In this month’s edition, we reflect on a busy period with a large number of club and youth rugby tournaments taking place across the city.  We also take a look at the referee’s preparation going into the Premiership and Championship leagues starting this month.  Finally, some important law clarifications from World Rugby and announcements from within the society.

SCC 7’s and Saints 7’s a resounding success for SSRUR Referees

A fantastic performance on the field from our referees at the recent SCC 7’s.  With the tournament in it’s 69th year, SSRUR was proud to once again represent with over 30 members acting as referees, assistant referees, technical zone staff and other off field duties.  A massive congratulations to all of those involved in putting together a successful event.

Following on from one of the biggest club sevens tournaments in Asia, the following week, local school boys had their opportunity to showcase the highest level of school level rugby in Singapore at this years Saints 7’s.  In an effort to promote community ties across Asia, SSRUR invited 4 referees from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia to officiate at the tournament.  All four referees showed a great deal of improvement over the weekend and strengthened the bond between SSRUR and referee societies from all over Asia.  Congratulations to all those who officiated over the weekend.

SSRUR Pre-game guidelines

The Premiership and Championship competitions get underway this month, and as such, SSRUR aims to uphold the Core Values that were agreed upon last season (Integrity, Accountability, Respect and Enjoyment).  With this in mind, please see below for information on how our referees can demonstrate these Core Values at all fixtures in the Championship and Premiership competitions.

Completing Game Plan Reviews (GPR)

For all matches, we encourage referees to complete a GPR at least 24 hours before the commencement of their game.  Completing GPRs is an important part of any referee’s mental preparation leading up to a game.  This should also be sent to the CMO and Assistant Referees if appointed.  A copy of the GPR can be found on the Resources tab of the SRU website.

Arrival at the ground- pre-game checklist

-The referee must be at the match venue no less than 1 hour before kick-off.

-All referees should arrive at the venue in SSRUR attire, (polo shirt, shorts and trainers), and be clearly identifiable as the referee for the game.

-The referee should conduct a field inspection to identify any potential safety or management issues, e.g. post protectors or missing lines on the field, etc. (this may be done during the referee warm up)

-The referee should identify the captain and team coach introduce him/herself upon the team’s arrival.  Confirm with the captain/coach when the team briefing will take place.  Please note that this should be no less than 20mins before kick-off.

– The referee should also introduce him/herself to the Match Day Commissioner (MDC) and Medical team with particular focus on the following:

MDC: how they can support the referee during the game, i.e. communicating substitutions, managing sin-binned players, etc.

Team physio/Medics: communication during the game regarding injured players, i.e. when to stop the game for treatment, etc.

Team briefing

-The briefing should be done no less than 20mins prior to kick-off (remember referees need time to prepare for the game also).

-The referee should take into account the level of the teams and standing in the competition when preparing pre-game briefing.

-Pre-game chat should be brief and direct (under 3-5mins)

-The referee is also responsible for checking the boots of both teams before kick off

-End with a conversation with the captain about his responsibility for the actions and behaviour of his players. Promote the positive relationship that we wish to build with the community.

– Indicate to the captain when the coin toss will take place. The coin toss should take place no less than 10mins before kick off.

Other parties

– If a CMO has been assigned, the referee should have a conversation to reaffirm the points covered in the GPR.

– If ARs are appointed, the referee should have a short conversation to clarify their role during the game.

After the game

-The referee may wish to ask the teams for feedback on performance, etc.  Referees are more than welcome to do so in an attempt to build a more positive community, however bear in mind that these are opinions and it is at the referee’s discretion how advice is taken.

-Any post match conversation should be done in the correct spirit of the game, therefore the referee should not engage with aggressive behaviour from any team representatives.

-The team may have recorded the game, therefore it is worth asking for a copy of any game footage for training purposes.

SSRUR hopes that the above guidelines will help to foster a more positive relationship with the teams for the season ahead.  It is as the discretion of the referee when and how these items occur in the pre-game checklist, however referees are encouraged to ensure that all the above actions do take place prior to kick off.

Good luck to all involved for the season ahead.

Latest updates from World Rugby

Please click here to read an important message from the Chairman of World Rugby’s Match Officials Selection Committee about head-high ‘hits’, tackling an opponent above the shoulder line and ball carriers fending off tacklers legally (straight arm and open palm) rather than striking opponents with a forearm or elbows.

While this specific directive is going out to match officials at the elite international grade, all referee societies at every level of rugby are reminded to take note and strictly enforce current law in this important area.

And finally…

Congratulations to Abdul Hannan and Marah Fahmy who have been selected to officiate in this year’s Dubai Invitational Sevens at the end of November.  The tournament has become one of the largest invitational tournaments in the world, with games taking place over 3 days on 9 fields in the desert.  Both Hannan and Fahmy have been identified as upcoming referees with huge potential and will hope to use this opportunity to further their development in Sevens officiating.

Hannan and Fahmy will also be joined by Khairul Hilmi and Charlie Brown who will be Assistant Referees for the first leg of the 2017-2018 World Series Sevens.