[Law] Read & Discuss

beckett50


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Interesting article and the points are well argued

However, it loses credibility at the start, IMO, by stating:

Rugby must be the only sport in the world where (at a conservative guess) more than 90% of infringements are ignored by officials. In every other sport, if a player infringes the rules or laws of the game they are penalised – but not in rugby!

I'm sure many here will agree that a good referee has empathy for the game and what the players are trying to achieve.

Also, the LotG are written to favour the attacking team.

Do we really want to be singled out as the referee that affected the result of a match - especially one at this level with all that is riding upon it?
 

menace


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He is pretty much right, though pity the journalist doesnt understand what "material affect" means and balanced his article with explaining it.
 

OB..


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Interesting article and the points are well argued

However, it loses credibility at the start, IMO, by stating:

Rugby must be the only sport in the world where (at a conservative guess) more than 90% of infringements are ignored by officials. In every other sport, if a player infringes the rules or laws of the game they are penalised – but not in rugby!

Agree that he undermines his case. Soccer, for example, also has an advantage law. It is less flexible than in rugby because the referee has to make an instant decision, but it does exist.

Indeed the word "advantage" does not appear in his article.

(Using still shots is also dodgy.)

Pity, because there is a discussion to be had.
 

Phil E


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Article only tells part of the story.
Writer undermines himself by making up laws.

i.e. (3) Offside at the tap – any players infront of the ball when the penalty is taken must immediately retire.
 

theblitzdefence

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Thanks for reading my article - it's always good to hear views on it, but I just wanted to add a bit of background and context to the content.

After every top level game, if you scan social media, you will see the vast majority of comments relate to how poor the referee was and why certain penalties were given against team X and not team Y. The article therefore aimed to achieve two objectives:

- to ask supporters to try watching a passage of play from the perspective of both teams, which will give them a different view point on what they are seeing

- to try and highlight the huge number of offences that referees have to process every few seconds in the game, with the widespread coached cheating we now have at the professional level

If supporters get to appreciate these different view points they should hopefully have a different perspective on the game, which will aid their understanding whilst also providing some empathy with
the referee.

So while concepts such as materiality and advantage are related to the discussion points they aren't really directly relevant to the objectives of the article.
 

SimonSmith


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Your use of "ignored" is misleading, and probably inaccurate.

Ignored means not part of a decision making process. The fact that a decision wasn't "made" (ie PK given) does not mean that something was ignored. Non decisions are still decisions, and it means that the offence was actively considered and then rejected as not being PK-worthy.
 

BikingBud


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Isn't this the forensic analysis that Paul O'Connell mentioned. It can happen, it does happen but does it add or detract from the game. As we all know there are 15 players on each side trying to get the best from the other 16 people on the pitch. I remember a few yers ago a relatively new and naive ref asking what I as a hooker wanted from a scrum. I said all off my ball and about 30-40% of his, meaning the opposition. He didn't seem to understand that my focus on the outcome didn't necessarily include a fair apportionment of the ball or the decisions I could get out of the ref.

Effective players will always manage the referee by words or deeds, some subtly, others more blatantly and abrasively. All of the observations on the article are correct but do we want the game to be stopped repeatedly to ping all of these offences. I think empathy and materiality are key in ensuring a good game and effective application of advantage is the key tool to achieve this.

However how Scotland were deemed not to get any advantage when they blew a 3-0 overlap is beyond me :chin:
 

theblitzdefence

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Your use of "ignored" is misleading, and probably inaccurate.

Ignored means not part of a decision making process. The fact that a decision wasn't "made" (ie PK given) does not mean that something was ignored. Non decisions are still decisions, and it means that the offence was actively considered and then rejected as not being PK-worthy.

We are delving in to semantics here and missing the point of the article, but "ignored" here means not acted upon.

Some of the incidents will have been missed completely by the officials, some will have been seen but deemed immaterial and some will be penalised.

