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: