Reminder on Scrum Cadence for 7s – NO “YES 9” or TAP

trra_logoJust a quick reminder as the sevens season has kicked off! For 7s the referee will not use “Yes 9”, Non-verbal tap, thumbs up or any variation.

Call CROUCH-BIND-SET. Sevens Referees will make sure that scrums are straight and square before calling “CROUCH”, then call “BIND”. The Referee will then make sure all 4 props have proper binds on their opposite numbers (up high on the back or arm), before calling “SET” (invitation to engage). All put ins by the scrum half must be straight down the middle.

We will not be calling “Yes 9″, “Yes 4″, or anything else to the scrum half. Sevens scrums by nature, are quick restarts and should proceed without delay. We do not want to slow down the game of Sevens, but will ensure a fair contest for possession (check for proper binds, straight put in).

This notice was originally posted 9/11/13, review here.

We’d also recommend to all referees, players, coaches and fans review the 7s IRB Law Variations each season.

TRRA Summer AGM – Aug 2, 2014 (SATURDAY) – Austin, TX

trra_logoThe Texas Rugby Referee Association (TRRA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held in Austin, TX on Aug 2, 2014 (SATURDAY). We will have special presentations from USA Rugby Referee  & West Zone Manager Marc Nelson along with our normal AGM topics!

What: TRRA Annual AGM (Agenda & Minutes)
When: Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 from 9am to 5pm
Where: Scholz Garten, Austin, TX

RSVP: Please RSVP by July 18, 2014, email rsvp@texasrugbyunion.com. If you do not RSVP, no lunch!

Live Stream

Like last year we will LIVE stream the AGM. We do not guarantee the quality of the video or audio, this is a BETA broadcast. Questions from viewers can be submitted via the Ustream Chat/Social Stream. WATCH the AGM here, broadcast will start tomorrow at approximately at 8:50am CST.

TRU AGM

The TRU AGM will be Sunday, August 3, 2014 all are welcome to attend!

Yes 9 Moves to a Non-Verbal Command from Referee

chriskellyIn a minor revision to the current protocol surrounding the ongoing scrum engagement global trial, the International Rugby Board, USA Rugby and now the Texas Rugby Referee Association (TRRA) have confirmed that referees will use non-verbal communication to indicate to the scrum-half when the ball can be thrown into the scrum.

The change is effective immediately and will include this weekend’s matches. It will also include the next rounds of other elite competitions, including TRU Playoffs and USA Competitions.

**NOTE: U19, High School and other Youth matches will still use a verbal command of “Yes, 9”.

TRRA has determined that the non verbal command will be a tap on the shoulder of the scrumhalf if on the side where the ball is put on. If the referee is on the other side of the scrum, a thumbs up will be shown.

If you have questions or concerns about the Non-verbal Command, please contact TRRA Chairman, Jim Wolfinger or TRRA Vice Chair Traci Schmidtke.

IRB Notice
USA Rugby Notice

‘Brain Bin’ with Temporary Replacement – Clarification from IRB

irb-top-bannerThere seems to be some confusion about the use of a “Brain Bin” and I would like to help clear some of it up. The ‘Brain Bin’ is not endorsed by USA Rugby, and it is not recommended by the IRB for anything but Elite international play. It should not be used except at this level of play.

Reference: https://usarugby.org/concussions/irb

Rationale:

– The article viewable at the above website brings us all up to date. The article clearly states this procedure is in a TRIAL state for only INTERNATIONAL ELITE rugby. It is not policy. USA Rugby has not made any official endorsement of this trial and has not made any change in our policy.
– When used in international elite play, the only way a player can be returned to play is for a MEDICAL DOCTOR to administer a pitch side assessment that includes the Maddocks Questions (cognition), a balance assessment and a ‘symptoms and signs’ assessment. If the PHYSICIAN clears the player, the PHYSICIAN takes full responsibility for the medically cleared to play decision. The MW situation is much different: it is rare for us to have a ‘team physician’ on the sideline, and if they are present, most do not know what tests to administer nor realize the risk they are taking with ‘clearing’ an athlete. To repeat policy: Only a physician can clear an athlete to return to play. For a referee to take on this responsibility on the advice of other than a physician puts that referee in a huge risk zone.

