Friday, August 1, 2014

8.3.4 If the referee is not sure whether an action warrants a penalty, a penalty will not be assessed.

Today’s rule continues the theme of “If you didn’t see it, you can’t call it”.

Officials need to be in the habit of looking for the beginning, middle, and end of an action in order to judge if the action was 1) Illegal and 2) had impact. If you aren’t sure if the action was illegal, or if you aren’t sure that the impact met the standard for a penalty, then no penalty should be assessed.

Sometimes as officials, we are so focused on keeping the game “safe”, that when an official sees something that looks bad, but illegal contact cannot be determined, a penalty is called in the idea that it is keeping the game safe. This is flawed officiating. While we are charged with keeping the game safe, Derby is a high impact, full contact game. There are going to be violent, legal hits. As officials we need to be sure that the contact is illegal and be able to communicate exactly how the contact was illegal in the context of the rules.

So while today's rule is fairly straight forward. It is also very critical to remember.