Ruling 1: 2010

100309 SG IRB Ruling 1, 2010
To: Secretaries / CEOs of Unions and Regional Associations in Membership
From: David Carrigy, Head of External & Member Relations
Subject: Law Ruling by Designated Members of Rugby Committee
Date: March 10, 2010
Ruling: 1: 2010
Request from the IRFU
The IRFU request a Ruling related to Law 15.6 (c) as follows:
“Law 15.6(c) was introduced in 2009, and the stated purpose was to write into
Law Ruling No. 13 of 2003, and Nos. 3 and 8 of 2004.
We are of the firm opinion that 15.6(c) does not reflect accurately these Rulings:
• The Rulings clearly deal with an opponent of a tackled player, who
remains on his feet, and is on the tackled player’s side of the tackle. This
player must release and re-enter from his own side.
• This is the only requirement within these Rulings in relation to a player on
his feet who is an opponent of the tackled player.
• The Rulings also state that players can play the ball if they have come
from their own side, and are on their feet. There is no requirement within
the Rulings for a player, who has always been on his side of the tackle,
to release the ball.
• As written 15.6(c) is inclusive of all players on their feet, and this does
not meet the objective of the Rulings.
Furthermore, Law 15.6(c) is anomalous and in contradiction with several other
sections within the totality of Law 15 – particularly 15.5(b) and 15.6(b).
We ask the Designated Members to consider the above observations and to
determine if a re-write (or clarification) of 15.6(c) is necessary so it reflects
correctly and accurately the Rulings No. 13 of 2003, and Nos. 3 and 8 of 2004,
and to remove the current anomaly in Law.
100309 SG IRB Ruling 1 2010 Page 2 of 3
In view of the recent focus and discussions in relation to this Law, we would
also ask that this request is treated with the utmost urgency.”
Ruling of the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee
In the Designated Members opinion the Law amendment, Law 15 6 (c) reflects
the Rulings 13 – 2008, 3 and 8 2004. In order to clarify the situation the
Designated Members’ comments are included below.
A player who is brought to the ground when carrying the ball is a tackled player.
(Definition)
A player who goes to ground when tackling a player is known as a tackler.
(Definition)
A player who brings a player to ground who is carrying the ball is not a tackler
(Definition), however, this player has completed a tackle.
A tackler must release the tackled player (Law15.4 (a)).
The tackled player must pass or release the ball (Law 15.5(b)).
The tackled player may release the ball by putting the ball on the ground in any
direction (Law15.5 (c)).
The tackled player may release the ball by pushing the ball along the ground
(Law15.5 (d)).
However, if opposition players who are on their feet attempt to play the ball, the
tackled player must release the ball (Law15.5 (e)).
Players arriving at a tackle may play the ball providing they are on their feet
(Law15.6 (b)).
Players who were attached to the player who is tackled and who remain on their
feet must release the player and the ball (Law15.6 (c)) and then may play the
ball in accordance with Law15.6 (b).
Law Ruling 8 of 2004 stated that the players who are not tacklers are covered
by Law 15.7(c) (2008 Law) and those players can only play the ball if they
approach from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the
tackler closest to those players’ goal-line.
100309 SG IRB Ruling 1 2010 Page 3 of 3
To approach behind the tackled player means the tackle has taken place and
the revised Law 15.6 (c) (2009) makes that very clear.
Law 15.6 (c) as written reflected the views of the Designated Members in 2004
and now, Law 15.6 (c) is part of the Law amendments circulated to all Unions in
2009 and was accepted by the Rugby Committee and Council.
Yours sincerely,
David Carrigy
Head of External & Member Relations

Date: March 10, 2010
Ruling: 1: 2010
Request from the IRFU

The IRFU request a Ruling related to Law 15.6 (c) as follows:
“Law 15.6(c) was introduced in 2009, and the stated purpose was to write into Law Ruling No. 13 of 2003, and Nos. 3 and 8 of 2004.  We are of the firm opinion that 15.6(c) does not reflect accurately these Rulings:

  • The Rulings clearly deal with an opponent of a tackled player, who remains on his feet, and is on the tackled player’s side of the tackle. This player must release and re-enter from his own side.
  • This is the only requirement within these Rulings in relation to a player on his feet who is an opponent of the tackled player.
  • The Rulings also state that players can play the ball if they have come from their own side, and are on their feet. There is no requirement within the Rulings for a player, who has always been on his side of the tackle, to release the ball.
  • As written 15.6(c) is inclusive of all players on their feet, and this does not meet the objective of the Rulings.

Furthermore, Law 15.6(c) is anomalous and in contradiction with several other sections within the totality of Law 15 – particularly 15.5(b) and 15.6(b).  We ask the Designated Members to consider the above observations and to determine if a re-write (or clarification) of 15.6(c) is necessary so it reflects correctly and accurately the Rulings No. 13 of 2003, and Nos. 3 and 8 of 2004, and to remove the current anomaly in Law.

