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Dave Sherwin
08-12-14, 15:12
I noticed that from somewhere around the middle of last season, top level refs had started standing in what I was always taught was the 'zipper' position at the back of the lineout - essentially looking down the gap. When I was last being regularly assessed in domestic matches this was considered a big no-no. It also seems to result in the referee's shoulders being east-west when a constant focus of the coaching I have received (and given!) in recent years has been maintaining a north-south body shape for breadth of view. I am sure this is a conscious change, the genesis of which I'd like to learn and pass on. Thanks!

buff
08-12-14, 15:12
I was also taught very early on that this was a no-no. I think the difference comes from having AR's who are miked up and can watch any nonsense at the front of the lineout. This then allows the ref to get across the pitch quite quickly.

crossref
08-12-14, 15:12
I think that the big factor here is whether you have ARs (with comms) or not.

Standing in the zipper position, rather than the 5m channel, has the great advantage of being MUCH closer to the next breakdown when they pass it out, (and not chasing with a load of forwards either), but
- you can't see if the ball travels 5m
- the backs are behind you so you can't check they are 10m

but of course if you have ARs they can see these things for you.

reffing without ARs, I prefer to stand at the front, in the 5m channel.

Dave Sherwin
08-12-14, 15:12
Sorry - I wasn't clear. No problem with being at the back (I am fortunate to have miked ARs pretty much every game), but was always suggested that I should be offset, roughly level with the receiver of the throwing team (if they have one!), roughly 20 metres infield. What I was always taught to avoid was staring down the gap. When in my 'traditional' back of the line position, I can still have my shoulders north-south.

- - - Updated - - -

And I should add, of course, that elite refs have long been at the back. The change of trend I was identifying was moving from offset to zipper.

Jacko
08-12-14, 16:12
Sorry - I wasn't clear. No problem with being at the back (I am fortunate to have miked ARs pretty much every game), but was always suggested that I should be offset, roughly level with the receiver of the throwing team (if they have one!), roughly 20 metres infield. What I was always taught to avoid was staring down the gap. When in my 'traditional' back of the line position, I can still have my shoulders north-south.

- - - Updated - - -

And I should add, of course, that elite refs have long been at the back. The change of trend I was identifying was moving from offset to zipper.

Couple of reasons spring to mind. Better position to spot the back lifter getting in front of ball carrier to obstruct. Also, when you're offset you can be in the way when ball comes quickly off the top and the 9 passes flat(ish) to a big back rower on a crash ball straight at the defending 10.

OB..
08-12-14, 16:12
If you stand on the line of touch, then as soon as the gap closes (players go for the ball) you lose sight of what is happening at the front.

If you merely start on the line of touch but move as soon as the ball is in the air, you may still get a decent view.

Dave Sherwin
08-12-14, 16:12
First of those reasons makes a lot of sense to me, but I would hope I'm not sufficiently static for the second to be an issue! Jacko, was this shift the result of a conscious change in coaching of Panel and elite refs?

Dave Sherwin
08-12-14, 16:12
I don't disagree OB, but I have to say that's not what I see happening very much! Also, if the intention is to move off the LOT as soon as the ball is launched, you arguably lose the benefit which Jacko was addressing, and query why you wouldn't start offset in any event. In truth, I have little strong preference, but was interested as to the genesis of such a clear change in style occurring among all elite refs at pretty much the same time.

OB..
08-12-14, 23:12
I don't disagree OB, but I have to say that's not what I see happening very much! Also, if the intention is to move off the LOT as soon as the ball is launched, you arguably lose the benefit which Jacko was addressing, and query why you wouldn't start offset in any event. In truth, I have little strong preference, but was interested as to the genesis of such a clear change in style occurring among all elite refs at pretty much the same time.I don't really like to see an unsupported referee in the zipper position, and they usually tend to be static as well..

Getting in the way of the attackers is a perennial problem , at rucks as well. You just have to learn how to keep out of the way (and accept that if they do something unexpected, you may fail).

Jacko implies that it is usually the back lifter who moves across - would that be (in part) because they expect the referee to be at the front?! In any case, it something I rarely see at my levels.