But back to the main thrust of the article, which is that the referees have to consider a large number of offences, the vast majority of which are not penalised (for a variety of reasons).
 

theblitzdefence

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Effective players will always manage the referee by words or deeds, some subtly, others more blatantly and abrasively. All of the observations on the article are correct but do we want the game to be stopped repeatedly to ping all of these offences. I think empathy and materiality are key in ensuring a good game and effective application of advantage is the key tool to achieve this.

However how Scotland were deemed not to get any advantage when they blew a 3-0 overlap is beyond me :chin:

We don't, but players (and coaches) know that most of these offences won't be pinged so they coach players to offend en masse.
 

Pinky


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Article only tells part of the story.
Writer undermines himself by making up laws.

i.e. (3) Offside at the tap – any players infront of the ball when the penalty is taken must immediately retire.

Is that not 21.4 (J) from the old book?
 

theblitzdefence

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Is that not 21.4 (J) from the old book?

Yes. It says ". If the penalty or free kick is taken so quickly that players of the kicker’steam are still in front of the ball, they are not penalised for being offside. However, theymust retire immediately. They must not stop retiring until they are onside. They must nottake part in the game until they are onside."
 

OB..


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We are delving in to semantics here and missing the point of the article, but "ignored" here means not acted upon.
Most people will take "ignored" to imply that it should have been sanctioned. You correctly make the point that refereeing is difficult,but you leave the impression that referees are not very good at dealing with the complexity.
 

Balones

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We are delving in to semantics here and missing the point of the article, but "ignored" here means not acted upon.

Some of the incidents will have been missed completely by the officials, some will have been seen but deemed immaterial and some will be penalised.

But back to the main thrust of the article, which is that the referees have to consider a large number of offences, the vast majority of which are not penalised (for a variety of reasons).

Just wondering, no more than that, have you refereed and if so to what level. It would help to address your article in such a way that would be balanced to take your experience into account. Have you played much? Still play?
Thank you.
 

SimonSmith


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We are delving in to semantics here and missing the point of the article, but "ignored" here means not acted upon.

Some of the incidents will have been missed completely by the officials, some will have been seen but deemed immaterial and some will be penalised.

But back to the main thrust of the article, which is that the referees have to consider a large number of offences, the vast majority of which are not penalised (for a variety of reasons).

I'm not trying to be an ass - it just comes naturally, but a couple of thoughts.

1. If you're going to publish an article drawing people's attention to it, then yes, semantics matter. Especially when it's about the key point of the article.
2. if you have to spend time explaining the key point you were trying to make, it somewhat suggests you got your semantics wrong.
3. Your third para above does not mean the same as "ignored".
 

crossref


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I think the article is fair, and your points are well made.
It is a weakness of rugby that it is so complicated . Football is the beautiful game because it's simple

I am sure the irony is lost on no one that when Phil points out a Law error in your article it turns out you are right and he is wrong , rather illustrating the point about complexity of the Law
Complexity is also a strength, mind ,it generates the variety and challenges we see
 

Marc Wakeham


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I'm not trying to be an ass - it just comes naturally, but a couple of thoughts.

1. If you're going to publish an article drawing people's attention to it, then yes, semantics matter. Especially when it's about the key point of the article.
2. if you have to spend time explaining the key point you were trying to make, it somewhat suggests you got your semantics wrong.
3. Your third para above does not mean the same as "ignored".

Spot on!


Also Phil is right in that getting the law wrong (or selectively omiting part of the law) is crucial. So Yes to simply say the failure to retreat by Wales in the clip is a penalty is only half the story. You must remember the other part of the ofside laws that refer to "taking part in the game" and where that is relevant.

Let's looks at the Final moment of the Wales France game. What did Barnes ignore? Let's talr a quick look at a few of the 11 offencesHe made a call on which offence cause the collapse so The Bind on the Wales LHP was EITHER deemed not to be the cause of the collapse, or his AR may not have called it in , we don;t know if that was missed or felt not relevant by the AR or called in and overruled by Barnes. The Quick PK was taken by France pretty close to the mark. As referees we ask player to take a PK "in front of me" so we can see the tap is correctly taken. Side entry being picked up in such dynamic situations are easily missed. Barnes may well have felt the offence was not Clear and obvious. Just a few observations on the points.

