Weekly Update 10/11

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Based on what I saw in the WhatsApp group, there were a number of good matches out there, but also a lot of management issues that came up, as well as some law clarifications that we all need to be better about.

  • Gator Rolling and the Breakdown
    • While the new global law variations specifically state that gator rolls are a legal technique to remove a jackler, they need to be done safely. A safe gator roll has the following components:
      • Jackler is grasped lower than the armpits (not using head or neck to move the player- that would be a yellow card)
      • Jackler is rolled to the side, not pulled forward
      • Jackler lands on back or side, not head or neck (again, that would likely be at least a yellow card)
      • Gator-roller does not make any contact whatsoever with the jackler’s lower body
      • Gator-roller must be in control of their own body weight, and not drop their weight onto the jackler
    • If players can’t do this safely, they shouldn’t do it at all. Be very strict, especially on the lower college levels, about getting it exactly right- if they can’t, get it out of the game. Unsafe gator rolls are foul play, and should be refereed accordingly. We have had at least 2-3 major injuries over the past few weeks about this, so it’s on us to clean it up.
    • The defense cannot gator roll an offensive support player in the ruck. Gator rolls only apply to the removal of a jackler.
      • Also- please make sure we’re keeping a high standard on gate entry (angle of entry and proper binding)
  • The Scrumhalf- ball out
    • We’ve been hearing about issues with ball out as well, specifically the actions of the scrumhalf. Please keep the following in mind:
      • Scrumhalves are allowed to dig for the ball to get a decent grip, and then keep their hands on the ball and look around without the ball being considered out
      • Scrumhalves can toe the ball back to the back of the ruck, but cannot roll it back with their hands (if they do, the ball is considered out)
      • Scrumhalves do not need to be shoulder-bound to dig for the ball
      • Scrumhalves cannot fake a pass out of a ruck, maul, or scrum. If they do, manage first. If they do it again, it’s a scrum to the opposition.
      • The ball is out when it’s clearly beyond and/or outside the last body part in the ruck; a good rule of thumb for the defense- if you aren’t sure, it isn’t out
  • Coaches- Reprimand and Removal Process
    • If a coach starts getting out of line, this is the process to follow:
      • Stop the clock, and bring the captain over. Instruct the captain to talk to their coach and refrain from yelling at the referee, or else they risk being removed from the playing enclosure
      • If it continues- stop the clock, talk to the captain and tell them you are removing the coach, and then remove the coach from the playing enclosure (meaning they cannot be seen or heard from the pitch)
        • If the coach refuses, tell the captain the match will be abandoned and a forfeit will be awarded unless the coach complies
      • Teams and players are never to be penalized for the actions of their sideline. Do not issue a penalty or a yellow card. Play will restart from when it was stopped as if nothing else happened.
    • After the match- please send an email to me outlining the incident so I can follow up with the appropriate administrators
    • Ideally, we want to use all of our management tools to avoid a situation like this, but sometimes it’s unavoidable
  • Next ANCRR Development Series Meeting- 10/19
    • Our next ANCRR development meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 19- one week from tomorrow.
    • We will likely have World Rugby referee Amelia Luciano present on in-game management, which is always a timely topic. We hope everyone can join us then.

Updates- Week of 9/20

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend, and thanks to everyone who got out there and refereed. We mostly had great weather, and a good amount of exciting rugby as all of our leagues are now going full speed. Here are this week’s notes:

