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Assistant Referee Tips

General Tips

  • You are a Team
  • All teams have leaders (referee)
  • Good leaders listen to all available information before making a decision
  • Own your decisions
  • Clear, Obvious & Expected
  • Clue is in the title “Assistant Referee” means you are there to assist the referee in whatever he/she needs or wants, you are not there to referee the game
  • If you start refereeing the game you are not doing your job
  • Triangulation to cover all the angles
  • 6 eyes are better than 2
  • Know the laws, especially touch as most referees don’t
  • Touch, Foul Play & Kicks at Goal (everything else is a bonus)
  • Don’t turn off when whistle is blown
  • Boss the 15m area with voice

Breakdown

  • If play coming towards you get to the hit line
  • Watch for high/dangerous tackles, obstruction, forward pass
  • At tackle/ruck/maul watch for foul play and material incidents on the blind side that the ref can not see
  • Dwell if people are on the floor if the play is going away from you (you can always catch up)
  • Far side get to off side line (Never on sides….no 50:50)
  • Use voice and talk to wingers and players close to you (prevent)

Scrum

  • If Ref facing you go to hit line, if Ref’s back to you go to off side line
  • Hit line – front rows and safety. If you can play away safely better than making a call
  • Only make a call if scrum going forward and 100%, if static play away
  • Remember the flankers and No8
  • Hands in the scrum

Touch and Line Out

  • Hold the flag in the hand facing the ball carrier, saves changing hands while the flag is above your head
  • Better late than early and it isn’t actually out
  • Watch the ball for quick throw
  • Stay north or south of the touch area to get a better view of players and ball
  • Don’t be too eager to get to the mark as you may miss foul play or the ball being touched by spectator
  • Put out non-flag arm when quick throw is no longer available
  • Try to put the defensive team on a line to make it easy for the ref
  • Ensure there is a defensive player in the 5m
  • Ensure the gap is maintained
  • Ensure ball goes 5m
  • Ensure the thrower stays on the mark
  • Far side AR mark off side line

Kicks at Goal

  • One on each post
  • Both up or one up and one back
  • Make sure you can see the top of the post and the ball at all times
  • Remember it must go through the posts not over them
  • Watch your post and confirm with other AR before flags go up
  • If miss stay close to the post until clear to run for your touch line (the ref will mark touch if needed)

Kicks in Open Play

  • If Ref facing you go to hit line, if Ref’s back to you go to off side line
  • Hit line – front rows and safety. If you can play away safely better than making a call
  • Only make a call if scrum going forward and 100%, if static play away
  • Remember the flankers and No8
  • Hands in the scrum

Foul Play

  • Strong Flag in
  • If defending team and no flash point go with play and then re-flag at next break in play “I have foul play by……”
  • If attacking team keep flag out and “I have foul play by…… stop the game”
  • Remember at the very least to get the number and don’t forget it
  • If need be keep eyes on player until you can see the number (use clues such as scrum cap etc)
  • When reporting to the ref keep calm, keep it short and to the point and hold your flag with both hands (stops you from waving your arms around)
  • Referee should repeat what you said back to you and then suggest the sanction.
  • If you agree say yes, if not say “let me repeat….”
  • The sanction should always match what has been reported
  • All in….get the first players from either side and any players running in from distance to land a punch. Don’t get too close or you will narrow your angle
  • Remember to breath
  • Make notes for any report there and then

Open Play

  • Play going away dwell or trail
  • Play coming towards you lead

 

Penalty Kicks

  • Get to the corner flag if near side
  • Mark 10m on far side

Communication

  • Comms kit keep it clear, concise and in words the referee can just repeat to the players
  • Don’t turn into white noise
  • Referee should acknowledge if going to overrule AR or the AR will keep repeating call
  • No Comms kit, agree hand signals before game and keep them low
  • Only signal if the referee is looking at you (referees remember to look up)

Assistant Ref Briefing

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