Fifty Point Differential

Na Madrai


Referees in England
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
261
Post Likes
1
Refereeing an under 18 ladies' league match, for the first time. I checked with the coaches the differences in the laws to ensure that we were all singing off the same hymn sheet, no problems at all. 'Twas a great day to play rugby, finally, after all the lousy weather we have been having, spoilt only by a strong wing blowing diagonally across the pitch.

The away team opted to play the first half with this wind behind them and, with the last kick of the half, put the score to 50 - 5 in their favour.

Here could have been my conundrum. Had the home team not scored their try - which was an interception and against the run of play - the away team could have claimed the game on the fifty point differential law without the home team having the opportunity to play with the wind. Hardly seems fair to my way of thinking and would appreciate some comments from the gathered throng!

As it was, the home team had a bit of a rally, scoring several tries so that we were able to play the full time with the away team coming off comfortable winners.

Incidently, I doubt if anyone of note* reads this forum but just in case, the Lichfield Under 18 ladies has a player of undoubted class as a rugby player and is well worth someone taking the time to go for a looksee. She ran the first half from outhalf as well as any under 18 I have ever witnessed - and I have refereed several cup finals in my time - and in the second half, she moved to full back and was exremely successful in negating the strong wind against her team.

NM

*I just know that this comment is leaving me open to abuse but I trust that you will know what I mean, gents :redface:
 

Daftmedic


Referees in England
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
Messages
1,341
Post Likes
113
Current Referee grade:
Level 6
Don't worry about it buddy. You can generally see what mental state the loosing team are by their body language. If they are deflated I would generally ask the skipper at their age if they want to continue.
 

Dixie


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
12,773
Post Likes
338
For those not in RFU-land, the 50 point rule is an age grade rule set out in Regulation 15:

[LAWS]15.14.4 Matches must be brought to an end if:
(a) at Under 7s to Under 12s the try difference rises to more than six; or
(b) at Under 13s to Under 18s the points difference is more than 50 points
unless both teams are in agreement to continue.
[/LAWS]

At the lower end of the ladies' game, they play to iRB U.19 laws. Those laws make no mention of the 50 point rule. So perhaps the problem would never arise except in a junior game?

See here, top of page 3 for relevant provisions

In this case, I think the oppo would have lost the fixture if they'd bagged their 50 points and refused to play on!
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,824
Post Likes
3,159
NM says it was a League game, so I imagine this was a competition regulation : like this one from our local youth comps.

5.19 For the purposes of recording a result in The Competition, no team may win by a margin of more than 40 points. If a game reaches a score difference of 40 points, the referee shall suspend the game and call the team managers together. At this point the League match is completed and the Team Managers then agree either to end the game or to continue on a friendly match basis. If they agree to continue this may be in an agreed modified form (e.g. for a reduced time period, with any number of substitutions made), the match is then to be restarted after coaches have had sufficient time to instruct players.


NM - you are a ref who always looks through and beyond the Laws in order to find 'fairness', as you see it. I am a ref who follows the regs, and if they had got to 50 points I would have acted accordingly.
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
12,151
Post Likes
1,842
I'm with CR.

This quandary would be for the comp organisers to sort out, not for you to worry about.

An approach could be once 50 points margin is breached is to blow for no-side. Then have the conflab with the captains and coaches etc to see if they want to play the rest of the time as a friendly, being open to any other suggestions eg in some scenarios mixing the players may be an answer, or the winning side coach may say he'd like the opportunity to play his players in their secondary positions for development and experience purposes - etc. Though I would hasten to add its up to the teams to sort out the arrangements - not you. You just ref under the mantra of "safety, equity, law"


Then you can add in your league report/however any mitigating circumstances... eg in this case it may have been 50 points with a strong wind. With the roles reversed the losing side - now with the wind - actually scored 30 points (or whatever). That at least gives the comp organisers some feedback as to the circumstances and that the rule in this case may have been "unfair".


But that's all you need bothering with.

