View Full Version : U19 Player injured - play on ?

Simon Thomas
16-12-05, 10:12
An interesting situation arose last Sunday afternoon. Two good Colts sides, with full squads of 26 including their county and divisional players. I had reffed both sides before this season and many of the players for schools/colleges sides too, plus both coaches are old adverseries (and drinking buddies) from playing days. The match was close all the way through, excellent play from both teams - a good level 8 for skills and physicality, plus match at level 6 speeds on occasions (puff puff) ! I had to work hard on preventatives throughout keeping tackle/post tackle clear and offside lines intact.
With 10 mins to go red on attack in green 22, ball cleared to touch by green and red formed line out quickly, defending green forming their's, and red hooker ready to throw. There had been good continuity of play and red had been steadily exerting pressure over 10 minutes period.
Big shout from Mr Grumpy parent (no doubt an elite referee from all his advice during the match) about green centre down injured on half way line (for third time in quick succession) - centre was on his knees, and physio was there. So I called "play-on, physio in attendance, player up".
Mr Grumpy went ballistic and kept up a stream of shouting about stop the game, he's injured, safety is your priority, etc. Play continued with red banging away at line, couple of rucks, held up short, so went to 5m scrum defending side. Called time-off to check on injured player, who by now was sprinting back to his own goal line !
Mr Grumpy kept his complaints up to the final whistle, tried to talk me even before I went through players' tunnel, and nabbed me in bar as I was discussing match with both coaches together. He was furious when home coach told him to go away.
Red coach happy that I played on, green coach admitted it would have relieved pressure if I had stopped, but that he was happy as physio was there and player up.
Mr Grumpy kept loudly complaining in conversation with other spectators in bar about me ignoring an injured player. I didn't talk to him as I felt an objective debate was unlikely.
Was I right to play on ?

tim White
16-12-05, 11:12
Yes. Clearly the injury was not serious and the physio was in attendance. The injury was unfortunate but naturally the greens wanted their full strength defence, this is not your problem. It also depends on how you treated other injuries during the match, I tend only to stop for apparently serious injuries or to key players at the set piece (hooker, scrum half) - if you have been consistent all through then only one person looks like a fool to me, and both coaches seem to agree.

Note to all. see how little it takes to spoil a referee's enjoyment of a whole game. you may have had a good game but one niggle has taken the edge off the whole experience.

Keep up the good work, think about how you could, perhaps have handled things differently (if you should have) and MOVE ON.

16-12-05, 13:12
Sounds like a good game of rugby all round.

I agree with you totally, and if this had happened earlier in the game, I might have been tempted to red card Mr Grumpy.

16-12-05, 13:12
interesting. As it was a line out, i think i would have stopped play, clock off, and gone and checked on player. Even in a senior match.
If it had been in general play i would have played on because physio was in attendance.
Simon, what would you have done in this situation if it had been an U14 match?

Simon Thomas
16-12-05, 14:12
ex-Lucy - at U14 no arguments, I would stop immediately.
The only reason I played on is that red were keen to go and maintain their attacking continuity, green could have not formed the line but had done, and supposedly injured player was on his knees and had physio there (on half way line !)
I believe we see too much fiegned / deliberate / pretend injury to slow down quick penalties in 22m red zone, or disrupt the attacking side's continuity. It used to bug me as a player and still does as a referee. And I am consistent in letting them get on with it. If the injured player(s) are out of the way, and physio is in attendance, I will play on to end of that cycle, certainly in adult rugby, if a score is possible.
Level 6,7,8 expect it to so they can have a rest at every opportunity. Maybe one area where the Community Game should copy Elite matches ?

16-12-05, 14:12
Simon - serious question is it?

You're an experienced referee operating at a good level. Trust your judgement and your "read" of the situation.

Look at it this way: He's on his knees; the physio is in attendance. What do you accomplish by stopping the game? Is that going to change the treatment he gets from the physio in some way? If the games HAS to stop, the physio would have let you know.

Seems to me to be a bit of a no-brainer TBH!

16-12-05, 14:12
Simon - I would say that playing on was a reasonable decision; physio in attendance; presumably not getting over-excited and waving dramatically. Though, at my level, I would have been strongly tempted, at the break in play (the lineout) to stop play, clock off, and just gone to check. That would cost little in terms of momentum of the game, would satisfy me that all was (or not) well. If it was serious then we could get the player off the pitch, if not then jog back to lineout and put time back on and play on.

16-12-05, 14:12
Simon, yes if it had been a pen then play on (IMHO) but it was a line out. So i would have stopped. That is my judgement.
T'other Simon and Davet have it correct ... at our level and with our relative inesp we would have stopped but with your exp .. it is up to you as you see it... ignore the idiots, back yourself and trust your own judgement... (you cant pls all of the people all of the time)
me, i would have stopped play etc ... you wouldnt ... i ref level 10 .. you ref level 7.
I will ask my level 4/5 mate what he would have done.
But you would have stopped at U14.... what is the diff between U14s and U19s as far as this scenario is concerned ? Both u19s!!
would you have stopped play in a U16s match? Where do you draw the line?
as an aside, after 3rd injury i would have demanded that that player be replaced.
I had an issue in a U16 match where a similar situation happened.
hooker went down 3rd time in 10 mins so i asked for him to be replaced.
He was replaced.
Second half, first scrum there he was again so i sent him off asking for his replacement back.

16-12-05, 14:12
Don't U16s allow rolling subs?

Maybe after a good rest he was OK to play-on?

16-12-05, 15:12
davet: diff between subs and replacements ? yes at junior levels in non cup/ league matches i allow rolling subs/ replacements ... but if a player is injured and subsituted then he is out for the rest of the match.
Sat: i had a blood injury/ replacement at half time. Player wanted to come back on after 18mins. Merit table match. so i didnt allow it.

Mike Whittaker
16-12-05, 20:12
Simon, no problem with playing on given level of game, state of play and physio attendance..

Agree with Tim that you may wish to think if you could have managed the situation in any other way with regard to the Mr Grumpy... maybe not in which case also agree with Tim... move on.