Primary duties

Shelflife

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#1
I was AR in a game recently, a few levels above my reffing level.

Red 14 had the ball inside the blue 22 and kicked ahead down the touchline, red 15 jumps to block the kick and deliberately IMO moves his body (leg) to impede Red 14 who goes to ground.

I flag the incident and look back to conform the blue number, red pick up the ball and go over for a try.

Blue complain that ball was in touch , when I looked back it was in the field of play.

Ref blows whistle and discusses, hes happy that its not a pen and even if it was we play advantage and red scored a try.

Blue are insisting that the ball went out of play. Neither I or the ref have seen this, the crowd are of the same opinion.

My question is , should I have concentrated on the ball or the potential foul play or was it just one of those things that you simply cant be watching two things at once.
 

Taff

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#2
For what it's worth, I was told the ARs primary duty is touch, touch in goal and kicks at goal. Anything else is a bonus.

Having said that, I think you could make a good case for arguing that spotting dangerous play trumps kicks to touch. :chin: The blunt truth is people expect you to do both .... but we are only human.
 
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didds

, Resident Club Coach
#3
so where they clai9ming that the ball landed in touch and bounced into the FoP, or bonced IN, then OUT then IN again?

Cos otherwise I'm not sure how it coud have been in touch from the OP ?

didds
 

Rushforth

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#4
With at least a factor of a hundred separating my experience as a TJ compared to an AR, first of all, well done on spotting the incident.

As a rule of thumb, when play gets closer to touch than 5 metres (conveniently marked for the front of the lineout), your focus should be on whether the ball - or any part of the ball-carrier - goes into touch. If play is in your side of the field, you are "leading", and if play is on the other side you are "trailing". In each of these cases you are also "triangulating", that is to say trying to get a different picture than the referee.

The times that I have AR'd have generally had briefings which varied wildly in length and desires of the referee. The one thing I can't recall is "priority". I've often enough briefed "volunteers" as TJ on what I want, and in the case of "afters" I just ask some of them (if mature and available for the whole match) to tell the players to get on with the game.

If there is a bit of niggle in the game, at any level, safety is more important than the letter of the law. With a team of three (or four) you can see more than on your own, but if a defender trips a player chasing their own kick, then with the exception of the defending side - who are in the wrong - nobody should mind what you choose to do, namely get the number of the offender.

Blue shouldn't be complaining either. (By the way, you have a typo with "red 15"). Their fullback is lucky not to be having a ten-minute rest.

Remember that at an even higher level an AR may study the names and faces of all 40+ players for quicker identification. If you feel the need to identify a player for foul play and that stops you from performing other duties, you need to do so until you have the number.

In short: you did the right thing in my book.
 

ChrisR

Player or Coach
#6
"If Blue 15 (typo corrected) hadn't committed foul play I wouldn't have looked back to get his number. But he did, and I did and if the ball went to touch I didn't see it. So blame Blue 15."
 

Christy

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#7
Hi shelf .
Can i ask the level of game , as in was it AIL , domestic or was it professional rugby .
In irfu land , even though we listed as AR,s ( AIL & below ) ,, we are in fact touch judges .

Our primary duties are touch , touch in goal & kick at goal .
The ref would usually brief us as in what assistance he would like ,,but its 1stly our touch duties we concentrate on and be clued on with 22 line incase ball passed back similar & kicked out on full . And every ref i have been AR has always suggested we stick to primary duties & only call for foul play if we are not leaving our primary duties .of touch ( your wording above reads to me , that maybe you left your touch duties to go for foul play duties )

Ive often been asked to assist also ,
Where try is scored in corner , & if we got there before ref , to do our best to see if try has been scored , or has player gone into touch in goal , or over dead ball line .
If ref looks our way for a gentle nod , only then do we offer assistance .

I have found opposition players & their supporters will always try & influence our touch judging duties , on close calls .
Fortunately ive never let any decision be influenced , including your scenario above ,as in ball in & out etc . .

Personally , if i had a choice between looking for potential touch coming my way , mixed with high tensity rugby ,,i always primary focus on touch .
As another posted correctly suggested .
We track & trail .
When it comes your way , focus on area for touch only , when ball is leaving to other side , trail for foul play .
 

Pegleg

Rugby Club Member
#10
Hi shelf .
Can i ask the level of game , as in was it AIL , domestic or was it professional rugby .
In irfu land , even though we listed as AR,s ( AIL & below ) ,, we are in fact touch judges .

I'm sure that Shelflife as an IRFU LEVEL 3 knows whether he was apointed and an AR or acting as a TJ. I'd also guess he understands the primary duties.
 

