U13 yellow Card

KingsPE


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Would like your thoughts on the following (Note - I was a coach at the time so I am aware that I have an extremely one-sided viewpoint of the event)

Black is winning the match comfortably and yellow are struggling for parity. Referee becomes extremely harsh on Black an penalises at every scrum (at which they are dominant) and many rucks/mauls. (Not my issue here - I understand why he did it).

yellow are 5 metres from oppo goal line. Attack after attack ends in PK being given (in line with how PKs are awarded above).

After about the 7th PK, ref says "next infringement will be a yellow card".

yellow tap and go and are tackled short of the line. Black 13 comes in and picks up ball immediately after tackle. Referee declares that ruck had formed (questionable???) and gives PK. 13 gets a yellow card.

I fully supported the referee but had to deal with a 12-year old in floods of tears. It was the first offence he had committed in the entire game. He is an extremely "clean" player (As a referee, I pride myself on how my players play within the laws).

Within the laws of the game and in terms of "game management" protocols, referee was exactly right - for U12's, should he have approached the situation differently????

Just interested in peoples' thoughts?????

(By the way - ref refused to discuss the incident afterwards and stated (3 times) "I'm the referee so what I say goes!". I didn't challenge him at the time or afterwards but was keen to discuss the matter because I wondered what I would do in the same situation!)

P
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spikeno10

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At under 13s I don't see an issue with this. The fact is the referee left himself nowhere to go. The statement "next offence = yellow" once uttered has to be followed up otherwise way say it. IMHO it is wrong to say that, I'd go for the "have a think lads, you are beginning to limit my options".

That said 7 PKs in a row in that area of the pitch the players need to understand how to play the referee as much as the opposition and whilst they are 12 I would guess that they have some experience of this.

The referee is also right in the fact that he does not have to discuss his decisions afterwards and whilst you may not have challenged him it would appear someone did as he stated 3 times he was not prepared to discuss this.

It depends very much on the situation as to how I might have dealt with this but personal experience in refereeing a very one sided game at U14 level last season is very similar. Black winning be a long way, white made first trip into Black 22 and got up to 5 metres on. Tackle made, ruck formed (which I shouted), Black 7 stuck his hands in, called for him to remove them, ignored me, called again, still nothing (arm out), ball not moving. Whistle and called captain to me. Explained I thought it was cynical and he'd earnt ten minutes. No previous warning as nothing previously but this was a stopping tactic.

After the match I called the Black coach over to me and explained the above "as I saw it". Not a debate just me explaining what I saw and what I did. Both coaches happy with the explaination.
 

TheBFG


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If as you state the PK was as high as it was, the ref prob could have handled it better. I agree that a YC for tech offence at U13's is a little hard for the players to understand/deal with, that said he had warned them.

As a coach i may well have stepped in sooner and asked the ref if i could speak to my players, i understand this may have been difficult in a sustained attacking position, but you need to step in and "coach" your players.

As for his not wanting to talk after the game, no time for that approach, I'm always prepared to discuss any call i've made, providing it's going to be a constructive discussion :wink:
 
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TheBFG


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At under 13s I don't see an issue with this. The fact is the referee left himself nowhere to go. The statement "next offence = yellow" once uttered has to be followed up otherwise way say it. IMHO it is wrong to say that, I'd go for the "have a think lads, you are beginning to limit my options".

dont agree with that Spike, these are 12/13 year old kids, using that type of talk to them may well go over their head!

That said 7 PKs in a row in that area of the pitch the players need to understand how to play the referee as much as the opposition and whilst they are 12 I would guess that they have some experience of this.

The referee is also right in the fact that he does not have to discuss his decisions afterwards and whilst you may not have challenged him it would appear someone did as he stated 3 times he was not prepared to discuss this.

you're right he doesn't have to, but he should be prepared for a grown up discussion, may well have been why he was so against it, sounds like he's had issues before :chin:

It depends very much on the situation as to how I might have dealt with this but personal experience in refereeing a very one sided game at U14 level last season is very similar. Black winning be a long way, white made first trip into Black 22 and got up to 5 metres on. Tackle made, ruck formed (which I shouted), Black 7 stuck his hands in, called for him to remove them, ignored me, called again, still nothing (arm out), ball not moving. Whistle and called captain to me. Explained I thought it was cynical and he'd earnt ten minutes. No previous warning as nothing previously but this was a stopping tactic.

at 14, mmmm maybe, but you'll know the players that "know what they're doing" :wink:

After the match I called the Black coach over to me and explained the above "as I saw it". Not a debate just me explaining what I saw and what I did. Both coaches happy with the explaination.
see, you did it and that's prob why you don't get the angry parents :wink:
 

KingsPE


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Should have said.............