In view of the recent focus and discussions in relation to this Law, we would also ask that this request is treated with the utmost urgency.”

Ruling of the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee

In the Designated Members opinion the Law amendment, Law 15 6 (c) reflects the Rulings 13 – 2008, 3 and 8 2004. In order to clarify the situation the Designated Members’ comments are included below.

A player who is brought to the ground when carrying the ball is a tackled player.  (Definition)
A player who goes to ground when tackling a player is known as a tackler. (Definition)
A player who brings a player to ground who is carrying the ball is not a tackler (Definition), however, this player has completed a tackle.

A tackler must release the tackled player (Law15.4 (a)).
The tackled player must pass or release the ball (Law 15.5(b)).
The tackled player may release the ball by putting the ball on the ground in any direction (Law15.5 (c)).
The tackled player may release the ball by pushing the ball along the ground (Law15.5 (d)).
However, if opposition players who are on their feet attempt to play the ball, the tackled player must release the ball (Law15.5 (e)).

Players arriving at a tackle may play the ball providing they are on their feet (Law15.6 (b)).
Players who were attached to the player who is tackled and who remain on their feet must release the player and the ball (Law15.6 (c)) and then may play the ball in accordance with Law15.6 (b).

Law Ruling 8 of 2004 stated that the players who are not tacklers are covered by Law 15.7(c) (2008 Law) and those players can only play the ball if they approach from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or the tackler closest to those players’ goal-line.

To approach behind the tackled player means the tackle has taken place and the revised Law 15.6 (c) (2009) makes that very clear.

Law 15.6 (c) as written reflected the views of the Designated Members in 2004 and now, Law 15.6 (c) is part of the Law amendments circulated to all Unions in 2009 and was accepted by the Rugby Committee and Council.

Yours sincerely,
David Carrigy
Head of External & Member Relations

Updated Match Day Procedures

Match Protocol – All Matches (friendly and league)
Posted on 5 Feb, 2010
Match Protocol – Texas Rugby Referee and Team Match Confirmation Protocol

Preseason, Friendly’s and League Matches:

1. Turn in the schedule for all matches to your divisional secretary and the Local Referee Organization.
2. Check the TRU web site for the master schedule to confirm that all your games are entered appropriately and include directions and map to your pitch as well as the correct kick-off time. Contact your divisional Secretary to make any necessary corrections.
3. The master schedule should show the referee for matches at least 21 days ahead. You may request assistant referees, at the clubs expense, by contacting the referee scheduler(s) in your area.

Match week – Home team responsibility:

1. Monday – E-mail and/or call the referee for your next match using the list on the web site under “Referee Corner”. If there is an out of town or exchange referee assigned, call your Local Referee Scheduler (Contact us) for contact info and confirm with the exchange referee if any travel arrangements need to be made (airport pick-up, etc.). If a referee has not been scheduled, immediately contact the referee scheduler in your area. Provide the referee with the cell number of a club officer who can be contacted in the event of an unforeseen delay, weather issues, etc. Contact your opposition and confirm the match venue and kick-off time.
2. Wednesday – If you have received no response from the referee (Referee Corner / Referee List) by Wednesday evening, call your referee scheduler -contact details on TRU Website under Referee Corner / Contact Us.

Game Day – Home team:

1. Pick up referee if required
2. Have a pre-match conversation with the referee and indicate if changing and restroom facilities are available. Make the referee aware of any special home pitch conditions or venue rules. Provide the same information to the visiting team.
3. Invite the referee to the after-match function.
4. Assist the referee in getting to the airport if required
5. Collect and mail the signed CIPP rosters for both teams to the appropriate Divisional Secretary.

Game Day – Both teams:

1. Have front row waiver form completed and signed and present to the referee along with CIPP roster with all players clearly marked – jersey number and Front-row eligibility.
2. Prior to kick-off, exchange completed and signed CIPP roster with the opposition and sign the opposition’s roster. These are retained by the home team to be mailed to the appropriate Divisional Secretary.
3. Confirm scores and discipline issues with referee before the referee leaves the venue.

Division 1 Post Game Responsibilities – Both teams:

By 3:00pm on the Monday after the match, complete and submit the on-line West TU Div.1 Match Report, located on the following link – https://rugby.truman.edu/men/Club-Match-Report.htm

Updated policy on Field Barriers and Safety Protocols

FIELD BARRIERS REQUIREMENTS EXPANDED:

As of January 1, 2010, any and all TRU Rugby Matches, TYRA included, MUST HAVE:

• Field barriers, 5 meters or more, from the touch line on BOTH sides of the playing enclosure.
• Additionally, both Clubs game day personnel (reserves, coaches and trainers) shall be placed on the opposite side of the field from the traditional spectator/stands side for the particular field being used.
• Fans and non essential team personnel should be directed to remain on the Spectator sideline.
• The clubs shall be divided and directed to remain on their respective side of the 50m line and remain between the 50m and their respective 22m line. No personnel from either team should be between the 22m and dead ball line.
• If the opposite side of the spectator sideline is not available, or an unforeseen situation should arise, a technical zone shall be established within the established guidelines detailed herein.
• Should a Club have a specific question as it relates to their home pitch and their ability to comply with the TRU’s policies; the Club can discuss and determine proper field protocols with the TRU Director of Competitions.

