Sponsor: Silicon Valley 7s

Sponsor: Infinity Park

Thursday, April 14, 2016

PRO Rugby Referees Named, Rule Adjustments

Match Officials (Left to Right: Scott Green (Referee), Jamie Miller (AR), Nick Ricono (Referee), Leah Berard (Referee), Derek Summers (Referee), Kurt Weaver (Referee), George O'Neil (AR), Marc Nelson (AR).
Press Release

PRO Rugby 2016 kicks off on Sunday, April 17th in the USA. The Referees and Assistant Referees are all from the USA.

Referees: Nick Ricono, Derek Summers, Scott Green, Leah Berard, Kurt Weaver
Assistant Referees: Marc Nelson, George O’Neil, Jamie Miller
Match Official Manager: Richard Every
Match Official Advisor: Rob Debney

The group met in Denver on Monday, April 11th to work through Law Application and Guidelines. In brief, the goals are: Clarity at the breakdown, more space to play the game in, positive scrums and efficient advantage. The biggest addition is applying the Scrum Laws more effectively.

Take the jump to read more.

To reduce restarts and resets and increase ball in play, referees will more strictly apply Law 20.1 (d) No delay, (f) Front Rows Coming Together, (g) ”Crouch”,”Bind” & “Set” & (j) Stationary & Parallel. Teams are to set up correctly and maintain legal form and binding throughout the set up, engagement and put-in.

The approach by Referees will be to award a Free Kick when any of the following is infringed as per Law:

  1. Teams to be ready to start the scrum within 30 seconds.
  2. Correct set up with bodies straight, shoulders in line.
  3. “Crouch” with ear to ear and a space between heads and opponents’ shoulders, and not leaning against opponents’ shoulders.
  4. “Bind” on the opposing prop’s body and maintain the space with bodies straight.
  5. “Set”: Loosehead binding on the opponent’s back or side (not under the Tighthead’s body), and elbow up, not hanging (pointing down).
  6. Tighthead on the opponent’s back or side, not on the armpit or arm of the Loosehead.
  7. Front rows have to retain proper body positions, supporting their weight, and maintain binding.
  8. Remain square and steady until the referee instructs the scrumhalf to put the ball in.
  9. And then we are to enforce a credible feed. 

"If we are successful in this application and scrums are set up correctly, it should provide more ball in play", says Match Official Manager, Richard Every. "A team effort is required by the officials to maintain the expected standards. As a group we have agreed on the principles and guidelines with the teams. It is our goal to provide a product that will appeal to current rugby fans and attract new ones.”

A couple other additions are: Extra Time (if the match is drawn at full time there will be one period of 10 minutes sudden death) and the World Rugby approved Law Trial 5.7 (e) where a team that has been awarded a Penalty Kick after time expired may kick for touch and play the lineout.

Kurt Weaver is refereeing at the World Rugby Junior World Trophy in Zimbabwe and will not be available for the first three rounds of PRO Rugby 2016. The opening matches are:

April 17th, 2016
2pm MST
OHIO at DENVER
Infinity Park, Glendale
Referee: Derek SUMMERS
AR1: Leah BERARD / AR2: Marc NELSON

4pm PST
SAN FRANCISCO at SACRAMENTO
Bonney Field, Sacramento
Referee: Nick RICONO
AR1: Scott GREEN / AR2: George O'NEIL

5 comments:

  1. I don't understand the need to prevent drawn matches in a league. They don't happen often, but when they do they can have a massive impact on the league, both teams missing out on the full points can be curial in a chase for the league. The game is played over 80 minutes - if it's drawn over the 80, that's the outcome, and good news for the teams above and below them in the league.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaannnnd, it happened in the very first match.

      Delete
  2. I think it's a great initiative - sport is about winning and teams that try to win should be rewarded. Negative teams can try to kill time and slow the game down and play for a draw if they know they can get away with it. Plus - and most importantly - it makes for excellent theatre!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it's a great initiative - sport is about winning and teams that try to win should be rewarded. Negative teams can try to kill time and slow the game down and play for a draw if they know they can get away with it. Plus - and most importantly - it makes for excellent theatre!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just wanted to say I am impressed with Leah Berard. Watched her officiating and she is right there with the play and enforces without to much yelling.(Not the refs job to coach players during action, (which I sometimes see with international refs.) On a Denver try she was closer to the try scorer than any player but not in the way. She is a very fit and decisive ref.

    On scrums. I like the idea of focusing on continuous play with the free kick. The purpose of a scrum is to contest the ball and NOT be to win a penalty and score three points. Give them possession

    ReplyDelete