Thought this was pretty interesting…found via


Referees and Laws Committee
Laws sub-committee
BOULDER, Colo.- Less than three years ago the ruling copied below was circulated to all Referees Societies. Recent events have made it clear that this issue needs to be circulated again, with some amplification.

———————————–Original Ruling—————————-

(June 2003)

Referees occasionally have to manage the behavior of people on the sidelines such as coaches and reserve players. Should the referee display yellow (warning) or red (expulsion) cards when acting to control unacceptable behavior?

The use of red and yellow cards is carefully and clearly laid out in Law 10. Cards are to be used when cautioning or sending off a player. That?s it. They are not to be used as a ?crowd control? tool. When a card is shown, that is a statement that a player has contravened Law 10 and that certain sanctions will be applied. Specifically, that there will be a penalty (unless a penalty try has been awarded or advantage has been played and gained) and that the sanctioned team will be a player short for either ten minutes or the remainder of the match.

What is the harm in using cards outside the specifications of the Laws? When a card is shown, there is an expectation by all, both participants and observers,that the specified sanctions will be applied. That would not be the case if cards were used for the purpose of managing non-participant behavior. The result would be a loss of confidence in the referee on that particular day, and a general degradation for all referees.

Misconduct by non-participants is addressed in the USA Guidelines and in the Disciplinary Procedures, as well as in Territorial and Local Union By-Laws. Use of Red and Yellow cards are not part of that process.

Peter Watson
Chair, USARRA Law Committee

—————————End of original Ruling—————————–

The Disciplinary Committees of Local Area Unions, Territorial Unions, USARFU and the iRB, depending on which body is responsible for the match or the area in which the incident occurred, take disciplinary actions for Foul Play in a game, and adjudicate on incidents that occur outside of a match. Information regarding an incident reaches the DC via an incident report, a citing or a referee?s red/yellow card report.

Further questions have been asked about this process:

What is the difference between a carding and a citing?
? A card is issued by the referee as a visible symbol of the punitive action he/she is taking (caution or send-off).
? A citing is a report to a disciplinary body by an observer of a match (live or video) on an incident, which is not observed by the referee.
? The third possible action is a simple report of misconduct, which can be regarding actions by a non-player during a match, or some sort of unpleasantness apart from that happening in a game. (e.g. at the post-match
function, or in a chance meeting days later).

Can a non-participant be carded?
No. See the original Ruling.

What is the time frame or geographical boundary within which anyone can be carded or cited?
Both carding (caution or send-off) and citing are with reference to actions that took place during a match. It is for the Disciplinary Committee to decide what parameters they will place on reports detailing misconduct that took place outside of a game.

Who can cite?
That is for the Disciplinary Committee or the Union to decide. USARFU Disciplinary Policies and Procedures specify who can submit a citing.

Who can submit a report on misconduct outside of a game?
Any interested party.

Are two cautions (yellow cards) in separate matches automatically equal to a send-off (red card) in the second match?
No. From the referee’s perspective, each match is a separate event. Tournaments may have rules about multiple cards, and Unions may have rules that require Disciplinary review for some number of accumulated yellows, but it is not a referee issue.

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