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DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 10:18
"should they always be totally exempt from criticism by commentators? "

A question from another thread, but one I thought would be good looked at in itself, and slightly detached from last night's match.

I'm actually on the side of they should be pretty much exempt. A couple of caveats:

- I think they can be if they are actually clearly ignorant of some law.
- in think they can be if they are demonstrably being bias.

But it's so rare that anyone knows the laws better than a ref or that they actually are being bias that you can all but discount that from professional rugby. At lower levels some allowance has to be made.

Other than that they are free to make mistakes and free to apply a different view of the game to you. You haven't got the view they have, so it's hard to comment.

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 10:49
Itís the lawmakers who should be in the line of fire, not the refs. Make the directives clear and unequivocal. And start giving out severe sanctions for dissent and gamesmanship. Refs do an incredible job. Refs make way fewer mistakes than players (imagine, for example, the refereeing equivalent of kicking the ball out on the full, missing a 1-on-1 tackle, or dropping a pass). Take away controllable factors that make refsí jobs harder. After that, they are not exempt from criticism any more than players are. Play rubbish and you get dropped.

 
dcsh
dcsh (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 10:56
Given that there is a team of qualified Refs (one with access to replays) working together at high level matches, there is little excuse for getting anything glaringly wrong that impacts the outcome. However there are often judgement calls that have to be made in the heat of the moment, that others might not agree with, but we donít want constant video replays in the name of perfection.

I donít think Refs should be exempt from criticism, but if a commentator or pundit is going to do that they need to be very clear on the aspect of the law that they believe has been incorrectly applied and what the outcome should have been. After all commentators and pundits are there to aid the viewer in their understanding and enjoyment of the game, not to have their own soap box.

 
dr.bath1865
dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 11:10
Interesting. Largely, I think they should be exempt from criticism, because, as mentioned above, it is such a difficult job. I have to say that I really think the quality of refereeing (and the laws of the game) has improved markedly in the last few seasons. We had the season of confusion at the breakdown. We then had the one where scrums were a total mess. This season seems to be a pretty good middle ground of good laws and improving refs.

Further, like introducing Darren Atkins to the first team, the only way you get Wayne Barnes or Nigel Owens is by allowing young guys like Foley and Maxwell-Keys game time in the middle so that they can learn and gain experience.

I also think that touch judges are precisely useless and if their standard improved then they could offer actual assistance rather than just putting a flag in the air. I'd also be interested to experiment by allowing touch judges to move into the field of play so that they aren't clamped to the touchline so that they could more easily referee a side of the scrum or a different side of the breakdown. 3 pairs of eyes would be better than 1, especially given the game is still played in the dark corners of rucks and scrums.

As said, difficult if not impossible job but one that I think is being done reasonably well at the moment by a good pool of honest refs.

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 11:14
Lets be fair some of the refs have little connection to the game and people playing it, the respect for the ref should be earned not imposed through rugby etiquette.

I strongly feel respect for the ref is paramount but poor inconsistent refereeing erodes that that respect and the good ones suffer.

You can swallow 5% of the decisions if they are poor but as that rises through inconsistency it become increasingly difficult for players to resist commenting.

Every one can and should be criticised that how we learn and get better isn't it?

 
ballsout
ballsout (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 12:02
Yes. Trust the referee assessment system.

Can we not turn this board into the dark site, ignorantly whinging about the officials every twelve minutes

 
MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 12:54
Quote:
ballsout
Yes. Trust the referee assessment system.
Can we not turn this board into the dark site, ignorantly whinging about the officials every twelve minutes

Funny enough I have to agree with this, the refs should be above criticism by commentators who often don't seem to know the rules.



Tom Dunn - Adopted player 2018/19

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 12:54
"Lets be fair some of the refs have little connection to the game and people playing it"

Do they? Who?

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 12:58
I find it amazing, some commentators the very basics, including ex players, they repeat the myths and then people watching on TV feel hard done by.

As Bo says the learning process should go through the internal reffing system, not through ignorant comments on the TV. That would be a terrible way to learn.

