|An archive of match day threads originally posted in the General Discussion forum.
Rugby is a terrible advert for TV officials. The pitch ref refers pretty much everything he's even slightly unsure of 'upstairs' because they are scared of making mistakes. The game is far more stop-start than football in the first place and has lots of natural breaks.
It works for rugby in terms of a good a fair outcome. However, it significantly detracts from the spectacle.
Which would you prefer......the possibility of refs continued mistakes and the debate that goes with it or the opportunity to make life easier for the officials and give them assistance in get the correct decision first time?
The former is part of football and is what sets us apart from other sports' fans. The latter is what is becoming necessary going forward.
That's a perfect summation of the dilemma involved. Football doesn't have uniquely difficult rules to interpret, that's a red herring.
American Football has a very prescribed and fairly unambiguous set of rules. Even things like pass interference are fairly easy to spot on review as there are certain things to look for. Video review works in American Football because the game has natural break every 6 seconds where each play can be reviewed if necessary
In cricket there is very little ambiguity. You are either out or not. Of course, something like LBW is never certain, but HawkEye has been introduced as a proxy to help make these decisions. Again, cricket has a natural break every ball so easy to stop review and carry on without the game being affected
Rugby is similar to football in the sense that there is a lot of interpretation surrounding tackles and the like, but there are still more natural breaks than in football. Anyway, speak to Rugby fans and the majority don't like video replays
Personally, if there is a way to introduce technology for offsides without stopping the game, then yes that is probably a good move (as this is black and white, either offside or not - not regarding the stupid modern day laws), but i would rather take accept the possibility of dodgy decisions on things like fouls, penalties, sending offs, than have video review introduced to cever this kind of stuff which is, more often than not, open to interpretation and opinion
I've done countless TMO (Television Match Official) replays for both versions of rugby and believe me, even with twenty cameras pointing at the pitch they don't always show what the ref wants. Being long in tooth I was in at the start of TMOs and over the years feel referees have lumped more and more on the reviews and ditched their own responsibility.
When it started a referee would just use the TMO when he couldn't be sure of a particular point, otherwise he would make his own decision on the field. He might ask if a foot was in touch, or if the ball was grounded properly but that would be about all.
As the years went on they gradually asked more and more questions, routinely sending a perfectly good try 'upstairs' just in case. The questions changed too. No longer were they "Did he ground it over the line?" or "Was he offside?", they became "Is there any reason not to award a try?" or even "Try or no try?" That's not what the TMO is for, in my opinion.
I love it when the TMO demands more angles of a pushover try with the ball under a dozen forwards. The chances of seeing the ball in that situation are slim but the officials seem to think because there are TV cameras present, every tiny thing can be seen.
All very fair points, the actual logistics of introducing technology has always been the key concern for me. Your point about other sports having more natural breaks is completely legitimate. I suspect football will end up with managers having two reviews for really controversial decisions a la cricket in the end to minimise disruption.
Not having your point about pass interference in American football though. Pretty much every game I watch has at least 20 mins of debate on pass interference, often ending with the commentators disagreeing with the judgement of the video referral unit. It's certainly no less subjective than a challenge like Feghouli's.
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