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Referee's

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mikey_dragon
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Post by carpet baboon Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:55 pm

First topic message reminder :

Please for the love of (insert your own chosen deity) can we leave threads about games alone and post all the stuff about referees,good, bad or indifferent on here.

That way we may be able to discuss rugby games rather than how referee's are biased, rubbish,cheats, ruining your, my, that league.


Cheers

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Post by 2ndtimeround Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:20 pm

For all we know the current incumbents could provide the consistency needed if given the opportunity of doing the job as a full time vocation rather than a part time side line, by doing the job full time their performances can be discussed in group with each other for example and where different interpretations exist these can be ironed out so each official calls incidents the same way.
relying on part time officials to run the performance a multi million pound organisation is simply amateur.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:37 pm

2ndtimeround wrote:For all we know the current incumbents could provide the consistency needed if given the opportunity of doing the job as a full time vocation rather than a part time side line, by doing the job full time their performances can be discussed in group with each other for example and where different interpretations exist these can be ironed out so each official calls incidents the same way.
relying on part time officials to run the performance a multi million pound organisation is simply amateur.
I am personally yet to see evidence that full time refs are any better or "consistent" in their decision making. Don't get me wrong I would welcome full time refs, but I just don't think it should be a priority for an already skint league.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:56 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:an already skint league.

innit

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Post by Guest Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:23 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
2ndtimeround wrote:For all we know the current incumbents could provide the consistency needed if given the opportunity of doing the job as a full time vocation rather than a part time side line, by doing the job full time their performances can be discussed in group with each other for example and where different interpretations exist these can be ironed out so each official calls incidents the same way.
relying on part time officials to run the performance a multi million pound organisation is simply amateur.
I am personally yet to see evidence that full time refs are any better or "consistent" in their decision making. Don't get me wrong I would welcome full time refs, but I just don't think it should be a priority for an already skint league.

What is a skint league, and how do we know Pro12 is skint?

It wouldn't be the league paying the refs. At least not alone. The Unions pay the league as is, and so we would need to find what the difference in cost is to fund all Pro12 refs going professional. Considering all refs are paid for every game they officiate anyway, is the extra cost really going to be prohibitive?

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Post by Stone Motif Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:02 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I do not get why people are going on about travel costs and logistics, does it really cost that much to get around the British Isles these days ? Come on, the English have Exeter and Newcastle in the AP. They are just as far apart as Cardiff to Glasgow. In fact, Dublin is a lot closer to Cardiff than Exeter is to Newcastle. Come on in this day and age, travel should not be an issue.

This traveling for refs is a bit of a lame argument for me. Also the clubs should not have the issue with traveling either.

Although going to Italy twice a year must be a bit of a bind though....

How much do you think the PrO'12 teams lose out on by the fact that the majority of games never attract any away supporters,ever?
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Post by 2ndtimeround Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:10 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
2ndtimeround wrote:For all we know the current incumbents could provide the consistency needed if given the opportunity of doing the job as a full time vocation rather than a part time side line, by doing the job full time their performances can be discussed in group with each other for example and where different interpretations exist these can be ironed out so each official calls incidents the same way.
relying on part time officials to run the performance a multi million pound organisation is simply amateur.
I am personally yet to see evidence that full time refs are any better or "consistent" in their decision making. Don't get me wrong I would welcome full time refs, but I just don't think it should be a priority for an already skint league.

Think of it another way, you need a job doing, say a foundation for a home extension as an example, you have a choice between a full time highly trained professional to do the job but you will have to pay a fair rate for the work or you can save a few quid and get a guy in that does a little of that on the side in between his shifts in his day job, it's only filling a hole with concrete after all.
Which one do you get to give you the platform to build on?

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:17 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I do not get why people are going on about travel costs and logistics, does it really cost that much to get around the British Isles these days ? Come on, the English have Exeter and Newcastle in the AP. They are just as far apart as Cardiff to Glasgow. In fact, Dublin is a lot closer to Cardiff than Exeter is to Newcastle. Come on in this day and age, travel should not be an issue.

This traveling for refs is a bit of a lame argument for me. Also the clubs should not have the issue with traveling either.

Although going to Italy twice a year must be a bit of a bind though....