 
Danchinho
Danchinho (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 13:01
Foley's inconsistency was often baffling though. Like, illogical at times.



I probably don't know what i'm talking about.

 
MESSAGES->author
TCM2007 (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 13:23
Exempt from criticism? Absolutely not.

But accusations of bias are unacceptable IMHO.



Stuart

Former ed.

 
P G Tips
P G Tips (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 13:26
1. In general, yes - from coaches and players.
2. From commentators and journalists - no (within the usual guidelines of objective reporting).

To clarify;

No 1. Those directly involved should keep any criticism private and to within the accepted feedback channels - Capt requesting clarification on the pitch, coaches holding meetings pre game with Refs can highlight concerns. If these are serious after the game they can be raised through the referee performance management channels.

No 2. In recent seasons, this one particularly, AP refs have tended to ignore some basic laws. Two examples are:

* off the feet at the breakdown
* midfield offside

Both contribute to negative dull rugby. They also contribute to the increasing amount of injuries by cutting down space, increasing frequency of collisions and requiring shoulder barges/neck rolls to clear bodies form the ruck. These areas of law and their application are legitimate topics of debate.

How can the game be improved if discussion on these points is closed down out of deference to referees?

PG



P G Tips



Alex Davies: my adopted Player, 2018-19.

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 13:43
Quote:
DanWiley
"Lets be fair some of the refs have little connection to the game and people playing it"
Do they? Who?


Very good Dan, so I have to supply examples do I? I don't think the mods would appreciate a referee witch hunt. Its supposed to be a discussion isn't it?

I actually misread the first line and thought it was a discussion about criticism of referees in general. My apologies.
You are right in relation to commentators, many don't have a good hold of the laws of the game and should desist from critcism. However, refs clearly make mistakes that need pointing out, they should not be immune to criticism.

Trivial point but when you quote people shouldn't you attribute the quote, makes it had to read the original comment to see its context?

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 14:15
I have to say that naming the individuals seems more honourable than slandering the entire profession. But you could just say nothing and implicitly accept the comment was well out of order.

 
DorsetBoy
Dorset Boy (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 14:30
I think there is nothing wrong with a commentator saying they believe the ref got the decision wrong as long as they can correctly explain why.

Clubs have appropriate channels through which to give their feedback and there is no benefit in making this public, bit like a coach criticising his players in public is not clever 99% of the time.

Equally the refs have their own assessors, but it would be helpful if occasionally when they've made a howler, there is a public apology.

As Opti said, the law makers need to look at themselves. You simply cannot change when the 9 has played the ball mid season - that's simply daft, and clearly a change in interpretation hasn't been communicated properly.

Inconsistency is a huge frustration, as well as referees seemingly only looking at one team during periods of a game.

It also really doesn't help when fundamental laws are ignored - scrum put ins are the easiest law to enforce, likewise not binding on the arm. Attacking players are routinely allowed to enter from the side, or stand offside, and some sides are allowed to dive off their feet at every ruck (Exeter!).

I think fans have every right to criticise if they think a ref is making poor and bad decisions though.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2018 14:32 by Dorset Boy.

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 15:15
Quote:
DanWiley
I have to say that naming the individuals seems more honourable than slandering the entire profession. But you could just say nothing and implicitly accept the comment was well out of order.

Sorry Dan but I won't be baited. (I assume you are referring to me), I stand by what I say SOME refs are disconnected, its naive to think otherwise.

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 15:36
Quote:
shipwrecked
Lets be fair some of the refs have little connection to the game and people playing it

Excellent Shipwrecked. No connection to the game other than, er, being rugby referees. That's quite a bit closer to the game than being a supporter, i'd suggest.

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 15:52
It was my understanding from watching Wayne B on Rugby Tonight a while back that refs performances are basically scored and if they do consistently do badly then steps are taken (demotion?). I strongly suspect that in most cases when I am annoyed that a ref has made a poor decision it is me not knowing the rules as they do.

They are Rugby supporters as well, they certainly donít do it for the cash.



[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 16:04
OK lets take an example of a ref to explain what I mean by connected. Nigel Owens is connected to the game and the players. He understands the game and interprets new laws sympathetically. Other referees interpret the same laws literally.

