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French referee sounds alarm over lack of respect for match officials


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Everyone makes mistakes, but only referees are not allowed to. This attitude blights every code. Even on this forum, debates raged after the GF on the officiating. I took the ref's side as much to give them a break as anything else. We all make mistakes! They are not cheats, just human.

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It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

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This is, on the whole, a good article, but this point about using French referees to the maximum of their capabilities, made towards the end of it, is misleading:

"...why not to the highest divisions (NRL and Super League) and in the next World Cup? The appointment of Benjamin Casty as referee of the France-England test match in October is encouraging but needs to be followed by stronger signs."

It overlooks at least three points.  First, if the language of international play is English, and referees - as per the current fashion - are expected to maintain a continuous dialogue with players, then some French officials will not be suitable (just as I, for instance, could never ref in France because my 'O' level French [circa 1964] would be a bit inadequate)

Second, it overlooks the fact that Thierry Alibert did come through to be an SL referee.  At his best, I thought he was as good as there then was in SL, but I also thought his level of performance could be quite variable.

Third, the author, by virtue of his choice of turns of phrase, does not seem to know, or has forgotten, that M. Casty was on the panel of referees for the 2021 World Cup finals; hence, I presume he will be there in 2022.

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3 hours ago, RayCee said:

Everyone makes mistakes, but only referees are not allowed to. This attitude blights every code. Even on this forum, debates raged after the GF on the officiating. I took the ref's side as much to give them a break as anything else. We all make mistakes! They are not cheats, just human.

Our administrators should insist on a more intelligent appraisal of what constitutes an error. A call that is strictly inaccurate can still be a correct application of the laws.

A good example is passing. If a pass were conclusively proven to travel half a centimetre forward, and the ref plays on, is that an error? I say it isn`t, since no human being could reliably detect such a small margin. It could only be given on the basis of guesswork, the sort of random calling that would see perfectly legal passes also called forward. Much to the detriment of variety in the game.

One possible consequence of guessing is grievous inconsistency. The same team can get the rough end in both directions. When they think the ref missed a slightly forward opposition pass, then a minute later he pulls up a legal flat pass of their own, they are likely to feel aggrieved. If the ref applies the same benefit of the doubt logic in both cases, there`s less danger of acrimony and puerile accusations.

I`m not fond of this "everyone makes mistakes" defence. It`s too vague. In the NRL it leads to Graham Annesley regularly throwing his officials under the bus on Monday mornings. Rather than appease the inane media with what he probably thinks is self-deprecating corporate candour, he would be better served to challenge their simplistic beliefs about how the game should be refereed.

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5 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

This is, on the whole, a good article, but this point about using French referees to the maximum of their capabilities, made towards the end of it, is misleading:

"...why not to the highest divisions (NRL and Super League) and in the next World Cup? The appointment of Benjamin Casty as referee of the France-England test match in October is encouraging but needs to be followed by stronger signs."

Some people think that unapologetically highlighting the scandal of the UK PTB is being unreasonably pedantic.

However, if a Frenchman were to referee English players as he would French players domestically, the outcome would be incomprehension, indignance, commotion, chaos.

How can we have standard officials when we don`t have a standard game?

Edited by unapologetic pedant
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6 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

...I`m not fond of this "everyone makes mistakes" defence. It`s too vague. In the NRL it leads to Graham Annesley regularly throwing his officials under the bus on Monday mornings. Rather than appease the inane media with what he probably thinks is self-deprecating corporate candour, he would be better served to challenge their simplistic beliefs about how the game should be refereed.

I get what you're saying but regardless of what constitutes a mistake, there will be times when a clear mistake is made. Of course, those fans affected will at the time will be unhappy but to then go to a media site and harshly criticise must be disheartening. No wonder it's hard to attract people to take on the role. How many of us would put up with a job where everything we did was scrutinised and we were then verbally and harshly attacked for any error we made? I also think the more referees are treated this way, the less certain they become of their decision making and that will only exacerbate things. That was the angle I was coming from. 

My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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12 hours ago, RayCee said:

Everyone makes mistakes, but only referees are not allowed to. This attitude blights every code. Even on this forum, debates raged after the GF on the officiating. I took the ref's side as much to give them a break as anything else. We all make mistakes! They are not cheats, just human.

I`ve never had a problem with a ref making a mistake, I guarantee they make less than the players do every single game. There are poor refs out there, as much as there are poor players, and some have failings that do annoy me (Childs for example). What really gets me though is when a coach/owner comes out and complains about a ref at the end of a game, after that same coach has set his team up to try and "push the rules" as far as they can. 

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On 20/10/2021 at 01:25, unapologetic pedant said:

Some people think that unapologetically highlighting the scandal of the UK PTB is being unreasonably pedantic.