This policy was tested in the 2008-09 competitive cycle at various venues, divisions and tournaments with positive results. It has been found that close proximity of the spectators to the reserves/coaches fosters problems beyond safety. Separating the spectators from the coach(es) and reserves allows the spectators to enjoy the match without the input from the participants. Additionally, it allows the Match Official (Referee) to keep better control of the sidelines.

The only person allowed inside the ropes are: One (1) Coach & One (1) Trainer/Medical Personnel. All others must remain behind the ropes.

Remember there are fairly strict rules regarding who can and cannot be on the field of play. Coaches are NOT permitted to enter the playing area during a match except by invitation of the referee at half time, or other extraordinary occasions. [Ref: law 6C.2, 3}. This policy applies to all matches, including youth matches.

Water carriers and medical personnel may enter the playing area by prior arrangement, or at the specific invitation of the referee. Referees are urged to be vigilant in applying this law to coaches masquerading as water carriers or trainers or to coaches entering the playing area uninvited at stoppages for injury, conversion kicks, and the like, and to enlist the aid of the relevant captain in curbing such infringements. Penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct may be applied.

All personnel properly within the playing enclosure must stay close to the perimeter rope unless performing their authorized function. They are not to approach or remain in close proximity to the touchline thus distracting or endangering the touch judge in the execution of his or her duties.

As detailed herin, a well defined “technical zone” is to be used when a non spectator sideline is not available. The technical zone should be well defined and be of equal size and of corresponding proximity for both teams.

This requirement is recommended for the remainder of the 2009 competitive season, it will mandatory beginning January 1, 2010 and Match Officials (Referee) will have authority, at his sole discretion, to post-pone the match if the field is not properly roped, marked or prepared for play in compliance with TRU requirements. Referee match reports will be the primary method utilized to monitor compliance.

The existing requirements to have Goal Post Pads, Field Flags and properly marked fields shall continue to be in effect and failure to meet these will also have the same penalties imposed.

Failure to meet the minimum required policies will be tracked on a rolling twelve (12) month basis and are set forth below, with the following sanctions:

• First Offense: $50 fine
• Second Offense $100 fine and loss of One (1) League Point as applicable
• Third Offense: $150 fine, loss of One (1) League Point and loss of next home match as applicable
• Fourth Offense: To be reviewed by TRU Discipline Director

The following procedures should be followed on game day and/or in the case of a citing:

• Both coaches should review the assigned team areas at least 30 minutes prior to kick off.
• If both coaches cannot agree to a suitable resolution, the respective coaches, must notify the referee before kickoff. Coaches can NOT agree to waive the stated policy requirements by mutual consent.
• Primary reporting of the Field Barrier Policy shall continue to be made via Referee Match Reports which should be submitted with 48 hours of the match or as is reasonable.
• The TRU will review all match reports and notify the respective clubs within 48 hours or as is reasonable.
• Appeals shall be submitted to the TRU Discipline Director within 48 hours of notification or as is reasonable.
• Fines shall be due and payable within 10 business days of notification by the TRU.

Posted, December 14, 2009

Match Protocol – All Matches (friendly and league)

Match Protocol – Texas Rugby Referee Match Confirmation Protocol

Preseason, Friendly’s and League Matches:

1. Turn in the schedule for all matches to your divisional secretary and the Local Referee Organization.
2. Check the TRU web site for the master schedule to assure that all your games are entered appropriately
3. Matches should show the referee for matches at least 21 days ahead at all times when possible. You may request assistant referees, at the clubs expense, by contacting the referee scheduler(s) in your area

Match week:
1. Monday: E-mail and/or call the referee for your next match using the list on the web site under “Referee Corner”. If there is an out of town or exchange ref, call your Local Referee Scheduler (“contact us”) for contact info. If a referee has not been scheduled as of yet, immediately contact the referee scheduler in your area. Provide the referee with the cell number of a club officer who can be contacted in the event of an unforeseen delay, weather issues, etc.
2. If you have had no response from the referee (Referee Corner / Referee List) by Wednesday evening, call your referee scheduler (contact details on TRU Website under Referee Corner / Contact Us)
3. If your referee is coming in by plane, please arrange to pick him/her up if and help with any other arrangements as needed
4. Thursday: E-mail your roster with CIPP #’s to the Referee and Your Opposition or follow alternate procedures on the TRU web site
5. Please be sure to have a map to your field available on the web site and/or send one to the referee if required