Pegleg

Rugby Club Member
#11
On another point: Safety trumps everything and if there is a potential flash. That would take priority oven if I was act in a a TJ rather than being appointed to AR.

No one ever got hurt from touch being missed. I'm with ChrisR (Post 6) It was the fault of the person commiting the foul play that touch mat have been missed by the AR. "Tell you what Blue 15, Explain to your coach why I had to watch you instead of the ball while you take a break in the bin!"
 

Shelflife

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/ireland.p
#12
Christy it was AIL Level, and yes you are correct that we are technically TJs. That said on occasion we can be miked up to the ref and the better ones aren’t afraid to ask/take our advice.

I suppose it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t . If I follow the ball , I miss foul play less than 3m from me, if I follow the foul play I miss the ball in/out touch.

There was no evidence that it did actually go out of play, there was an assessor there that never mentioned the incident at all after the match and the red players said it didn’t go out (even after the game).
 

Phil E

, Referees/Trains Referees in England
#13
Christy it was AIL Level, and yes you are correct that we are technically TJs
It's important to know the difference. In RFU land....
A TJ cannot flag foul play, they are there to mark touch and kicks at goal, that's as far as their responsibilities go.
An AR (who will have done a Society AR course or equivalent) has the power to flag Foul play and anything else the referee asks of him.

If a TJ was to flag foul play and it resulted in a card, the TJ would have to write the report....at which point it would be thrown out as he does no the have the authority to do so.
 

dickell

Rugby Club Member
#14
It's important to know the difference. In RFU land....
A TJ cannot flag foul play, they are there to mark touch and kicks at goal, that's as far as their responsibilities go.
An AR (who will have done a Society AR course or equivalent) has the power to flag Foul play and anything else the referee asks of him.

If a TJ was to flag foul play and it resulted in a card, the TJ would have to write the report....at which point it would be thrown out as he does no the have the authority to do so.


That’s interesting, Phil. I was on the RFU TJ panel right at its inception in 1990, long before the term AR had been invented, and before radio comms twixt ref and TJs existed. My very first match, on the first day of the system, was up at Sarries v Moseley in Southgate. We had no official kit nor even flags! Sarries had to scamper around to find flags for us! Our ref for that match was no less than Roger Q.
The purpose of our existence was to indicate foul play, as well as touch. Roger accepted my report of a stamp within 10 min or so, and awarded a penalty accordingly.
Nearly all refs in those days accepted our assistance willingly, though there was a famous one from Liverpool, who I was told preferred to do things his way.
 

Dickie E

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/australia
#17
It's important to know the difference. In RFU land....
A TJ cannot flag foul play, they are there to mark touch and kicks at goal, that's as far as their responsibilities go.
An AR (who will have done a Society AR course or equivalent) has the power to flag Foul play and anything else the referee asks of him.

If a TJ was to flag foul play and it resulted in a card, the TJ would have to write the report....at which point it would be thrown out as he does no the have the authority to do so.
and, as I understand it in RFU land, the AR has to be appointed to the game. So if Wayne Barnes was strolling past and offered to run touch, he would be a TJ, not an AR.
 

Taff

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/wales.png
#18
Christy it was AIL Level, and yes you are correct that we are technically TJs.
Phil E we have flagging powers. In the event of an injury to the ref we would replace them.
If by "flagging powers" you mean you can signal Foul Play, and you have presumably been appointed to that game, that makes you a de facto AR, doesn't it?
 
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Pegleg

Rugby Club Member
#19
It's important to know the difference. In RFU land....
A TJ cannot flag foul play, they are there to mark touch and kicks at goal, that's as far as their responsibilities go.
An AR (who will have done a Society AR course or equivalent) has the power to flag Foul play and anything else the referee asks of him.

If a TJ was to flag foul play and it resulted in a card, the TJ would have to write the report....at which point it would be thrown out as he does no the have the authority to do so.
Yes a rule of the RFU but not in Wales or, from Shelflife's later post, the IRFU either. I take Taff's point that if you give TJs power to act as more than a TJ you are effectively making them ARs. So bst call them that.

WR differentiates between the two and whilst the IRFU can give any flag bearer the powers of an AR , if they call tham TJs they are muddying the waters.
 

Shelflife

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/ireland.p
#20
If by "flagging powers" you mean you can signal Foul Play, and you have presumably been appointed to that game, that makes you a de facto AR, doesn't it?
In effect yes , but even though we are appointed and have flagging powers we are still officially refereed to as TJs.

Not it sure what the logic behind it is .