AR Briefings

  • August 15, 2017

Andy Taylorson Has update his advice…

This is a typical AR Brief that I have offered to L5 referees I have worked with over the last couple of seasons. It is a guide only and yours to refer to and to formulate your own and use as and when its appropriate.

Pick a place that is convenient, comfortable, allows eye contact and where you are not likely to be disturbed…if possible. It should be short to the point and last no more than 10 minutes!! Encourage input, but lead the discussion. Both may have experience of working with the 2 teams so invite their comments and be engaging

  1. Context of the fixture (league positions; recent form; significance of the game; notable players ). Always ask if they have experience previously of the 2 teams and any relevant observations – short and sweet though from them.
  2. Scrum what you are looking for and how you want input feeding in – AR call “red red red”. You penalise red and AR inputs what he has seen “ Red 3 on the arm” you communicate that back with appropriate secondary signal for crowd benefit(once!).
  3. Lineout – what you want the AR’s to do and what you will do. Particular focus on lifters being taken out or lifters causing a deliberate obstruction. As them to police the 5 m make sure the hooker is in the middle of the line – not stepping off and also to check where receivers are.
  4. Breakdown/tackle. Your area, how they can assist.- Back foot management, guards etc and the banana defensive line.
  5. Ruck. – offside line enforcement and trends.
  6. Maul. – legs being lifted, joining players making a difference. Get the number of anyone that sacks a legal maul.- attack as well as defence!
  7. Kicks in open play. Managing players and players within 10m.
  8. Try line decisions. – Timing of input and being up with play. Clear and credible input only. Use “Check Check Check” if they have something for you that may affect the outcome of a trybeing awarded.
  9. Communication – use of comms – what you want and when (emphasise that input should always include a colour and number!) e.g. “Black Black Black” – Whistle – “7 in at the side”!
  10.  Foul Play – When you want play to stop! You will lead if you have something otherwise over to the AR. Colour number and what they have seen. Be specific on them ‘owning the call’ and not being over zealous with a YC or copping out of a red! If you are on a voice over video remind them that they must be specific and careful with choice of words so a punch to the head or a stamp on a joint has an obvious conclusion – red card!

Top tips for any game

  1. Be fussy at the scrum, slow the engagement sequence down and stick to the brief. Be hard on pre engagement. Ask; Tell; Penalise.
  2. Focus on the management of the tackle/ruck. Has the tackler moved, are arriving players through the gate and staying on their feet or “aeroplane landing” If ball is slow ask yourself why and don’t allow the tackle/breakdown to breath too long.!
  3. Communication. Short, concise and specific. Timing is key so you say it once and then you don’t have to repeat! “Release” is not specific! “ Tackler Release” or Release the Ball Now” is more specific! Don’t call “ Tackle” too often. A word of warning….never say “off your feet now” in a game that I am at or I may shoot you!
  4. Working hard to get back into position when you have credible line of sight and are not in the way! If you step into the defensive line and the tackle then happens behind the gain line, work hard to get back and locate the ball. Don’t walk!
  5. Put pressure on players and especially captains for player non compliance, or negative play generally especially in the red zone. Lead the dialogue and don’t encourage debates over decisions – “Thank you. Yes I will look at that” or “I don’t see it that way and my decision is final” Deflect the pressure and pass the Monkey – Referee Self Protection.
  6. Try line for obvious pick and go by the attackers, get in close, but not in the way. Chariot is good – 2/3 metres behind the scrum half and follow them in, you can always pendulum round to see the ball grounding and its easy to marshal the back foot space when you are that close.
  7. Generally. Be firm but fair with your comments during game time to player and coaches. Always be civil, courteous and respectful with everyone before and after a game. To earn respect you have offer it too!

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