April 14, 2016
PRO Rugby Referees Named, Rule Adjustments
Match Officials (Left to Right: Scott Green (Referee), Jamie Miller (AR), Nick Ricono (Referee), Leah Berard (Referee), Derek Summers (Referee), Kurt Weaver (Referee), George O’Neil (AR), Marc Nelson (AR).
PRO Rugby 2016 kicks off on Sunday, April 17th in Denver, Colorado at 2pm MT and in Sacramento, California 4pm PT. PRO Rugby will have five teams the first season. They are Denver, Ohio, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego. The second year five more will be added. The Referees and Assistant Referees are all from the USA.
PRO Rugby Referees Release: April 14, 2016
Referees: Nick Ricono, Derek Summers, Scott Green, Leah Berard, Kurt Weaver
Assistant Referees: Marc Nelson, George O’Neil, Jamie Miller
Match Official Manager: Richard Every
Match Official Advisor: Rob Debney
The group met in Denver on Monday, April 11th to work through Law Application and Guidelines. In brief, the goals are: Clarity at the breakdown, more space to play the game in, positive scrums and efficient advantage. The biggest addition is applying the Scrum Laws more effectively.
To reduce restarts and resets and increase ball in play, referees will more strictly apply Law 20.1 (d) No delay, (f) Front Rows Coming Together, (g) ”Crouch”,”Bind” & “Set” & (j) Stationary & Parallel. Teams are to set up correctly and maintain legal form and binding throughout the set up, engagement and put-in.
The approach by Referees will be to award a Free Kick when any of the following is infringed as per Law:
Teams to be ready to start the scrum within 30 seconds.
Correct set up with bodies straight, shoulders in line.
“Crouch” with ear to ear and a space between heads and opponents’ shoulders, and not leaning against opponents’ shoulders.
“Bind” on the opposing prop’s body and maintain the space with bodies straight.
“Set”: Loosehead binding on the opponent’s back or side (not under the Tighthead’s body), and elbow up, not hanging (pointing down).
Tighthead on the opponent’s back or side, not on the armpit or arm of the Loosehead.
Front rows have to retain proper body positions, supporting their weight, and maintain binding.
Remain square and steady until the referee instructs the scrumhalf to put the ball in.
And then we are to enforce a credible feed.
“If we are successful in this application and scrums are set up correctly, it should provide more ball in play”, says Match Official Manager, Richard Every. “A team effort is required by the officials to maintain the expected standards. As a group we have agreed on the principles and guidelines with the teams. It is our goal to provide a product that will appeal to current rugby fans and attract new ones.”
A couple other additions are: Extra Time (if the match is drawn at full time there will be one period of 10 minutes sudden death) and the World Rugby approved Law Trial 5.7 (e) where a team that has been awarded a Penalty Kick after time expired may kick for touch and play the lineout.