Materiality - Introduction. In any match with a number of physical and technical contests, there will be offences that the referee will regard as having a non-material effect.
In any match with a number of physical and technical contests, there will be offences that the referee will regard as having a non-material effect.
The difficulty with non-materiality is that the referee has to take into consideration if a particular offence is non-material in the context of:
The incident itself
The match as a whole (creating a permissive environment)
The game of rugby across all matches
Bearing this in mind, it is very important that when a referee considers an offence to be non-material, that the referee observe the following:
The referee acknowledges an offence has occurred
The offending player is made aware by the referee of the infringement and the potential consequences of further infringements.
Has a Law been broken?
Make a mental note of the player(s) involved and make them aware at next available time.
Do not whistle
Sometimes you may have to wait a little to answer the question ie to see how play evolves. An example would be that players have to take other options because of the infringement.
Has there been an effect?
One side has received an unfair advantage, OR
One side has been denied a fair advantage
Can an advantage be gained?
Apply advantage processes as normal
A Law has been broken, there HAS been an effect, there should be a sanction, but there may be more benefit to the non-offending team if play continues