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What can WR do about Red Cards ruining games for the fans?

smartcooky

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I have been thinking long and hard about this problem for some time now. I think I have the basis for a solution that keeps the discipline, keep the sanctions for the really serious offenders, but allows the referees more latitude in deal with infringers fairly. I know this is never likely to be adopted or taken seriously by WR, but this is a discussion forum, so here goes.

The first thing is that IMO Rugby Union has a big problem with on field sanctions. You have penalty kick, yellow card and red card. The disparity between YC and RC is huge, you can get the same sanction for infringements as wide apart as mistiming contact with a jumping player (as we saw in the NZ v France game) and biting an opponents ear off or kicking his head into next Wednesday...there is nothing in between, and the earlier a RC given, the bigger the impact it has on the game. Its all very well saying, "well the player will get his punishment in the judiciary", but how is that fair on the rest of the players and the fans.

IMO, the Foul Play Law needs to be re-organsied to separate certain types of serious foul play from other less serious types. The overall Law (now Law 9 under the 2018 Laws) should be called Foul Play, and there should be three sections, Intentional Foul Play, Dangerous Play and Unfair Play. Also, while we keep the existing yellow and red sanction cards, we introduce a black card. The rationale behind this will be explained soon

Black Card: The player is sent from the field and is not replaced. This type of card is an automatic citing.

Red Card: The player is sent from the field for the rest of the game, but he may be replaced with another player after 10 minutes has expired. The replacement of that player costs the infringing team one of their replacements; if are there are no more replacements, the team plays one short. A Red Card is an automatic citing.

Yellow Card: Maximum 10 minute suspension from the game. The same player (or a replacement player) may come back onto the field when the 10 minutes expires. However, if the opposing team scores a try, the player may return to the field even if time has not expired (this does not apply to the red card)

Intentional Foul Play:
- All offences where the player intentionally strikes or assaults an opponent or an official
- This would be infringements such as striking, kicking, punching, biting, stomping, bag-snatching, eye-gouging, and intentional Dangerous Play.
- Intentional Foul Play would be the only category in which you can be given a black card.

Dangerous Play:

- All offences that occur in the normal course of play, where the infringer acts negligently or recklessly (but not intentionally) with potential to cause injury to an opponent.
- This would be infringements such as high tackle, early tackle, late tackle, tackling or playing an opponent without the ball, tackling or playing an opponent in the air, collapsing a ruck, maul or scrum, shoulder charge, no-wrap/no-arms tackle, tip tackles and kicking the ball out of the ball-carrier's hands.
- Dangerous Play, if serious, could result in a Yellow Card, and if serious enough could result in a Red Card,
- The referee can still show you a Black Card if he decides that your act of Dangerous Play was intentional.

Unfair Play:
-
All infringements that are technical in nature with no risk of injury to an opponent
- This would be infringements such as intentional knock-forward, obstruction, knocking the ball into touch, touch in goal or over the dead ball line, simulation, time wasting, repeated infringing and misconduct.
- Unfair play, if intentional could result in a yellow card. A second yellow card offence would result in a red card.

I know there will be objections from some the usual suspects... "its too complicated" or "just what we need, more Law changes" but I also know that you usual suspects are the ones who whinge longest and loudest about the way the Laws are now, so don't complain when someone is willing to offer suggestions as to what to do about it.

If all you want to do is whinge, then don't bother wasting everyone's time, but if you have some constructive and/or positive contributions or suggestions to make, feel free to have at it.
 
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Not Mike Brown's Sock

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The only one I would be wary of is the yellow card because coming straight back would make it a very nice prospect for professional fouls
 

Pieter Steph du Teague

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Yeah, I like all of that except the yellow; don’t see anything wrong with it as it is. If a player’s yellowed on their own line for stopping a try and a try is scored in the next play, that seems like too light a punishment to come straight back on.
 

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Ben kay tweeted an idea for an orange card yesterday and it was essentially the same as your red card idea.
Really like it
 

smartcooky

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The only one I would be wary of is the yellow card because coming straight back would make it a very nice prospect for professional fouls

Yeah, I like all of that except the yellow; don’t see anything wrong with it as it is. If a player’s yellowed on their own line for stopping a try and a try is scored in the next play, that seems like too light a punishment to come straight back on.

Fair enough.

