Failed Head Butt

Marchioly

Rugby Club Member
#1
Had a game where I was AR (hence posting here) Blue and Red players 5 m away hug and start "dance". Blue decides to escalate and performs a head-butt; too useless and fails to connect Red's head. Red then retaliates with a beautiful left hook, fails to connect.
Flag out, get Ref attention at next stoppage, and describe situation clearly and concisely
Ref seems to struggle with my description and seems to want to not hear me.
I offer (I know, should wait to be asked) that I would go with RC & YC
Ref declines and says let's go back to original restart (no PK...)

Do you consider a miss as good as a hit with punches etc

Do I just silently agree with the outrage on the sidelines and carry on (as I did) Rule no 1 of AR: don't make the Ref look an ass

comments please
 

Drift

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#2
I have AR'd before for a mate and there was an attempted kick by a player. He didn't connect but I judged there was intent there to injury/hurt someone so my words were:

"4 gold has been tackled to the ground, whilst there he has attempted to kick the black tackler. He didn't connect, but there was definite intent in the kick and it wasn't just a twitch."

The referee took this and gave a YC based on the pictures.


At the end of the day I would not like it if my AR gave me a RC and YC recommendation without me asking for it, especially as I am wearing a microphone and this will come through on the DVD. What were your exact words?
 

The Fat

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#3
Had a game where I was AR (hence posting here) Blue and Red players 5 m away hug and start "dance". Blue decides to escalate and performs a head-butt; too useless and fails to connect Red's head. Red then retaliates with a beautiful left hook, fails to connect.
Flag out, get Ref attention at next stoppage, and describe situation clearly and concisely
Ref seems to struggle with my description and seems to want to not hear me.
I offer (I know, should wait to be asked) that I would go with RC & YC
Ref declines and says let's go back to original restart (no PK...)

Do you consider a miss as good as a hit with punches etc

Do I just silently agree with the outrage on the sidelines and carry on (as I did) Rule no 1 of AR: don't make the Ref look an ass

comments please
So the two players are hanging on to each other. One doesn't head-butt the other and one doesn't punch the other. What are you going to write in your report and what are you expecting the ref to write in his RC Report?
 

ctrainor

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#4
it would be the AR who did the report if the ref chose to act on his recommendations wouldn't it?
 

Blue Smartie

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#5
Hi Marchioly, unfortunately you don't have an offence as law 10 only refers to "punch / strike etc." not "tried to". [And before anyone jumps in, don't recommend a RC for unsportsmanlike conduct in this case].

As The Fat says, if you take this off the field you have nothing for the paperwork and you (or your referee) will look an ass at the disciplinary panel. If the game turns on this then you could end up with protests to championship committees and it all gets horribly messy.

You don't have to let it go though and you were quite right to bring it to the referee's attention, but do it so he can give the players a warning and cool things down at that next stoppage - ideally through comms.
 

Jarrod Burton

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#6
So Blue Smartie, a player who evades a stomp or a punch in the head actually reduces the sanction against the player who committed the action? By that logic a punch isn't a punch until it connects - so 5 punches thrown with no connection is just a PK? Surely a player throwing a punch or trying to stomp should be punished not on the final results but rather the intent of their actions.
 

Dixie

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#7
Marchioli, welcome to the forums - what a great question to start with! As you've already seen, this is an area with little (if any) uniform interpretation. On the one hand, you have the refs who look at the description and decide that no offence is being reported, so nothing can be done. On the other, you have people who recognise that with a little less luck on the day, one of the players may have ended up in hospital, and that we should referee actions not outcomes.

Like all refs, you'll need to come off the fence and choose a side here - but you'll also need to recognise that there are two sides to the coin. The ref on the day took the "no foul, no cry" approach. As he's the primary decision maker, you have to live with it.
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#8
I hear the points about what offense do you write on the form etc...

But I feel the game is twisting itself in knots.

"I'm sorry Mrs Bloggs that your husband will be a cabbage for the rest of his life. The previous 6 attempts by the opposition to stamp on his teammate's heads all missed and there was nothing i could do. Unfortunately they connected the 7th time with your husbands head."

didds
 
#10
I hear the points about what offense do you write on the form etc...

But I feel the game is twisting itself in knots.

"I'm sorry Mrs Bloggs that your husband will be a cabbage for the rest of his life. The previous 6 attempts by the opposition to stamp on his teammate's heads all missed and there was nothing i could do. Unfortunately they connected the 7th time with your husbands head."

didds
A deliberately exaggerated example makes your point well didds, the problem with the alternate approach is that its unworkable and unrealistic , unless the Horwill defence becomes the norm !

I believe the primary skill of a good referee is judgement, and in many cases s/he needs to consider the temperature of the match and the intent of players which are all factors in foul play assessment.

We can all find extremes to examine law interpretation, but all referees have to operate their own acceptability barometer.

