Friday, 5 September 2008

Season Begins

After an inital false start (no game assigned for this weekend) I now have a match, a friendly between two local sides. I have reffed both before though not at the homeside's ground.

After months on grumbling and complaining it is time to put into practice the ELVs- hoping the players have had some instruction! I will approach the matter with an open mind; aside from the maul change, I do not thing there will be too many problems.

New Season Resolutions
I aim to be much tougher on chat- inspired by the Trouble Shooter. Authoity is key and I need to be better at establishing it.
Better communication - listen Wayne Barnes on ref-link. Words not whistle and let the game flow. Players have to help by responding to my instuctions
Fewer penalties - following on from above; frustration comes from receiving or conceeding too many. Could it be a scrum to restart? Blow early and don't let it become scappy.
Fitness - I like to thing I move well for a fat lad, but loose a few pounds and gain an extra yard of pace
Carry on enjoying it and aim for promotion at Christmas


Michael said...

Dai, it would be interesting to read your experiences of your first ELV game as a ref. We played our first game under the ELVs at the weekend, albeit a practice match, and a few points were worth mentioning;
- a lot more aimless kicking than normal. This might have to do with the extra 5 metres behind the scrum; at grass roots level, if you give fly halves time to think they’ll invariably think of something stupid and send everyone on a 60 metre sprint to chase a kick, only to run 60 metres back again when the full back or wing boots it aimlessly upfield, having not been able to pass it into the 22 and try to gain ground.
- Loads of quick throw ins. Guys, at grass roots level a kick to touch is a chance for the forwards to have a rest, so go for lateral distance and kick the ball into the woods or a canal.
- After two penalties, one on each side, had been given for encroaching on the 5 metre offside line, both lines of backs vied for the attention of the ref at every scrum, asking ‘is this 5 metres ref?’ The ref found this rather annoying as he wanted to pay attention to forming the scrum properly and safely. This will obviously require patience and communication on the part of refs. We don’t want to be offside, but in defense we do want to be as close to the opposition back line as is legal. Eagle eyed refs who hand out penalties because one guy didn’t quite back-pedal fast enough at a scrum that’s going backwards will just ruin the match; communicate with us, give us a chance and we can prevent the penalties!
- I only saw one maul pulled down; it wasn’t a pretty sight with bodies falling in all sorts of contorted positions but happily nobody was injured. Still not convinced on this one.

Now I’m 36, but I know that I’m fit for my age; I train 4 or 5 nights per week and can still show some of our younger backs a clean pair of heels. However, this was the most knackering game I have ever played in; the speed was higher than I’d ever played, and I’ve played a much higher level in the past. If I can’t keep up after 45 minutes, the fat boys who turn up week in week out and put their money behind the bar can’t possibly have enjoyed it.

Maybe the problem lies in the skill of the teams and that we haven’t yet adjusted enough to control the pace of the game.

The only professional game I saw on the TV was Perpignan against Stade Francais on Eurosport. Aside from the useless commentator (where do they find them?), it struck me that even most of these superfit professional athletes were completely knackered after about 50 minutes, and an entertaining game unfortunately degenerated into lots of dropped passes and forwards who looked like their legs were made of jelly. If they can’t keep up with it, what about the rest of us?

Does the game really need to keep getting faster?

BigDai said...

I am still gauging my option. The 'Sanction ELV' are not being trailed in the UK and these are what really speed up the game.
Quick throws are a little more common and there is less defensive kicking for touch.
I've moved up a notch this season and it is difficult to tell what is the law changes and what is better, fitter players.