Game Day:
1. Pick up referee if required
2. Have front row waiver forms signed and present to the referee and CIPP roster with all players clearly marked
3. Have a pre-match conversation with the referee and show him/her changing and restroom facilities
4. Make the referee aware of any special home pitch conditions or venue rules
5. Confirm scores and discipline issues with referee and the other team’s coach before the referee leaves the stadium/field
6. Assist the referee in getting to the airport if required
7. Invite the referee to the social

Front Row Replacement Law Revised

Reminder to all Clubs:

Greetings,

The following recommendation from USA Rugby Competitions Committee was approved by the Rugby Committee and the Board of Directors and is in force for all matches that lead in any way to a USA Rugby National Championship.
________________________________________

Attached is the new version of IRB Law 3. We have adopted the Union Specific Variations as they pertain to front row replacements as detailed below:
________________________________________

The following competition regulation applies for any match that leads in any way to a USA Rugby National Championship.

• All matches shall be governed by IRB Law 3 with respect to substitutions and front row replacements. In particular, Law 3.14 “Union Specific Variations” will apply to front row replacements.

• Failure to have three trained and experienced front-row players at the start of a match will result in a forfeit.

• Teams shall submit a match roster nominating a maximum of 23 players – 15 starting players and a maximum of eight reserves.

• The table below indicates the required numbers of suitably trained and experienced front row players for different numbers of players on the match roster

Number of Players on the roster Required number of suitably trained and experienced Front row players
15 3
16, 17 or 18 4
19, 20 or 21 5
22 or 23 6

• Should a team lose all of their available front row players, then uncontested scrums will take place but the team opting out of the set-piece will not be able to replace the injured player – forcing them to continue with only fourteen players. (Note – This is a change to the existing Laws and ensures that a team going to uncontested scrums does not gain an advantage.)

3.14 UNION SPECIFIC VARIATIONS

(a) A Union having jurisdiction (or where a match or competition is played between teams
from two or more Unions those Unions by agreement between them) may implement
variations to Law 3 .4 for matches below international level as set out in 3(b) and/or 3 (c)
below .

(b) When 22 or 23 players are nominated in a team there must be sufficient front row players
to play at hooker, tight-head prop and loose-head prop who are suitably trained and
experienced to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement in any front row
position is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums.

(c) A provision may be introduced that where uncontested scrums are ordered as result of
there being no suitably trained and experienced front row replacement for any reason, the
team concerned play with not more than 14 players

Cancellation of Referee Level 1 Course – Sept 26 – Dallas

The TRRA has informed the Union that due to lack of interest, they are cancelling the Level 1 course scheduled for Sept 26 in Dallas.

This is an unfortunate situation as the need for referee’s continues to grow in comensurate with our Youth, Collegiagte and Senior programs which are all experiencing steady year over year growth.

The rugby community’s failure to identify, train and develop new referee’s will materially limit the growth of the game as a whole and we will need to look at new and possibly more drastic ways to service the games we have.

Rich has graciously offered to teach a course himself in November.

A new date will be published and emailed out to the members.

Thanks

David McPhail
President, TRU

Referee Level One Course Recommended by the TRRA and TRU, Saturday, Sept 12th

Level one participants:

Welcome to the level one class. On behalf of the TRRA and TRU we are excited by your interest in becoming a referee for Rugby in Texas!

Both groups have forged a stronger bond and share a unified vision of growing the referee community at all levels and are committed to training and supporting all levels going forward.

Time will fly during the class and we will have a lot of fun. Let me take the time to acknowledge James Summers, Stephanie Thompson, Maricella Suarez, Karen Garcia, and Shannon Dere for the support they’re providing for us at Texas State .

The class will begin at 8:30 and end at 5:00. At lunch, we will break for an hour. Please make sure that you are on time so that we can keep to this timeframe.

There will be an open book test and we may go outside for drills if the weather permits.

There is a $50 fee for this class. The fee will be reimbursed when you verify that you are going to be a full-time referee, have assisted match officials and have refereed a determined amount of matches

The staff of Texas State has been kind and generous to us so let’s make sure we respect the protocol and properties of the University.

If you have any questions, you may contact me or call me at 832-860-8468.

We look forward to seeing you at the clinic and at the pitch!