IMO.

didds
 

John3822

Active Referee
Joined
Apr 2, 2013
Messages
78
Post Likes
8
If I read the regs correctly and I'm thinking mainly of the Nat West schools competition, which are the games I have reffed, getting to a 50 point differential doesn't mean an automatic victory if both coaches/captains have agreed to play on. If that is the case then the result at the end of the game stands.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,824
Post Likes
3,159
If I read the regs correctly and I'm thinking mainly of the Nat West schools competition, which are the games I have reffed, getting to a 50 point differential doesn't mean an automatic victory if both coaches/captains have agreed to play on. If that is the case then the result at the end of the game stands.

Why would anyone play on then? it would just be more of the same.

In the Herts-Middx youth leagues, and the Surrey youth leagues, which I am familar with. The league game comes to an end when the differential is met, and that's the score recorded.

If they play on, it's as a friendly and the winning team will then -- normally -- bring on all their subs for a run around and often take off one or two key players to 'rest' them. Perhaps try some different combinations or experimental moves. The result is that the remaining period is much more evenly matched and the losing team normally get a consolation try or two and leave the field somewhat cheered up.



The other point to the regulation is: if there is no maximum points difference then the position at the top of the table can sometimes be decided on which of the strongest teams manged to score 50 - 80 - or 100 points against the teams at the bottom, so no on can ever let up, or let the subs come one, or rest a player. And the entire seasion is really miserable for the bottom clubs, and some of the games rendered pointless for the top ones.

Max points is very sensible IMO.
 

Account Deleted

Facebook Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
4,089
Post Likes
1
If I read the regs correctly and I'm thinking mainly of the Nat West schools competition, which are the games I have reffed, getting to a 50 point differential doesn't mean an automatic victory if both coaches/captains have agreed to play on. If that is the case then the result at the end of the game stands.


The RFU regs are quite clear. As quoted above:

RFU boss man said:
]15.14.4 Matches must be brought to an end if:
(a) at Under 7s to Under 12s the try difference rises to more than six; or
(b) at Under 13s to Under 18s the points difference is more than 50 points
unless both teams are in agreement to continue.

Now you could indeed begin another game. The game in progress must end. As has been said about the bad weather example.

If you had a 50-0 first half to the side with the wind and a 50-0 second half a game to the other side ( now playing with the wind) an "observation" to the tournament authorities may by worthwhile.
 

Phil E


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
16,136
Post Likes
2,408
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
If its 50-nil you play on.

The regs say "more than 50 points"
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
12,151
Post Likes
1,842
could be 60-0 then!

hmmm... in fact.... assuming in a parallel universe a string of tries-with-defending-side-afters resulting in restarts with a PK that is tapped and run... it still could be significantly more than 50 points.

or would the PK restart not be counted as a PK in itself - where the game cannot stop on a PK? Would it really be a restart that is turned into a PK for afters?

enquiring minds etc!


didds
 
Last edited:

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,824
Post Likes
3,159
I the HML
- the game stops once the point differential is 45 or more. So it is rarely exactly 45. the most it could be is could be 51 (a 44 point differential followed by converted try)

- but the points difference credited to the winning team is always 45 exactly.
 

john g


Referees in England
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
98
Post Likes
2
Why would anyone play on then? it would just be more of the same.

In the Herts-Middx youth leagues, and the Surrey youth leagues, which I am familar with. The league game comes to an end when the differential is met, and that's the score recorded.

If they play on, it's as a friendly and the winning team will then -- normally -- bring on all their subs for a run around and often take off one or two key players to 'rest' them. Perhaps try some different combinations or experimental moves. The result is that the remaining period is much more evenly matched and the losing team normally get a consolation try or two and leave the field somewhat cheered up.



The other point to the regulation is: if there is no maximum points difference then the position at the top of the table can sometimes be decided on which of the strongest teams manged to score 50 - 80 - or 100 points against the teams at the bottom, so no on can ever let up, or let the subs come one, or rest a player. And the entire seasion is really miserable for the bottom clubs, and some of the games rendered pointless for the top ones.

Max points is very sensible IMO.

