Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: ELVs, laws of rugby, losing games, rugby referees
First, before I even start, we need to remember we are all in this together. Without each constituent part of the game, we would not be able to even venture onto the pitch.
Does that mean that refereees should be free of criticism? Of course not, and I don’t know many who would say otherwise. On the other hand there is a time and place for criticism, just as there is with the players.
I feel a certain amount of pity for referees at the moment. The new season in the Northern Hemisphere is almost upon us and watching the New Zealand club competition, I see plenty of interpretation.
There are new laws in place, and emphasis on others. The referees at all levels are under pressure to get these areas correct AND the normal laws of the game whilst the players and coaches are conspiring to outwit both the opposition and the referee.
In fact some referees will admit that some laws will be refereed hard in the first few months and then things will revert to the old ways.
That is not the only problem. Speaking to some coaches over the weekend, referees at the lower level are not so well informed. So whilst the coach and team might be playing to the current rulings, the poor old (and young) referee is struggling to cope with the old set of laws.
I suppose patience is a particularly useful virtue. It is a tough dish to swallow when you are losing a spicy game to some rotten decisions.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills | Tags: ELVs, lifting in the lineout, lineouts, mauling, mauls, short lineouts
The most important lineout ELV has changed back to the old law of matching numbers.
The other lineout ELVs, which are here to stay, removed the anomalies from beforehand. The player standing in the traditional defensive hooker position cannot lift, the receiver has to stand two metres from the line until the ball is thrown in and lifting (as if it wasn’t before) is allowed.
So we will have a return to shortened lineouts and all the variations they provided. Some teams at the top end of the game were using them anyway, despite the opposition being able to have any amount of players in the lineout.
The principles of good lifting and throwing remain, but there are lots of opportunities to win the lineout AND to use the rolling maul from the lineout.
And I think it is the last prospect that makes winning the lineout well even more interesting. You cannot maul from poor lineout. You have to win the ball cleanly and so it is good to get into space to make an uncontested catch. Then you have to transfer the ball away from the catcher before he is pulled over.
Right then, back to the shortened lineout variations and developing the rolling maul.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs | Tags: ELVs, IRB, rolling maul, rucking, rugby laws
This week, the ELVs came closer to becoming Ls.
The IRB rugby committee has ratified which laws it thinks should come into force and which shouldn’t. It is now up to the IRB council to confirm these on 13 May. It is likely they will become law for the start of the 2009 Northern Hemisphere season.
All the lineout laws EXCEPT any numbers.
5m at the scrum and the scrum half offside line.
Quick throw ins going backwards.
Passing into the 22m area invalidating the kicking compensation out of the 22m.
Corner flags not being part of touch.
What’s not in:
Pulling down the maul
Sanctions for rucks and mauls (that is free kicks for certain infringements)
What might be coming in:
Rolling subs in the community game
U19 scrum laws in the community game (that is the wheel and pushing distance laws)
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Team Management | Tags: community rugby, ELVs, substitutions
Did you miss the most interesting ELV?
Under the radar of the ELV debate a very interesting law might well be getting an airing in the new season. It is aimed at the community game and for those of us who of us who have used it before, it has lots of competitive implications.
Rolling substitutes has been “recommended to the Rugby Committee”. This has arisen out of the ELV debate last week.
I have used this system when I was a school coach of an Under 18 team. It meant we could take players to a game with a guarantee of some game time for them.
No need to hold a substitute back for an injury. I used to rotate a front row player, so each prop would get a least two thirds of a game.
For me this is exactly what the community game needs. It involves players at the amateur level who give up their time to play.
Of course it is open to abuse. Why not have a specialist kicker who can’t tackle to roll on and off when it suits you. But if you are a team who want to do this, then so be it. The greater good will prevail because more players will still be involved.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Team Management | Tags: ELVs, IRB, rugby development
The IRB meet annually to discuss the game. This year’s meeting takes place today and is at the Lensbury Club in London.
The IRB conference is focused on “development”. This list of topics makes for interesting reading:
Mark Egan, the IRB’s Head of Performance and Development is leading the forum.
“This forum will explore and debate a broad range of issues and challenges faced by the Unions on the ground. Ultimately, the participants are the practitioners, the people at the coalface of development; the people who help Rugby grow all over the world.”
“Blueprints will emerge from the debate and some optimal forms of action will be identified. In addition there will be seminars on legal and judicial matters, the Laws of the Game and Playing Regulations, on playing surfaces and clothing, on tournaments and competitions, on training and education, medical as well as development funding.”
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: ELVs, rugby internationals, rugby referees
I have spent the last 72 hours picking my way through some seemingly obscure rulings in the IRB rugby laws.
At the same time I have watched four internationals and refereed two games of rugby, plus fielded a couple of refereeing questions.
My conclusion is this. We need rugby referees and we need to look after them.