  • Card Reporting
    • All yellow and red cards in league matches must be reported, and red cards in friendlies should also be reported. Whenever possible, please get the name of the offending player(s) after the match. Some leagues have an automatic suspension after three yellow cards in the season, so it’s important that we do our part. The form is on our website, under resources:  https://nystaterugbyrefs.com/resources/
  • Global Law Trials, In-Goal Chart
    • I recently found a good chart that outlines what to do in each case where the ball ends up in/through in-goal, depending on who brought it in and who made it dead. A link to the chart will be on our website, but here’s a graphic as well (please make sure you study it):
  • Match Film
    • If you see that a team is filming the match, please ask them to provide you with a copy (or a YouTube link). We want to do more peer review, but that only works when we get film. We as a society will also be asking that teams provide film to referees.
  • Referee Reports
    • I will be reaching out to coaches later today as part of a new initiative. You may have seen in the WhatsApp group that I’m asking for trends that you’re seeing in matches. I plan on providing that info to coaches each week, as well as what information we have in terms of managing these areas.
      • Please feel free to provide me with your insights- ideally, level of match and the general issue. For example: D3 Men’s match, off feet and offside near the ruck
    • On the flip side, I will also be asking teams to fill out our referee feedback form. We want to hear from teams how referees are doing- both the good and the bad. It will help us promote and reward referees who are improving, and will also allow us to address issues as they arise. [It also gives us a better chance to get film.]
  • ANCRR Development Series- Next Meeting 9/28
    • Our next ANCRR Development Series meeting will take place on Sept. 28 at 8pm over Zoom. We’re working on having a referee do a quick 15 minute presentation on a specific topic, then having a Q&A on the topic. The rest of the time is for referees to chat with each other. If you have questions about something specific that happened in a match, feel free to make a clip or ask the group for their opinion. Refereeing is way more fun when we build a community around it, so please join in.

Updates- Week of 9/13

First off- now that we’re underway, I hope everyone has had a great time getting back out there. There are a few pieces of information that I want to highlight:

  • Payments
    • For all Empire GU league matches (men’s D2, D3, and D4; women’s D2 and D3): Empire GU will be paying referees directly. The society will send a list to their administrators at the end of every month, and payments will go out after that. My understanding is all payments from Empire GU will be electronic. If that’s an issue, contact me and I can get a hold of Empire GU administrators (mattlakerugby@gmail.com)
      • B-side and friendlies will still be paid directly by the team to the ref
      • ARs will be paid through the society
    • For all College league matches (all divisions)- payments will go through the society. We will invoice every team within NYSRRS, and payments to referees will be taken care of by us at the end of the season.  
      • B-side and friendlies will still be paid directly by the team to the ref (aside from St. Bonaventure; those B-sides will be invoiced out as well)
      • ARs will be paid through the society
  • Peer Reviews
    • As part of our regional development efforts through ANCRR (Atlantic North Coalition of Rugby Referees), we want to expand our peer review efforts across the region. If you want to be peer reviewed (more of an informal conversation after they watch your match film), or if you want to review another referee, please fill out this survey:
  • Card Reporting
    • If you had to give out any yellow and/or red cards, please fill out the form on our website for each one (leagues are keeping track, and we will report all red cards to the competition organizers):

Game Management Guidelines, and Advantage Webinars

The newest version of the Game Management Guidelines have been released; they can be found here: http://assets.usarugby.org/docs/refereeing/USARR-GMG.pdf?v=1629377434193

There have been a number of really good webinars coming out recently, mainly from the Advantage team. These videos break down each section listed in the GMG. Here are links to all of their most recent sessions: https://www.advantagereferee.com/fall-2021

  • Topic 1: Breakdown, Space/Offside, and Advantage- from August 12
  • Topic 2: Touch, Lineout/Maul, Scrum- from August 17
  • Topic 3: Foul Play, and Pre-Match Briefing- Thursday, August 19

Team Store- Available Through 8/23

Now through August 23, we have a new team store option. While we will still use Steamroller throughout the year as an evergreen option, Deefort Sports (through Pat Laczkowski) has created a new jersey for us, as well as shorts, socks, and other items. We will ideally have a new jersey each year- same design, but a different “pop” color. The jersey was also designed to work with both navy or black.

Just like the last jersey we did through Steamroller, the cost to each referee will be $45. But that will come out of fall earnings- nobody needs to pay for the jersey out of pocket initially. So for the cost of less than one-half of a future match fee, you can grab this:

2021 Jersey

To order: go to https://deefortsports.com/club-shops/152/ and select the jersey. It will come up as a $0 item. If that’s all you want to get, you don’t have to select anything else- ordering other items is not mandatory. If you want it shipped to you, that will be a $10 cost. Select the red “Delivery to Door” button for that. Or, you can contact Pat to pick it up (frontrowoutfitters@gmail.com) at no cost to you.