I picked that idea up from Ice Hockey's penalty box rule.
 

dullonien

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Really like the red/black card idea. I think on the whole yellow cards work quite well as they stand, but wouldn't be adverse to time/points approach. Maybe it could be a 1try +5 minute minimum, or the player can return if 2 try's are scored? I like the intention of not letting one yellow card ruin an entire match when the opposition score 3-4 try's in that 10min period.
 

Pieter Steph du Teague

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Really like the red/black card idea. I think on the whole yellow cards work quite well as they stand, but wouldn't be adverse to time/points approach. Maybe it could be a 1try +5 minute minimum, or the player can return if 2 try's are scored? I like the intention of not letting one yellow card ruin an entire match when the opposition score 3-4 try's in that 10min period.
Yeah I’d agree with that. Come back on 5 minutes from when the first try is scored or directly after the second.
 

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I wholeheartedly applaud this exercise, it's the type of radical thinking that World Rugby don't seem willing (or able) to engage in. It's a lot to take in and think though at once, but on first reading, here goes....

- I agree with the comments on yellow cards, what's proposed is potentially too lenient - if the attacking team scores a try straight away from a play that the yellow carded player would have had no influence over (e.g. a pushover try while a winger is off the field), then that player has effectively received no harsher sanction than a penalty.

- I like the idea of breaking down offences into intentional / dangerous / unfair, it provides everyone with greater clarity. Re: unfair play, I'm not sure that I follow the last bullet point. Out of the examples given, I'm struggling to see what "unfair play" offences aren't by their nature intentional. If ruck offences are included in this category, I can follow it as it's possible to accidentally get into a position in which you can't help giving up a penalty.

- I suspect that reaction from a wider, less informed community would be that it's a bad idea from a safety point of view to reduce the existing sanctions, but I don't see that this is a problem, they're still sufficiently harsh as to act as a deterrent to the same degree in my opinion.

- These ideas are laudable, but are treating the symptoms, not the cause. Saying that, I can't offer any silver bullet solutions, so maybe what we have now is as good as things can get, but it seems incredible to me that international players like Benjamin Fall are still putting themselves and their teams into situations like yesterday's.
 

smartcooky

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- I like the idea of breaking down offences into intentional / dangerous / unfair, it provides everyone with greater clarity. Re: unfair play, I'm not sure that I follow the last bullet point. Out of the examples given, I'm struggling to see what "unfair play" offences aren't by their nature intentional. If ruck offences are included in this category, I can follow it as it's possible to accidentally get into a position in which you can't help giving up a penalty.

Unfair Play is what you have left over from the current foul play law when you eliminate all foul play that is injury-causing or potentially injury-causing. e.g. Obstruction can be accidental, but its still foul play.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Where is the line between intentional foul play and dangerous play drawn? I'd presume Fall this week and Ofa last week* is dangerous play but would SBW's Lions hit or Daly's take out against Argentina where he had eyes on the player be the same? They weren't strictly intentional but they were so negligent, reckless and dangerous that I think an on pitch penalty of 10mins with a man down and a sub seems a bit lenient to me.

I definitely agree with the introduction of a new card but it will certainly cause a new type of controversy. I like your red and black cards. I'd switch the colours for no reason other than I think red card sounds worse than black card which is probably because that is how it is in Gaelic Football but you have that spot on. I think yellow cards should be left alone too, maybe having a look at when they should be dealt which was a problem in Melbourne yesterday.



*Not meant to get into that incident, I'm aware you may see that as a lesser sanction but it's fresh in the memory for an example.
 

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I see a lot of merit in your proposals Cooky - we’ll thought out, well reasoned. They’re certainly worth a trial period - but whether the dithering bureaucrats in WR would have the balls to go with this - is pretty doubtful.

One of my prime concerns is in the lack of consistency seen with elite level refereeing. Whatever their instructions are from WR the level of variation in how situations are dealt with is a problem - which WR consistently fail to address
 

smartcooky

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Where is the line between intentional foul play and dangerous play drawn? I'd presume Fall this week and Ofa last week* is dangerous play but would SBW's Lions hit or Daly's take out against Argentina where he had eyes on the player be the same? They weren't strictly intentional but they were so negligent, reckless and dangerous that I think an on pitch penalty of 10mins with a man down and a sub seems a bit lenient to me.

First thing I would say to this is that the idea here to punish the player to the highest level, and the team to a lesser level. Not only do they have to play the next ten minutes a player short, but it could significantly disrupt their planning. What if the player who was red carded was one they expected to play the whole 80. They are now forced to make a substitution they might not want to do. For example, just after half time, a back gets red carded but what if they have no backs left? They have to replace him with a forward, .