But what the OP points out is if it's fair if the weather or the slope of the pitch is favoured to one side. Should it automatically be a victory to the team with that advantage
 

Phil E


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
16,136
Post Likes
2,408
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
But what the OP points out is if it's fair if the weather or the slope of the pitch is favoured to one side. Should it automatically be a victory to the team with that advantage

Just shows the importance of winning the toss :biggrin:

I want a lucky Captain more than a good one :wink:
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,824
Post Likes
3,159
But what the OP points out is if it's fair if the weather or the slope of the pitch is favoured to one side. Should it automatically be a victory to the team with that advantage

I take the point.
But a slope doesn't confer a 40 point advantage in thity-five minutes.
Even a very, very strong wind wouldn't help that much.

either way, I'd obey the regs.
Otherwise what?
they are 41 points ahead and you play on
- now they are 46 points head - do you play on again?
- 51 points - keep playing?
 

Phil E


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
16,136
Post Likes
2,408
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
either way, I'd obey the regs.
Otherwise what?
they are 41 points ahead and you play on
- now they are 46 points head - do you play on again?
- 51 points - keep playing?

When I did maths at school, which was admittedly a long time ago, 41 and 46 weren't more than 50?

So:
- Yes
- Yes
- No
 

Browner

Banned
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
6,000
Post Likes
270
Why would anyone play on then? it would just be more of the same.

In the Herts-Middx youth leagues, and the Surrey youth leagues, which I am familar with. The league game comes to an end when the differential is met, and that's the score recorded.

If they play on, it's as a friendly and the winning team will then -- normally -- bring on all their subs for a run around and often take off one or two key players to 'rest' them. Perhaps try some different combinations or experimental moves. The result is that the remaining period is much more evenly matched and the losing team normally get a consolation try or two and leave the field somewhat cheered up.



The other point to the regulation is: if there is no maximum points difference then the position at the top of the table can sometimes be decided on which of the strongest teams manged to score 50 - 80 - or 100 points against the teams at the bottom, so no on can ever let up, or let the subs come one, or rest a player. And the entire seasion is really miserable for the bottom clubs, and some of the games rendered pointless for the top ones.

Max points is very sensible IMO.

Max 'Points differential' works for me as well, but RFU say @50 Your Comp now says @40, ..... are the liberals heading towards @20 ? ..... why the need to undercut the rfu?
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
12,151
Post Likes
1,842
I take the point.
But a slope doesn't confer a 40 point advantage in thity-five minutes.
Even a very, very strong wind wouldn't help that much.

well, it did in the OP :)

didds
 

Dixie


Referees in England
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
12,773
Post Likes
338
The RFU regs are quite clear. As quoted above:

[LAWS]15.14.4 Matches must be brought to an end if:
(a) at Under 7s to Under 12s the try difference rises to more than six; or
(b) at Under 13s to Under 18s the points difference is more than 50 points
unless both teams are in agreement to continue[/LAWS]

Now you could indeed begin another game. The game in progress must end.
ATTR, you say that the regs are quite clear, but then draw a wholly unwarranted conclusion from them! The regs say that the game must end UNLESS BOTH SIDES WISH TO CONTINUE. This is not an automatic end to the game. If you have a situation in which the wind is so strong that those playing into it cannot clear their lines with a kick, they will concede many points. If the advantaged side then refuses to suffer the same fate and insists on claiming a win, they would be justified in the regs - but I would end that fixture for all time and send the pathetic sods off with a flea in their ear.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,824
Post Likes
3,159
well, it did in the OP :)

didds

true but still.

If you don't follow the regs I guess you have two choices
1) keep playing, and the score differential will get bigger and bigger making you look more and more out on a limb
2) end the first half early - and also shorten the second half

(2) is quite a big call as a unilateral decision. you could invite the coaches to agree I suppose.


shrug - I would just follow the regualtions.

@Phil -- some comps have 40, some 45, some 50.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,824
Post Likes
3,159
ATTR, you say that the regs are quite clear, but then draw a wholly unwarranted conclusion from them! The regs say that the game must end UNLESS BOTH SIDES WISH TO CONTINUE. This is not an automatic end to the game. If you have a situation in which the wind is so strong that those playing into it cannot clear their lines with a kick, they will concede many points. If the advantaged side then refuses to suffer the same fate and insists on claiming a win, they would be justified in the regs - but I would end that fixture for all time and send the pathetic sods off with a flea in their ear.

In the leagues I am involved in, any play on is a new, friendly game. The score reported to the league is always the score at the moment the differential was reached.
 
Top