Refs talk too much in English

Forum to discuss everything that is Tigers related

Moderators: Rizzo, Tigerbeat, Tigers Press Office, Tigers Webmaster

Post Reply
fleabane
Super User
Super User
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:26 pm
Location: Occitanie

Refs talk too much in English

Post by fleabane » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:10 am

This is an article from The Times by S Barnes commenting on Matthew Carley’s performance at the weekend, who gave a running commentary during the game in English? Would this be fair in a Wales v Italy match if the players of only one side understands the language (English)? What if Italian refs only spoke their native language when in charge of a 6N game?

Thoughtful piece if you get behind The Times paywall.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/time ... 5e772f4e6c
Last edited by fleabane on Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Valhalla I am coming!

Robespierre
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Toulouse

Re: Refs talk too much

Post by Robespierre » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:47 am

Some refs have been having French lessons, which is good (Wayne Barnes spoke in French to the Racing players in yesterday's fabulous match against Munster, and I'm sure the players appreciated it). However, Ben Whitehouse was in charge for the not so fabulous match between Leinster and Lyon and a few of the French players were probably scratching their heads trying to understand English with a Welsh accent.
It's maybe too much to ask refs to be able to communicate in Italian and Spanish, for example, but each ref who aspires to the top level of European rugby should be obliged to be able to do so in French. I don't think I've heard Nigel Owens speak French (he's got Saracens v Racing next Sunday with Welsh touch judges!) but I believe that the top french refs speak English.

Do the refs talk too much? I can't get behind the paywall so haven't read Stuart Barnes' article, but in general I'd say no. Constant talking to the players telling them to keep behind the offside line or 'hands off' in the ruck is positive communication and should be encouraged.
Semper in excreta

fleabane
Super User
Super User
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:26 pm
Location: Occitanie

Re: Refs talk too much

Post by fleabane » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:30 pm

One of the comments made by Stuart Barnes was that Carley never stopped talking. This disadvantages any player whose first language is not English. Even those who speak some English have to check their understanding, which may only take half a second, but that is long enough to give away an advantage, particularly at the breakdown if the instructions are not clearly understood. The incessant commentary of refs like Carley make understanding even more difficult.

Once again, Wayne Barnes shows us how it should be done.
Valhalla I am coming!

fleabane
Super User
Super User
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:26 pm
Location: Occitanie

Re: Refs talk too much

Post by fleabane » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:35 pm

I’ve managed to copy the article


Time to stop the talk and end rugby’s language bias
stuart barnes

Shaun Edwards is locking himself in a room and learning French. Enough to communicate with the 42-man squad selected for the imminent Six Nations. The new France defence coach will not need to browse Flaubert in the native language but he will require the basic foundations of French. Nobody involved in rugby has ever questioned the importance of communication. So why does the sport not expect similar linguistic standards from its referees?

Edwards returns to Cardiff on February 22 for the Wales v France match. Matthew Carley referees this game, and if he repeats the performance he gave in Saturday’s European encounter between Clermont Auvergne and Ulster, France will be severely disadvantaged. If Carley uttered a sentence of French it was beneath his breath. Yet he delivered a running commentary, a monologue from first whistle to last.

There were two major problems with this. Communication bias (inadvertently) in favour of the Ulster team and, worse, the constant chatter throughout the live action that makes up the majority of the time on the field. A couple of years ago, Wayne Barnes admitted referees had to improve their linguistic skills, citing French, Italian, Spanish and at a push the Welsh language as pretty good reasons. He also said: “The best referees can communicate with a nod and a wink, or one crisp, clear line — you don’t have to go into too much detail.” Unfortunately Carley comes from another school of officiating, where talk is endless. And so on Saturday we were treated to a hybrid: part refereeing, part non-stop coaching.

“Use it, let go of each other, stop, let go of the ball, stay, roll away, keep moving, thank you,” are the basics of this refereeing modus. I will not ask you to imagine what Rabah Slimani thought when the Englishman said: “You are going straight down on to your knees, you have got to be higher.” Not a single arrêtez, restez merci.

This would be little more than thoughtless English-speaking bias were it happening only after the referee blows to stop the game. But the man handed the whistle in Wales is doing most of this advising during the game. There is a massive difference between a wing who understands he is in an offside position and one who just hears another language.

Then there is the breakdown. Broken down, anarchic, it is a muddled mess of split seconds. Being able to secure quick or slow ball is the difference between an attack functioning or not; the difference between a defence dominating or not.

Referees have been made into so many fools as they tell players, flopping off their feet, hands all over the ball, to “roll away and take your hands off it now”. By the time he has ordered the player to play to the laws of the game, five seconds have elapsed and defence is in place.

First-name term friendliness gets referees nowhere. It enables the cheats to flourish. If there is one place on a rugby field where zero tolerance policies should apply, it is the breakdown. To have a referee bellowing commands only one side understands represents an unacceptable disadvantage.

This refereeing-coaching virus is what you expect from mini-rugby coaches whose :censored:-kneed kids are new to the game. As Romain Poite famously told James Haskell one Six Nations Sunday in 2017, when England were befuddled by an Italian tactic around the tackle: “I’m sorry. I’m the referee, not the coach.”

Carley is not benefiting the game by letting old laggards run rings around him as the game slows. If someone is breaking the laws it is not an oversight, it is a deliberate decision. It has ever been thus. If a referee can be relied on to give you a warning and not the shrillest of penalising blasts, all the better.

Excessive communication is rank bad refereeing, even when both sides immediately pick up on the words. When there is even a split-second delay in understanding, the advantage can be overwhelming. Carley and the crew who think they are helping the game need to concentrate on fewer but sharper lines of communication.

