Wednesday, April 04, 2007

IRB clamps down on player indiscipline

November 3, 2006

International Rugby Board (IRB) press release:

IRB clamps down on player indiscipline


The International Rugby Board today announced that starting from this Saturday’s Test match between Wales and Australia in Cardiff match officials will enforce a zero tolerance policy when it comes to players disputing decisions on the field and the indiscriminate use of the boot.

“The growing trend of players to continually question and dispute decisions, taken by referees and touch judges was discussed at a meeting between the IRB, its elite referee panel and Tier 1 Union referee managers in London on Tuesday, October 31,” said IRB Referees Manager Paddy O’Brien.

“At the meeting the decision was taken to implement a zero tolerance policy to curtail this growing trend. Referees will penalise teams through means such as free kicks, penalties and even yellow cards. This includes players attempting to influence decision making and appeals to touch judges.”

“The message has to be clear. Back-chat and arguing with a match official will not be tolerated, nor will any attempt to slow down the match through questioning the referee.”

“For example when a referee awards a free kick or penalty against a team it must immediately retreat 10 metres.”

“As is customary captains may request the referee to explain certain decisions but not every one. Common sense should prevail and the referee will make explanation, if deemed fit, at the first opportunity when play has stopped, such as a kick to touch or during an injury stoppage.”

“Referees have also been instructed to take a harsh view of the use of foul language and the sledging of players from the opposition. Again the referee will penalise teams if such standards of behaviour are evident.”

“In addition to the back-chat issue, the area of indiscriminate trampling was discussed at the meeting and referees have been informed to take strong action against the inappropriate use of feet on bodies.”

“The Game has a proud history of fair play and respect and the IRB is determined that such characteristics are maintained. This policy is being communicated to all IRB member unions,” added O’Brien.



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