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Refereeing The Scrum AARQ - QSRR. Rules & Reality. Why Have a Scrum?. Means of restarting play following minor infraction of laws Permit both teams a chance to win the ball but an edge to the non-offending side Requires fair contest for ball Safety of players is paramount.

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why have a scrum
Why Have a Scrum?
  • Means of restarting play following minor infraction of laws
  • Permit both teams a chance to win the ball but an edge to the non-offending side
    • Requires fair contest for ball
    • Safety of players is paramount
effective scrum management why it is important
Effective Scrum Management:Why it is important!
  • A badly managed scrum often results in:
    • Frequent collapses
      • Increased player frustration & increased aggression
      • Wasted game time for resets
      • Danger of serious player injuries
    • Frustration with referee
      • More questioning of calls
      • Less compliance with other areas of game
    • Increased likelihood of yellow cards being used
managing the scrum
Managing the Scrum
  • When do you start to manage the scrum?
    • When you arrive at the ground?
    • Pre-game speech?
    • At the first scrum?
    • At each scrum?

None of the above!!

You need to have a game plan for scrum management before you leave home.

preparation pregame talk
Preparation: Pregame Talk
  • Know what you want to say to the players
    • Front row, scrum half, replacements
    • Write down your speech and learn it
  • Your talk needs to be interactive
    • Get the players to agree with you regarding standards and obligations for them
    • It should not be a conference with one speaker
goal of pregame talk
Goal of Pregame Talk
  • Talk WITH all front rows and scrum halves
  • Establish a rapport with the players
  • Explain your engagement sequence and what you are looking for the players to do
  • Get the players to give you verbal agreement that they understand these objectives
  • Make your requirements know and accepted before you start the match
    • Put onus on players to comply with the entente
understanding the scrum
Understanding The Scrum
  • Effective management of the scrum must be based upon a knowledge of the scrum
    • What is a teams objective from the scrum
    • What is the role of each player
    • What are the phases of the scrum
    • What are the laws apply to the scrum
      • Section 20 – long and technical. Learn it!!
the phases of a scrum
The Phases of a Scrum
  • Formation
  • Engagement
  • Putting the ball into the scrum and subsequent consequences
engagement sequence step 1
Engagement Sequence – Step 1
  • Crouch
    • Don’t call too quickly
    • Watch the teams and their preparation
    • Keep the front rows upright (hunched is OK) until you are ready to give the crouch command
  • Don’t let one side delay its compliance with the call for too long
    • Warn first time
    • Fee kick second time
engagement sequence step 2
Engagement Sequence – Step 2
  • Touch
    • Props much touch their opponents on the point of their shoulder
      • Don’t be pedantic; this is more to demonstrate spacing than binding issues.
      • If they can’t touch due to distance, get the scrum up and reset with the two front rows closer together
  • The steps are not a race. Don’t move to next step until compliance has been achieved
engagement sequence step 3
Engagement Sequence – Step 3
  • Set
    • Have a small pause between “touch” and “set”
    • Use this time to scan for problems
  • Teams must not engage prior to command nor delay too long afterwards
    • Free kick for early engagements (where you are sure which team offended) else reset
    • Don’t let teams stand up after touch and prior to set. Once down, they must engage: free kick
what is a good engagement
What is a good engagement?
  • Front rows must hit straight and with their shoulders no lower than their hips (PK)
  • Front rows must bind on engagement on the body of their opponent (“long bind”) (PK)
    • After initial bind, can move to alternative position
  • No head on head by props at set up
    • FK initially (generally against LH) then escalate if repeated
  • A legal wheel goes forward and through the opposition. A wheel that goes back and around at pace is illegal (whip)
    • Prop going backwards will have feet in front of hips
after the ball is put in
After the Ball is put in
  • If the scrum collapses:
    • Whistle loudly and immediately for safety reasons
    • Ensure no further pushing goes on (PK)
    • Don’t play advantage or permit play to continue (unless ball is about to be moved – see clips)
  • Who was at fault?
    • Never guess!
    • Use your understanding of the objectives of the players. Watch the shoulders, hips and binding of the players in the front row, even after the collapse.
    • The guilty party is usually quite evident
problems with the scrum troubleshooting guide
Problems with the Scrum?Troubleshooting Guide