Rich Prim, TRRA Referee Training and Development Manager
and David McPhail, TRU President

Match Officials Newsletter

AUGUST 2009

Contact Us
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Boulder, CO 80302
(p) 303.539.0300
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For more information on USA Rugby, click here
Upcoming Events

August 16 & 23 – Level 2 Officiating Course – Springield, LA and Mobile, AL. Contact Steve Parrill for more information and to register, stephen.parrill@lbsp.org
August 21 – Level 1 Coaching of Match Officials Course – Dallas, TX. Contact Ed Todd for more information and to register, etodd@usarugby.org
August 22nd – Level 1 Officiating Course – Seabring, FL. Contact Gerry Fitzgerald for more information and to register, rugbyreffl@aol.com

August 28, 29 & 30 – Level 3 Officiating Course – Boulder, CO. Contact Mike Malone for more information and to register, mgmalone@comcast.net

August 29 & 30 – USA Rugby All-Star Sevens Championships – Randall’s Island, NYC

August 29 – Level 1 Officiating Course –
Malvern, PA. Contact Doug Syme for more information and to register, syme4@comcast.net

August 29- Level 1 Officiating Course –
St. Louis, MO. Contact Eric Haug for more information and to register, ejh@eas.slu.edu

September 12 – Level 1 Officiating Course –
Santa Barbra, CA. Contact Mark Kottke for more information and to register, mkottke@mail.sdsu.edu

September 12 – Level 1 Officiating Course –
Dallas, TX. Contact Joe Zevin for more information and to register, jayzee2@juno.com

September 12 – Level 1 Officiating Course –
San Marcos, TX. Contact Rich Prim for more information and to register, rich_prim@yahoo.com

September 19 & 20 – Level 2 Officiating Course – Vancouver, WA. Contact Jim Kautz for more information and to register, jkautz@comcast.net

September 26 & 27 – Level 2 Officiating Course – Cal State Long Beach. Contact Mark Kottke for more information and to register, mkottke@mail.sdsu.edu

Announcements
Check out the IRB’s Maul Working Group Guidelines: https://www.irblaws.com/EN/guidelines/

Referee Resources
www.usarugby.org/goto/referee_resources

www.irblaws.com
www.irb.com

In This Issue…
• 2009/2010 National Panel Announcement
• IRB Law Ruling 5: Law 3.12 Substituted Players Rejoining the Match
• IRB Law Ruling 6: U-19 Variations- Law 20.1 (f)
• 2nd Annual Women’s Referee Development Camp
• IRB Referee Talent Identification Program Update
• Coach Development Program Seeks Workshop Hosts

2009/2010 National Panel Announcement
________________________________________
From the USA Rugby Referee Development Department.

BOULDER, Colo. – The USA Rugby Referee and Laws Selection Committee is proud to announce the 2009-2010 National Panel and National Focus Group appointments.

Aruna Ranaweera is promoted to the National Panel and joins Davey Ardrey, Paul Bretz, Ed Gardner, Chris Henshall, Tim Luscombe, Tom Lyons and Dana Teagarden. Chris Draper has retired from the National Panel, along with Simon Page, who now moves to the Directors Panel.

“Our gratitude goes out to both Chris and Simon for all they have done for USA Rugby. We know the time, effort and sacrifice it takes to referee at this level, and we wish them well in their future endeavors,” said USA Rugby Referees National Panel Manager Richard Every.

Joe Androvich and Marc Nelson are promoted to the Referees Focus Group for the 2009-2010 season and join returning members Gareth Morgan and Nick Ricono. Group members from the 2008-2009 season, Judah Boulet and Mitch Damm now return to their respective territorial panels, while Paul Bethe is currently injured and will be reviewed for reinstatement to the Focus Group upon his return to refereeing.

Simon Page, Phil Griffiths and Pete Smith move to the Directors Panel, among the likes of 2008-2009 appointees Graeme Bullen, Tom Coburn, Brad Kleiner, Jem McDowell, Richard Parker, Dave Peters and Mark Zetterberg. The National Directors Panel was created for the 2008-2009 season to allow match officials who have reached the highest level of their craft in the U.S. to continue to contribute on the field.

“Congratulations to the 2009-2010 referee panels and to all of their respective Local Area Unions and Territories. Thanks to their continued support, USA Rugby Referees are providing a steadily improving service to the game,” said USA Rugby Director of Referee Development Ed Todd.

For more information on the USA Rugby Referee panels, please contact Ed Todd at etodd@usarugby.org or visit www.usarugby.org/goto/referees.

USA Rugby Referees National Panel
Davey Ardrey (Great Plains, West)
Paul Bretz (Northern California, Pacific)
Ed Gardner (South)
Chris Henshall (EPRU, MARFU)
Tim Luscombe (Eastern Rockies, West)
Tom Lyons (Potomac, MARFU)
*Aruna Ranaweera (Northern California, Pacific)
Dana Teagarden (Southern California)

USA Rugby Referees Focus Group
*Joe Androvich (Northern California, Pacific)
Gareth Morgan (Southeast, South)
*Marc Nelson (Eastern Rockies, West)
Nick Ricono (Southern California)

USA Rugby Referees Directors Panel
Graeme Bullen (Texas, West)
Tom Coburn (Eastern Rockies, West)
*Phil Griffiths (New England, Northeast)
Brad Kleiner (Met NY, Northeast)
Jem McDowell (Met NY, Northeast)
*Simon Page (Florida, South)
Richard Parker (New England, Northeast)
Dave Peters (Southern California)
*Pete Smith (Northern California, Pacific)
Mark Zetterberg (Pacific Northwest, Northwest)

*denotes new appointee for 2009-2010

IRB Law Law Ruling 5- Law 3.12 Substituted Players Rejoining the Match
________________________________________
From David Carrigy, IRB Head of External and Member Relations.

