Hertford Highlander

Dear IRB – How about some clarity on the ‘Yellow Card Situation’ !

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :Original Content on 21 Jul 2010 at 19:53
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Dear IRB – How about some clarity on the ‘Yellow Card Situation’ !

Over the weekend my friends and I from around the rugby watching world have been in differing opinions about the issuing of Yellow Cards. There seems to be a range of opinions on how the current system works. However the one thing we were agreed on was that a clear structure and transparent system needs to be implemented and fast.

This is something that we came up with over a few pints and yes it needs plenty of work, but I think there is a foundation of a system there somewhere.

So here goes:

Let say for argument sake that each team gets 15 penalties. These are divided into three areas, the breakdown, set piece, and general play, with 5 penalties being allowed in each area.

The scoreboard would clearly display this. Along with all the players names much as can be seen on a cricket scoreboard. This keeps everyone, spectators, players and officials all clearly in the picture (transparency).

Add to this an individual player is allowed 4 personal penalties before receiving a Yellow Card and say 6 and it’s Red. This is something basketball implement with real success and it also adds to the spectating spectacle.

So how would the system work. Well when a penalisible offence is committed the referee says for example ‘ breakdown penalty against number 7 black ’. This is then noted by the ‘Fourth or Television Match Official’ and it is then displayed on the scoreboard beside the infringing players name. One penalty is also logged against the infringing teams ‘Total Penalty Count’.

As the game continues if a player receives 4 personal penalties they then receive a Yellow Card and if the teams total hits 15 Penalties the team receives a ‘Team Warning’ and the next player to infringe also receives a Yellow Card. This may lead to more Yellow Cards towards the end of a game, but it would give much the same effect that happens in ice hockey when a ‘Power Play’ is in progress.

Professional fouls and fouls for dangerous or reckless play will still be referred in the current way with immediate Yellow or Red Cards. Such incidents or any other incident that the match officials see should be ‘Placed on Report’ and heard as in the case of the Rugby League in Australia on a Monday night.

Now I do appreciate the fact that this puts added pressure on the officials to get the decisions and the offender’s numbers correct, but I’m sure that is achievable between the referee, his two assistants and the television match official.

I also appreciate the fact that not all games are televised but I’m sure we are fast moving in such a direction. I am also conscience of the fact that people do not want the game slowed down and that television producers want games to fit TV slots. However at the moment we have idiots either side of the game giving expert analysis, and let’s face it, unless it’s a bunch of Aussies suffering from sunstroke it is not very entertaining anyway or insightful. Therefore any over run, timing wise could then just cut into their time. American football manages to stop the clock in order for the referee to communicate what is happening with great success.

Upon the conclusion of the match a ‘Referees Report’ and ‘Report on the Match Officials’ could then be published with a ‘Rating System’. This will give us a clear knowledge of who has performed well and what grades they have attained. This would then be influential on their ‘IRB Referees Ranking’. So when we go into a match everyone knows if they have the number one ranked referee in the world or the number seventeenth.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of numbers and rugby specific analysis to be done. But I am sure we can take a leaf out of other codes such as cricket, rugby league, gridiron, ice hockey and basketball in order for our own game to develop and move forward on the global stage.

I’m sure a plausible system can be worked out, and I know a couple of guys that are available for an IRB round table at anytime.

We hear the lunches are great.

Yours in rugby



  • Great idea on the individual sanction count.

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.07.10 20:02:22 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • eeeeish. what I like about rugby is that it’s “relatively” simple and I do not need calculator (likein cricket) 😉

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.07.10 20:11:11 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • great article! It would eliminate the wanton cheating by some players!

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.07.10 20:53:47 by Megatron Reply

  • eish HH u done it again 🙄 and must say good point about the YC like cricket & soccer i don’t know relly how many YC they get but they don’t get sent off so why can’t we all sports hv sth like that it will really teach some players to go slow if they don’t want aYC

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.07.10 21:15:46 by chaz Reply

  • oh and BTW 😳 don’t get like MORNE with the longggggggggggggggggg post 2 read time is at limit 😆 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.07.10 21:22:42 by chaz Reply

  • Interesting read HH… however this does not stop bad calls going against a team. You might find that a team gets blown for certain things while their opponents gets away with the same offense.