Problem Probable cause and solution

Early Engagement a. Check engagement cadence for “crouch, touch, set”

b. Award a free kick for clear and obvious infractions

The scrum moves a. Due to action of the props nearest to you

away from you b. Look at the engagement angle of the near side tighthead prop (TH)

c. Look at the angle of the hips of the near side loosehead prop (LH) , specifically right after the engagement

d. Look at the positions of the feet for the front row prior to the ball being put into the scrum

The scrum moves a.Due to action of the props farthest from you

Towards you b. Look at the engagement angle of the far side TH

c.Look at the angle of the hips of the far side LH , specifically right after the engagement

problems with the scrum troubleshooting guide1
Problems with the Scrum?Troubleshooting Guide

Problem Probable cause and solution

Scrum Collapsed a. During the engagement, watch the TH closely. If his head is

On engagement lower than his hips, this position leads to collapses

b. After engagement, check the elbows, shoulders and hips

for a prop boring in or pulling down (next page)

LH Boring In

Quick cue: Outside foot up and bum out

Accurate cue: LH left shoulder and head up and head towards sternum of opposing TH. Also, LH bum low and shoulders high while driving inwards

Poor technique: LH left shoulder down. Shoulders lower than hips while facing inwards (no PK; reset or FK)

problems with the scrum troubleshooting guide2
Problems with the Scrum?Troubleshooting Guide

Problem Probable cause and solution

TH Boring In:

Quick cue: Outside foot up and bum out. Body facing inwards

Accurate cue: Both fee facing inwards and bum down and outwards

Poor technique:TH right shoulder up and bum high with body angles inwards, often result of opposing LH boring in.

LH Pulling Scrum Down (often to get reset quickly):

Quick cue: Elbow points down to the ground as scrum collapses

Accurate cue: Head and elbow are directed downwards and inwards. Bum is high in the air.

Poor technique:LH knees drop down. Elbow naturally reaches for the ground to prevent head impact

problems with the scrum troubleshooting guide3
Problems with the Scrum?Troubleshooting Guide

TH Pulling Scrum Down (often to get reset quickly):

Quick cue: Elbow points down to the ground as scrum collapses

Accurate cue: TH pulls elbow backwards and downwards as TH rolls shoulder inwards.

Poor technique:TH bum stays high. Elbow naturally reaches for the ground to prevent head impact.

Hooker Is Upright: a. If the hookers shoulders are parallel, hooker stood up

b. If one shoulder is higher than the other, it is likely to be the actions of the opposition props pushing him in the air.

Front Row Being Lifted: a. Props knees straighten and head stays down.

problems with the scrum other issues to watch
Problems with the Scrum?Other Issues To Watch
  • If a team wheels after the ball is in, let them have a go unless it is a whip wheel
  • Teams that lose the hit may well collapse the scrum immediately
  • The loosehead with his/her hand on the ground has an unfair advantage. A loosehead will almost never have his/her hand on the ground on their own ball!!
how to try to manage these problems
How to try to managethese problems?
  • Communication
    • Be proactive before the match, before each scrum
    • Repeat your requirements if you had problems at the prior scrum
    • Don’t let them engage if there is something wrong
  • Penalize
    • Be vigilant during the engagement
    • No side should push before the ball comes in
  • Use your cards (yellow for the 3rd time)
mayday procedure
Mayday Procedure
  • Procedure to deal with injury in scrum following a collapse
    • Not always taught to players but is supposed to be
    • Try to minimize impact on player who called mayday
  • Referee will freeze all particpants before disassembling scrum in a prescribed manner to ensure no movement of injured player
mayday priorities
Mayday Priorities

Read the Rugby Canada protocol to be aware of the full details!

video examples
Video Examples
  • Playlist of illegal scrums
  • Play of acceptable scrums
  • Example of scenario management
next meeting
Next Meeting
  • Date: March 3rd, 2013
  • Where: Concordia Perform Centre

Conference Room

  • When: 7pm – 9pm
  • Topic: School Rugby