Here are a few “But last week’s referee” stuff that I encountered in ONE game last week. [Yes, I do get hyped up about “last weekend’s referee” because of past incidents.]
1. Before the match started, I saw that one of the players had goggles on. I called the player over and asked, “are they World Rugby approved?” (I knew the answer was no, but I asked). The answer? “I don’t know, but I’ve been allowed to play with these”. Sorry, but no.
Dear Last Weekend’s Referee: See https://playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/goggles and https://assets.usa.rugby/docs/refereeing/protective-equipment-clothing-guidelines.pdf (needs to be updated but is correct).
2. Scrum outside the 22m and ball passed back inside the 22m. Player kicks it out down field and I bring it back to where she kicked it and asked why. Player was dumbfounded and said, “I’ve been playing for four years and we’ve always been able to do that.” HAHAHAHAHAHA. FOUR YEARS! Young lady, you learn something new every day.
Dear Last Weekend’s Referee: Law 18.8.d. NO GAIN IN GROUND. The defending team took the ball into their 22, no tackle, ruck or maul took place and no opponent touched the ball within the 22. If a player, who is inside their own 22, picks up the ball when it is outside the 22, or catches the ball before it reaches the plane of the 22-metre line, and kicks it directly to touch from within the 22, then that player has taken the ball back into the 22.
3. Player leaves the game due to a knock in the head and is subbed. Player’s coach asked at half if she could come back on. Nope… no HIA in domestic rugby.
Dear Last Weekend’s Referee: 13.1 Medical. Concussion. The World Rugby Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocol does not apply to USA Rugby domestic Competitions
4. We are all running to the left and a team has a possible try on. Lots of player noises to my back from the opposing side about “PLAYER DOWN, PLAYER DOWN”. This kept on coming but we never swing back. Attacking team scores try far away from the injured player and THEN we stop before the conversion.
Dear Last Weekend’s Referee: Here’s a rule of Thumb: if we are running away from the injured player, there is no harm and we’d certainly allow a medic or caregiver to run on the field. Stop a try? No no no! We’d have flopping all of the time, like they do in the game with the round ball.