How much do you think the PrO'12 teams lose out on by the fact that the majority of games never attract any away supporters,ever?
I'd be more worried about the Welsh teams home attendances.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:19 pm

Munchkin wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
2ndtimeround wrote:For all we know the current incumbents could provide the consistency needed if given the opportunity of doing the job as a full time vocation rather than a part time side line, by doing the job full time their performances can be discussed in group with each other for example and where different interpretations exist these can be ironed out so each official calls incidents the same way.
relying on part time officials to run the performance a multi million pound organisation is simply amateur.
I am personally yet to see evidence that full time refs are any better or "consistent" in their decision making. Don't get me wrong I would welcome full time refs, but I just don't think it should be a priority for an already skint league.

What is a skint league, and how do we know Pro12 is skint?

It wouldn't be the league paying the refs. At least not alone. The Unions pay the league as is, and so we would need to find what the difference in cost is to fund all Pro12 refs going professional. Considering all refs are paid for every game they officiate anyway, is the extra cost really going to be prohibitive?
What I meant was, the teams are already struggling to keep up with the Top 14 clubs. The Irish provinces, the Scots and I would presume the Italians are all currently sound financially though.

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Post by Guest Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:35 pm

Just noticed I said the Unions pay the league. I meant pay the refs Erm

Yes, if the payment is to be covered by the teams then I can think that some teams might struggle. Truth is I haven't a clue as to the costs at present, and so it's near impossible to predict what the costs might be if all refs were paid on a full time basis. I think it would be costly. I just don't know if that cost would be prohibitive.

I agree with your earlier points as well. How much do we need all refs to be paid full time, and would that necessarily mean that all refs would be of a higher standard? I think it probably would, but I'm not basing that on anything other than more time to study the game, and more time together as Pro12 referees.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 12 Nov 2015, 12:05 am

2ndtimeround wrote:And how much exactly does the league make in TV revenue each season?
Professional officials would improve the flow and understanding of the game by removing individual interpretation of rules and thereby improve the product been sold to the TV companies.
I think your estimate of cost at £2.5k per game per official is a little excessive also, £50k per annum for a full time referee is a realistic proposition to attract the right calibre of individual IMHO, initially just recruiting 6 referee's and 6 TMO's would cost £600k per annum, hardly an excessive amount to ensure quality officiating. Linesmen would still be part time but its the man in the middle and the TMO are the ones making the decisions.

Officials are individuals whether they get paid by the League or from elsewhere and will still have to interpret each Law as they do now.

As for the estimate your figure is less conservative than mine. You will be aware that the cost of employing someone is not just their salary but needs to have additional National Insurance and Pension costs added? Do you also think anyone will want to make a career of being a TMO! If Officials are going to be professional they should be interchangeable and paid the same amount. To have two such officials in every match throughout the season will require more than 12 men because referees get sick/injured, have paternity benefits, suffer bereavement, get called up for Tests etc., and there really should be the same number from each country represented. For example if there happened to be a weekend where the four Welsh sides play the four irish sides then they would need 8 officials that are neither Irish nor Welsh. Let's say you'd need at least 16 on the register so that would be £800,000 p.a. on employing referees.

Of course the 12 professional officials involved each week will also have additional travel and accommodation expenses say £200 each, so that's an additional £50,000 per year, making a total of £850 k which is ~ £3,000 per game per paid official. My £2,500 is actually less than your estimate!

Your game costs would be £6k for the two professionals and then there's still another £600 to find for the other three 'amateur' officials, meaning your proposal multiplies the cost of officiating matches five times from the current level. Even if having 'professional' referees reduced the number of mistakes, do TV companies really want to pay more less controversy!

If you don't employ all five officials on the same level - how does that effect team work? The Assistants in your proposal never get in the middle because that presumably will be the preserve of the professionals. Therefore is the standard of the Assistants going to diminish, putting even more pressure on the referee? How are the Assistants ever going to get experience to become better themselves and therefore better as part of the officiating team?

A lot of the current officials already earn £50k per year (some double that) in their present careers (that they can keep doing beyond their mid-forties) and they don't have to fly away every weekend leaving young families behind. Do you really think the Law interpretation standard would be improved by getting a bunch of guys coming into the game for the money?

