SANZAR to trial new DC rules

2012-02-02 09:02

Cape Town - SANZAR is to trial new disciplinary rules during the 2012 Super Rugby competition, CEO Greg Peters announced on Thursday.

The changes follow a cross-country Working Group meeting with representatives across all areas of the game held in September last year, which conducted a ‘clean sheet’ review of the SANZAR judicial process.

The objectives of the review were to provide a system that is fair, consistent and simple with fewer full hearings and consequently reduced costs.

“SANZAR has long held the view that the disciplinary process could be enhanced to provide for a more consistent and simplified outcome,” said Peters.

“We believe that these changes are an important step in the right direction”.



Instances where a referee thinks an act of foul play has occurred but is not sure if a red card is warranted, or is unsure of the identity of a player

Where a player makes a complaint to a referee who did not see an incident

Can be in addition to a yellow card or penalty

Referred to the Citing Commissioner for review


Instances where a Citing Commissioner observes a serious act of foul play that is close to but not quite a red card

The Off-field yellow card is logged on the player’s disciplinary record in the same manner as an On-Field yellow card


Performs an initial assessment of citings, red cards or three yellow cards

Duty Judicial Officer may hold a brief teleconference with the player and/or his representative

Determines whether or not to offer the player a preliminary indication of penalty

May refer to a full judicial hearing

The player must accept he committed an act of foul play to be offered an indication of penalty

If player does not accept the indication of penalty the matter will be referred to full hearing


Where a full judicial hearing is required it will be held by videoconference or teleconference with ‘in-person’ hearings only taking place in exceptional circumstances

Other processes for the hearing will be the same as previously


Sanzar has a right of appeal the outcome of a judicial hearing on the following grounds:

Where there is substantial unfairness, or the penalty imposed on a player is clearly excessive or inadequate

Where there has been a fundamental error by the Judicial Officer in reaching his decision

Normal rights of Appeal apply for players

The Sanzar trial has been approved by the International Rugby Board (IRB) and will form an important part of the IRB’s own full review of Regulation 17 that governs the disciplinary process internationally.

The new system will come into operation when the Super Rugby tournament kicks off on February 24.


  • gregmcdavid - 2012-02-02 09:20

    Means nothing if the Aussie and Kiwi Citing Commissioner's continue to overlook their players while harshly judging the South Africans!

      Michael - 2012-02-02 09:46

      You make a good point there Greg but then discipline starts back home in the players' training. Coaches need to instill it in their players that they must go onto a field of play and play fair and within the rules and leave everynthing else to the refs and commissioners. I don't want to single out serial offenders but there are players who are so outrageously ill-disciplined and they go unpunished within their own teams for often being yellow-carded,red-carded it's unaccpetable.The team has to play with 14 players for 10 mins, without a valuable player for weeks due to suspension. In many instances such thuggery could be eliminated back at training grounds.

      Daryn - 2012-02-02 11:06

      Michael, have you every played rugby? You will know that this is nigh impossible, players are human, if you are attacked you retaliate right? If for the umpteenth time King Richie's transgressions are ignored you get frustrated, and the next time he tugs on you or puts an unnecessary hand in your face on the ground, you retaliate by shoving him back and get penalised for it (then the other coach's often use this ploy to minimise the number of opposition hoping that someone retaliates and gets removed from play for longer than just 10minutes). But I do agree with Michael, we have seen time and time again the same incident baring a harsher punishment for the "Dirty South African Players" as opposed to players from other franchises, and in some cases even just certain personalities being high profile and getting a lighter sentence as well.

  • Wimpie - 2012-02-02 09:26

    The problem lies with the "officials" can have as many rules as you like but if the officials "choose" not to see the infringements then the rules mean nothing. There should be an official disciplinary process for referees.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-02-02 09:38

    Until Paddy leaves, there will never be proper accountability, at least where his business partner Lawrence is involved. Talk about dodgy.

  • Cornelius - 2012-02-02 09:50

    Great, so we've allowed for even more "decision" making on the part of the officials... "that is close to, but not quite a red card". With such unambiguous statements I fail to see how any official can get any call wrong. The entire sport of Rugby Union has become a joke. The IRB / ZANZAR are scurrying all over the place to make it seem like they have a grip on reality. We know they do not. Playing rugby in today's IRB sanctioned competitions is like gambling in a Las Vegas casino. You can only really ever win when it suits the house.

  • paul.coetzee1 - 2012-02-02 10:30

    All these new rules, innovations, improvisions, side stepping, shifting the blame and so on and so on can very easily be sorted out with one simple move. Simply raise the standard of professional refereeing and make refs accountable for their decisions. If a player is incompetent he gets dropped. Why not a ref? Talk of rehabilitation is just an excuse to keep “your man” on the field. OK! refs are human, they will make mistakes. In cricket, these mistakes are remedied by the referral system. Why not in Rugby? Refs have become untouchable and nobody can challenge their incompetence, bias and even dishonesty. This is where the changes need to be made. The IRB can make a start by putting a honest and competent CEO in charge of the refereeing fraternity

      goyougoodthing - 2012-02-02 10:41

      The USA has just introduced an iPad app for assessors and referees to use which enables instant reporting on how a referee did and also on how the assessor sees things. They are trialing it this year, I hope it gets to SA soon. It was developed by their head of referees, an ex SA guy, Richard Every.

  • jandreleroux - 2012-02-02 11:01

    They can make all the rules they want but what about enforcing them? Consistency! The lines men have more power than before but also quieter than ever! My feeling is that this will be window dressing except when it comes to SA teams!

  • Andrew - 2012-02-02 11:58

    Quite honestly I don't have a great deal of confidence in the SARU representing the Bok's interests amongst their SANZAR colleagues. It showed during the last farcical RWC. Rugby needs officials that can stand up to close scrutiny in the integrity stakes. Self interest will destroy the one and only true 'beautiful game'

  • Andy - 2012-02-02 16:31

    Does it apply to the ref too?

  • Schalk - 2012-02-02 20:13

    are they going to implement the same system for referees?

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