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New Fourth Official Stands Her Ground

1 year ago By Wyn Tingley

Keeping an eye out for the goings-on in the dug-out and making sure the players/coaches behave is Katy - our new 4th Official

“Female officials are not the novelty they once were and my aim is to go as high as I can” Clare Daniels, First Premiership 4th Official, Sep

It was just a year ago that Premiership Rugby appointed it's first female fourth official (story) and it hasn't taken long for Clifton Rugby to follow suit.

Once promoted to the the National Leagues it a requirement for clubs to have a technical area manager and the duties involved can seem daunting...

However, Katy stepped up to the mark and enjoyed helping deliver a rugby match in National 2 South. The Club is grateful for her help and supportive of all volunteers wanting to be involved and enhance their rugby experience.

There are always volunteering opportunities on match day - from welcoming our lunch guests, pulling a pint behind the bar, supporting our team of ball boys/girls or just being around to offer a hand if needed on the gate, in the car park or in the stand.

Please ask what you can do - there's probably a pint in it for you from the Chairman!

In case you're interested in becoming part of the 4th official team, here are the duties of the role:

To supervise the technical area in respect of:

In National League games no more than 4 water carriers per team (including medical staff - the usual format is two water carriers and two medical staff) are permitted inside the technical area (see plan in Appendix I and also in Admin Instructions) and water can be supplied to players provided they move to pitch side to receive the same.

Water can be supplied to players at stoppages only (e.g. injuries and conversions. Not penalty kicks).

Water carriers should not be replacements/substitutes (where practicable) but, if they are, then tracksuit tops or a different coloured top to the playing colours of the team should be worn, team shirts should not be visible at any time.
Coaches/Directors of Rugby are not permitted to be water carriers.

In levels 3 and 4 (National Leagues 1 and 2 North and South) 5 replacements/substitutes are permitted.

A system of cards to identify both the replacement/substitutes and the reason for such replacement/substitute will be used in the National Leagues (levels two to four).
In the National Leagues the following system will apply.

All clubs will be issued with an electronic form of replacement/substitution cards (see Appendix II) prior to the commencement of the season. This will enable clubs to produce as many copies as they require. These replacement/substitution cards are also available from the NCA website.

It is the responsibility of the home club 4th Official to deliver the cards to the home and away team managers prior to the match.

The home clubs 4th Official will encourage the team managers to sign all cards prior to the match in order to save time when a side wishes to replace/substitute a player.
At the conclusion of the match the home clubs 4th Official is responsible for collection of the replacement/substitution card, in case they are required at a later date. It is the home club's responsibility to keep these cards to the end of the season.

Only two front row players can be substituted. A third front row replacement may take place in the case of injury/blood or otherwise/temporary suspension or sending off, and that replacement may have been previously substituted.

Replacements/substitutes should be recorded on the Match Result Sheet (Appendix III) and when all the front row replacements are used the nearside touch judge should be informed so that the match officials are aware.

Replacements/substitutes should either remain in the designated area outside the playing area (see pitch plan in Appendix I) or in the dedicated dugout, unless warming up. Warming up should only take place in the opponent's dead ball area.

When a team wishes to make a replacement, then the player coming on should be taken to the nearside touch judge by the 4th Official who will arrange with the referee for that player to enter the field of play. Replacements should only come on from the half way line and are NOT allowed to enter during kicks at goal or without the Referee's permission. A board/number should be provided which indicates the number of player coming off and if possible the player going on.

To ensure that players sent to the sin bin are off the field for 10 minutes PLAYING TIME.
Stoppages for injuries, half time and other incidents indicated by the referee do not count towards the 10 minutes. Whenever the Referee has to stop a match for any reason, he shall raise his arm vertically and blow his whistle as an indication to his touch judges/4th Official that he intends to stop his watch. This action will allow the No. 1 Touch Judge/4th Official to simultaneously adjust his watch. When the Referee wishes to restart the match the same process is reversed.

The Players sent to the sin bin must sit in the designated area (not the technical or dugout areas) provided by the home club and remain under the supervision of the 4th Official until the time has expired when they may return to the playing area.

Club officials should not repeatedly enquire of the 4th Official the remaining time of the sin bin.

When the 10 minutes has elapsed then the 4th Official should take the player to the nearside touch judge who will arrange with the referee for that players return to the field of play at the next stoppage in play.

Where a front row player is sent to the sin bin in the interest of safety, another suitably trained front row player may come on from the replacements/substitutes or a player previously replaced. If this happens then it does not need to be done immediately, but can take place anytime within the 10 minute period and the offenders

side can nominate any other player to come off for the period of the sin bin. If the sin bin substitution is to be reversed after 10 minutes, the substitution is made on safety grounds and must be at the first scrum.

If the team which has had the front row player sin binned cannot provide another trained front row player, the 4th Official should inform the nearside touch judge so that the Referee can be made aware as the game regulations do provide for uncontested scrums.

These changes should be recorded on the Match Result Sheet.

The laws of the game allow players who have to leave the field of play with an injury which is bleeding, a temporary replacement whilst the injury is treated.

A period of 15 minutes is allowed for that injury to be treated before that replacement becomes permanent.

The 15 minutes is running time and would include the half time period and the clock for this type of replacement is not stopped for injuries etc. unlike the requirement for timing of the sin bin.
If the injured player returns to the field and then has to leave it again for the same injury or another blood injury, then the time allowed for that period will be 15 minutes. This in effect means that every time a player leaves the field with a blood injury they have 15 minutes to return before any replacement becomes permanent.

Where a team has used its full compliment of replacements and a blood injury occurs, then a player who has been substituted and not replaced for an injury, may come on as a temporary replacement whilst that injury is treated.

All blood replacements should be recorded on the Match Result Sheet.

The 4th Official should act in accordance with the briefing given by the Referee and if any problems arise during the game then the nearside touch judge should be informed if necessary.

Updated 11:59 - 18 Nov 2017 by Roger Bealing

Where next?

Clifton Rugby vs Canterbury - Saturday KO 2.30pm National League Rugby is back at Cribbs Causeway!

Sat 26 Jan
Wanderers Old Centralians II
League TBC
Wanderers Old Centralians II
League 14:30
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Sat 2 Feb
League 14:30
Wanderers Old Centralians II
League 14:30

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