IRB Regulation 10 continues to apply:
Regulation 10 features a two-pronged approach to protect players at both the elite and community levels. Where concussion is diagnosed, a player must be removed from the field of play and not return to play or train on the same day and must be guided through a dedicated return to play protocol.

All players with suspected concussion where there is no appropriately qualified person is present to diagnose concussion must be removed from the field of play and not return to play or train on the same day and should be reviewed by an appropriately qualified person and then should complete the graduated return to play protocol described in the IRB Concussion Guidelines

Summary. We all want fewer injuries, especially head injuries. Removing a player from play if there is any doubt is the safest way to realize that. A gradual return to play based on qualified medical assessments is the current policy and any decision to return to play is out of the referee’s hands. Until we get clearance from the IRB and USA Rugby on a policy change, we should not allow any time for a pitch side assessment for a questionable concussion in non-international elite games. That player comes off; period.

Please forward this to fellow referees and coaches.

Harry Laws, MD
IRB Medical Educator
harryflaws@gmail.com

Sevens Scrums (New Cadence) Clarification from Patrick McNally

usa_rugby_logoLadies and Gentlemen,

We have received quite a few inquiries lately about how the new scrum calls will affect Seven-a-Side rugby. Sevens scrums are quite a bit different than Fifteens scrums, so it is important that we are all on the same page moving into the fall Collegiate 7s season. Paddy O’Brien was able to verify the new procedures (see below).

For Seven scrums we will:

Call CROUCH-BIND-SET. Sevens Referees will make sure that scrums are straight and square before calling “CROUCH”, then call “BIND”. The Referee will then make sure all 4 props have proper binds on their opposite numbers (up high on the back or arm), before calling “SET” (invitation to engage). All put ins by the scrum half must be straight down the middle.

We will not be calling “Yes 9”, “Yes 4”, or anything else to the scrum half. Sevens scrums by nature, are quick restarts and should proceed without delay. We do not want to slow down the game of Sevens, but will ensure a fair contest for possession (check for proper binds, straight put in).

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Patrick McNally
USAR National Sevens Referee Manager
(323) 899-2471

IRB Scrum Trial – Notes for Coaches & Referees

trra_logo_webAs announced on July 8, The International Rugby Board (IRB) Council has announced the implementation of a global trial of the “crouch, bind, set” scrum engagement sequence. Implementation will begin at the start of the next season.All USA competitions commencing from/after August 15th, 2013.

Along with the training videos that covers the entire process and possible issues that may occur, the IRB has supplied the below presentation:

Scrum Trial – Notes for Coaches & Referees

Note that we will be covering this topic at the upcoming TRRA AGM as well.

Law Clarification: Maul goes to ground and is not deemed to be collapsed intentionally

There still seems to be some confusing regarding the MAUL. Please share this. Thank you!

When a maul goes to ground and is not deemed to be collapsed intentionally:

  1. There is no obligation for any players to release the ball or roll away.
  2. If the ball is available, play should continue. Availability would constitute that the referee can see the ball and the team in possession are in the process of recycling the ball.
  3. If the ball is not available, a scrum is awarded to the team that did not have possession of the ball at the commencement of the maul.

Law 17

Regards,
Richard Every
High Performance Referee Manager | USA Rugby

Law Question: Fending to the face

from SoCal Referees:

7 A ball carrier may hand off an opponent. Can 10.4 (e) apply?

Question:

The attacking ball carrier is allowed to fend with an open hand to the chest or face. Is it possible to give a guideline to when a fend becomes dangerous and how a referee can identify and judge that action?

Response:

The law is very clear on this:

Law 7

A ball carrier may hand-off an opponent and is clearly defined:

Hand-off: An action taken by a ball carrier to fend off an opponent by using the palm of the hand.

Referees that penalize hand-offs to the head are making law up as they go along and should stop doing so. You are illegally removing a key skill from the game.

There is a very clear and easy distinction:

The hand that goes to the face and holds the opponent at arms length or pushes them away is NOT illegal.

Perfect example:

Please Note *****

When delivered with deliberate impact (especially with the butt of hand), striking the face is illegal.

