Hi there. Welcome to Issue 5 of the 15 More Minutes Referee Review.
We have the images of the 2 pages right at the bottom, but here is the issue 5 PDF 15 More Minutes – Issue 05 Warmup & Offside in General Play if you prefer to save a copy on your computer, or simply have the two pages together for more convenient printing.
But first! Law 11.4, Officiating the most dangerous kind of offside: Offside Under 10m Law
Most offside players endeavour to get back onside; the few who do not are positively annoying to good rugby union play. However, if there is a big mid field kick and players of the kicking team are waiting to CRUSH the opposition player who is most likely to catch the ball – this is very dangerous. Players do not typically know this and it should be one of the basics of rugby training – not even some of the professionals know they must retreat behind the imaginary line 10m away from where the ball will land, as we will see below (no offense, but it does happen all the time).
STEP 1: Observe. Please note that while the video has an effective arrow pointing at a particular player to watch for the next play EVERY TEAMMATE AHEAD OF THE KICKER IS OFFSIDE until the kicker or another onside teammate runs past them! (PS you could also call this video Law 11.4, but it’s the principle that is important!)
STEP 2. Watch & listen. Watch the video again, but this time imagine you are the Referee. Create a mental checklist for managing the 10m Law – keep the receivers safe & encourage the offside players to retreat. Listen to things that the Referees say to the offside players (“No, you’re in the 10″, “Back blue”, “10 ahead of the kicker” …). Notice the hand signals of the first three referees, see if you recognize the point/PK.
STEP 3. Now, write out your mental checklist. Compare with the list below. Do you have additional items? Are they in a different order? Don’t worry, the order could be just as effective depending on the situation. Think about it.
Decision Making with the 10m Law
The offside players make the decision for you. You ask them to retreat, they do not = penalty against them for sure. Now, if the situation is definitely not dangerous (close play, box kick), you could play Penalty Advantage for the non-offending team. But, if the situation is potentially dangerous, whistle to stop play, and offer penalty options to the non-offending team.
First, the big kick by White (black dotted line is the path of the yellow ball):
Next, the White offside players now choose to be good or bad, and demonstrate their choice through their actions:
(retreating) OR (advancing)
If White has chosen badly, here are the options for Black according to Law 11.4(g):
By the way, the blue arrows show the arm positions for the Referee. And, of course the Referee would be closer to the action, about 3-5m away.
Preventative refereeing of
Offside Under the 10m Law –
(a possible checklist)
- Make a note who / where the kicker is.
- Notice which players are now offside & which of them is moving forward.
- Visualize where the ball will land, check for immediate danger there.
- Shoulder check to see if kicker was obstructed or late charged (late charge sanction is PK or PK or PK – see Law 10.4 (o)).
- Call the “most offside” player’s (colour) number to “Retreat!” or “Stop!”. By “most offside”, I refer to the offside player closest to the potential opponent ball catcher.
- If there is any good momentum or speed, you MUST blow the whistle before an offside player actually has contact with the potential catcher!!!
- Know that the sanction for being offside under the 10m Law is “scrum up or kick back”
- the scrum will take place UP FIELD where the kicker originally kicked the ball (ouch!)
- the penalty kick will take place BACK at the position of the offside player closest to the opposition waiting for the ball, or where the ball lands (yikes!)
- Notice that both of these sanctions are pretty severe against the offending team – and this situation happens all the time! Players do not typically know this and it should be one of the basics of rugby player training. Occasionally, even professional players are not aware either as we have seen in the video above.