Request for a Ruling from the Designated Members from the RFU

LAW 3.12 SUBSTITUED PLAYERS REJOINING THE MATCH

Early in a match Team A replace their Tight Head Prop, due to injury, with their nominated prop forward replacement. Late in the match, the replacement prop forward collects a serious injury forcing him to leave the field. Team A, having used all their nominated substitutes, continue to play with 14 players.

When the first scrum after the injured prop leaves the field is awarded, and after consulting with the Captain of Team A, who confirms his side cannot replace their injured prop with a suitably trained and experienced prop forward, the referee orders uncontested scrums.

At this stage, Team A seek permission from the match officials for their substituted hooker to rejoin the match in an attempt to bring their playing numbers back to 15. The match officials refuse to allow the player to rejoin the match, which concludes with uncontested scrums and Team A playing with 14 players.

Were the officials correct in not permitting Team A the opportunity to bring their playing numbers up to 15?

Ruling of the Designated Members:

In this situation the team has used all its permitted replacements/substitutes. The purpose of Law 3.12 was to allow a player who has been substituted to return to the front row (in the event of an injury requiring a replacement front row player) to enable the game to continue with contested scrums.

In the situation described, uncontested scrums had been ordered and the team had utilized all its permitted replacements and substitutes and therefore the injured front row player should not be replaced.

Additionally, if uncontested scrums have been ordered and there is an injury to a front row player which requires that player to be replaced and there is a front row player available to replace that player then the front row player replacement must be used rather than players other than front row replacements.

IRB Law Ruling 6: U-19 Variations- Law 20.1(f)
________________________________________
From David Carrigy, IRB Head of External and Member Relations.

Ruling Request from ARU Under 19 Variations – Law 20 1 (f)

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) seeks a ruling in respect of the following matters relating to the Under 19 Variations to Law 20.1(f):

1. The U19 Law Variation refers to a team having fewer than eight players in its scrum when “…the team cannot field a complete team, or a player sent off for Foul Play, or a player leaves the field because of injury.” Does this Law Variation also apply if a player is cautioned and temporarily suspended (yellow card)?

2. The U19 law Variation refers to both teams using reduced numbers of players in the scrum formation if “…a team is incomplete…” because it is without one, two or three players. No distinction is made between forward players and back players. If a No. 15 is sent off early in a match, must both teams play with seven players in the scrum, even though both teams still have eight players suitably trained and capable of playing in the scrum?

3. If a team cannot field a complete team because it is short one or more forward player, but that team is able to provide from the available players suitably trained players to contest scrums, may the game proceed/continue with eight player scrums per team?

Ruling of the Designated Members

The complete team is a reference to having eight players who can play in the scrum. If a forward leaves the field of play for any reason and cannot be replaced due to injury, sending off, temporary suspension or any other reason then both teams must reduce the number of players in the scrum so that there are equal numbers.

If any player other than a forward has to leave the field for any reason and cannot be replaced there will be no reduction in the players playing in the scrum.
This will be referred to the Chairman of the Rugby Committee for the Law to be amended to provide clarity.

2nd Annual Women’s Referee Development Camp
________________________________________
From USA Rugby’s Referee Development Department.

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby is pleased to announce that it will be hosting its 2nd Annual Women’s Referee Development Camp and a Luke Gross extended Lineout Workshop, September 11-13, 2009.

The camp and clinics will be held in conjunction with the PumpkinFest Tournament, held September 12-13 at Pennypack Park in Philadelphia and hosted by the Philadelphia Women’s Rugby Club. Over 30 rugby teams are looking to attend PumpkinFest this year, including teams from the surrounding high schools, colleges and clubs.

While the focus of last year’s Women’s Referee Camp was on the basic principles of refereeing, this year’s camp will focus on how to progress as a referee.

“The response to last year’s camp and the feedback received from both referees and the teams demonstrated the need to support the expanding numbers of women referees,” said Referee Development Director Ed Todd. “The PumpkinFest Tournament has provided an excellent environment for the identification and development of some very good performers with tremendous potential and they will get the chance to work with some of the top trainers in the country.”

Participants will take part in classroom sessions that will run all day on Friday, September 11, and will include presentations by National Panel Referee Manager Richard Every, USA Rugby Lineout Specialist Luke Gross, National Panel Referee Coach Jem McDowall, National Panel Referee Chris Henshall, National Evaluator Peter Simpson and Territorial Evaluator Kat Todd-Schwartz.

On Saturday and Sunday, participants will get to practice what was learned on Friday by refereeing games at the tournament.

“We are very excited about the upcoming camp,” said Match Official Administrator Jennifer Gray. “We have some new faces attending the event this year and a great group of mentors who are lending their time and expertise to provide one-on-one feedback throughout the weekend.”