If you want to buy other items, certainly feel free to do so. The prices for most items are slightly better than Steamroller’s prices. I personally picked up the gray shorts and socks in both accent colors, using the bundle for one of them, as well as a few other things.

Comes in male and female cuts
Some of the options- many of these items can also be bundled

FYI- for the flags, they won’t have my name on them- they’ll have yours. And they come as a set of 2.

Will have both USA Rugby and NCR logos, and your name

The store closes on Monday August 23rd, so don’t wait! Ideally, most everyone would at least get the jersey. If sales go well, it’s possible that the jerseys in future years will be free of charge completely for our society.

Feel free to contact Pat at frontrowoutfitters@gmail.com with any questions.

Fall Availability

Please update your availability on Who’s The Ref as soon as possible. Matches are starting August 28, and Percy will be making assignments shorty.

Please click the following link, and use the availability tab on the left to update your calendar through the end of the calendar year: Who’s The Ref

There is also a mobile app for Who’s The Ref, and it’s really easy to update availability that way.

Global Law Trials

On August 1, World Rugby put into effect 5 new Global Law Trials. These trials focus on adding dynamism into the game, as well as player safety. You can access the trial information at https://www.world.rugby/the-game/laws/global-law-trials

The Global Law Trials will be in place across all countries and all levels of play- we need to be aware of these, and enforce them uniformly.

We held a region-wide Zoom call about this last week- you can access that here:


Passcode: A!5tW8m^

The Trials include:

  • 50:22- “If the team in possession kicks the ball from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents’ 22, they will throw into the resultant lineout. The ball cannot be passed or carried back into the defensive half for the 50:22 to be played. The phase must originate inside the defensive half.”
    • This can take place off a lineout or a scrum that originates in the defensive half of the pitch
    • This cannot take place off a dropout, FK, or restart
  • Goal line Drop out- “If the ball is held up in in-goal, there is a knock-on from an attacking player in in-goal or an attacking kick is grounded by the defenders in their own in-goal, then play restarts with a goal line drop-out anywhere along the goal line.”
    • Knock on must take place in in-goal; a knock on that occurs in the field of play then goes into in-goal will still be a 5m scrum
    • 22m drop out will still take place if:
      • ball is kicked by attacking team and goes dead on its own through in-goal (touch-in-goal or past dead ball line);
        • scrum option also available
      • an unsuccessful kick at goal (even if grounded dead by defense);
      • a kick is charged down by defense, made dead by kicking team
    • drop out can be taken anywhere in in-goal
    • defending team must immediately retire behind “sanction line” (i.e. 5m)
    • kick must go beyond 5m and not go directly into touch (re-kick or 5m scrum option)
    • defending players cannot cross 5m line (FK)
  • Flying Wedge- two or more players “latched” onto ball carrier prior to contact with defenders.
    • Latched definition: “Bound to a team-mate prior to contact.”
      • bound means to the shoulder, not just a hand on a jersey
    • Definition says players latched on either side of ball carrier, but World Rugby clarified that it’s illegal to have two or more players latched in any formation
    • From Jamie McGregor at USA Rugby:
      • the act of running in the wedge is the offense- don’t wait to PK until contact is made
      • But if you see the wedge formed in a pick-and-go and the ball hasn’t been payed yet, try to verbally manage with “only one latcher!”
  • Latcher
    • A one-player latch is legal, but there will be increased responsibility of the latcher to stay on feet and not prevent a fair contest
      • Defending players cannot take out the latcher (PK, playing person off the ball)
  • Jackler Safety
    • Gator rolling is still legal, but increased emphasis on rolling player out without making contact with lower legs of jackler
      • We need to pay close attention to the player rolling the jackler that they don’t put their body on the jackler’s legs with their chest/torso during the roll
      • We also need to be stricter on side entry