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Post by 2ndtimeround Thu 12 Nov 2015, 9:32 am

Yes the officials are individuals but by making them full time accountable employees of the league they can be trained and involved in group analysis to identify where the discrepancies lie to enable them to standardise their interpretation.
I am fully aware of the extra cost involved due to Employers insurance contributions etc, it is approx. 16% in the UK at the moment but I have no idea what it is in Ireland which is where these officials would effectively be employed. 12 people will be enough as don't each Union already employ 1 elite official?, these guys should be left in place to train the others and facilitate the analysis sessions etc. When have all 4 Regions played all 4 Provinces on the same day?, as the league set the fixtures then this scenario is easily avoided, and don't forget there is no reason why the same 2 officials can't do more than 1 match in a weekend as the fixtures are generally spread over 3 days.
As for the travel and subsistence allowances these should cost no wore than they do already so there is no additional cost that is not already accounted for.
Adding the total cost and dividing by the number of games to work out a match cost is far to simplistic a method of working out how much officiating each game costs, don't forget these officials will be full time employees and therefore available for far more than just officiating the matches, these guys could easily be used for PR work in the communities helping to build the brand of the league in the same way as the teams do by sending players to interact with schools and clubs in their catchment area, there is a lot more benefit to be had from full time professionals than just the obvious match governance.
As for not employing all 5 officials on the same basis, every organisation has staff at different levels, I have staff varying from 8hrs a week to 36.5 hours a week but they work together without a problem.
Not all the current officials will want to become full time as you say as their earning potential may be more outside of Rugby but there will be plenty of people that would want to work within the sport for that size of wage, for example plenty of ex players would relish the opportunity to extend their careers in the sport and no one is saying these officials have to be Male, I wouldn't mind betting there are many Female players who would jump at the opportunity to make a decent living from Rugby.

The only reason I can think of why anyone would not want full time officials is if they believe there is nothing wrong with the current system, the clubs don't seem to think this though as they seem to be calling for reviews far more frequently now.
There will always be barriers put up and logistical issues with any development but none of these are truly unsurmountable.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 12 Nov 2015, 2:26 pm

2ndtimeround wrote:Yes the officials are individuals but by making them full time accountable employees of the league they can be trained and involved in group analysis to identify where the discrepancies lie to enable them to standardise their interpretation.

To enable international individuals to carry out group analysis, they would have to be brought together incurring more expenses that aren’t there at present (flights and accommodation). How often would determine this additional overhead, but maybe some could be done by skype. Getting agreement is the challenge though.

2ndtimeround wrote:I am fully aware of the extra cost involved due to Employers insurance contributions etc, it is approx. 16% in the UK at the moment but I have no idea what it is in Ireland which is where these officials would effectively be employed. 12 people will be enough as don't each Union already employ 1 elite official?, these guys should be left in place to train the others and facilitate the analysis sessions etc. When have all 4 Regions played all 4 Provinces on the same day?, as the league set the fixtures then this scenario is easily avoided, and don't forget there is no reason why the same 2 officials can't do more than 1 match in a weekend as the fixtures are generally spread over 3 days. As for the travel and subsistence allowances these should cost no wore than they do already so there is no additional cost that is not already accounted for.
So your proposed salary isn’t £50k but actually £43k, and your referees not only have to play every weekend they also have to play twice on some weekends, potentially late Friday and early Saturday in different countries! If they also have to pay their own expenses then you are actually penalising those referees who are covering for a sick colleague. Lets assume they have to pay £200 for 22 normal single game weekends – that’s £4,400 the refs have to pay from their own pocket, so now the salary is less than £39k.

2ndtimeround wrote:Adding the total cost and dividing by the number of games to work out a match cost is far to simplistic a method of working out how much officiating each game costs, don't forget these officials will be full time employees and therefore available for far more than just officiating the matches, these guys could easily be used for PR work in the communities helping to build the brand of the league in the same way as the teams do by sending players to interact with schools and clubs in their catchment area, there is a lot more benefit to be had from full time professionals than just the obvious match governance.
What do the professional referees do in the period from May to September - try to promote a League that isn’t running? There are plenty on here who think referees have already too close contact with their local community but you are proposing more! Even if they were transported to other areas they could still be accused of favouring them instead. Your proposal is that someone who can referee a game could work in Marketing, but how likely is this considering successful marketeers aren't generally known for following rules or being sticklers for procedure - the very qualities that good refs possess.

