Refereeing appointments for January 6 and 13 are now on Pelicanrefs.com, right there on the home page:
Please let Pete Smith know immediately if you cannot honor the commitment that you made when you listed yourself as available.
Be aware that a schedule of this sort, with a lot of travel, is complex to draw up and difficult to change after the fact.
We have had several instances of people saying they are available on a given Saturday, then as soon as they get an assignment they suddenly can’t do it.
IF YOU FIND OUT YOU CANNOT REF ON A WEEKEND THAT YOU PREVIOUSLY REPORTED AS AVAILABLE, PLEASE LET US KNOW RIGHT AWAY.
SUNDAY REFS NEEDED
There will be tournaments at Stanford on the weekends of January 13/14 and 20/21. We will need six or more referees on Sunday the 21st – there are fourteen games.
These will both be high-level and well-publicized women’s tournaments. The first includes clubs, colleges and rep sides, while the second is strictly colleges.
Please let us know if you’d like a run.
WE ARE ALSO AT LEAST SIX REFERES SHORT FOR SATURDAY, JANUARY 20. AND WE COULD USE ONE MORE TO FILL OUT JANUARY 27.
THE SEASON STARTS SATURDAY
It’s the best time of the year – a new rugby season. Get in shape. Read the Laws. Get out there and run touch if you don’t have a game.
Don’t worry – after January 13, everyone who wants games will get them. We will have about six to ten more matches than available referees on the average Saturday from now until April. Lots of refs will be doing two, and some games will not be covered. WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Remember to use the NCRFU match cards, which you can print out from our website:
Report the score on the card and mail it in, but also send an e-mail along to the Senate with the score and any words you’d like to record about your day.
And remember to report all red cards and all yellow cards for Law 10.4 violations by e-mail to Matt Eason.
PELICAN SOCIETY MEETING
David Williamson will direct our focus to the scrum and lineout at the Society Meeting on Wednesday, January 10, at the SFGG clubhouse on Treasure Island.
The development committee will meet at six and the society at seven. This time we really have food and beverages on hand between six and seven.
BIG CHANGES BREWING?
Thanks to Jim Marsh for this link:
Some radical changes in our game are undergoing intensive evaluation, moving from the Law Laboratory stage to being trialed in professional matches in Scotland and other competitions in Australia.
The first of the new laws listed under the Paddy O'Brien interview requires players to be back five meters from scrums.
This obviously will provide a lot more space and will be easier to police than the experimental law of ten years ago, which also required non-participants to stay back five meters at rucks and mauls.
Other proposed Laws:
Getting rid of the corner post
We've always wondered why in the world there was something on the pitch the sole purpose of which was to restrict the number of tries scored. Good riddance to it.
Handling in the ruck
It is hoped that this will clean up the most infringement-ridden portion of the game, the tackle/ruck/pileup.
The player who handles the ball has to be on the feet, over the ball, and the shoulder of the hand that is used to push the ball back (not pick it up) has to be ahead of the ball. (The other arm has to be legally bound to someone.)
This is easy to ref. The arm, as it reaches down, has to be reaching 'back'. It is very simple to see if the hand or arm goes forward.
This will entail major coaching changes. New types of players, with new skills, will suddenly become The Best Player in the World. Remember the impact that Michael Jones/Josh Kronfeld/George Smith/Richie McGaw had with the way they played flanker, each advancing the game with their revolutionary abilities.
This will put that sort of progression into overdrive.
Teams will want a handful of these specialty kamikaze ruckers. In open play and pattern play they might be dispersed into different pods. Players with lesser aerobic fitness will also be dispersed similarly. They won't have to run back and forth across the pitch: rucks will be won or lost by the first one, two or three players. One close supporter should win the ruck every time.
Ball-carriers now often attempt to stay on their feet in the tackle. Under this Law, they'll drop like flies if support is close.
Allowing the collapsing of the maul
This will simply do away with mauls. This one we have mixed feelings about.
Mauling is a real art. It involves not only a variety of skills but incredible non-aerobic capacity to sustain. It is beautiful to watch (and to referee) when done well.
In September in London the Pelican exchange group and hosts watched the Saracens take a maul from the touch line thirty-plus meters out to score under the posts. They were sitting in the in-goal that it approached; a fantastic place to watch it from and an angle a referee never sees.
But alas, to be no more if these changes go into effect.
Not being able to pass the ball behind the 22 and then gain ground by kicking directly into touch
This is a minor change and makes the game easier to referee.
Infringements other than Law 10 violations be free kicks
This causes us all manner of heartburn. Not because we don't agree with it in principle, but because it will create another discrepancy in refereeing practice between high-level matches and lower ones.
That's because any deliberate infringement is foul play. Under this Law, the referee's gauge of what is deliberate won’t merely enter into the yellow card calculus, but into every penalty decision. What to do with the typical game in the USA, when some of the players on the field know exactly what is expected of them and others don't? ‘Not rolling away’ in these circumstances should be a free kick for some players and a full penalty for others.
That doesn't seem fair. But then again it isn't fair to all of the players to the same standard, either. We ref games with Eagles playing alongside first-year players.
And then, add to this that any repeated infringement is foul play. So, the third off-side becomes a full penalty if not a yellow card as well.
A lot to keep track of.
TIME FOR 2007 CIPP REGISTRATION
You can now register with USA Rugby for 2007 participation. The amount is $55. This will be tax-deductible if you are a member of the referee society:
You can complete payment on-line. You’ll need to print out the waiver, sign it, and get it to our Treasurer, Jim Crenshaw.
1248 E. Oak Avenue #D
Woodland, CA 95776
THIS WEEK’S PHOTO
Reviewing the past year’s archives, we came across this fine memory of a spring day in Wellingborough:
Sue and Murray Felstead flank their newly wed daughter Kate and her husband Ian. Sue’s best friend Val Siddon looks over her shoulder, while Murray’s mate John Wearing is alongside with his wife Sheila. Bruce Carter showed up just to make sure this photo would be in our files.
For the Senate