Dickie E
09-12-14, 00:12
I like being in the zipper position and I see it as all part of the evolution of the game. But it does get me criticised by the clipboard boys.

Used to be that the ref ALWAYS stood on feeding side of scrum but now more varaition seen (often to the confusing of the SH).

Just as I was starting there was a move away from D line positioning to A line positioning now I think its ball-line positioning.

Next thing you know ref will stop being alongside kicker at restarts and be in a more sensible position nearer where the ball will land.

Drift
09-12-14, 04:12
I like being in the zipper position and I see it as all part of the evolution of the game. But it does get me criticised by the clipboard boys.

Used to be that the ref ALWAYS stood on feeding side of scrum but now more varaition seen (often to the confusing of the SH).

Just as I was starting there was a move away from D line positioning to A line positioning now I think its ball-line positioning.

Next thing you know ref will stop being alongside kicker at restarts and be in a more sensible position nearer where the ball will land.

I agree with everything you have said apart from the last point. What if a referee sees all of the forwards on the right hand side and decides to go there but the play is switched and the kick off goes to the other side. That's a bigger run compared to just running after the ball.

Dickie E
09-12-14, 05:12
What if a referee sees all of the forwards on the right hand side and decides to go there but the play is switched and the kick off goes to the other side.

stand in the middle, midway between 10 metre line and 22.

menace
09-12-14, 08:12
stand in the middle, midway between 10 metre line and 22.
You just don't want to run!

But otherwise, I agree... In essence the positioning isn't an issue provided you're not consistently missing anything material!

Balones
09-12-14, 09:12
It has tended to happen as referees have asked miked up ARs to stand away from the line of touch after the line has formed so that they can advise the referee on anything nefarious along the line or the front. The referee at the tail has a better view of gap closing, stepping across and possible obstruction of the catcher.
Dave - when standing at the back do you ask your ARs to stand to one side?
Same question to Jacko.

crossref
09-12-14, 09:12
Next thing you know ref will stop being alongside kicker at restarts and be in a more sensible position nearer where the ball will land.

On Saturday I reffed with very low, bright sunshine coming directly sideways across the pitch, and when in my eyes making the white lines completely invisible. The losing team were doing short restarts and it was important to know where the 10m line was ... so I stood on it.

I found it was - all round - a much better place to stand.

Jacko
09-12-14, 09:12
It has tended to happen as referees have asked miked up ARs to stand away from the line of touch after the line has formed so that they can advise the referee on anything nefarious along the line or the front. The referee at the tail has a better view of gap closing, stepping across and possible obstruction of the catcher.
Dave - when standing at the back do you ask your ARs to stand to one side?
Same question to Jacko.

I don't ask my ARs to stand anywhere. I tell them what I want them to look for and trust them to know what is the best position to see that from.
Someone asked if there was specific direction for us to move to predominantly in the zipper. Not as far as I remember. We spoke about spending more time at the back and trusting ARs to manage the front, so that we could get a better picture of what the back lifter was doing (and what was being done to him) and being able to accurately determine when people went over the 15m line. The move to zipper from offset is just preference as far as I'm aware.

Balones
09-12-14, 11:12
Thanks Jacko. That's basically what I meant. Refs ask the ARs to deal with the front and input as appropriate. To do that they generally have to step to the side.

Browner
09-12-14, 11:12
Next thing you know ref will stop being alongside kicker at restarts and be in a more sensible position nearer where the ball will land.

That's me, i stand about 7m in front, am I doing it wrong ?? :shrug::hap:

Dave Sherwin
09-12-14, 12:12
Thanks Jacko. That's basically what I meant. Refs ask the ARs to deal with the front and input as appropriate. To do that they generally have to step to the side.

And I go with this too (sorry, just waking up this side of the pond!).

Thanks both - a helpful discussion and will discuss with colleagues over here too.

As for positioning at KO, I've quietly disagreed with the received wisdom for a long time, but don't have much choice but to go along with it when the tape is under scrutiny!!

menace
09-12-14, 12:12
That's me, i stand about 7m in front, am I doing it wrong ?? :shrug::hap:

Not until the ball gets kicked into the back of your head.

