Friday 18 September 2009

Watch Your Tackle

Occies v Haslemere Vets
Ahead of my second match of the season, the Referee Society brought out JP Doyle to talk us through refereeing the tackle at last night’s meeting. It is a huge benefit having Premiership referees in the Society to aid our development. He got us thinking about what type of tackle we were watching, offensive, gang, isolated, etc and how this might change our priorities for what subsequent offensives might occur. Is it likely to be a tackler not moving or a ball carrier not releasing?
His focus is clearly to avoid giving a penalty, the early whistle and a scrum being the preferred option. In judging if it should be a penalty, he clearly looks for the crime to be clear and obvious, something that will change depending on the observer’s reference point, particularly between player and referee. Next up, he looks to see if the play is positive, the tackler may be on the wrong side, but is making an effort to move away or is he prevented from rolling away?
Finally, the referee should use his judgement as to what is ‘fair’, is a player or side being rewarded for good, positive player and is the outcome equitable? This final point places the referee as an arbitrator (what the French call the man with a whistle) rather the enforcer as seen but the Anglo-Saxon world.
All good points to take into the weekend and I will try and watch some of JP’s game between Wasps and Worcester to see how he implements this approach.

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