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Referees agree interpretation on head high tackle being anything above navel

By Garth Belic | 19 May 2017

A recent meeting of Newcastle and Hunter Rugby referees have resolved that any tackle above the navel constitutes an illegal head high tackle, relieving weeks of confusion for referees and players.

The referees, who conveniently train at Hawkins oval, meet regularly to discuss IRB rugby by-laws and perform realistic on-field drills required for peak performance.

The start of the training is a fitness component. One drill, pictured above, involves shuttle runs while fellow referees stand around forming the equivalent of a WWE lumberjack match yelling cliche sideline abuse like "he's been doing it all day ref" and "Oi sirrrrrrr".

After the fitness component is complete, the referees will sit around a whiteboard and workshop different ways to ensure their interpretation of rules are sufficiently inconsistent from one week to the next.

"It just makes the game more interesting for us from week to week" said senior official Tony Chalmers.

Earl Hebner, an aspiring NHRU referee, mentioned to the Gazette that the training really opened his eyes to the inner workings of this important position on the field. 

"I had no idea the majority of on-field decisions are made using a magic eight ball" said Hebner.

Teams are responding to the new rules on head high tackles by taking preference on midgets, dwarves, little people and/or the vertically challenged to cut down parts of the body for which legal tackling is difficult. 

Griffins sixth assistant coach said they are trialling short people with disproportionate thigh to body ratios.

More to come

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