Cape Town - Retired South African referee Jonathan
Kaplan says the over-use of the white card is becoming a problem in the Varsity
The white card, which allows coaches and
captains to refer decisions for review to Television Match Officials (TMOs)
during games, was reintroduced in the Varsity Cup this season.
According to Varsity Cup regulations, each
team is allowed two referrals per match, one in each half, and this has to be
requested almost immediately after the incident they would like to be reviewed.
There is no limit on what can be reviewed
provided it concerns an infringement of a Law or incorrect application, and
teams may call for a referral on their own play.
In Monday night’s game between NWU-Pukke
and UCT, the white card was used on a few occasions, and it greatly extended the duration of the match.
In one incident, where UCT forced a lineout
five metres from the Pukke tryline, the hosts were allowed to refer a decision
back to the UCT tryline. It was several minutes later but play was called all
the way back after the TMO spotted an infringement
Kaplan, who commented on the match via his website
www.ratetheref.co.za, was not happy with the way in which the white card was
He wrote: “My biggest frustration on the
night was the liberal use of the white card for seemingly innocuous human
error. The white card has so much potential but it simply cannot be used for
any referee error as it breaks the flow and fabric of each game. I really
believe that it can be a very useful tool in terms of accuracy for try scoring
alone. The poor refs are left twiddling their thumbs when there are too many
CLICK HERE to read Kaplan’s full column