I did try to speak with the ref when he said next offence=yellow. I wanted to speak to my players. I could see where it was going - He would not let me on the field of play.

I would also have happily removed any player from the field myself. He did not allow me to help him out.

I should also point out that he pinged our loose-head about 15 times in each scrum. I had believed him to be our best scrummager (by a long way!)

At the end of the game, (immediately) kid asked if he could play 2nd row from now on. he has no idea what he was doing wrong.

He was actually an extremely good ref and his interpretations were spot on - however, not really appropriate for 12/13 year olds who are basically still learning the game.

P
 
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TheBFG


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not conviced that they were spot on, if he pinged the same guy 15 times :chin: what was the offence he pinged him for, Oh and you have an openside as your best scrummager :wow:, on't let him go, he's likely to be the only one in the world!

Well there are just some you can't talk to!
 

KingsPE


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One more thought.........

if he had given a penalty try I would have supported it. It wasn't but he needed to do something about the penalty count - seemed harsh to YC a kid for first offence in the match (but then it is a team-game

He could have penalised whole team for their PK count???? Not really correct in law but probably what I would do (If team did not keep infringing then try would be scored).

(Turned out that yellow did not score in the end anyway and black counter-attacked to score under the posts)
 
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KingsPE


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Quote.....

It depends very much on the situation as to how I might have dealt with this but personal experience in refereeing a very one sided game at U14 level last season is very similar. Black winning be a long way, white made first trip into Black 22 and got up to 5 metres on. Tackle made, ruck formed (which I shouted), Black 7 stuck his hands in, called for him to remove them (warning one!), ignored me, called again(warning2), still nothing (arm out), ball not moving. Whistle and called captain to me. Explained I thought it was cynical and he'd earnt ten minutes. No previous warning as nothing previously but this was a stopping tactic.


2 WARNINGS FOLLOWED BY YC - THAT IS A BIT DIFFERENT TO THIS SITUATION
 

Dixie


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KingsPE, at some point every player gets his first YC. I still have people telling my that their 16 year-old is far too sensitive to deal with the one I gave him for a sly punch on the far side of the ruck ... . That said, let's look at the current situation.

It sounds as though you feel that the ref was ... if not inventing PK's to give Yellow a sniff of a chance, then at least being far more demanding of Black than of Yellow, resulting in a disproportionate penalty count. If that was indeed the case, then the ref is not acting impartially as he is required to do - and has put Black into a position where a YC for a high count is more likely. In such circumstances, he is the architect of the problem.

Was this more than a friendly? If so, and if the ref was genuinely giving what saw to the best of his (possibly limited) impartial ability, then he was correct in what he did. If it was a friendly game, he may still have been correct in what he did - but had rather more options available to him in terms of management. I take issue rather with Spike's terminology - while an adult can be expected to read between the lines of "you are limiting my options", I very much doubt that a 12 year-old would understand what was being said. At that age, I think the consequences of actions need to be clearly spelled out, so I would have done similar - though I may have given myself some wiggle room such as "Captain, I'm now thinking yellow card for repeated team offending. Tell your players that the next offence RISKS a YC."

At least you are in a position where you can tell the lad he took one for the team, it wasn't really for his action but the accumulation, the ref had just lost patience and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time - and anyway, it didn't look to you like even a penalty offence, so forget about it. But consider it from Yellow's perspective - if you were the Yellow coach writing in and complaining that it took seven (7!) red-zone PK's for the ref even to warn about cards, and then when the next attack was illegally halted he didn't even reach for the pocket, so how was his team supposed to score without protection from such blatant cheating ... well, perhaps if you were that coach you'd have stronger grounds for complaint than that a thoroughly nice chap got an undeserved YC and was upset about it.
 

Dixie


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He could have penalised whole team for their PK count???? Not really correct in law but probably what I would do (If team did not keep infringing then try would be scored).
How would that work then? 15 yellow cards seems excessive. If it's just a PK, how does that differ from the situation where the ref already had a PK to deal with? If he's not to escalate to YC, where's the sanction for the high count?

Are you suggesting that he should have given a Penalty Try for the repeated offending, even though no try was probable? You've written in with a feeling that your player was hard done by in the correct application of the laws of the game - might you not have done so with a far stronger sense of injustice if the ref had invented his own laws in order to avoid a perceived minor injustice? That's a very undesirable slippery slope in my view.
 

OB..


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At the end of the game, (immediately) kid asked if he could play 2nd row from now on. he has no idea what he was doing wrong.