Personally I've rarely had an assessor comment that I'm too harsh or lenient, so I'm comfortable with my measurements....but its not a maths equation
 
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thepercy

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#11
So the two players are hanging on to each other. One doesn't head-butt the other and one doesn't punch the other. What are you going to write in your report and what are you expecting the ref to write in his RC Report?
If one was in this situation, they could write "As AR I was 5 meters from the foul play situation as follows; Blue 6, and Red 7, persisted to push and wrestle each other, away from the ball. I shouted, 'STOP, Leave Him!' Then Blue 6 attempted to head-butt Red 7, red 7 evaded and contact was not made, then Red 7 attempted to punch Blue 6 in the head, blue 6 avoided the punch and no contact was made. Blue 6 was in violation of 10.4.F, 10.4.L, 10.4.M and 10.2.A and was sent off. Red 7 was in violation of 10.4.F, 10.4.L, 10.4.M and 10.2.A and was cautioned and temporarily suspended. This type of thuggery has no place in our game."
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#12
We can all find extremes to examine law interpretation, but all referees have to operate their own acceptability barometer.
That all understood.

A stamp to the head that fortuitously misses its target is never acceptable i would humbly suggest.

Ditto a head but.

I mate of mine was headbutted the other week. The police's opinion is that if it caused a broken nose - its Section 20 GBH.

"In England and Wales, a person guilty of an offense under section 20 is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months".

WADR I don't think there is really any "acceptability barometer" needed is there in this case?

didds
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#13
Interestingly enough... if a headbutt did not brak the nose but created (as would be likely ) lots of bruising and black eys etc... that woud "only" by ABH.

"In England and Wales, a person guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months"

So, no difference in terms of maximum sentences between GBH Section 20 (i.e. not pre meditated but "a reaction") and ABH it seems ...


didds
 
#14
Interestingly enough... if a headbutt did not brak the nose but created (as would be likely ) lots of bruising and black eys etc... that woud "only" by ABH.

"In England and Wales, a person guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months"

So, no difference in terms of maximum sentences between GBH Section 20 (i.e. not pre meditated but "a reaction") and ABH it seems ...


didds
I think everyone knows that things happen on a rugby pitch that arent tolerated on the street, I'm not sure whether or not you're advocating police involvement more often than has happened historically?
 

buff

Rugby Club Member
#15
Where would you be in law, if, having been informed of a serious attempt at a punch in the head, you chose not to act, then the offender tried again, connected and did serious damage to the victim?
 

Jarrod Burton

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#16
There are other instances in the law where the action of the offender is the determinant of the on-field sanction rather than the self-preservation reaction of the victim - tip tackles and tackling in the air - clarifications for both tips and tackling in the air (if this new soooooper secret email is true) outline the sanctions based on the action, not the result - how often do you see a player get dropped on their shoulders/head and be (mostly) ok and the red still gets shown? Why should this not be the same as a punch/stomp/headbutt attempt - after all if a police officer sees two blokes swinging at each other I'd be hoping that they didn't wait until one connected to actually step in.
 

The Fat

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#17
I think some are missing my earlier point about giving a RC for a non-headbutt or the non-punch. I didn't say the ref could take no action. He could YC both players and when they return, remind them that ANY subsequent YC offence will automatically be a RC.
Most players who get a YC do not reoffend in the same match. You can YC a player for throwing hay-makers even if none connect but is it a RC offence? I would guess that the judiciary would throw it out.
You can only referee what is in front of you and cannot be expected to know what a certain player's intentions are. When you turn up at your game, you don't know that the home team prop has just found out that his wife has been having it off with the oppo hooker and is intent on stomping on his nuts at some stage of the game.
 

Dickie E

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#18
If I'd been the ref I too may have declined your card suggestions but I would have made a big fuss with both players and captains. If its OK for the AR to not make the ref look a dick, this should be reciprocated.
 

Taff

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#19
it would be the AR who did the report if the ref chose to act on his recommendations wouldn't it?
But the OP was the AR.

I understood (mainly from here admittedly) that you sanction the action - not the outcome. The fact is one tried to headbut and one threw a punch. OK, neither connect - but that was more through luck than judgement.

I don't know if I'm correct or not, but in this case I think a stern word with both might suffice. Depending on the tone of the game (eg if it had been simmering for a while) possibly 2 x :noyc: but a :norc: feels a bit "harsh" to me. I could be wrong, but that feels right to me.
 
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didds

, Resident Club Coach
#20
I think everyone knows that things happen on a rugby pitch that arent tolerated on the street, I'm not sure whether or not you're advocating police involvement more often than has happened historically?
I see no reason why something that is "assault" (whether also meaning ABH/GBH) on the street is not in a game of rugby, aside from the rugby leagalised assaults eg tackling, that would otherwise normally be an assault etc.

Kicking, headbutting, gouging, punching etc - none of these are legal in a game iof rugby. I see no reason why they should not be treated as illegal by police etc if they happen in a game. I don't buy the carp excuse that "participants know it may happen" either - I know if I got for a late drink in a city centre area on a Friday night "it may happen" ... but that wouldn't reduce the potential for prosecution if it did.


didds