Electronic copies of all presentation materials will be made available after the camp on the Best Practice and Resource Materials section of the Referee Development website at www.usarugby.org/goto/referees.

In addition, the Coach Development Department is excited to bring to the tournament Lineout Specialist Luke Gross, who will be holding two extended Lineout Workshops for coaches throughout the weekend of PumpkinFest.

Luke Gross’ Workshop will focus on helping coaches to better coach the lineout safely and effectively; to understand the fundamentals of throwing, lifting and jumping; and to better learn basic offensive and defensive lineout strategies.
This four hour extended workshop will be a practical coaching workshop, allowing coaches the opportunity to actually coach players under the guidance of Luke Gross. Participating coaches will receive 5 USA Rugby continuing education credits for participation.
There are two separate sessions: Session one will be on Friday evening, 4-8 p.m., and is held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Women’s Rugby Club’s PumpkinFest Tournament and participants are encouraged to make an early trip to Philadelphia for this session.
Session two will be held on Sunday in cooperation with the Wilmington Rugby Club. Specific workshop locations are currently being finalized and will be posted at https://www.epru.org, and communicated via email to all registered participants.
To pre-register for either of the workshops or for more information, contact lrosen@usarugby.org. Please include in the subject of your email : Luke Gross Lineout Workshop: September 11 or Luke Gross Lineout Workshop: September 13. You will receive a tentative confirmation with payment details. Workshop spots are available on a first come-first serve basis. Payment must be received by September 1, 2009 to guarantee participation. For more information or to host a lineout clinic in your area contact Coach Development Manager Mollie McCarthy mmccarthy@usarugby.org
For more information on USA Rugby, or to find out how to become involved in officiating or coaching the game in your area, check out www.usarugby.org.

IRB Referee Talent Identification Program Update
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From Aruna Ranaweera, USA Rugby National Panel Referee and IRB TIP Participant.

IRB REFEREE TALENT IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM 4 (TIP4)
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Week 2.

SATURDAY July 25

Fitness testing was conducted for the TIP referees at 8a.m. on the track field. The TIP Strength/conditioning coaches supervised the warm-up and administered the tests. Both 10m and 40m sprints were timed electronically. We also did the “T”-test for agility. We moved to an indoor basketball court to do the multi-stage beep test, but after about four levels, the CD started to skip (probably due to vibration from the wooden floor), so the test was postponed to Tuesday.

After lunch, the big event on everyone’s agenda was the TriNations match between New Zealand and South Africa. Since the match was being played in Blomfontein, we couldn’t watch it live, but thanks to my roommate Horatiu’s rugby collaboration with Chester Williams in Romania, The Romanian trainer and I were invited to watch the match at Chester’s place in Cape Town. As Chester drove us out of Stellenbosch, he pointed out several rugby matches being played in the black neighborhoods of the town. We arrived at his hill-top house with a stunning view of Cape Town, including Table Mouontain and the ocean. Chester showed us his memorabilia from the 1995 World Cup and we were joined by several other guests to watch the Springboks control possession to defeat the All Blacks 28-19. Chester and his wife Maria then treated everyone to a delicious feast that included marinated Springbok. After an evening of joviality and reminiscing, they drove us back to our hotel in Stellenbosch. What great hosts!

Most of the TIP participants went out to celebrate our first week in Stellenbosch. The bars and clubs were packed with locals, mostly students, some of whom have started to recognize us from our refereeing during the week (positive reviews, so far!).

SUNDAY July 26

Stellenbosch is South Africa’s prime wine region, so appropriately, TIP participants were treated to lunch at Spier, a safari-themed winery that includes a wildlife area featuring live cheetahs and wild African dogs. Dining was buffet style under a large tent, complete with native dancers and couches. Everyone ate too much.

After lunch, most of us were bussed to scenic Cape Town for shopping at the Waterfront area. I seem to have caught a cold, so I went to bed early.

MONDAY July 27

We were treated to a presentation about creating winning teams and attitudes, in which we were shown video of how the Springbok team was motivated and focused for their World Cup campaign in 2007.

The TIP referees participated in a practical session for scrum management in which we took turns refereeing the Western Province Rugby Institute (WPRI) players during their morning practice. Tappe Henning lead us through a practical session on running lines recognizing that top-level players are often faster than referees. TIP participants also took an MBTI survey for categorizing personality type.

In the evening, we watched four of the TIP referees officiate Division 5 hostel matches (uncontested scrums).

TUESDAY July 28

At 8a.m., TIP referees ran the multi-stage beep test. Unfortunately, the wooden gym surface turned out to be quite slippery, so we started to lose our footing around level five. Consequently, the beep test results will only be used to estimate relative aerobic fitness within the TIP group.