He was actually an extremely good ref and his interpretations were spot on - however, not really appropriate for 12/13 year olds who are basically still learning the game.
The strong implication here is that the player was doing something wrong, and his coach needs to sort it out. Perhaps the referee could help?!
 

spikeno10

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"The referee is also right in the fact that he does not have to discuss his decisions afterwards and whilst you may not have challenged him it would appear someone did as he stated 3 times he was not prepared to discuss this.

you're right he doesn't have to, but he should be prepared for a grown up discussion, may well have been why he was so against it, sounds like he's had issues before
"

It also depends on how people approach the ref, the OP mentioned "challenged" and maybe if this was the manner of the approach then there is little to gain in that interaction.

I have had plenty of angry parents (would never claim to be a great referee or indeed to never make mistakes) - in fact have a look at the thread "my turn with the whistle".

I agree it is great to discuss the game with the ref but it does very much depend on how you make the approach as to what you are going to gain from the discussion.

Also accept the comment about "limiting options" in hindsight your word in far better.
 

crossref


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I think this is a really good question.

I think there are two issues to discuss -

1 - in a one-sided game at U13 level what actions can/should a ref take to 'even things up'
2 - use of YC at U13s

1 - 'evening things up'

It's really, really tempting, at U13 when one side is 40-0 up and the other team are despondent, to start to ref slightly harder against the winning team, or give the benefit of the doubt on the forward pass etc from the other, so that they can at least get a try.

But my view is 'don't' it almost always ends badly (just as it did here). As soon as you divert from anything other than the impartial you quickly find yourself in murky territory, and things can get quickly out of control (as I thibk they did here)

The actions I think you can take are
- safety: keep a very careful watch on a one-sided scrum, the weaker scrum can lose morale and distintegrate completely very quickly, over just one or two scrums. think about if you need to go uncontested for safety
- gloating: I really, really don't like unsporting gloating that this age group can be prone to, it just raises tempers and I will tell them not to (their coach will back you up I find)
- quite word with the dominant coach (at half time, or when they get to 40-0 or something), to float the possibility that he might like to bring on all those cold subs waiting on the pitch and take off the big tall guy who has scored five tries already. Be prepared for him to say 'no' though :sad:


YC at U13

I've never seen a 'team warning' followed by YC to first offender at u13 and I don't think that's really appropriate.

At U13 many teams are still taking it in turns to be captain, you can't assume that your warning to the captain was properly understood by the captain, let alone relayed and understood by players. many U13s will have never seen a YC or RC except on the TV.

The only YC I have ever seen at u13 have been for foul play / loos of temper / or for multiple offences by the one player (after direct warning to the player).
 

Dixie


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Good post, Crossref. I'd agree (and Baftabill will say it stronger than any of us) that real discipline problems are so rare as to be almost unheard of in U.13 or indeed U.14, so to an extent a ref who finds himself painted into a corner should always be looking to his managemnet style. But there ARE incidents when the card is necessary - if only to make a point that is being missed. I once carded one of Bill's club's players at a Newbury tournament - may even have been his team. Two PK's awarded against in quick succession - spoke to the skipper loudly enough to be overheard by all forwards. Time back on, whistle - and a player who'd been having his head guard adjusted within 10m of the tap then tackled the runner 2m from the line. Where are your options then? We were actually just a minute from time - but I still got grief for having the temerity to card the player (who, like KingsPE's [player, was inconsolable).
 

PaulDG


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At under 13s I don't see an issue with this. The fact is the referee left himself nowhere to go. The statement "next offence = yellow" once uttered has to be followed up otherwise way say it. IMHO it is wrong to say that, I'd go for the "have a think lads, you are beginning to limit my options".

As TheBFG says, this isn't the best script for U13s. Kids that age don't get "subtle hints" - they have to be told very clearly what's at stake.

And I'm with Dixie on this too - so someone got a yellow card who perhaps shouldn't have. Shrug. That happens. It won't be the first or last time it happens for this team (particularly if they actually do offend as often as this ref thought!).

At least they were winning!
 

PaulDG


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It's really, really tempting, at U13 when one side is 40-0 up and the other team are despondent, to start to ref slightly harder against the winning team, or give the benefit of the doubt on the forward pass etc from the other, so that they can at least get a try.

But my view is 'don't' it almost always ends badly (just as it did here).

If that's what was going on.

FWIW, in my experience (and I'd certainly say the experience of the ref comes in here), it is possible to "improve" some mismatched games with a bit of one-sided blindness but only to a limited extent.

