Fire the refs? How about we fix the rules?
Ok so lately NRL refereeing hasn’t been great. Actually it’s been woeful, to say the least. But is it all the refs’ fault?
Have we made the task of refereeing what should be a pretty simple game too complicated?
The standard of officiating of late has brought on plenty of angst, confusion and heartache but maybe what it really needs is a whole lot of thought and courage to make the big changes when needed.
Here are a few ideas that have come to mind of late.
1. Bring back the in-goal judge
Not so long ago rugby league at the highest level had in-goal judges. The purpose of this was to assist the referee in adjudicating whether the ball had been placed legitimately in the in-goal. They moved back and forth along the dead ball line with a great view of attempted put downs.
He was one of three pairs of eyes the man in the middle had to assist in making the crucial decision. My proposal here is bring back the in-goal judge. Surely a set of eyes, directly in front of the play must assist in helping the referee make the correct decision.
2. Two touch judges per side
That’s right two per side, one half of one sideline each. This would ensure the touch judge is always up with the play and close enough to make the call, that’s right make the calls!
The touch judges, with the advent of the Video Referee, have relinquished all responsibility from making the call instead they now only give the boss a blank look and say “better go upstairs for this one”. Also we need a larger core group of professional officials. With big money coming the game’s way, it’s time to make our officials the best going around.
3. One referee on the field
Whether we like it or not the game generally flows at the tempo at which the official will allow it. Two referees was always a recipe for disaster with one referees interpretation being different from the other.
Examples would be the 10m. Now one ref might like to separate the teams by a Big 10 the other might like a small 10. How fast will the ruck be? One man (or woman) should be in charge of the flow game.
4. Captain’s Challenge
I like it. My way of thinking would be the referee would no longer have the option to go straight to the video. They must make a decision in consultation with the assisting officials on the spot.
If the captain (from either side) feels the officials have made a boo boo then they can challenge the decision, and they get two per quarter. Get it wrong and you lose one from the next quarter. Get them both wrong and next quarter you will have zero challenges available to you. Challenges would reset at half time.
That’s right you read right quarters. Why not? Extend the game and add breaks for more advertising revenue.
25 minutes per quarter sounds great to me, with two interchanges per quarter. To take a leaf out of the other codes book, one player who is solely a substitute.
It may only be my opinion but I can’t see how introducing quarters and extending the advertising opportunities would be a bad thing?
6. On the line is not out
Ok so rugby league has always played by the rule on the line is out and on the line is a try. This always seems to cause conjecture when it comes to slight touches by a foot on the sideline or is the part of the ball on the line?
I would propose that to be in touch more than half of your foot/body/ball must be over the line. The same would apply for the placing of the ball for a try. Again if the captain wishes to challenge the call he can but at his own risk. Perhaps this one is not of huge importance but there seems to always be a contentious call based on whether it was or wasn’t it on that painted blade of grass.
Surely we can help the officials rather than just piling on the pressure, can’t we?
One final point. You cannot run around the back of your own player.
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