[Law] Is a punch always a red card ?

CrouchTPEngage


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I'm having a debate with another ref here and we cannot agree.


If you see a player punch another player in the stomach ( not head ), without being provoked, would you think about a YC or a RC ?

If a player is provoked ( let's say by being held illegally off the ball by pulling his shirt ) does this mitigate his punch to the body ?
If a player is held illegally and reacts by a punch to the head, is that a RC regardless of provocation ?

i.e. Does a strike to the head demand a higher-level penalty than a punch to the stomach ?

Opinions ?
 

Phil E


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Everything has to be judged on its merits at the time.
I would never like to say X is always a Red Card.

I know a punch to the head would normally be seen as an instant Red Card, but I can guarantee there will always be some sort of situation where this might not be true. I cant think of one right now, but I have learnt to never say never. Far safer to use your judgement at the time.
 

Flish


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What about a punch that misses? Intent vs Outcome?

In your case, I think it really does depend upon everything rolled in together, including mood of the game, previous issues and warnings. At the top, a punch that makes contact with the head will always be Red I think, regardless of the provocation, but am sure there's a case where when you see it you think not.
 

OB..


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Retaliation is illegal, however natural it maybe.
 

Zebra1922


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For me, a punch which connects that I see is nearly always going to be a RC. Totally unacceptable conduct, violent, intended, malicious and needs strong refereeing to ensure it is clearly understood such violence is not acceptable. You would not tolerate this behaviour off the field in public (and yes I know you would not expect to be tackled to the ground in the high street but this is punching outside the laws the game not tackling within the laws) and I will not tolerate it on the rugby field.

I used to be very tempted to RC for a swing and a miss. The outcome should not define the sanction, the violent intent was there. I'm now more lenient and tend to let this go (dependent on context of course).But a connecting punch, regardless of where it impacts, and you're off.
 

chbg


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Is a "Squirrel Grip" what I think it is?

Grabbing 'nuts'.

I agree that it is not right that 'every punch is Red', but generally start at Red and see if there are proper mitigating factors. Certainly with body punches - being hit by Muhammad Ali would be very different to your usual U16 full-back throwing it. And, possibly, was it a properly clenched fist thrown with intent, or much more of a flailing arm (trying to break an unfair shirt pull?) where the hand was balled when it landed on another's body?
 

SimonSmith


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As PhilE said, there are very few absolutes, and this isn't one of them.

There are a lot of variables that go into factoring how to handle a punch, and I don't think it's a straightforward algorithmic process: If X+Y*z Then RC... that doesn't work for me.

Some punches for me will always go: king punch from behind, running in from distance to land one...likelihood is that you're going.
An otherwise good natured match and two chippy 9s decide to throw handbags at each other - I back myself to manage away from a red.

The trick is to not rush, and to take some time to breathe and think. Separate the teams and the players. Make a point of stopping time. Walk away 15m to give yourself separation from the teams. You've bought yourself, what, 90 seconds? During that time, think about all the context clues and how you think you can handle it. But don't jump to red if it isn't necessary.
 

Not Kurt Weaver


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An otherwise good natured match and two chippy 9s decide to throw handbags at each other - I back myself to manage away from a red.

Not this guy. I beg other players not get involved. Back myself away and watch the show. Just like a hockey ref. Lil bass tards are just lookin for attention. They will stop on their when they realize everyone else is snickering.
 
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beckett50


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When I first started refereeing a wise person stated that "You will know when it is a Red Card", and that is a mantra by which I have stood.

If a push is thrown you will know whether it is a Red. You will not have to think about it, it will be glaringly obvious. If you have to think about it then it is not a Red.
 

Taff


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it's when one chap grabs & compresses another chap's testicles ... and not in the good way.
Well well. We learn something new every day. :wow:

always happy to help !
Please Dickie. No photos OK! :biggrin:

Everything has to be judged on its merits at the time. I would never like to say X is always a Red Card. I know a punch to the head would normally be seen as an instant Red Card, but I can guarantee there will always be some sort of situation where this might not be true. I cant think of one right now, but I have learnt to never say never. Far safer to use your judgement at the time.
When I first started refereeing a wise person stated that "You will know when it is a Red Card", and that is a mantra by which I have stood. If a push is thrown you will know whether it is a Red. You will not have to think about it, it will be glaringly obvious. If you have to think about it then it is not a Red.
Makes sense to me.
 

L'irlandais

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There was the time (2008) Chris White gave Jamie Cudmore red and saw Paul O’Connell’s punches as different, yellow only.
 

Marc Wakeham


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That's red for both of them for me!

But back to the question my answer is NO. Context as always.

Mitigatting factors are for the hearing.

As a guidline:

1; Running in for a distance to get involved is probably red.

2; A player is undefended (bound into a ruck and the like) probably a red.

3; Punch from behind probably a red.

4; General punch up and if, after a loud whistle a guy or more still are not calming down probably a red


Hand bags probably not (However, see point 4 above)

Punch that misses or one that is a bit pathetic? I don't care. Throw it and pay the price!

Thebest advise is "you know it's red when you see it.
 

beckett50


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Both Red for me as well!
 
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