Referees then took turns refereeing the WPRI players during maul practice. We were impressed by the bizarre “spider-maul”, an innovative variation of the rolling maul that is sure to confuse anyone who hasn’t seen it before, especially defenders and referees!

TIP participants then watched and analyzed video from the Lions versus Springboks first test. The video clips had been sorted and categorized using “Fairplay” software that dramatically increases the efficiency of post-match video review.

In the evening, four more of the TIP referees, including myself, officiated Division Four hostel matches (uncontested scrums). We are able to put our new running lines to good effect.

WEDNESDAY July 29

We listened to a presentation on counter-attack and kick defense by former Springbok and current assistant coach of the Blue Bulls, Pieter Roussou. He started his presentation by showing video of the famous Cal vs Stanford football play from 1982! (The message was to not relax and play till the final whistle.)

Tappe then lead the TIP referees through a fascinating presentation on practical refereeing, which included excellent recommendations on the approach one should take to balance the laws and the game. He and Kosie Horn emphasized that a lot of useful material is available on the IRB website (www.irb.com).

In the evening, we watched three of the TIP referees from Monday officiate Division Three hostel matches. The matches were videotaped for assessment purposes.

THURSDAY July 30

Tappe lead the referees through more discussion about laws and the game using video clips. He emphasized the need for referee accuracy, i.e., the first clear and obvious infringement that has material effect. We were also introduced to several innovations to the sport including “power-play” advantage and also the use of software for time management. The latter is expected to be used globally by Number 4 officials for substitutions/replacements at high level matches.

In the evening, three of the TIP referees from Tuesday, including myself, officiated Division Two hostel matches. The matches were videotaped for assessment purposes. There were supposed to be more matches, but Stellenbosch has been hit by the flu, so some teams had to withdraw on short notice due to illness.

FRIDAY July 31

On the last morning of TIP4, we were treated to several stimulating presentations. First, we listened to a presentation by Paul Treu, coach of the World Cup champion South African Sevens team. He stressed that his team’s success was in large part due to continuity (tenure) between both players and staff. Furthermore, South African sevens players are full-time, i.e., they do not play 15’s. They are also monitored on a daily basis for fitness and health.

We were also treated to a fascinating presentation by Jake White, who coached the Springboks to World Cup glory in 2007. He focused on attention to details and showed how, starting from basic plays, he had created an elaborate play-book for the Springboks with an emphasis on defense. His presentation was especially useful for the TIP coaches, since it showed the level of preparation and tactical detail that is needed to win at the highest level of international rugby. I couldn’t help but notice how the Springbok playbook was somewhat similar to an American football playbook!

We also listened to an entertaining presentation by Tim Noakes, professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Cape Town. He emphasized the need for recovery and impressed the audience with data on performance and training, using international teams as examples. He also highlighted the mental aspect of training and performance, using Roger Bannister’s four minute mile as an example. Prof Noakes also stressed that in terms of literature and professionalism, American football was “40 years ahead” of world rugby, so rugby has a lot of room to learn and grow. In fact, it struck me during the past two weeks that even though USA is considered a second tier rugby nation, the tier one nations look to professional American sports as an example of how to grow and commercialize rugby. Many of the TIP presenters used examples from American football to highlight their points.

All TIP referees had brief one-on-one’s with Tappe Henning to touch base on future plans and options. We bade farewell to him and agreed to keep in touch.

In the evening, I enjoyed watching the visiting All American rugby team defeat the Stellenbosch Markotters 36-24. Even though the Markotters are essentially a third string varsity select side, beating them is no mean task since Stellenbosch has the top university rugby team in South Africa. I congratulated Matt Sherman and Dave Williams who were at the stadium with the USA team.

TIP organizers and participants were treated to a hearty farewell dinner BBQ in which we thanked everyone for their efforts and company. Steph Nel and the Western Province Rugby Institute (WPRI) were very good hosts.

SATURDAY August 1

My 18-hour South African Airlines flight from Johannesburg to Washington DC was poorly timed as it took off during the second TriNations match between New Zealand and South Africa. In case anyone was wondering about the score, the pilot announced that the Springboks had won 31-19, which drew loud applause and cheers from the passengers.

SUNDAY August 2

After a 36-hour trip from Stellenbosch to San Jose, I now have to get back into my regular routine despite jet-lag…

I would like to thank USA Rugby for nominating me for this great opportunity in Stellenbosch. I will be a better referee as a result and I intend to share my new-found insights and knowledge with my USA referee colleagues.

Regards,
Aruna

Coach Development Program Seeks Workshop Hosts
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From USA Rugby’s Coach Development Department.

Is your area in need of certified coaches? Are you interested in hosting a CDP workshop? USA Rugby has streamlined its host requirements. We now will be accepting host applications all year round; the only requirement is that you give a 3 weeks advanced notice. For more information on how to apply click here www.usarugby.org/goto/host_req. If you have any further questions please contact Coach Development Manager Mollie McCarthy at mmccarthy@usarugby.org.