Explanations when the game is dead are different. Barnes’s “crisp clear line” — preferably in both languages — is more universal, with rugby’s sign language a partial barrier against confusion and misunderstanding.

Referees should have a mastery of rugby’s terminology in all the major languages of the sport. To be able to communicate with fluency in the heat of the battle requires an expertise that cannot be expected. Referees should refrain from live “assistance” if either participant speaks another tongue. Internationals know the laws.

England’s last game of the Six Nations is in Rome. Imagine if Pascal Gaüzère decided to follow the Carley route and cajoled the players for 80 minutes — but solely in Italian. English fans would be furious at the obvious injustice of it. The RFU would complain and World Rugby would act. English-speaking professionals are not expected to be bilingual, so why should their counterparts? Yet unless they do speak English, rival teams are not competing on a level playing field.
Valhalla I am coming!

strawclearer
Super User
Super User
Posts: 3739
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:13 am

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by strawclearer » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:11 pm

fleabane wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:10 am
This is an article from The Times by S Barnes commenting on Matthew Carley’s performance at the weekend, who gave a running commentary during the game in English? Would this be fair in a Wales v Italy match if the players of only one side understands the language (English)? What if Italian refs only spoke their native language when in charge of a 6N game?

Thoughtful piece if you get behind The Times paywall.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/time ... 5e772f4e6c
It's a valid argument, cogently put...

"To have a referee bellowing commands only one side understands represents an unacceptable disadvantage."

I've also long believed that 'warnings' from the ref are detrimental to the flow of a game.
Happy days clearing straw from the pitch before the Baa-Baas games! KBO
Help save the Oceans - #RefuseTheStraw!

jgriffin
Super User
Super User
Posts: 6757
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:49 pm
Location: On the edge of oblivion

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by jgriffin » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:18 pm

I think it also highlights what is being complained about elsewhere. A player either off his feet or interfering should be penalised; in the few matches I have been able to attend recently, the ball has been slowed down incessantly - it only takes a fraction of a second for a defence to gain an advantage by being better aligned.
Leicester Tigers 1995-
Nottingham 1995-2000
Swansea (Whites) 1988-95
A game played on grass in the open air by teams of XV.

chewbacca
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 894
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:25 pm

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by chewbacca » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:24 pm

No objections to the ref telling a player where he infringed. I do object to him telling a player he is infringing and not awarding the penalty. Surely it wouldn't take long for players to get the message.
I'm not cynical just experienced

fentiger
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 6:32 pm
Location: Wisbech

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by fentiger » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:27 pm

chewbacca wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:24 pm
No objections to the ref telling a player where he infringed. I do object to him telling a player he is infringing and not awarding the penalty. Surely it wouldn't take long for players to get the message.
I think that would sort out most of the problems around said 'breakdown' and maul in a very short space of time!

JP14
Super User
Super User
Posts: 4437
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Neverland

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by JP14 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:42 pm

There needs to be more of an effort from referees to communicate in French, Wayne being the exception (who i believe took French A Level a couple of years ago).

I’m sure learning to say arrêtez, jouez etc wouldn’t take too much for the officiating team to learn.
"Our Greatest Glory Is Not In Never Failing, But In Rising Every Time We Fall" Confucius

Noggs
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1497
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 11:41 am
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by Noggs » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:31 pm

fentiger wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:27 pm
chewbacca wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:24 pm
No objections to the ref telling a player where he infringed. I do object to him telling a player he is infringing and not awarding the penalty. Surely it wouldn't take long for players to get the message.
I think that would sort out most of the problems around said 'breakdown' and maul in a very short space of time!
If it is marginal and the player reacts quickly then I have no problem with the first time being a warning but the second time should be a straight penalty with the reason clearly stated and signaled.
Life can be unpredictable, so eat your pudding first!

BengalTiger
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:16 am

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by BengalTiger » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:22 pm

I do not understand the thinking behind all the chat from refs, sure explain the reason after the whistle has gone to make the point but players know when they are offside or off their feet, the warnings and coaching actualy slow the game down and help to create the mess we now see at most breakdowns.
I would have a Clive Norling clone as TMO and give him remote control Tazer strapped to the refs with instructions to stop this incesant coaching by refs, I bet the game would speed up very quickly!

mol2
Super User
Super User
Posts: 3206
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Cosby

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by mol2 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:10 pm

They talk too much in general.

Penalise the offense and explain why to the captain.
Not warn, explain and then penalise.

That away it's fair for all. If not all players understand the warnings it will introduce unintentional bias.

Ref must have basic understanding of the terms in the language of the sides being referreed - release, ruck, use.

Noggs
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1497
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 11:41 am
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by Noggs » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:05 pm

Having thought about this again the ref should only use English and if Jonny Foreigner doesn't understand he just needs to speak more slowly and a bit louder.

I'll get me coat..... :smt002
Life can be unpredictable, so eat your pudding first!

AngusMcCoatup
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 9:37 am
Location: Coates.

Re: Refs talk too much in English

Post by AngusMcCoatup » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:40 pm

Noggs wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:05 pm
Having thought about this again the ref should only use English and if Jonny Foreigner doesn't understand he just needs to speak more slowly and a bit louder.

I'll get me coat..... :smt002
Certainly only too willing to assist in it's return! :smt023 May be the 4th Official could have a phrase clipboard and advise the Referee of the words as the "touch Judges" are too busy ignoring the offsides, high tackles and forward passes. :smt006
To the world you may be just one person.
But to that one person you may be the world!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Coleshillad, Google [Bot], POSTIGER, tigerssteve and 2 guests