I've certainly had matches where the mismatch has been obvious to all but with everyone aware that the poorer side needed to have some match time - so, the dominant side's coaches agreed to put on their weakest side and everyone agreed that I'd only penalise outrageous offences (or foul play) by the poorer side.

It didn't make a match of it, but it gave the losing side some valuable experience.

However, as Crossref says, it can easily go very badly wrong and a lot of that is in the hands of the dominant side - if they decide to muck about, then all that happens is tempers rise and it's time to call it a day.

Was the ref trying to do some evening up here? Well, perhaps - but I can't honestly say that a team warning and a yellow would be any part of any "evening up" I'd ever see as appropriate!

YC at U13

I've never seen a 'team warning' followed by YC to first offender at u13 and I don't think that's really appropriate.

At U13 many teams are still taking it in turns to be captain, you can't assume that your warning to the captain was properly understood by the captain, let alone relayed and understood by players. many U13s will have never seen a YC or RC except on the TV.

The only YC I have ever seen at u13 have been for foul play / loos of temper / or for multiple offences by the one player (after direct warning to the player).

I certainly agree with that - this really shouldn't have been a YC at all. (However, once the ref had made his decision to use the YC at the next offence, well, hopefully it's a learning experience!)
 

PaulDG


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Good post, Crossref. I'd agree (and Baftabill will say it stronger than any of us) that real discipline problems are so rare as to be almost unheard of in U.13 or indeed U.14,

Dixie,

I'm with you with U13, but I'm afraid there can be a lot of problems at U14.

U13 (in England) is a transition year - the kids are learning about the full size pitch and fending off, etc. and many of the coaches are beginning to learn they're out of their depth. Many of the dads who've been holding the whistle up till now are also working out they're out of their depth too come to that.

By U14, a lot of that is sorted out. There are still a lot of kids with very poor skills and those who are not fully physically developed, but often now the dads who've been helping out with minis have stepped back and some of the other dads who played in the 2nds 20 years ago step forward.

U14s may well be being coached to cheat, to give someone a slap when the ref's back is turned and certainly to sledge.

So you can't be quite so keen to give U14s the benefit of the doubt..
 

SimonSmith


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I think you got the short end of the stick whichever way you cut it.

In an adult game, his management would be scored so low as to be off the paper. 15 penalties at scrums? 7 near the goalline? Even assuming that they were technically correct, that's unsupportable.

The YC for cumulative penalties is again, possibly technically correct. I would debate 7 as being the right number. Why did the LH not get a card?

Is that appropriate at U13 level? I have mixed feelings on that. When I was playing at that level I knew what I was doing and enjoyed the devilment of skiting the law to make the opposite no9's life hell. I suspect that if I'd been carded, I'd have accepted that as the price for what I was doing. I certainly never had any issue being penalized.
Kids today may be very different and the ethos of the game different. I don't know, so I don't feel qualified to answer competently. From what I've picked up from others who deal with kids at that age, it seems a bit out of step with prevailing expectations.
 

scarletjack


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Dixie,

I'm with you with U13, but I'm afraid there can be a lot of problems at U14.

U13 (in England) is a transition year - the kids are learning about the full size pitch and fending off, etc. and many of the coaches are beginning to learn they're out of their depth. Many of the dads who've been holding the whistle up till now are also working out they're out of their depth too come to that.

By U14, a lot of that is sorted out. There are still a lot of kids with very poor skills and those who are not fully physically developed, but often now the dads who've been helping out with minis have stepped back and some of the other dads who played in the 2nds 20 years ago step forward.

U14s may well be being coached to cheat, to give someone a slap when the ref's back is turned and certainly to sledge.

So you can't be quite so keen to give U14s the benefit of the doubt..

Think thats rite , as u14s is the same as u19 but for one or two very small deferences and player are tought to cheat where possible and often do
Player at this age need to learn as soon they will be playing youth rugby and will not get away with so much
 

crossref


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Is that appropriate at U13 level? I have mixed feelings on that. When I was playing at that level I knew what I was doing and enjoyed the devilment of skiting the law to make the opposite no9's life hell. I suspect that if I'd been carded, I'd have accepted that as the price for what I was doing. I certainly never had any issue being penalized..

that's the the sort of player (and the sort of behaviour) that does merit a YC at U13 :smile: You can be qute sure that you have A,T, P and YC him, with him understanding all the way through. been there done that, and he didn't burst into tears

that's very different from a 'team warning' via the captain, which I just don't think works at U13 and is almost guaranteed to lead to you two minutes later showing a YC to a tearful 12 year old who had no idea that he was risking one.
 
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