2015 Rugby 7s Referee Focus Areas

Rugby 7s evolves quickly.  As referees, we should be students of the game and change our tactics to maintain balance in the game. The attached video and notes were published by USA’s rugby referee manager. Please use the comments for questions or discussion.

  1. Running lines/Positioning:
    1. 45º at the breakdown – not square on or flat
    2. Ball in line running
  2. Breakdown:
    1. Players cannot get up with the ball when they are tackled, unless they release the ball first
    2. Tackler assist must release and enter through the gate
    3. Tacklers cannot hold the tackled player longer to prevent them from playing the ball
    4. Tackler must roll away and not obstruct arriving opposition players or roll into the scrumhalf
    5. Be aware of zone violation by:
      1. Attacking players to retain possession
      2. Defenders to turn over possession
  3. Scrum:
    1. Walking the scrum around: PK
    2. Pushing early: FK
    3. Pushing up or pulling down to disrupt the scrum: PK
  4. Foul Play:
    1. Preventing a try being scored by dangerous tackle, deliberate knock, etc.: Penalty Try & Yellow Card
    2. Throwing the ball away at FK/PK or lineout: PK & Yellow Card
    3. Playing the man in the air:
      1. Lands on feet: PK
      2. Lands on lower back/side: PK & YC
      3. Lands on upper back/neck/head: PK & Red Card
    4. Off the ball pushing/pulling/obstruction
  5. Advantage:
    1. Call “advantage over” when the ball is secured, in hand, and not during a pass
    2. Consider that a quick PK is often the better advantage

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