This past weekend I think I saw most of us out there in some shape or form, so here is some feedback from around the State, the good, the bad and the ugly.
“At the breakdown, the first defender is on his feet, supporting his own body weight, and trying to jackal the ball from the tackled player. Then a ruck is formed. Is the first defender allowed to continue to poach the ball?
Is the defender infringing for hands in the ruck?
Or should the attacking player be penalized for not releasing the ball?
So let me start by saying, “great question”. You are 100% correct with your assessment of the situation. The first arriving player, may legally attempt to gain possession of the ball if 1) the ruck has not formed yet and 2) they did so by releasing the ball carrier and coming through the gate. NOW the ruck forms and you as the referee call “ruck formed, hands away.” If they have gained possession of the ball they may continue to play it, however if they are still digging for the ball they must give up their efforts and get their hands out of there.
This has become a red-hot topic lately.
If you use an apple watch, there’s an app you might fancy for your matches.
For an in-depth review, see this blog: https://www.dutchreferee.com/apple-watch-referees/
(Note: We don’t receive any royalties or payments for referrals. We just know that some USA Rugby National Panel Referees use this system and we wanted to provide information about the resource.)
Ohio Rugby Referees Society Social Media Team
On March 24, Ohio Rugby Referees Society hosted the Spring 2018 Level 1 Referee Certification class in Mentor, Ohio. This event was unique as Billy Koval, our referee development officer, programmed the course in conjunction with the North Coast Rugby Festival. Mr. Christopher Farroni, Director of RugbyOhio, and Mr. Kurt Weaver, USA Rugby and National Panel Referee, were both in attendance which made for a great day of rugby referee development.
New and veteran referees had access to the stadium press box, providing an unmatched view of the full field and perspective.
The “newbies class” spent some time in the classroom learning the basics of officiating but were then ushered out to the field, bumping noses with “real” referees. The class walked along the touchline with instructors, evaluating the game situations, necessary positioning, and quick referee decisions. Some of the class even helped the referees in the center by serving as assistant referee/touch judges, providing a hands-on learning experience beyond compare.
The mid-day match was the headliner for referee development. Andre Bruwer, Coach of Match Officials and Ohio Rugby Referees Society President, called the game as the Center Referee, with Kevin McNamara and Reneé Whittenberger as Assistant Referees. The team of three used a radio set which also fed to a speaker in the stadium press box, giving the observing L1 class full perspective on the match. Kurt Weaver and the L1 instructors narrated, discussed scenarios, answered questions, and explained the referees’ choices throughout the match.
Even experienced referees were treated to instruction and development. Reneé wore a radio for specific feedback and coaching in real time from Kurt Weaver and Andre Bruwer. Tim Levitsky and Kevin McNamara were also coached and their game videos reviewed by the Experts, throughout their field performances.
We also happened to see Mr. Weaver handing out swag gear like it was candy. Yes, ORRS has some kitmas to giveaway, courtesy of USA Rugby. You never know when Rugby Santa will have something for you!
We’re hoping to make this Experiential Level 1 Referee Certification Class an annual event. We like the way it worked out, we’re looking for feedback from participants, and we can’t wait to see the results.
Stay tuned for that and more next-level things from your Ohio Rugby Referees Society. Big things are happening!
Your ORRS Social Media Team
Thank you to everyone who was able to log in last night to the ORRS emergency AGM and to those who were able to send proxy votes through. The position of chair went unopposed so I (Andre Bruwer) was officially elected to step up and try to fill the shoes of Mr. Billy Koval. So firstly, thank you to everyone for their support…now let the work begin.
- To develop a new, better, more efficient website.
- To put together a clothing line for the ORRS that we can have a one stop shop and a “uniform” of sorts.
- I want to see us moving towards one scheduling software system rather than the two we currently run on.
- There is much else to be done, but those are the big 3 for now.
Ohio Referee Development Officer = Mr. Billy Koval (email@example.com)
2: Ensure technical zones are established and medical professionals on on site BEFORE kickoff.
VEGAS 2018 … 80,000 steps (38 miles) ….. Conquered. ☺
BIG victory in front of a home crowd to our USA Eagles! Not only was it a great victory for our team and our country, it made for an amazing experience for our first time Vegas referees; Bouké, Reneé, and Rachael. In total, the Ohio Rugby Referee Society representatives ran approximately 152 miles and refereed 25 hours of sevens rugby!
Day 1 of the Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) event started with games kicking off at 8:00 am split between 11 fields; 34,000 steps later (16.4 miles), LVI Day 1 was in the bag. The after party hosted by the Ohio Referees was next on the cards. Now don’t let your minds get too crazy here, if you have never sprinted 16.4 miles, then you may be surprised to learn what a party after a day like this looks like: First a jacuzzi tub full of ice, then later a communal soak in warm water and epsom salts. Plus plenty of beer, crown royal, bourbon, vodka.……
LVI Day 2: Games kick off at 8:00 am! Field conditions… well, you be the judge! The Nevada sun long ago soaked up the green and moisture from the grass, but the players didn’t seem to mind. They were playing Sevens in March!
Reneé met her all-time favorite rugby player, Todd Clever, and came away with a hug and a photo. He even watched her referee the next match. She spent the rest of the day with giant stars in her eyes.
Bouké and André were photographed on The Rugby Breakdown reviewing game footage after the losing team contested the referee’s account of the score. The referee’s count was maintained.
LVI Day 2 was another long day – around 12 miles of running – and as soon as the last whistle was blown, we were off to the main stadium to watch international rugby at its best. We arrived at Sam Boyd Stadium with our free tickets in time to watch the USA Eagles take on Samoa.