SimonSmith
09-12-14, 12:12
Not until the ball gets kicked into the back of your head.

The only time I've seen this happen - Mr Thomas may have been there - was at Alton when the referee adopted the approved position for the start of the second half, and got the switched kick into the side of his head.
KO before he hit the ground.

The pithy observation from the Big Kahuna Assessor was "that's the best thing he's done all game"

ddjamo
09-12-14, 13:12
without ARs I move closer to the 10m on kick offs/restarts. with ARs I go where I need to go and often change it up while communicating and based on previous kicks/strategy. the clipboards have yet to say a word...guess it's how well you communicate and get the job done.

there's no way you can see better when you are on a 3/4 to full sprint vs moving quickly into a position, settling and watching. also, the bs about us not being able to see players in front of kickers is just that...if we cannot detect that then there is no way we could manage two back lines at a lineout.

Dickie E
09-12-14, 20:12
the bs about us not being able to see players in front of kickers is just that...if we cannot detect that then there is no way we could manage two back lines at a lineout.

Look at their feet and listen for boot hitting ball. Same like a baseball umpire does.

Nigib
09-12-14, 20:12
Not until the ball gets kicked into the back of your head.

It doesn't if you stand in the right place :-)
I've always stood between half way and 10, looking along to the attacking players. This enables me to see anyone over the line before the ball goes. I can also see the kicker (yes, Menace, stand far enough away). Check with kicker if not clear where they are going, stand back if the intent is to disguise the kick in some way. Otherwise, added advantage that the players see me looking directly at them so know I can see any transgression. Even had an 'advisor' once telling me he had never seen that positioning before, and thought it was a great idea as I surely could see far more than stuck on the line with the kicker. Which is why I do it, and as preventative management. And I'm in the camp generally of it doesn't matter where you position yourself, as long as you can see what's happening.

Nigib
09-12-14, 20:12
I don't ask my ARs to stand anywhere. I tell them what I want them to look for and trust them to know what is the best position to see that from.
Someone asked if there was specific direction for us to move to predominantly in the zipper. Not as far as I remember. We spoke about spending more time at the back and trusting ARs to manage the front, so that we could get a better picture of what the back lifter was doing (and what was being done to him) and being able to accurately determine when people went over the 15m line. The move to zipper from offset is just preference as far as I'm aware.

That's really interesting to know Jacko - I had also noticed the trend, so frequently in televised matches that I thought it had to be an enforced edict from on high

Simon Thomas
09-12-14, 22:12
That's me, i stand about 7m in front, am I doing it wrong ?? :shrug::hap:

Just being a lazy bar steward :biggrin:

Simon Thomas
09-12-14, 22:12
The only time I've seen this happen - Mr Thomas may have been there - was at Alton when the referee adopted the approved position for the start of the second half, and got the switched kick into the side of his head.
KO before he hit the ground.

The pithy observation from the Big Kahuna Assessor was "that's the best thing he's done all game"

Indeed I was there, cup semi final Basingstoke and Mr Mortimore Society Appts Sec and ex Panel TJ and Basingstoke club member took over the whistle and did a great job.

menace
09-12-14, 22:12
That's me, i stand about 7m in front, am I doing it wrong ?? :shrug::hap:


Just being a lazy bar steward :biggrin:

Or what we like to call in these parts "the fat mans position"

ddjamo
09-12-14, 23:12
Look at their feet and listen for boot hitting ball. Same like a baseball umpire does.

exactly.

Dave Sherwin
09-12-14, 23:12
Look at their feet and listen for boot hitting ball. Same like a baseball umpire does.

100% agree, and the advice I give to all developing refs.

tim White
10-12-14, 17:12
the referee adopted the approved position for the start of the second half, and got the switched kick into the side of his head.


Had just one of those -but at least I asked the kicker to tell me if I was going to be in the way :wtf:

Browner
10-12-14, 17:12
Just being a lazy bar steward :biggrin:

& I thought I was getting 7m closer to the first forearm smash being delivered , we're not all blessed with watching kickers who can hang it long enough.


As an aside, I recall an away match in Gloucestershire where one of our 2nd Rows got knocked unconscious 'before' the ball had landed from the match kick off ! !