Ref Zone: Allowing for a Captain’s Challenge for Reviews?

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nfl challengeGREEN BAY, WI – Recently one of my fellow RWU staff members told me of the latest law change rumor making the rounds:  adding a Captain’s Challenge to a ref’s decision. After much debate with the whole RWU staff, there seems to be only one conclusion; leave it as it is.

The argument included the fact that other sports do have a challenge system: Cricket, Baseball and the NFL. But that was quickly refuted by the point that those sports are all very slow/methodical by nature. But the greatest thing about Rugby, meanwhile, is the fluid nature of the game. There are very few stoppages and constant movement-the fluidity. So, the question becomes whether or not stopping for a Captain’s Challenge could affect this fluidity?

Or is there a different way to go about it?

USA Rugby’s Todd Clever with a Captain’s Challenge?

One of the [many] issues with a challenge system in Rugby would be the complexity of things that could be challenged. When looking at what can currently be reviewed by the TMO or Referee, it is fairly open to whatever they view as necessary. Having seen things from knock-ons in the field of play to foul-play being reviewed, should this then be expanded to the coaches or captains?

How would this affect the game? If this was limited to one challenge, there may be minor effects. However, with the current state of criticism of how much the TMO is used, I feel this would only add another hitch to the game. Would only tries be reviewed? Foul play? Carding offences? Where would it stop?

There are one examples, certainly,  of how a challenge has gone well (depending on your view) in Rugby. Here is one:

But because the above may be because of the nature of the game and players, it’s clear that this is more of a one-off occurrence.

Maybe we should just leave it to rugby and let the referee handle it.

That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, please look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@ :RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Jaime Loyd, DJ Eberle, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.

About Cody Kuxmann 60 Articles
Cody Kuxmann is a Referee at London Society Of Rugby Football Union deciple... When not sending innocents to the Sin Bin, The American International University in London grad splits time between England and... Green Bay, WI! And like all referees, is Blind, Deaf and Dumb.