USA was on a roll, later on defeating Australia comfortably. A few brave souls jumped the fence and ran the field, yea never to be seen again as they were led away by our boys in blue. At the end of Day 2 we felt it wise to keep a low profile. Partying back at the Ohio Referees rooms sounded like the best plan.
LVI Day 3: Back to the fields for yet another 8:00am kick off. Day 3 sees all the finals
being played, so although lighter work at only 10miles of running, by now the feet, calves, hamstrings, and muscles you didn’t even know you had are crying for a break. Ohio again represented well with all four referees officiating in the center of a final match and one in particular being selected to run in a team of four with Leah Bernard to blow for the boys elite final.☺
With the LVI side of the event over we could now focus on the International stage, so again with our free tickets in hand we, rushed over to the main stadium to catch Day 2 of the International action.
I felt it appropriate that during Day 3 I had to take all my American friends to experience some real South African food, so off to the “fan zone” it was for Bunny Chows.
Now the saying “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” always occurs on the Saturday night…why? Well because our jobs are done and that means no 8:00am start…..PAAARRRRTTTYYYYYYYY Vegas style! The theme for the night was “adorable” and the game was to take random selfies with other people, nudes count double points dugh! In the morning we would decide on a winner. Somehow, we lost all memory of the competition by morning. So you be the judge (some photos omitted because this is a family show):
Day 4 was a bit of a slow start to the day by hitting the breakfast buffet. Two for the price of one is always a favorite with referees. Then we were off to the main stadium to watch the final day of the international play. What a great day it was, watching our boys win this leg of the World Series in front of a home crowd. As the final whistle sounded USA over Argentina 28-0, the stands stormed the field! I tried to stop them and told them to behave and take the moral high ground and be shining examples to others…… no all lies, I think my feet hit the fields first as we cleared the railing and made a bee-line for our USA Squad. ☺ If you chat with any of the crowd that made it out to Vegas this year, they will all tell you, what a great way to end a fantastic weekend of rugby!
Hopefully more of you good fine referees can join us next year for the 2019 LVI…I know I’m in!
– Andre Bruwer, Ohio Rugby Referees Society CMO
I want to thank everyone for their assistance, flexibility, and participation the last number of years. We are a much better Society than we were and you all worked to make it so.
– Billy Koval, President Ohio Rugby Referees Society
So the USA Rugby National Development Summit (NDS) 2018 is over, some AWESOME new ideas and valuable inspirational stories and suggestions shared. It is always so inspiring to have 400+ people in one area all so eager to help each other and share their secrets of success. It really helps one remember that no matter if you are a player, coach, referee, or administrator everyone really wants the same thing: enjoyment and success. As always, old relationships rejuvenated and new ones formed; every year the rugby family just keeps growing. 🙂
Through all the development opportunities offered at NDS, all the presentations, inspirational talks and networking opportunities, it’s hard to leave NDS not encouraged, inspired, and enthused to tackle the tasks that lie ahead. We listened to our new men’s national team coach speak, received presentations by high performance referee managers, and heard inspirational personal stories from dynamic players who have come back from catastrophic injuries only to face the arch enemy of cancer. Jillian Potter told us about doing laps around the hospital, still attached to the IV pole and undergoing chemotherapy, all with a vision that ultimately led to her not only competing in the Women’s World Cup but also representing our proud country at the Rio Olympics. The rugby world is discovering new technologies that are without a doubt going to help drive our society forward in doing a better job for all stakeholders. From better more efficient scheduling software to accounting systems to referee personal developmental aids like solo-shot…change is in the air. It’s a super exciting time to be an Ohio Referee! I do understand people don’t like change and as human beings (yes even referees are human), we generally resist change. If we don’t act, either out of fear of failure or fear of what the changes may bring, then we are going to simply stagnate. Rather, let’s face change as a challenge, grab it with both hands and embrace it…change is coming! 🙂
Short term goals for this year are going to change the way we run Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Instead of the ordinary, let’s have an annual Ohio Rugby Summit, with interactive developmental opportunities and vibrant guest speakers that will give us tools we can really use out there in the war zone. I am inspired to develop a new referee training program in Ohio – one that will be more impactful and dynamic than the one most of us “sat” through. With the support of our USA Rugby Educators and alongside our now very established Rookie Rugby program, we have an untapped resource and entry point for newer, younger referees. Fear not old guys, nothing replaces the experience we all bring, but sitting at NDS and listening to a 12 year old new up-and-coming referee talk of their experiences, it’s hard not to be moved and inspired. Look around, we have many of these great resources around us here in Ohio, we are just not maximizing their potential… change is coming! 🙂
The ideas of using technology and software to help us do better, more efficient work is promising. One person can’t do everything alone. We are going to need to come together to help grow and improve the Ohio Rugby Referee Society. We all have a choice: sit in the dark and complain about why things are and how we wish they were, or step up and volunteer to help drive the change you wish to see. The big message is that in order to grow and develop, the self-reflection piece is vital. No CMO or peer mentor or any other fancy word or phrase is more important that the internal desire. Forming stronger, supportive relationships with other fellow, like-minded referees is an under-utilized, yet immensely powerful developmental tool which we need to exploit this year. Through the use of tools like Google Classroom we can provide law discussions and challenging, thought-stimulating ventures. I have heard the cry, “why should I bother working to be a better me? Why should I bother with referee development? It’s not like I get paid more!” Like I said… change is coming :). In the real world, if you invest in yourself (like getting a degree…a Master’s… a Phd), yes, it costs you the more you want to develop yourself, but then the financial return is also more. It’s time that these practices get mirrored in our rugby society too. If we truly are a professional organization, then it’s time to act like one…all of us, referees, coaches, administrators… change is coming. 🙂
Hey, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! https://twitter.com/OhioRugbyRef
– Andre Bruwer, Ohio Rugby Referees Society CMO