 
P G Tips
P G Tips (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 19:14
After today's England v Wales 6 Nations match I would say clearly - NO.

There will be debate for some time about Wales' disallowed try - that was actually a TMO decision.

What I think will have confused many onlookers (& certainly did my NZ friend who played University level rugby) was his completely laissez faire attitude to offences at the breakdown which stifled quick ball.

Players were permitted to kill the ball at will and to stand blatantly offside blocking the attacking sides passing options.

Again- these offences rendered the second half of the game dull compared with the first half.


PG



P G Tips



Alex Davies: my adopted Player, 2018-19.

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 20:18
I agree with the killing of the ball. I'm not saying it hurt England more than Wales, you always notice the offenses that affect your team more, but I did notice a lot of players just go over the top and kill the far side without even a word from the ref.

 
Substitute
Substitute (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
10 February, 2018 20:34
I don't think they should be exempt from criticism, or subject to assessment only by their peers.

The bigger problem is why WR and the RFU (+ the others probably) continue to undermine the decisions they make i.e. with TMOs, team specific reports etc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2018 20:35 by Substitute.

 
redmix
redmix (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 14:48
I think there has to be a very clear distinction between criticising the ref and criticising his decisions. We all know (and we all do it) that people get things wrong every now and again. Refs are no different, they will miss something, or make the wrong call in the heat of the moment. What rugby cannot do, must never do, is go down the route of wendy ball where the ref can be screamed at, abused, and ridiculed. Players at all levels of rugby MUST respect the ref. Spectators MUST respect the ref. Coaches and other club officials MUST respect the ref. I would add that commentators MUST respect the ref, BUT, commentators are there to provide the viewer with insightful views on the game (whether they achieve that or not is subjective). Saying that the ref might have got something wrong isn't critisising them per se. However, it should be done in a way that focuses on the decision not the individual. The commentary team and viewer at home have all sorts of angles and slow mos after the event that the ref only does of he thinks there's need. He also has a very different perspective and angle of view than the TV camera, and the spectators at the ground. So we can have our opinions on whether this decision or that decision was the correct one, but I bet if we were stood where the ref was when the decision needed to be made, most of us would make the same decision as the ref.

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 15:20
The thing is, the game is littered with things that players, commentators and spectators don't even look at once. Big things that easily make the same difference as, for example, the Welsh non-try. The ref is responsible for these things as well and whilst it is next to impossible to activity consider all these things, a good ref does keep them balance of them in mind.

For example, 90%* of offences at breakdowns are not policed. This is quite correct, it would kill the game if they were reffed 100% to the law. Most of that is totally missed by players (probably), spectators (certainly) and commentators (usually). But its there in the refs mind and overall the ref tends to make a fair game of it, which is the important thing. Given no-one else can be in the head of the ref and know this model of the game its quite wrong to pick him up for any small number of decisions or even one flavour of decisions he might be making.

* insert your arbitrarily high figure, but lets say at least one per breakdown.

 
P G Tips
P G Tips (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 15:52
I agree Dan that (something like) 90%* of offences at breakdowns are not policed.

But I don't think that "This is quite correct,"

Positive attacking play is regularly stifled by 2 offences at the breakdown- killing the ball and midfield offside. Being lenient does not help the game to flow but encourages negative defensive behaviour.

if refs were tougher in the opening ten minutes (as they used to be) teams would get the message on what a ref would tolerate and what they would not.

Wayne Barnes uses this approach, often penalising each breakdown offence only once or twice twice until teams cooperate. I do think though he should be prepared to return to sanction later in the game if sides go back to blatant infringing.


PG

 
Mike the Taxi
Mike the Taxi (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 16:18
[www.bbc.co.uk] World Rugby confirm TMO 'Mistake'

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 16:33
Quote:
Mike the Taxi
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/43046791 World Rugby confirm TMO 'Mistake'

So World Rugby get it doubly wrong, they should have pointed out that the TMO actually made TWO mistakes as covered by JG and BBC.

Mmmm...