A ”rare beast”? They are rare because of the abuse they receive and thus many are leaving the game. And they are beasts for lots of the connatations you would care to put about them, some good, some because we feel sorry for them and some because they are by no means perfect.
Forget the “bias”, the incompetent, the outmoded and the “non scrum” expert charges. This is why we need to protect the rare beast:
1. The ELVs are different in different parts of the world. How hard is that for an international referee!
2. The interpretations of the ELVs are changing every couple of weeks.
3. The definitions of the breakdown are blurred.
4. The law enforcers are confused, so what hope the players.
5. Too many ignorant people make sweeping remarks when they have poor knowledge and understanding of the game.
6. The error count for players in the game is much bigger than the error count of most referees. The onus is on the referee though should he make even one mistake. Unfair?
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: ELVs, r.j.p. marks, times online
Here is an article from the Times Online website to have a look at.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN
REVIEW OF ELV’S (EXPERIMENTAL LAW VARIATIONS)
I think it is angry, but has some pertinent points.
See what you think!
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: Currie Cup, ELVs, feeding at the scrum, free kick, Lensbury conference, NPC, Paddy O'Brien, rugby kicking, rugby laws
Paddy O’Brien is interviewed on the IRB’s Total Rugby programme today.
Here are some of his answers taken from the IRB website.
For two and a half months the global game has been played under the Experimental Law Variations. The Southern hemisphere was first to experience the ELVs and still include the laws governing sanctions, but what happens when those same players switch to the Northern-style ELVs for the November tests?
Is there a problem on the horizon, or are these issues merely a storm in a tea cup? Questions Total Rugby Radio put to IRB referee manager Paddy O’Brien.
Total Rugby: Looking at some the founding principles behind the ELVs, has the game been ‘given back to the players’?
Paddy O’Brien:”The players would certainly say that it has. On the statistics we’ve had back so far, on 80 to 90 percent of the ELVs the players say they strongly support them, so despite all the myths out there that people don’t like them, the people who play the game, who are at the end of the day the most important people, they’re telling us yes they love them.”
TR: What about making the game more entertaining – there’s a lot of kicking in the North at the moment..
P O’B: “I think there’s a bit of a myth out there that one of our objectives was to make the game more entertaining, which was not the case. That’s up to the players. As for the kicking, the stats show that kicking is no more than it was at Rugby World Cup 2007, in fact it’s down. There’s an average of 51 or 52 kicks in a game and if you go back to the semi finals and final of the World Cup there were 87 kicks per game, so there is a lot of misinformation out there.
“Sure, there is a lot of kicking and that is down to other reasons. Until the referees really get harsh at refereeing people on their feet at the tackle players will not commit to the breakdown and the only way to break defences is by kicking the ball. The fact that there’s a lot of kicking in games at the moment shouldn’t be put down to the ELVs.”
TR: We’ve currently got different Laws being used in the South and the North. Could this not be a problem with IRB World Ranking points and Rugby World Cup seedings potentially at stake?
P O’B: “People get a bit emotional over it but the only difference between the two hemispheres at the moment – and a reminder the NPC and Currie Cup are being played under the 16 ELVs whereas up north it’s 13 – is that instead of being a penalty it’s a free kick as a sanction. That’s the only area.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby News | Tags: ELVs, lineouts, rucks, rugby league, rugby union, scrums
A little piece of history was made on Saturday. The Bridgend Ravens beat Neath at the Gnoll for the first time since 1982. A Welsh Premiership match with bags of atmosphere, and a sizeable crowd for a wet and windy Saturday afternoon.
Bridgend are perhaps the least financially secure of a league with bridges the gap between the amateur and professional game in Wales. What makes their position even more precarious is news from the Super League. The Celtic Crusaders have won a franchise into Europe’s top level rugby league competition for 2009 and, for the first time, top class rugby league will be played on the fields of Wales.
Wait. Not the first time, because the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has seen plenty of rugby league finals and one-offs. But now it will be regular games with all the razzmatazz and raw rugby that top league brings.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Coaching | Tags: ELVs, Jonathan Kaplan, rugby coaches, rugby kicking, rugby lineouts, rugby mauls, rugby rucks
Rugby coaches around the world are pouring over their tactics and working out whether the new laws have made a significant difference to the game.
In the Northern Hemisphere, two complaints have made most of the headlines: more kicking and inconsistency at the breakdown.
Just a moment…
Inconsistency at the breakdown? That is not talking about an ELV. It is a directive from the IRB for referees to stop “bridging and sealing”. However referees are not controlling this area in the game in the same way. Recently criticism has been aimed at Jonathan Kaplan, the well-respected South African referee in the way he dealt the ruck area in two separate Tri Nations games. “A free for all” said one coach about the last game after he had been very harsh in the previous match. (more…)