”2ndtimeround” wrote:As for not employing all 5 officials on the same basis, every organisation has staff at different levels, I have staff varying from 8hrs a week to 36.5 hours a week but they work together without a problem.
Not all the current officials will want to become full time as you say as their earning potential may be more outside of Rugby but there will be plenty of people that would want to work within the sport for that size of wage, for example plenty of ex players would relish the opportunity to extend their careers in the sport and no one is saying these officials have to be Male, I wouldn't mind betting there are many Femaleplayers who would jump at the opportunity to make a decent living from Rugby.
At short notice if one of your referees can't whistle, do you think it’s fair that one of the part-timers steps up and gets paid only one tenth of what the pro official was getting to do exactly the same job?
You mention ex-players but those still fit enough to referee will have a potential career of maybe 10 years, some may be interested but I would have thought most would be looking for a longer term future than that, and indeed most clubs prepare them for post-rugby careers. I also disagree that many female players would be that interested. Just as with the men (and maybe more so), are they going to give up their family weekends (including Christmas) to be flying hither and thither to face abuse from players and fans?

2ndtimeround wrote:The only reason I can think of why anyone would not want full time officials is if they believe there is nothing wrong with the current system, the clubs don't seem to think this though as they seem to be calling for reviews far more frequently now.
There will always be barriers put up and logistical issues with any development but none of these are trulyunsurmountable.
Everyone wants less controversy over refereeing decisions, but where is the evidence that paying referees would be the answer (never mind the affordability).
Some referees are very ‘professional’ in their approach to refereeing, but others aren’t, and that is where the biggest advances can be made without any need to change remuneration. Some money needs to be spent on the group session idea you outline, but far more important is consistency to both teams during a match.
The League should invest in Officiating consistency. They can do this by objectively looking at Officials on game statistics and collect these from the clubs themselves. For each game each club should have two people following a referee assessment sheet that will be furnished to the League after the game. In this way teams will build up their own database of how certain referees operate and the League will be able to compare opposing views. This data can then be the driver into a referee development programme and objectively assess how officials perform.
Finally the fans should realise that they won’t have a game without the refs and the League should consider not showing any replays when matches are still being played. This just ramps up the pressure on refs and contributes to poor decisions - the fans can see the replays when they get home. If something needs to be shown on the big screen - why don't they show the Laws of the game!

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Post by marty2086 Thu 12 Nov 2015, 2:36 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Finally the fans should realise that they won’t have a game without the refs and the League should consider not showing any replays when matches are still being played. This just ramps up the pressure on refs and contributes to poor decisions - the fans can see the replays when they get home. If something needs to be shown on the big screen - why don't they show the Laws of the game!

Are you saying get rid of TMOs or give them more influence?

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Post by 2ndtimeround Thu 12 Nov 2015, 3:25 pm

Video conferencing
£50k is double the average wage
The short career lifespan is something most people in sport are used to.
Working weekends is a normal part of life in all industries.

I could go on with simple answers but don't see the point of trying to convince someone who is clearly happy with the status quo.
Whatever the result the current review should at least change that.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 12 Nov 2015, 3:34 pm

Marty, sorry for my ambiguity. I mean the big screen replays that the crowd can see.

I'd still keep the TMO and let him make the call, but if it was really necessary a tablet screen (and headset) could be brought out to the ref. Having the crowd baying for a decision following repeated slo-mo replays that most didn't see in real time just escalates a sense of injustice and isn't conducive to good refereeing.

I'd still have the big screen running live footage though as it enhances the fan experience.

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Post by marty2086 Thu 12 Nov 2015, 3:44 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Marty, sorry for my ambiguity. I mean the big screen replays that the crowd can see.

I'd still keep the TMO and let him make the call, but if it was really necessary a tablet screen (and headset) could be brought out to the ref. Having the crowd baying for a decision following repeated slo-mo replays that most didn't see in real time just escalates a sense of injustice and isn't conducive to good refereeing.

I'd still have the big screen running live footage though as it enhances the fan experience.

Works in the NFL, officials view footage in a booth away from everybody though the level of analysis on those games doesn't remove the sense of injustice at times

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 12 Nov 2015, 4:29 pm

2ndtimeround wrote:Video conferencing
Yes I mentioned this to help cut costs, but there are still costs attached.