 
ShortyinBurnham
ShortyinBurnham (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 16:34
Conveniently ignoring the knock-on before the "non-try"! (Sm55)

 
MESSAGES->author
Which Tyler (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 16:34
Quote:
Mike the Taxi
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/43046791 World Rugby confirm TMO 'Mistake'
Yup - should have been "no try" due to a knock-on; not "no-try" due to grounding.
Strangely, everyone's concentrating on the grounding, and not looking at the equal error of missing the knock-on.



A man who cannot change his mind, cannot change anything
http://www.rugbyrebels.co/board/download/file.php?id=608
RAEBURN SHIELD




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 13/02/2018 16:37 by Which Tyler.

 
B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
13 February, 2018 17:41
I would feel a bit let down by my employers if I was an official. Maybe the statement shows somewhere good support for those making the error but that's not how the reporters pass on the news.

 
redmix
redmix (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
14 February, 2018 09:34
Quote:
Mike the Taxi
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/43046791 World Rugby confirm TMO 'Mistake'

It infuriates me when one "mistake" is picked out. If they are going to do this they should go through the whole match and pick out every mistake. It could be England were denied 10 tries by "mistakes", or Wales 15, who knows. Focusing on one blows it out of proportion and ignores what else might have been.

 
cb2
cb2 (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
14 February, 2018 10:39
The scrutiny is ahead of technology when it comes to tries. Go the cricket way and get something other than camera angles. Some geek must have an idea about putting something in the ball or making the dead ball area a hot zone.

As for the criticism - Steve Walsh is the answer to that one.

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
14 February, 2018 11:10
'if refs were tougher in the opening ten minutes (as they used to be) teams would get the message'

Totally agree with this PGT. I'd go further and encourage refs to give yellow cards much quicker. It shouldn't matter when in the game, or where on the field a blatant/cynical ball-killing offence takes place. I don't want to be deprived of the possibility of a long-range try from turnover ball in the first minute. And, if refs are willing to brandish yellow cards without too much warning it either means the players stop offending, or the game gets to open up a bit. Lack of space is the bain of the modern game - Would it hurt if it goes to 14 v 13 for periods?

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
14 February, 2018 21:21
"Steve Walsh is the answer to that one."

I think I said this doesn't apply to blatantly bias refs. Steve is the only one I can think of. But even if it does, it's up to the governing bodies of the game to deal with, not commentators or armchair fans who will achieve nothing meaningful in any case.

 
Lee Bideaux
Armchair Fan (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
15 February, 2018 12:30
Quote:
Optimist
'if refs were tougher in the opening ten minutes (as they used to be) teams would get the message'
Totally agree with this PGT. I'd go further and encourage refs to give yellow cards much quicker. It shouldn't matter when in the game, or where on the field a blatant/cynical ball-killing offence takes place. I don't want to be deprived of the possibility of a long-range try from turnover ball in the first minute. And, if refs are willing to brandish yellow cards without too much warning it either means the players stop offending, or the game gets to open up a bit. Lack of space is the bain of the modern game - Would it hurt if it goes to 14 v 13 for periods?

No issue with early yellow cards. Didn't Salesi Finau get binned within minutes of his home starting debut at the Rec? My response was a chuckle rather than outrage.



_____________________________________________________

I like turtles.

 
MESSAGES->author
BaltiBoy (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
15 February, 2018 21:06
What frustrates me most of all is that many of the laws have been completely lost in translation over the years and are completely (but entirely understably) dismissed by refs.

Take the ruck for example, I would say that penalties could be given at 99% of all rucks. At practically every ruck a player goes of his feet, yet some are penalised, whilst others are not, and as a supporter it's this subjective inconsistency that drives me mad!

However as pointed out earlier, if the ruck was policed objectively as per the laws we'd have no game! Therefore I find it is grossly unfair on the ref that they are expected (and required) to continuously bend and disregard the laws to keep the game flowing.

The same could be said with the feed into the scrum. Refs make a token gesture at the start of the game by penalising each scrum half and then realise they have to turn a blind eye as they can't afford for the sake of the game to penalise every scrum going forward.

