team-mates have preferred me not to have blown the 'forward' pass immediately after half time which stopped an otherwise certain try, and thus had to end the game after the following try, probably immediately after the restart and finished the game before 40 minutes.
Noddy, your not allowed to say yes just to save your blushes for the missed tackle that lead to the try, or had you caught the empathy bug and trying too to keep yellow interested!
Brian, if it was forward, then we can have no qualms. No-one likes being penalised, and I'd love to go through a game without being so (actually, maybe not, a few breathers are always welcome :rolleyes: ). If it was one of the empathetic, marginal calls that wouldn't usually have been given, but it was none the less forward, then again, no qualms - if it's forward it's forward.

If I have a bias with this answer, then I would have preferred it to have been given (as I wouldn't have made it on otherwise :D ).

As a referee/spectator I have the 'empathy bug', but as a player, I would have been quite happy sending them packing minutes into the second half with a half-century of unanswered points! :)

baaas
24-11-05, 22:11
:D no.jacko.all i'm saying is that if you manage the game from the start you don't have any knowledge of the weaker side until the end of the game .
make calls that have not happened??? not on your nelly!!!
start strong end strong.

ex-lucy
25-11-05, 09:11
baaas "...if you manage the game from the start..."

define 'manage the game' in a bit more detail please.

Jacko
25-11-05, 16:11
Or more pertinantly "manage ... against reds". Sounds a bit dodgy to me!!