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TMO

WhistleSanzar are investigating a new concept – a so-called “referees bunker” – to be implemented in Vodacom Super Rugby in the near future to try and cut down on television match official decisions that are both controversial and cause an unnecessary delay in the game.

Sanzar refereeing boss Lyndon Bray confirmed that he was investigating the use of such a system – which has been implemented in Australia’s NRL Rugby League system, whereby the television match official was not at the game. He would rather be in a “bunker” where he would have access to at least nine different angles of play, and able to control which angles to look at if a decision was to be taken. The bunker would be situated off site, and connected via technology, taking away the emotion of fans in front of the TMO box.

After the shocking TMO decision that robbed the Vodacom Bulls of a try last weekend against the Rebels, and several other controversial decisions over the past few months, the sport’s guardians are looking for new and innovative ways to use technology better to aid the game and make a positive contribution.

“We all know that in today’s sport, technology is a critical aspect of the game & is going to remain so. None of us want to see errors when we use technology in sport & we all continue to work on the best technology to support the right decisions,” Bray said.

“Recently, I have been investigating options for how the TMO & / or referee receive the camera angles, in order to enhance the pictures they see & make decisions from. At the moment, we are fully under the control of the Broadcast feed & we are exploring options to help us “control the camera angles”. This can be done in a couple of different ways, but of course also comes at a potentially significant cost.

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Shaun Veldsman

Shaun Veldsman

South African Television Match Official (TMO) Shaun Veldsman was assaulted in his car after officiating Saturday’s Super Rugby match between the Stormers and Blues at Newlands.

According to reports, Veldsman was attacked in his ‘bakkie’ on the N2 after leaving the stadium.

The incident occurred at about 21:00, with Veldsman on his way to Robertson. He was stabbed in his lung.

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WhistleRound nine of the National Rugby Championships (NRC) in Australia took place earlier with the first game providing us with what was quite possibly the worst ever decision on a rugby field, and the first ever ‘Own Try’ in rugby.

The Sydney Stars versus North Harbour Rays clash gave Mitch Lewis a chance to bag some meat and get on the scoresheet, but he never would have guessed it would be against his own team.

In football (or soccer) own goals aren’t unsual, as defenders occasionally slot the ball into the back of their own net. In rugby however, no such thing exists, because when a player grounds the ball over his own tryline, it’s a 5m scrum if carried over, or a 22m drop-out if not.

All that changed in Australia a while ago however, as a bizarre call resulted in the TMO and Referee awarding what is quite possibly the first ever own try in rugby! Seriously.

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TV replays

Match officials will make more decisions independently.

The Rugby Football Union have urged referees to take greater responsibility for decisions and avoid overusing television match officials.

Last season, officials were entitled to review footage of incidents of foul play and up to two phases before a try – but the knock-on effect of an increased number of stops in play quickly drew criticism.

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hawkeyetennis

Hawkeye technology used in tennis

Technology company Hawkeye says it is in talks about providing a replacement to the television match official (TMO) system in rugby.

Hawkeye, which operates systems in football and tennis, could be used in domestic rugby and internationally in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Hawkeye founder Paul Hawkins said: “We are in conversation with Premiership Rugby and the IRB.”

The International Rugby Board would not confirm any talks with Hawkeye.

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Ed O'DonoghueEd O’Donoghue of the Reds received a red card for foul play during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

He was cited foollowing the match.

O’Donoghue is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. The incident occurred during the match between the Reds and Rebels at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 17 May 2014. The referee for the match, Steve Walsh, issued a red card for the incident which occurred in the 79th minute.

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Referees will now be able to ask Television Match Official (TMO) to review up to two phases prior to the ball being grounded as part of a new worldwide TMO Protocol trial announced by the International Rugby Board (IRB).

IRBThe IRB and its Member Unions have underscored their ongoing commitment to consistent and accurate match officiating by approving a global trial to extend the powers of the television match official (TMO).

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Greg PetersSANZAR CEO Greg Peters has intimated that it’s unlikely that Super Rugby will adopt television match official (TMO) rule changes next year.

Empowering the TMO to review possible infringements during try-scoring movements and incidents of foul play have been trialled in the Currie Cup and English Premiership competitions this year.

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The line between calling something as you see it and whining seems to be very fine, so call me a whiner if you like, but I am getting tired of being politically correct when criticising referees. Continue reading

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