2ndtimeround wrote:£50k is double the average wage
The short career lifespan is something most people in sport are used to.
Working weekends is a normal part of life in all industries.
The average wage is £26,500, so £50k is not double, but as I pointed out that your proposed wage is £39k I accept that it is a 50% increase on the average wage. The average policeman is already on £39k so I looked at alternatives who could have unsociable hours and the closest I could get was an average Prison Officer who is on £26,600. Even they don't have to spend extended periods away from home every weekend, although they would be used to taking abuse and giving orders - maybe they could be a good target?

2ndtimeround wrote:I could go on with simple answers but don't see the point of trying to convince someone who is clearly happy with the status quo.
Whatever the result the current review should at least change that.
Which part of "Everyone wants less controversy over refereeing decisions" suggests that I am happy with the status quo?
It is your assertion that having officials paid by the League will in some way improve the standard.
The financial implication is somewhere between a five and ten fold increase in that sector of League costs as shown on both your and my figures.
So where are the actual benefits to suggest that would be money well spent? If the benefits cannot be quantified, who is going to dip into their wallet to pay for it?
Challenging your assertion is not evidence that someone "is clearly happy with the status quo" but rather that the assertion is not THE obvious solution you present it as.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 12 Nov 2015, 4:59 pm

marty2086 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Marty, sorry for my ambiguity. I mean the big screen replays that the crowd can see.

I'd still keep the TMO and let him make the call, but if it was really necessary a tablet screen (and headset) could be brought out to the ref. Having the crowd baying for a decision following repeated slo-mo replays that most didn't see in real time just escalates a sense of injustice and isn't conducive to good refereeing.

I'd still have the big screen running live footage though as it enhances the fan experience.

Works in the NFL, officials view footage in a booth away from everybody though the level of analysis on those games doesn't remove the sense of injustice at times

Do they still show the footage of the incident to the crowd though? That is the part that I think is unnecessary. They don't show replays in cricket while the third umpire is deliberating and when the decision is taken everyone moves on.

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Post by 2ndtimeround Thu 12 Nov 2015, 7:23 pm

My assertion is that a full time professional is always going to give you a better standard of work in any profession than a part timer carrying out the job either for extra income or as a hobby.

We have a multi million pound industry been managed by part timers and amateurs at present, why would anyone not want to spend a fair proportion of the income generated by the sport on the 2 men that have the biggest difference on how the game flows and how entertaining it is as a spectacle.

Hiding the replays from the crowd is not really the way forward but what does need to stop is the TV directors controlling what is shown on the screen to try and highlight something they have decided they want to show, anything shown on the screen should be at the request of the Referee or the TMO only, the recent habit of using screens to replay anything the TV guys fancy is completely wrong and has at least been stopped at PYS where the screen is blanked now when those replays where coming on, this to is not ideal though as when the screen is blanked in the stadium it does imply their was something missed, far better to take control of these screens completely of the directors and give it to the TMO.

Sorry for the assumption you are happy with the status quo in that case its just your arguments against change led me to believe that.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 12 Nov 2015, 11:41 pm

2ndtimeround - no need to apologise but thanks anyway. Wink

Like you I want to see change, but I want to make sure it is well thought through and stands up to rigorous examination. If it doesn't withstand casual observations than it is unlikely to make it past the real decision makers or more importantly the decision funders.
In an ideal world I think having dedicated professional officials would be preferable, but the debate is whether the significant amount of money required could be more effectively used.

It is interesting that PYS take that approach to replays. In one way it is reassuring that someone is prepared to try something different, but in another it highlights the amateurish and inconsistent nature of interaction with the crowd. The League may not have control of the TV coverage but should provide clear direction on what can be shown at grounds. If the crowd had no expectation to see replays they would accept that - I personally feel that the replays encourage fans to be increasingly one-eyed and every time they are re-shown the effect of group psyche escalates.
Perhaps more importantly to the refereeing issues is that players can be seen scrutinising the replays, to see how the referee is performing and remind him if they have had a hard call. That has the potential to spread doubts in the ref's mind during the game and undermine his confidence.
An example of where the crowd psyche influenced events (and the players) culminated with Craig Joubert running off the pitch in the RWC. He didn't have recourse to the TMO to base his decision yet could see his blunder on the big screen and knew everyone else had too. If every decision was forensically pulled apart, both sides could find different faults, but the certain outcome is that the referee loses credibility every time.

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