    Maybe a points system for refs would be a better option :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.07.10 21:36:25 by Farlington Reply

  • Great article Hert! I really like the idea, good points made!!

    I like the idea of giving each player a limit.. Some people ie Bakkie, might run out in the first ten minutes.

    Let’s see more HH articles!

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.07.10 21:36:41 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Farlington (Comment 6) : oh i agree on that one about the points the refs maybe a cup for best ref with out the YC mmmmm u got one there 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.07.10 21:46:10 by chaz Reply

  • what I like about soccer : no tv refs and no stoppages – yes the refs make mistakes but so do tv refs and refs in not referring to tv refs. u do not want to get overtechnical like with this white card that they tried (2 -3) years agon in Varsity cup.

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.07.10 21:48:40 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 9) : why are you still sayinf go klose? When la furia roja knocked the hell out of them 😀

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.07.10 21:54:59 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 10) : not really – for the amount of possession they had only one goal 🙄
    but win is a win and give credit where it’s due 😉

    I’m a loyal supporter 😀

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.07.10 21:57:34 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 10) : 🙄 talk in our talk so i don’t hv to go to google please and germany had just a bad year like ur team in the S14 TROLL 😉

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.07.10 21:57:58 by chaz Reply

  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 11) : just like a shark would talk 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.07.10 21:58:43 by chaz Reply

  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 2) :

    I think something need done…. Ref’s need to be more accountable as well.

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.07.10 22:04:18 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Farlington (Comment 6) :

    IRB need to rank their Ref’s in some way !

    After all they are very keen to meaninglessly rank the teams !

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.07.10 22:05:23 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 14) : AMEN to that :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.07.10 22:05:33 by chaz Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) :

    Cheers RF

    You have inspired me to try and become the NZ Sharksworld Media Person ! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.07.10 22:06:56 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 15) : well everybody get ranked from school to S boks so why not the refs 😕 😉

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.07.10 22:07:07 by chaz Reply

  • @chaz (Comment 12) : i thought the Germans did very well – nobody gave them a chance before WC (young team, talismatic captain injured, klose and podolski had like 3 goals between them in bundesliga etc..) but after England and Argentina whipping everybody expected more of them.

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.07.10 22:11:43 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 19) : i do think they did well and very well more than i can say about me bro team ENGLAND ❓

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.07.10 22:22:29 by chaz Reply

  • It sounds good but the only flaw is that we could see 15 penalties before we get a yellow. Last weeks game against the ABs there was 11 penalties for each team. And we know Richie McCaw should have received a yellow early in the game. Now Richie could stop on 3 penalties and be on his final warning and some other idiot could slow the ball down and its almost like starting the count again before we see some justice done! I just dont like the fact that a player has to go off for 10mins that ruins the game. Why can a player that keeps getting penalised for slowing the ball down not get cited as well or after a certain amount of those penalties be suspended? I think we need to toughen up on smaller offences (ie Cowan pulling on bakkies) as to prevent big offences like the headbutt. Just a tought but good article none the less!

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.07.10 06:08:13 by Ozbok789 Reply

  • @Ozbok789 (Comment 21) : I agree with you

  • Comment 22, posted at 22.07.10 08:21:01 by Letgo Reply
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  • If you want a system like this, you would also have to rank offences, so if you get penalized for something like offside when chasing a ball it shouldn’t count as much as killing the ball when the opposition is 5meters from your goal line…it will be to complicated for a ref to understand!

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.07.10 09:20:26 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Ozbok789 (Comment 21) :

    I think the numbers obviously need looked at but i think it is workable.

    Be it a team total penalty count of 15, 12, 10, or 8 ….we need to look closely at how many penalty offences are committed in a game.

    @Letgo (Comment 24) :

    But that aside a penalty is a penalty….. i also feel that killing the ball on your own line is often potential a more cynincal foul …. but if it is not a professional foul it is only a foul.

    There is no way you can rank offences other than how we do now …..that would be madness.

  • Comment 24, posted at 22.07.10 10:06:54 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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