The article could have saught to explain Material effect and Clear and Obvious. It could have explained that not acting upon by awarding a PK may not be the same as ignoring. But that does not make for an interesting story. It could enlighten the public though.
 

Marc Wakeham


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...to ask supporters to try watching a passage of play from the perspective of both teams, which will give them a different view point on what they are seeing and... If supporters get to appreciate these different view points they should hopefully have a different perspective on the game, which will aid their understanding whilst also providing some empathy with the referee...

Good luck with that one. Especially as you go on to say

So while concepts such as materiality and advantage are related to the discussion points they aren't really directly relevant to the objectives of the article.

Sorry they are crucial. Because " That offence was "ignored" because the referee was playing advantage or the offence was not material!" The two concepts are central to ever getting supporters to "understand".
 

Phil E


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Thanks for trying to throw me under the bus crossref, I bet you could hardly contain yourself.


The point I was trying to make (badly) ties in closely with the point OB and Simon have made about ignoring offences.

Was the player offside in front of the penalty taker? Yes he was. Is this an offence as suggested by the writer? No it isn't, not in itself. While it is true that the player is offside, this is not an offence unless he interferes with, or takes part in play. My point being as Marc pointed out:

Also Phil is right in that getting the law wrong (or selectively omitting part of the law) is crucial. So Yes to simply say the failure to retreat by Wales in the clip is a penalty is only half the story. You must remember the other part of the ofside laws that refer to "taking part in the game" and where that is relevant.

What the writer is ignoring (see what I did there) in his article is the very essence of Rugby. That it is played to the "spirit of the law" as much as the "letter of the law". The Principles of the law state that:

[LAWS]There is an over-riding obligation on the players to observe the Laws and to respect the principles of fair play.

The Laws must be applied in such a way as to ensure that the Game is played according to the principles of play. The referee and touch judges can achieve this through fairness, consistency, sensitivity and, at the highest levels, management. In return, it is the responsibility of coaches, captains and players to respect the authority of the match officials.[/LAWS]

There are something like 40 possible offences at an average breakdown or scrum. This means that the referee could legitimately blow his whistle for something at almost every breakdown. He could do this by applying the letter of the law, but it would absolutely kill the game. So as the Principles of Law state, the referee "Manages The Game". Managing the game does not mean ignoring offences, nor does it mean the game is too complex. It means the referee is part of the process that allows a game of rugby to flow and continue while still ensuring that the game is played fairly. Rugby is an intelligent game, that extends to the match officials as well as the players.

As has been pointed out the article totally ignores the principles of materiality and advantage. These are core to refereeing so to ignore them is to ignore the very basis on which we referee. No offences are ignored, everything is noted and acted upon. It might be acted upon by playing advantage, or by having a quiet word with the player involved at a more suitable time. It might be acted upon by speaking to the Captain at downtime, or by discussing it with the assistant referee as something to keep an eye on. Yes referees miss things and make mistakes, but they miss very little and make a minimal amount of mistakes compared to the players.

Referees try to call what is "Clear, Obvious and Expected" they don't like pulling a rabbit out of the hat with an unexpected penalty, or penalising something which is marginal or borderline, because they are acting as a "Facilitator" to give the players and spectators a game of rugby that is enjoyable for all, to play in and watch.

As has been stated, the article had the potential to show what referees have to do and how they try to do it, it had the potential to show just how good referees are in the professional game; and educate the spectator. But that wouldn't have made such an interesting article......or would it?
 
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crossref


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In blitz defence , I get the feeling that posters are reading the article as an attack on referees .. but I don't think it was meant that way. I think he is saying the rugby is flawed , which it is .
It's also wonderful!
 
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