Town - Almost half of the White Card referrals in this year’s
FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International matches have been
successful, and the initiative is making an impressive impact in overturning
Cards, which allow teams to challenge the referee during a break in play if
they feel a wrong call has been made, can be used twice in a match by each
team, once in each half. The success rate thus far has been 41.18 percent.
the successful White Cards used so far in the Varsity Cup, 57% have
overturned a foul play decision, meaning that dangerous and early tackles are
being clamped down on thanks to the use of technology.
White Card, which was first used during the inaugural season in 2008, made a
comeback this year and is endorsed by the South African Rugby Union's (SARU)
Andre Watson, SARU General Manager Referees.
Cup prides itself on innovation, and Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Sports,
believes that the use of technology in sport is a good thing.
“Look at the way
the Decision Review System in cricket has changed and progressed over the last
few years,” he says, but adds that for a system to be understood well takes a
bit of patience.
“Something like the White Card has a long way to go, but we
have to remember that this is a system nobody has used before, so it will take
time for players to understand it,” he says.
downside of the White Card is the time it takes out of the game, which can
disrupt the flow of the game, but it’s something that Bosman believes will get
better the more the system is used.
average time it’s taken this season for a referral to be made is a minute and
57 seconds for White Card decisions, compared to the one minute 29 seconds for
referee referrals. It is, however, important to consider the nature of
decisions being referred - with a large number relating to foul play, it’s
natural that these decisions will take longer.
more the system is used, the easier it will get for players to know when to use
it and when not,” says Bosman. We all want to see the correct decision at the
end of the day, and it’s clear that the system does work.”