Equity

Balones

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As an aside to another thread, where would you/can you apply ‘equity’ over/before ‘law? Got some examples?
We all know safety comes first.
 

jdeagro


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Question too difficult?:)
I will say that was the first time I've heard of that ordered list from the dropped ball in a maul thread. I like it though and would also be interested in some examples here.
 

Dickie E


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In Australian rugby, "equity" is about who is lending money to the peak bodies 😉
 

Dickie E


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As an aside to another thread, where would you/can you apply ‘equity’ over/before ‘law? Got some examples?
We all know safety comes first.
So that we all start from the same place, would you post a link to the world rugby document that uses the word 'equity' please?
 

RemainingInTheGame


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I'm not sure around equity - but we could start at the other end and look at laws we all know aren't generally enforced and see if we think equity may be the reason for this?

I would suggest some examples that we could look at:
1) Feeding straight in the scrum
2) Awarding a penalty try for a 'more favourable position' from which to kick
3) Incorrectly taken penalty (this may be a particular NSW juniors issue as Rugby League taps are different from Union - and so a large amount of taps are incorrect, and very rarely is a scrum awarded, instead it's just called back and taken again).

I think for 2 & 3 they are not enforced as the sanction seems harsh - so this could be an 'equity' case.

(I think 1 has so many issues that it's hard to understand if this is due to equity).
 
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jdeagro


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I'm not sure around equity - but we could start at the other end and look at laws we all know aren't generally enforced and see if we think equity may be the reason for this?

I would suggest some examples that we could look at:
1) Feeding straight in the scrum
2) Awarding a penalty try for a 'more favourable position' from which to kick
3) Incorrectly taken penalty (this may be a particular NSW juniors issue as Rugby League taps are different from Union - and so a large amount of taps are incorrect, and very rarely is a scrum awarded, instead it's just called back and taken again).
Perhaps you could elaborate on these? #1 is enforced where I play. #2 results in no kick, penalty tries are automatically converted. #3 I could see being an application of equity perhaps depending on how it's applied to which level of players. I do see more flexibility allowed by the ref to correct one's self at lower levels on this common mistake. Similarly one could say for collapsed scrums being reset more often as opposed to straight to penalty, at lower levels, when no malicious intent was done.

Another way perhaps equity comes into play is on a windy day when the ref allows more lienencny on what's considered a straight throw (for both teams), for the sake of not having to devolve the lineout into a scrum every time.
 
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Dickie E


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Here's a good definition:
'The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances'


Based on that, I'm going to go easier on the weak team & harder on the strong team 👍
 

RemainingInTheGame


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Sorry @jdeagro will elaborate.

In Australia scrum feeds are often not straight and this is not sanctioned - this goes up to Super Rugby level (although we might have had one or two called not straight this year, and maybe even one last week where the hooker did not hook for the ball) - may not be an issue in the US but I think most AU referees would agree that it's a bit haphazard in it's enforcement here.

For 2, you are correct - but what I am saying is that we very rarely see a penalty try awarded when advantage is played and a try is eventually scored - even though the infringement prevented a try being scored in place where the kick would have been easier (i.e. more favourable).

Agree with your point around windy days and throw in.

So maybe if we loop back to @Balones query what we could say is that we have some examples where equity is used to allow for a better experience for the players [e.g. line out throws on windy days] or where we think the penalty may outweigh the scale of the infringement [e.g. penalty tries not being awarded when a try is actually scored, even though the laws mentions they can be for a more favourable position].

Hopefully that view of 'equity' also lines up with @Dickie E 's definition. (although maybe it's more equality!)
 
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jdeagro


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Here's a good definition:
'The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances'


Based on that, I'm going to go easier on the weak team & harder on the strong team 👍

Actually that's a good point. I seemed to forget that distinction in my last reply. I'll retract the last example I said about lineouts. That's equality not equity.

But I think one can kind of say the other examples I mentioned (reset scrums, etc) where the law is applied more loosely for players of less experience than those of a higher level, maybe could fall under equity.
 

jdeagro


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Sorry @jdeagro will elaborate.
No worries!

In Australia scrum feeds are often not straight and this is not sanctioned - this goes up to Super Rugby level
By not straight, you mean literally tossed in on an angle (usually a 45 degree-ish angle), or do you mean the scrum half starts closer to his side of the scrum and still rolls the ball in perpendicular to the hooker?

For 2, you are correct - but what I am saying is that we very rarely see a penalty try awarded when advantage is played and a try is eventually scored - even though the infringement prevented a try being scored in place where the kick would have been easier (i.e. more favourable).
Hmm for this, I'd say it really depends on the situation on why as a ref I went to advantage instead of directly to a penalty try. It would have had to been not egregious enough of a penalty IMO, for me to go to advantage. If a second potentially try-stopping penalty occurred in the middle of advantage, then at that point I could see giving the penalty try.

Conversely, if an egregious enough penalty did occur near the in-goal, and the ball carrier still immediately scored just in a less favorable place (essentially before I had time to stop for the penalty or give advantage - the resulting try was immediate) then I could see awarding the penalty try instead due to the less favorable location of the grounding as a result of the penalty.

Agree with your point around windy days and throw in.
Eh now after Dickie's definition of equity, I take back my example at the lineout lol.
 

RemainingInTheGame


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By not straight, you mean literally tossed in on an angle (usually a 45 degree-ish angle), or do you mean the scrum half starts closer to his side of the scrum and still rolls the ball in perpendicular to the hooker?
Yes, not just offset and fed straight at the shoulders - but fed in a way that the hooker doesn't need to strike the ball.
 

jdeagro


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Yes, not just offset and fed straight at the shoulders - but fed in a way that the hooker doesn't need to strike the ball.
I find nowadays, the offset is enough to not even need to strike for as well. Not sure why scrummies feel the need to feed not straight as well.
 

Balones

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I can see that a lot of clubs and other bodies have ‘equity’ policies. But when reading these they relate to what we would regard as equality policies. It seems that many people regard them as synonymous. Are they? Especially in the context of the game (match) of rugby. I.E. outside of the organisation and administration of the game.
Going back to my original post, is it actually possible to support the well used and known mantra of - safety, equity, law - is what I’m asking.
To be a bit controversial, is ‘equity’ simply a case of ignoring the laws? When Phil E repeated it in the other thread it got me thinking about it and after a rather superficial, brief period of contemplation I couldn’t come up with anything. (Apart from one dubious one in my own mind which I’ll save until later if necessary.) So the question is a genuine one.
I’ve made the assumption that Dickie’s suggestion about going easier on the weaker team etc, was made tongue in cheek. Apologies if not.:)
 

Dickie E


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I’ve made the assumption that Dickie’s suggestion about going easier on the weaker team etc, was made tongue in cheek. Apologies if not.:)
Well yes but it was to emphasise my question: where is the source document that uses the word "equity"? The playing charter talks about lots of stuff but no mention of equity
 

Balones

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Well yes but it was to emphasise my question: where is the source document that uses the word "equity"? The playing charter talks about lots of stuff but no mention of equity
There isn’t any and that’s why I liked your post above asking the question. After some reflection I am beginning to think that equity doesn’t or perhaps cannot exist despite it being widely quoted.
 

jdeagro


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There isn’t any and that’s why I liked your post above asking the question. After some reflection I am beginning to think that equity doesn’t or perhaps cannot exist despite it being widely quoted.
I think equity can be applied, perhaps not in regards to one team vs another within the same match, but again contextually based on the level of play the match is, in respect to the laws. So again, allowing for more scrum resets to the collapsed scrum in a grass roots match as opposed to penalizing the collapsing team right away in a high level match.

Or conversely, we see inequity applied quite frequently when at low levels players are pinged for diving over the ruck on the first occurrence (even when they immediately fix themselves) but at the professional level, players are flopping like fish out of water all over the ruck, and it's play on.
 

Balones

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I think equity can be applied, perhaps not in regards to one team vs another within the same match, but again contextually based on the level of play the match is, in respect to the laws. So again, allowing for more scrum resets to the collapsed scrum in a grass roots match as opposed to penalizing the collapsing team right away in a high level match.

Or conversely, we see inequity applied quite frequently when at low levels players are pinged for diving over the ruck on the first occurrence (even when they immediately fix themselves) but at the professional level, players are flopping like fish out of water all over the ruck, and it's play on.
I appreciate what you are saying but I would say what you are suggesting is facilitating a game, and applying the laws with an appropriate degree of allowance and strictness to suit the level. Something that I suggest is what we do (and should do) anyway. As a performance reviewer it is something I look for at whatever type/level of game I am at. Are you really expressing ‘empathy’? Something I would support.
 

jdeagro


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Are you really expressing ‘empathy’? Something I would support.

Perhaps empathy is a good quality too but it's not mentioned in the definition (at least Dickie's) of equity, to be fair:
The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances

I think it's fair to say elite level players are much more advantaged in their skill set, experience, and knowledge of the game than those at the grassroots level and in order to have an equitable game of rugby for those at the lower level (perhaps still learning) is to be looser on how and when particular laws apply to them. E.g. allowing leniency for the common incorrectly taken penalty tap that RemainingInTheGame mentioned earlier.

But idk, that's only my guess on how one could try to apply equity to the sport. Perhaps there's a more suitable example out there for what you're looking for.
 

Volun-selected


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Do we not apply judgment and equity all the time and call it “game management”?

As noted by Balones:
…I would say what you are suggesting is facilitating a game, and applying the laws with an appropriate degree of allowance and strictness to suit the level.

I have to agree with that approach. I will be a lot more chatty for say a U14 match with lots of green players vs. say College/Adult level but only across the match as a whole. I’m there to ensure a safe and fair match, not apply some form of handicap system.

As hard as it is to be in the middle and watch a team get blown away, they will learn a lot about the game, and themselves, from it.
 
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