Before the introduction of cards, a send-off was very, very rare, and any player who was sent off almost certainly had committed an act of egregious violence against an opponent; a kick in the head, punch in the face. Now you can get sent off for a mistimed tackle, or even for twice committing offences such as intentionally knocking the ball on. Remember Drew Mitchell's red card a few years back? A late tackle got him a yellow card, then not giving the ball up in touch after a team warning (during which he was off the field still serving his sin bin) got him another yellow card two minutes into the second half. BANG, he's gone for the game and his team are one down for 38 minutes. How just was that?

Secondly, the punishment here is only more lenient for the team, while the player gets the same punishment (gone for the game and a trip to the judiciary). The length of suspension he gets will be commensurate with his level of recklessness, and is judged in the calm of the hearing room. As I said in the OP, the option is always open for the referee to judge that the player intentionally committed the act of Dangerous Play and black card him.
 

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Just on the colours of the cards, I like the idea of the new colour being the most serious one. Going to Yellow/Orange/Red or Yellow/Black/Red would be a more confusing transition for people, but keeping Yellow/Red the same (even if they're slightly watered down) and adding a rarely seen new one on top is manageable.

As for Yellow cards and coming back after your team concedes a try, and whether that makes the sanction too light - I don't think so. Teams don't plan on conceding a try, so they should still fear a yellow card even if they occasionally get off lightly. Penalty try & YC especially will still be a harsh penalty.
There's also the threat of 2 yellows = red - and I suggest that should still apply if a different player from the same team commits the same cynical foul, the same way refs give warnings for lesser infringements.

It will also mean refs are more willing to use yellow cards since it won't ruin the game, so it might even result in less cheating in front of the try line.

All this talk of 5 minutes and 2 tries etc. is getting into the "too complicated" territory. Either you come back after a try, or you don't. Either are OK.
 

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Nice thread cooky.

What about the following:
-Yellow card: 10 minutes sin bin
- Red card: 20 minutes sin bin
- Serious foul play/dangerous play - Black Card: Player sent off, 20 minutes with 14 men and then a replacement comes on in the carded player's place?

I think the carding part is just one side of the coin though. The other is the laws and the interpretations. Now I know that WR is looking at a lawbook overhaul, and maybe that will help a bit.
 

smartcooky

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Just on the colours of the cards, I like the idea of the new colour being the most serious one. Going to Yellow/Orange/Red or Yellow/Black/Red would be a more confusing transition for people, but keeping Yellow/Red the same (even if they're slightly watered down) and adding a rarely seen new one on top is manageable.

I pinched the idea of a making the card Black off a number of other sports...

A Black Card in fencing is issued for a serious rule infraction and results in immediate disqualification
A Black Card in badminton is the same, immediate disqualification
A Black Flag in FIA motor racing is immediate disqualification

Gaelic Football also uses a Black Card but its between the Red and the Yellow, and the player can be subsituted

As for Yellow cards and coming back after your team concedes a try, and whether that makes the sanction too light - I don't think so. Teams don't plan on conceding a try, so they should still fear a yellow card even if they occasionally get off lightly. Penalty try & YC especially will still be a harsh penalty.
There's also the threat of 2 yellows = red - and I suggest that should still apply if a different player from the same team commits the same cynical foul, the same way refs give warnings for lesser infringements.

It will also mean refs are more willing to use yellow cards since it won't ruin the game, so it might even result in less cheating in front of the try line.

All this talk of 5 minutes and 2 tries etc. is getting into the "too complicated" territory. Either you come back after a try, or you don't. Either are OK.


As a said earlier, I was simply floating an idea I had seen in another sport, in this case, Ice Hockey

Their sin bin is called The Penalty Box.. and it literally is a box...

kmooneyh182-20150213123821.jpg


Their Penalty Box is two minutes for a minor infraction. If a team scores a goal while an opponent is serving a non-coincidental minor penalty, the penalty is cancelled and the player may return to the ice.

AIUI, "non-coincidental" means that if the penalty is incurred in the scoring of a goal, that goal doesn't bring the player back, the next one does. In reality the Ice Hockey rule is a bit more complicated than that when it comes to double (more serious) penalties, I can explain it if you wish but I wasn't thinking of using it here anyway.

What I had in mind was the preventing of the situation we had last week where France copped a YC (an unjustified one IMO) and while the player was off, NZ scored three converted tries.
 

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Let me know when a modern day team plays with 14 men for at least 40 mins, beats a tier 1 team.
 

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