We need to be fair to the refs here who I'm sure we all agree do an incredible job of policing a difficult game.

Therefore for what it's worth IMO we need a total overhaul of the laws so that the subjective interpretation of the situation (say the ruck or feed into the scrum) is taken out of the refs hands.

Given how professional rugby is now, we will never ever get back to a situation where players stay on their feet at rucks, the ball is fed into a scrum correctly, a lineout throw is perfectly straight and the tight head doesn't bore into the hooker etc, etc, etc. Its just not going to happen!! Thus the law makers need to wake up and realise this, and amend the laws so that refs don't have to continually make subjective / questionable decisions to keep the game flowing.

Only then when a ref can objectively police a game based on the current laws should we be able to criticise when mistakes are made.

Quite frankly given the fact a referee refs a game that is completely at odds with the "Actual" laws at the moment makes them vulnerable to attacks and criticism that is quite clearly not warranted!

And finally I'm not a ref, never reffed a game in my life, I just think that they are in an impossible position given the amount of professionalism (actually let's be honest here, blatant cheating) that has crept into the game!



Cheers & Beers
BB

 
DorsetBoy
Dorset Boy (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
16 February, 2018 15:48
Reffing a crooked feed is one of the simplest laws to enforce. Do it consistently for a few weeks at every scrum and the 9s will put it in straight.

 
MESSAGES->author
joethefanatic (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
16 February, 2018 19:46
Quote:
BaltiBoy
What frustrates me most of all is that many of the laws have been completely lost in translation over the years and are completely (but entirely understably) dismissed by refs.
Take the ruck for example, I would say that penalties could be given at 99% of all rucks. At practically every ruck a player goes of his feet, yet some are penalised, whilst others are not, and as a supporter it's this subjective inconsistency that drives me mad!

However as pointed out earlier, if the ruck was policed objectively as per the laws we'd have no game! Therefore I find it is grossly unfair on the ref that they are expected (and required) to continuously bend and disregard the laws to keep the game flowing.

The same could be said with the feed into the scrum. Refs make a token gesture at the start of the game by penalising each scrum half and then realise they have to turn a blind eye as they can't afford for the sake of the game to penalise every scrum going forward.

We need to be fair to the refs here who I'm sure we all agree do an incredible job of policing a difficult game.

Therefore for what it's worth IMO we need a total overhaul of the laws so that the subjective interpretation of the situation (say the ruck or feed into the scrum) is taken out of the refs hands.

Given how professional rugby is now, we will never ever get back to a situation where players stay on their feet at rucks, the ball is fed into a scrum correctly, a lineout throw is perfectly straight and the tight head doesn't bore into the hooker etc, etc, etc. Its just not going to happen!! Thus the law makers need to wake up and realise this, and amend the laws so that refs don't have to continually make subjective / questionable decisions to keep the game flowing.

Only then when a ref can objectively police a game based on the current laws should we be able to criticise when mistakes are made.

Quite frankly given the fact a referee refs a game that is completely at odds with the "Actual" laws at the moment makes them vulnerable to attacks and criticism that is quite clearly not warranted!

And finally I'm not a ref, never reffed a game in my life, I just think that they are in an impossible position given the amount of professionalism (actually let's be honest here, blatant cheating) that has crept into the game!

I think its this subjectivity on the Laws that makes the game so varied and interesting. Each team has to find out what the ref is pinging today and adjust their game plan to suit. This emphasises intelligence in what is a brutal contact sport and means there are many, many ways of winning. And it allows lots of outrage and self-righteousness amongst the beaten team's supporters (I suspect the players themselves are pretty philosophical about the whole thing), ego-massaging justifications on why their team didn't actually lose (just had more points scored against them) and reams of column inches from pundits and ex-players on how they could do a better job reffing, writing the laws or coaching without actually affecting anything at all.

It's a feature not a bug.



... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Should refs be exempt from criticism?
18 February, 2018 16:31
Interesting to see ex Quins Karl Dixon the assistant ref for todayís game. Always good to add a few more to the mix, especially ones who know all the tricks of the trade.


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