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Thread: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

      
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    Question Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    Hi all, reffed my first game last night, an U15 school game, got through it and looking forward to the next one, albeit with a fairly long list of improvements! I give myself 6/10 but happy i got through it with one really gobby master from the touchline, and no players injured.

    I wasn't helped that both teams had matching jerseys (both black on red with only a subtle pattern difference, and no alternative strips to play in...) but one area I really struggled with was rucks and mauls.

    In rucks, players from both teams were going off their feet and in mauls players were coming from everywhere, I guess mildly typical for a lower level game. My difficulty was pinging either team, as both were as bad as the other. Any thoughts or suggestions? I suspect a greater jersey contrast may have helped but i was getting frustrated knowing i should be penalising someone.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Al

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    Welcome to the forum.
    You will get plenty of advice here.

    You have started with a very broad question on probably the 2 most difficult phases to manage/officiate so you may be inundated with all sorts of advice and suggestions.

    My own advice would be at this age group to somewhat avoid a mass of bodies and too much leniency to let a free for all of infringements...as it will lead to flash points with these pubescent hot head kids.

    Keep an eye on when the tackle phase turns to a ruck..if you be vigilant on keeping the tackle clean and pinging infringements then and there you may find your rucks clean up. But try and spot the first offence that is clear and obvious an offence AND has had an impact on play/outcome (ie material effect). If you nail that with PKs early then they learn quick. It is ok to let things play out a little to see if play can continue without having to blow the pea all the time but mentally note first offence and offender and if they have had a n effect on play being able to continue then penalise them.

    There are literally hundreds of things that will make a ruck or maul go to shite so it's hard to pin point one thing you should do. I would suggest that you create a checklist on your mind of each players obligations at a ruck/maul and that will help you get good pictures of what you should be seeing...and when the picture isnt right youll find it easier to identify who it was that offended (and the offence). Watch video of good clean rucks and mauls and this will help you identify what players did to make them so.

    It will become easier with experience.
    Tell em it's Law 23 and smile

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    The refs here will give you loads of excellent advice.

    As a coach my "advice" would be as much as possible

    - be positive in your blowing (ie don;t be sheepish).
    - retain authority
    - maintain a rapport with both skippers and if necessary (youth etc) the coaches/teachers.
    - have an iron fist within a velvet glove - don't take any shit from anybody - including (especially!) coaches/teachers.

    The refs here can advise in procedures and protocols to shut a gobby coach/teacher up ie non player

    and most importantly

    - enjoy your reffing. If you enjoy it your enthusiasm will tell and will be seen as a positive thing.

    And thank you for reffing.

    didds

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    Welcome!

    I find U15 the toughest youth age group to ref - the combination of all the hormones, wanting to play like the grownups but not quite having the experience/co-ordination/understanding, yet still being reasonably fast and so on... it's a tough call for a first match Good that you're already thinking about improvement points too. You were unfortunate not to have one team that could turn their shirts inside out to play in white!

    At that age level, I'm pleasantly surprised if I make it through the first five rucks without having to blow for going off feet. Blow early, explain clearly that you're not having it. That alone gives more room for fair contest at the ruck and should clean things up. Generally, I think you can be OK blowing quickly in the first ten minutes just to set expectations, even if you'd be inclined to let it breathe later in the game. An early penalty for technical offences like offside, off feet, side entry etc sends a message while they're still fresh and alert enough for it to sink in.

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    Hi Al

    Welcome and well done, 6/10 on your first game reflects a positive performance.

    I agree with all said above and would add one thing.
    U15s know what they are doing. At this age they have enough experience to be responsible for their actions so do not be too forgiving. Below this age perhaps allow a bit more leniency but be clear and firm from the outset.

    Don’t allow back chat and fire out an early yellow if you feel that you are being continually pressurised, you will be amazed at how quickly things calm down.

    Give a brief and clear explanation for why you have blown but do not enter into discussion or extended explanations. If they don’t understand the laws (and they won’t) then discuss issues with the coaches afterwards. During the game you are the authority on law.

    Well done and as other have said, enjoy yourself.
    Last edited by Jolly Roger; 18-01-18 at 14:01.
    Keep smiling!

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    Thank you all who've already responded. In case it wasn't clear, I totally enjoyed it, and itching for the chance to improve on the bits I know weren't precise enough! I've seen the great support on this forum, and also within our referee association. I'm hoping to have an assessor or mentor at my next game for a more objective POV.

    I think my journey from player to spectator to ref has led me to want to let games flow as much as possible, not to be too officious but I think I need to ensure that doesn't get in the way of keeping players in line.

    Thanks again, all comments being taken on board.

    Al

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    One thing to be careful with is the shirts. You say the shirts were very similar. Why? Both sides should know what the colours are and should be prepared for it and you need to know, in case your shirt is involved in a colour clash. Rucks and maul with nearly identical shirts is a nightmare.

    Start firm and be prepared to ease up if the conditions are right to do so. Trying to regain authority after you have reliquished it is a nightmare.

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    As other have said, well done and welcome.

    I had the shirt problem last year, what I should have done is get the home team to change or turn inside out. Beauty of hindsight....

    Re. rucks and mauls, I struggle here to. They say focus on the first offence but it all happens so quick. Still, this is the best advice. You are generally going from a tackle to a ruck, so look at the tackler first (releasing the talked player prior to going back in and competing for the ball, and coming back in from an onside position) then the tackled player (release the ball) then arriving players (on their feet, onside, not collapsing etc.).

    Easier said than done I know, by the time I process all that 8 seconds have gone and it's all gone to s%*t! But keep it in mind and the more you practice the better you will get and your decision making will get quicker.

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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    The easiest way to approach this is with some visualisations to help you get the process clear in your head.

    When someone grabs the ball carrier just watch to see when/if it becomes a tackle (ball carrier to ground and held).

    Vocalisation at this point will help you recognise what has happened, so a shout of "tackle, release" may help you recognise what phase of play you have just entered. It will also instruct the tackler or tackle assist to release and move away.

    When the tackler/tackle assist has released you are looking for phase 2. Ball carrier to place/pass the ball.

    Once that is completed go to phase 3. Any other player arriving on their feet and through the gate.

    With any event you are having trouble with, just break it down like this and then visualise it over and over in your mind. You are building a mental picture of what you expect to see, so when it happens you are already ahead of the game because if you see something that looks vaguely like your mental picture then your brain will move to the next phase without having to analyse everything in the picture.

    It's a bit like when you are looking down a long list of names to find your own name. You don't read every single name becasue you have a mental picture of what your name looks like written down and you are just scanning the list to match the pictures.

    It's the same with events on a rugby pitch. Eventually with enough practise you will be ticking off the phases without even thinking about it. This then releases parts of your brain to do other things like scanning offside lines (another mental picture, where do you expect to see them standing) and so forth.

    A lot of this comes with experience, but practising visualisations can speed up the process.

    And one other thing....nothing you have described is unusual in a new referee, we have all been down that road.

    Follow my Award Winning blog The Rugby Ref


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    Default Re: Multiple issues from both sides at ruck and maul time

    Thanks one and all again, and Phil E, I've just spotted your blog which I've favourited, some great responses there too.

    I have another question about watching offside lines at lineout time, but that can wait for next week!

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