Friday, 27 March 2009
Last year at this competition, the day’s play was abandoned due to fear of drowning or concussion from falling branches. This year, whilst it was cool, I managed to catch some sun! Organisation seemed to be a bit better too, and there seemed to be a surfeit of referees so the schedule was far from punishing.
My first match was Ampleforth v Felsted, the team captains are due to arrive 10 mins before KO to check colours and call the toss, I give then 4-5 minutes and if one of them hasn’t shown I give the toss to the punctual captain. Felsted arrive very late and I tell him he has defaulted, the coach arrives a couple of minutes later and I explain that no, he hasn’t defaulted the match, just the toss!
This year I’m up a couple of age groups and the skill and speed are telling, three months off exercise aren’t good preparation for a day of refereeing 7’s. I get three games including a semi-final; I forget to check my watch as the first half of the SF draws to a close and a try is scored, oh well one more play I think, but this leads to a try in a tight game. Bad form, still it didn’t decide the game as the scorers ran away with things in the second half as they suss that giving the ball to the big fast lad is a good game plan.
Following this I run touch for couple of games, watching higher level referees closely was enlightening. A couple of issues, blue going in at the corner, and red tackles high, I flag it but the try stands, why no penalty try? It didn’t prevent a try being scored, had the player been prevent from going in closer to the post then maybe, but the tackle was made as the player was going to ground anyway. Secondly, red is tackled in midfield and the blue tackler bounces up quickly to play the ball, penalty given to red but the signal is not releasing the ball; confusion by me and the crowd on the touchline. It turns out it was the wrong signal, the blue tackler took down the red player and was trying to rip the ball. As both players hit the ground, the blue player never let go of the ball so the penalty was for not releasing (the player). Correct call but a fail on signals, which the ref admitted to back in the hut.
It was interesting to see sides using the ELVs to good effect particular quick throws, who would think you good make 7’s faster.
A worthwhile day out, and the ankle held up. Roll on Saturday.