Numbers

Na Madrai


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Due to a complete mix-up by everyone concerned - except meself, of course, - I ended up doing a level six match last Saturday bewitxt two high flying sides.

My last action before blowing to start the match is always to count the players in each team - a habit I have been judged down on before now but one which I will not lose!

Anyway, upon counting the home team, they had sixteen players on the park. I simply called the skipper to me and pointed out the problem which he quickly resolved.

However, in the bar afterwards, the question was raised as to whether or not this decision was correct; the debate being that since the whistle had not been blown it was none of my business, the correct action should have been to blow to start and then immediately blown to stop the game, have the numbers corrected and commence play with a penalty - and the possibility of a kick at goal.

I must admit that this idea had never crossed my mind but considering the level and the fact that this was a league match, I think it a very interesting concern and I am interested in what the members might think.



NM
 

Bunniksider


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I would do exactley as you did. To do it the other way only pi55es off half of the people concerned with the match before you have even started.
 

Phil E


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If your not going to correct it pre-kick off, then why count pre-kick off.

I would have done the same as you, to knowingly let them start with wrong numbers and then to penalise them for it is just a "gotcha".....petty and poor refereeing. We are there NOT to blow the whistle whenever possible.

Not to mention the principles of rugby....fair play, etc.
 

Simon Thomas


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I would have supported your decision. Any match observer who marks you down on that is looking for minor issues.

I always counted both teams pre kick off and at half time. Spirit of rugby and all that ........
 

crossref


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I have done the same thing.
And it works both ways : on one occasion I counted 14, so in the same way I told the captain, and waited a few seconds while he sorted out the confusion and restored his team to full numbers.
The opposition didn't complain (they laughed!)

I think that if you are going to bother to count them, you need to tell the captains what you find.
 

Taff


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Everything that happens on the park is your business.

I always count numbers and have never been criticised for it. You'd be surprised how often a team is short of a player.
 

Browner

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Let me guess,
It was the team that would have benefitted from the PK that suggested this Law application?

[LAWS]. 3.2 Team with more than the permitted number of players
Objection:
at any time before or during a match a team may make an objection to the referee about the number of players in their opponents’ team. As soon as the referee knows that a team has too many players, the referee must order the captain of that team to reduce the number appropriately. The score at the time of the objection remains unaltered.
Sanction: Penalty at the place where the match would restart. [/LAWS]

Its interesting discussion though, Before is mentioned in this law, presumably ' deliberately' mentioned ???????

Arguably, the practice of pro actively counting players per kick off, ( whilst being accepted convention for some , but not all! ) isnt expected by Law.

On the contrary, maybe PK's only apply at re-starts , not the Start.

Hmmnn.

Ps..Now I come to think of it, I didn't do a player count pre-kick off last week !
 
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crossref


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i would think that most teams count their oppo don't they? When I watch my son play I always count the oppo.
 

chbg


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Let me guess,
It was the team that would have benefitted from the PK that suggested this Law application?

[LAWS]. 3.2 Team with more than the permitted number of players
Objection:
at any time before or during a match a team may make an objection to the referee about the number of players in their opponents’ team. As soon as the referee knows that a team has too many players, the referee must order the captain of that team to reduce the number appropriately. The score at the time of the objection remains unaltered.
Sanction: Penalty at the place where the match would restart. [/LAWS]

Its interesting discussion though, Before is mentioned in this law, presumably ' deliberately' mentioned ???????

Arguably, the practice of pro actively counting players per kick off, ( whilst being accepted convention for some , but not all! ) isnt expected by Law.

On the contrary, maybe PK's only apply at re-starts , not the Start.

As the other team did not make an objection (because the referee counted), perhaps the sanction does not apply?

However, once the match had started, if I then discovered that an extra player had been on the FoP for any time that the ball was not dead, then a PK would be the outcome.
 

OB..


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As the other team did not make an objection (because the referee counted), perhaps the sanction does not apply?

However, once the match had started, if I then discovered that an extra player had been on the FoP for any time that the ball was not dead, then a PK would be the outcome.
Since the law says "As soon as the referee knows...", he can surely act on his own knowledge. Why wait until the match starts if the situation is clear before the kick-off?
 

Pinky


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NM, I'm with you and count at start and after HT. You would be surprised how often there are mistakes! I sometimes count at a scrum after subs have come on - it is easier and less obvious to just count the back 6
 

Ronald

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NM, I'm with you and count at start and after HT. You would be surprised how often there are mistakes! I sometimes count at a scrum after subs have come on - it is easier and less obvious to just count the back 6
Agree Pinky, I always count at start and at HT...on the odd occasion that I have AR's, I will ask them to check after subs have come on.
Regarding the initial question, I believe you acted 100%; I would hope most refs would have done the same.
 

Na Madrai


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Browner, a bit of a sceptic comment methinks!

I rather think that I broached the subject in the bar with both coaches, saying something along the lines of 'Caught you trying to cheat today eh?', the conversation naturally evolved and this question was raised by one of us, not sure which, as an interesting point of law. After all, a potential three points or not!

As to being marked down, I make counting the numbers, a very clear gesture before every match - I first stand on the receivers' ten metre line, count the kicker's team, walk to the kicker and count the receivers' numbers, ask the kicker if he is ready, then the receiving team, before blowing the whistle.

I was once being watched whilst on exchange and the watcher/observer - whichever title is currently in vogue - stated that this was completely unnecessary as it is the coaches' responsibility to ensure that each team has the correct numbers, not the referee's!

This was not the only time that I have been 'advised' poorly, in my opinion of course, but is just one example of why I hold most, not all, but most, advisers 'under advisement only'.

Well, far too old to get any higher, anyhow!

NM
 
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Lee Lifeson-Peart


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I count teams - get to 14 and say shit to myself - then count again and get to 15.

I have never counted 16 so perhaps I'm just wasting my time.

That said I'd rather manage it pre-start as NM does and save having to blow for a PK after some smart arse pipes up with "excuse me sir" or worse!

After all that the prime time for it all going tits up is interchanges/YC/man off and all that mularky - when I never re-count anyway.

Perhaps it's just force of habit to do it a KO and HT. Ah well!
 

The umpire


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At school we once had 16 on the field just prior to the kick off; we tried to discreetly draw this to the attention of the referee ( our teacher) but the oppo captain overheard. "Don't worry about it" he said, " just let them play". Sadly for us, his confidence wasn't misplaced and we were soundly thrashed - one of those 'lucky to get nought' games.
 
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