Non Compliance with Kick-off and Restart Kicks – Reviewing IRB Law 13

Referees & Team Coaches, it has come to the attention of RATO that lately there have been a few issues of non compliance in regards to Kick-off and Restart Kicks. We’d like to review this law to ensure that this trend doesn’t continue.

Unfortunately it appears that restarts are much overlooked by teams and referees and THEIR coaches. The restart at all levels has become increasingly important especially in terms of momentum shifts. As a referee it is devastating to make a mistake on a restart.

Also, RATO would encourage refs to treat all teams of all levels with respect. Treating a team differently because it is Boys HS or Girls Collegiate is unacceptable, all teams should be held to the same standard. Ref these laws straight up and your credibility and that of your fellow refs will be enhanced.

Review of Law 13

13.1 Where and how the kick-off is taken
(a) A team kicks off with a drop kick which must be taken at or behind the centre of the half way line.
(b)If the ball is kicked off by the wrong type of kick, or from the incorrect place, the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have the ball kicked off again, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the half way line and they throw in the ball.

13.5 Kick-off of 10 metres
If the ball reaches the opponents’ 10-metre line or reaches the 10-metre line and is blown back, play continues.

13.6 Kick-off of under 10 metres but played by an opponent
If the ball does not reach the opponent’s 10-metre line but is first played by an opponent, play continues.

13.7 Kick-off of under 10 metres and not played by an opponent
If the ball does not reach the opponent’s 10-metre line the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have the ball kicked off again, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the half-way line and they throw in the ball.

13.8 Ball goes directly into touch
The ball must land in the field of play. If it is kicked directly into touch the opposing team has three choices:

  • To have the ball kicked off again, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre and they have the throw-in, or
  • To accept the kick.

If they accept the kick, the lineout is on the half way line. If the ball is blown behind the half way line and goes directly into touch, the lineout is at the place where it went into touch.

13.9 Ball goes into the in-goal
(a) If the ball is kicked into the in-goal without having touched or been touched by a player, the opposing team has three choices:

  • To ground the ball, or
  • To make it dead, or
  • To play on.

(b) If the opposing team grounds the ball, or if they make it dead, or if the ball becomes dead by going into touch-in-goal, or on or over the dead ball line, they have two choices:

  • To have a scrum formed at the centre, and they throw in the ball, or
  • To have the other team kick off again.

(c) If they opt to ground the ball or make it dead, they must do so without delay. Any other action with the ball by a defending player means the player has elected to play on.

13.10 Drop-out
DEFINITIONS
A drop-out is a drop kick taken by the defending team. The drop-out may be taken anywhere on or behind the 22-metre line.
A drop-out is used to restart play after an attacking player has put or taken the ball into the in-goal, without infringement, and a defending player has made the ball dead there or it has gone into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead ball line.

13.12 Drop-out incorrectly taken
If the ball is kicked with the wrong type of kick, or from the wrong place, the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have another drop-out, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line and they throw in the ball.

13.13 Drop-out must cross the line
(a) If the ball does not cross the 22-metre line, the opposing team has two choices:

  • To have another drop-out, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line. They throw in the ball.

(b) If the ball crosses the 22-metre line but is blown back, play continues.
(c) If the ball does not cross the 22-metre line, advantage may apply. An opponent who plays the ball can score a try.

13.14 Drop-out goes directly into touch
The ball must land in the field of play. If it is kicked directly into touch, the opposing team has three choices:

  • To have another drop-out, or
  • To have a scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line, and they throw in the ball, or
  • To accept the kick. If they accept the kick, the throw-in is on the 22-metre line.

13.16 The kicker’s team
(a) All the kicker’s team must be behind the ball when it is kicked. If not, a scrum is formed at the centre of the 22-metre line. The opposing team throws in the ball.
(b) However, if the kick is taken so quickly that players of the kicker’s team who are retiring are still in front of the ball, they will not be penalised. They must not stop retiring until they have been made onside by an action of a team-mate. They must not take part in the game until they have been made onside in this way.

Sanction: Scrum at the centre of the 22-metre line. The opposing team throws in the ball.