However, if a Frenchman were to referee English players as he would French players domestically, the outcome would be incomprehension, indignance, commotion, chaos.

How can we have standard officials when we don`t have a standard game?

I wholly agree UP; it is a big challenge.  I imagine when refs from this country, France and Australasia forgather next year for the World Cup, they will need to have a session in which how to referee things like the PTB are discussed.

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1 hour ago, barnyia said:

The play the balls are the same in Australia and France domestic league ,you have to touch it with your foot. 

You don't here though, you ha e to make a genuine attempt. That is subjective, I don't like it but it's the application of this rule.

Ian Smith covered it in one of the episodes, not sure which think it was this one.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

You don't here though, you ha e to make a genuine attempt. That is subjective, I don't like it but it's the application of this rule.

Sorry, but this is wrong. The official requirements in the UK and Australia are exactly the same.

The most recent RFL written clarification was in January 2020. It stated the tackled player must "maintain balance and control and make a genuine attempt to make contact on the ball with the foot".

The NRL rulebook says the tackled player must "make a genuine attempt to play the ball with the foot and maintain his balance".

There is nothing "subjective" in English refs allowing players to roll and step over the ball. They have been instructed to only enforce the "balance and control" part of the criteria. The RFL`s video earlier this year covering the 2021 rule changes made this clear by omission.

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4 hours ago, barnyia said:

In France you have to touch it with your foot, same in Australia 

So it's only the UK refs who will have to adjust. 

When Benjamin Casty refereed the Catalans vs Elite 1 trial game earlier this year, he adjusted in the opposite direction. The players were allowed to make no attempt to play the ball with the foot. The contrast with domestic French RL was palpable. He must have been told to apply debased SL standards.

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This was discussed at the last referee and elite 1 coaches meet up, the coaches said the fact that one team played the ball correctly and one didn't meant that the elite 1 team found the speed of the defence and the attack completely different, the speed of the play the ball is minimal but the Catalans moved up as soon as the player went to place the ball on the floor , elite moved up when the ball had gone through the legs, 

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9 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Sorry, but this is wrong. The official requirements in the UK and Australia are exactly the same.

The most recent RFL written clarification was in January 2020. It stated the tackled player must "maintain balance and control and make a genuine attempt to make contact on the ball with the foot".

The NRL rulebook says the tackled player must "make a genuine attempt to play the ball with the foot and maintain his balance".

There is nothing "subjective" in English refs allowing players to roll and step over the ball. They have been instructed to only enforce the "balance and control" part of the criteria. The RFL`s video earlier this year covering the 2021 rule changes made this clear by omission.

Sorry but I am right, all you've done is added more detail. The fact remains they so not have to touch the ball with the foot. They have to make an attempt which is subjective and refs are very loose and do t really apply it, they do enforce being stood up and balanced before rolling the ball.

 

Ian Smith explains it better than me in the video

Edited by David Dockhouse Host
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18 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

You don't here though, you ha e to make a genuine attempt. That is subjective, I don't like it but it's the application of this rule.

I took this to mean that in Oz the ball had to be played with the foot. It doesn`t. Like the UK, it is specifically stated that only a "genuine attempt" is required.

There are plenty of NRL PTBs where the ball makes no contact with the foot. What they don`t allow is the flagrant rollball. Therein lies the distinction between Oz and UK. 

4 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

 The fact remains they so not have to touch the ball with the foot. They have to make an attempt which is subjective and refs are very loose and do t really apply it, they do enforce being stood up and balanced before rolling the ball.

In the UK they no longer have to make any attempt. In our women`s game, nobody could watch Caitlin Beevers or Tara Jones and seriously think they are making a "genuine attempt" to play the ball with the foot. Or that officials are being subjective or loose in allowing them not to. I`m picking out those two players because both are also qualified referees. They know what is de facto now required, and not required.

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10 hours ago, barnyia said:

This was discussed at the last referee and elite 1 coaches meet up, the coaches said the fact that one team played the ball correctly and one didn't meant that the elite 1 team found the speed of the defence and the attack completely different, the speed of the play the ball is minimal but the Catalans moved up as soon as the player went to place the ball on the floor , elite moved up when the ball had gone through the legs, 

A team who don`t play the ball correctly can gain an immediate advantage, but in the long run the quality of their play suffers.

After our two women`s finals a couple of weeks ago, I watched the QLD under-17s City v Country game. It`s hard to judge, but I honestly think even our best open-age female players might struggle against the Aussie junior rep girls teams. When the tackled player plants the ball, owns the mark, and defenders can`t move until the foot makes contact with the ball, the result is a cleaner ruck, faster tempo, and higher standards.

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