IRB to trial public voting system for citings

Following the recent spate of citings, the IRB is introducing a new public voting system to determine the sanction for each disciplinary case.

Knowledgeable rugby supporters will be asked to watch video replays of the reported incident and then vote – online or by text – on the duration of ban that should be awarded.

Inconsistency has been a key bugbear for rugby supporters all over the world, and whenever a sanction is handed out, there is always much discussion on the outcome and various differences of opinion.

The fact that only a handful of people make up the disciplinary panel in each case is bound to result in inconsistent decisions that the majority of people do not agree with, and perhaps the public vote will result in more people being happy with the outcome.

An IRB spokesman said, “We’re always looking at new ways to engage with rugby followers, and this is an issue that people always feel strongly about. Using the collective knowledge of the rugby public will ensure greater consistency and transparency across the disciplinary procedures.”

The process for a citing to occur will not change, with the citing commissioners still responsible for identifying incidents of misconduct or behaviour contrary to the interests of the game – the public will not have the opportunity to cite players. Once a player has been cited, footage of the alleged incidents will be made available on the IRB website, and through a new iPhone and Android app, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

The public will then have 3 days in which to view and assess the footage before making their recommendation for the ban (if at all). The administrators will collate the results and publish the outcome within 24 hours of the vote closing.

“The whole process will be done and dusted within a week, and will save the time and expense of convening a disciplinary panel and it will remove much of the uncertainty for the players involved.”

“We should also stress that the public’s decision can be overruled if deemed unfair, or contrary to the player’s interests, but having input from the public will help to improve this aspect of our game.”

What do you think? Do you think this is a fair way of doing things?

To put it to the test, have a vote in our poll to determine whether the recent 32-week citing for Callum Clark was fair or not.

Here’s the video:

And here’s the poll:

Callum Clark

2 thoughts on “IRB to trial public voting system for citings

  1. But on a serious note it wouldn’t work because it would just become a popularity contest. English players would always get the shortest bans because they have the most fans to go on and vote for short bans. Or maybe they would get the longest because everyone hates them so would vote to give them the longest bans. Either way the public would chose according to the teams/countries/players they like. I can’t believe i fell for this.

  2. I think that the more that can be done about this the better. It is destroying the game of rugby. I have a few incidents that I would like to comment on.
    1. – I remember watching a NZ – SA match (I think it was 2012). Rit.chie Macall was warned by the ref 3 times in the 5 yard line for professional infringement. Is he as an NZ immune from a yellow card. I have found the refs very lenient on NZ, is there a bigger picutre here where the refs are obliged to blow in favour of NZ no matter what. Or am I missing something?
    2. Last year 2012 in the 1st SA Arg encounter. the wistle had blown, one of the Arg front-row ran across in full view on screen and tackled Bismarck Du Plessis (SA) -about 15 to 20 metres away from the breakdown. The Arg prop tackled B duP side on on his knees. B duP was stretchered off and has been out of rugby for nine months needing surgery on his knee as a result. Why was there no citing of this case. Or am I the only one who saw it.
    3. This recent incident where 2 Arg players were sighted in the last game. i thing that a dangerous incident like trying to gauge a persons eye out needs drastic attention. Even if the 4 th ref if he had lost comms, could run down onto the field and stop play and the game taken back to that point is important. Or was the 3rd ref eating peanuts and watching baseball on another tv set. If we have a tv ref we need to use him.
    4. If it is a try in question – try or no try. The 3rd ref should be able to go back up to and even past the 3rd move if necessary and judge if there is any reason why no try. I remember a game SA vs NZ, where there was a definite forward pass, possibly 2 on the last 3 moves before they scored. No question Try. Let’s use the tv ref to bring continuity and fairness into the game, therefore I propose that he has more power to make a decision, as many a game has been won or lost by the ref!!!
    Tnx DrK

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