Uisng an AR


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I have a game coming up where I have ARs.
I have never used (or even been) - an AR before - Any tips ?


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As the name suggests they are there to assist you so I would suggest that that you write down in what ways you want them to assist you. Take this list to the match and tell them. How much you can tell them and allow them to assist may depend on their experience. At this stage just get them to mark touch, mark the 5s and 10s which is what you might tell club TJs to do. Above that imagine yourself on the pitch and ask yourself what help you would like and write this down. don't give them too much to do at this stage or you will confuse them and yourself. As you become more experienced you can add to the list. Try to be very specific about the assistance required.


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Being more specific -
Ask before the game whether your ARs have done the job before. They might be able to tell you how they can help you.
Comms will make a difference in the type of assistance they can give you.

From a practical point of view I used to work out some secret signals with my ARs so that they could attract my attention without making a big fuss of things when there were no comms.

Dickie E

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If ARs are a new experience for you then maybe so too for the players. Let the captains know pre-match that there will 3 pairs of eyes on them.


, Advises in England
I have assessed at several matches where there was a Team of Three, and the referee's pre-match brief to them was fairly long. I suggest you get the details from some suitably experienced person.


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Dickie E:292682 said:
If ARs are a new experience for you then maybe so too for the players. Let the captains know pre-match that there will 3 pairs of eyes on them.
I think that will be the case, and I like that.


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If ARs are a new experience for you then maybe so too for the players. Let the captains know pre-match that there will 3 pairs of eyes on them.
I suggest you phrase this positively. Eg " we have a team of three today gents. These referees are here to help you not offend. They will be communicating with players close to them like wingers. Please ask your players to react to their requests. If there is no reaction it may be that the next thing I have in my ear is "blue 13 offside" and I will simply react by calling penalty advantage red, blue 13 offside. Please let us help you stay legal."


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The ARs do the obvious TJ duties with bells on. (1) covering touch, (2) standing behind the posts at goal kicks and perhaps (3) assisting on 10m/5m.

Where it gets interesting is (A) triangulation and (B) leading/trailing. These are two sides of the same coin, both of which mean you - as a team of three - are looking at the action from different perspectives. The leading AR is the one watching from the other side the referee is. Trailing means also focussing on action behind the back of the referee, such as late scuffles.

Remember flag into field is for referee alert only (for foul play) http://laws.worldrugby.org/index.php?signal_category=4. On the one hand, this means not having your AR use a flag in-field for indicating 5/10 metre lines. On the other, let them flap a flag around to get attention from medicos if you are happy - or unaware - for play to continue.

The Fat

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I will send you some AR specific stuff when I get home from work. Probably by PM.
There are some things being posted here that may make your job harder when being a To3 for the first time.


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Depends how long to the match. If time go on an AR course. You'll learn what the should do. Even if not, try and find out how experienced they are and what they expect to be doing. Should make your job easier, but probably takes a bit of getting used to. Depends on protocols. But at least you have eyes on the blind side and if comms U can get input on o/s, c&o fsd pass ko etc as well as watching both sides of scrum and a second opinion on straight throw ins. May also help with law if U have a senior moment. Meet them before hand for a chat if U can. Remember jt is a team of 3. Enjoy the experience!


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Unfortunately crosssref I think you've cast the net too far for advice by asking it here. You'll get 10000 pieces of advice, of which only 3 things you'll probably manage to achieve. No doubt all the advice is sound and useful but you'll simply have too much from here to digest and make use of for your first time. But as it's your first time and you've never been an AR then it will be a challenge for you - one that you should embrace as a learning experience. My bet is that unless you have comms then you'll forget that you even have ARs and theyll both be like a shag on a rock!
From my experience on both sides..there is only one certainly and that is; as the ref YOU decide what you want from them...whatever that is, and just communicate it to them before the game. If you can do that then you'll have an effective team of 3.
(And just hope like hell you don't get an AR that thinks they are the referee!)


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don't try and referee any different than normal, if you think "oh I can just ref 15 to 15 cus the guys can look after that bit", things will go tits up for you!

Ref like you normally do but get them to watch for stuff behind your back (handbags, late hits etc) the stuff you'll miss on any normal Saturday when on your own.

Other than that the bits above about marking 10/5 etc goes with out saying (make sure they work together when they do that though!) and make it clear to them what you want called in, COE is mantra for the day :wink:

At the PMB it might also be worth the AR's looking for the wingers to have a quick word in that they will communicate with them about setting the 5/10m gaps as it's easier for the AR to speak to a winger than trying to get to the FH who could be 50m away.


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Crossref, working with ARs is a skill that (like any other) takes time to develop. As a committed and capable solo flyer, you will find that your ingrained habits will not easily succumb to whatever you tell the To3 in the changing room. Equally, you need to ensure that your control of the game does not get watered down rather than enhanced by the extra vigilance. Accordingly, I'd keep it incredibly simple:

1) Be the TJ first and foremost.
2) Flag in any acts of Law 10 foul play, and (if PK against the side in possession) call my attention to your flag over the comms - pretty much the only use of comms required.
3) If we have handbags, be alert to players running in from a distance, and take their numbers so I can card them.
4) Do and say nothing that undermines my control of the game.

Good luck - and well done for getting a game of sufficient standing to warrant a To3.


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theyll both be like a shag on a rock!
Are you saying that they'll feel like a cormorant, or that they'll scuff their knees and graze their goolies?

I must say, unlikely though the latter sounds, I'm not sure the former is any more certain!


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Best AR briefing ever heard (and it is on camera somewhere in the London Archives - it was the film I saw)
Along the lines of:
Ref to ARS: "First responsibility is touch, second is touch in goal, third is kicks at goal, fourth is foul play, finally the most important point is - don't make me look like a C@nt"
I still use a version of this - and it works well. If you don't have comms, it is about all you can prepare for, after that, it depends on how experienced and, importantly, how much you trust them. You carry the can ultimately, so if you don't know them, or don't trust them, then you need to assume they are not much better than club TJs. You can always relax this and trust them more as you gain more faith in them, but very hard to go the other way......