12th May 2017, 15:36 | therfl

Match Officials’ Standards Panel making an impact

Match Officials’ Standards Panel making an impact

Nearly 12 months since it launched, the independent Match Officials’ Standards Panel has introduced a number of improvements that are helping develop officiating in the professional game.

The Panel, which is chaired by Janie Frampton, former CEO of Sports Officials UK, consists of former professional player Chris Joynt, former referee Stuart Cummings, former Premier League officials coach Jeff Pettitt and General Manager of Badminton Wales Sue Maughan.

Providing analysis and advice on areas for future improvement, the Match Officials’ Standards Panel, who report to the Rugby Football League Board and other stakeholders, proposed the following for the 2017 season:

  • Set measurements for match officials and use of Opta stats – focus on play-the-ball speed, accuracy of defence retreating full 10 metres and time of video referrals
  • Match official visits – pre-season match official club visits to become more refined in their delivery of rule interpretations and policies
  • Video referee panel reduction – panel now consists of three members from the match officials’ department to improve consistency and time of decisions
  • Refinement of club complaints process - managing and recording

On the recommendations, Chair of the Match Officials’ Standards Panel, Janie Frampton, said: “It’s promising to see a Panel with many levels of experience from the sporting world making such a positive difference in the game.

“This Panel was created to independently audit the quality of match officiating and the recommendations put in place are now enabling the team to monitor their own performance as well as improve consistency in a much faster game following the rule changes at the start of the season.

“We’re close to the halfway point of the season and the feedback received from the match officials has been extremely encouraging as we work together to get results on and off the field.”

Chris Joynt, said: “Having taken on this role and to see in such a short space of time the positive effect the Panel is having both on and off the field is very pleasing indeed.

“I feel the clubs have bought into what we are trying to achieve. With the honesty and support of all parties involved to date our game will certainly be in a better place.”

Rugby Football League Chief Operating Officer, Ralph Rimmer, added: “The influence of this work is already being felt ahead of schedule with several changes having been adopted for the 2017 season.

“Ultimately what these improvements mean is that we can analyse and evidence far more robustly the quality of Match Official performance. The panel have brought a great deal of expertise to this task and we expect further recommendations for implementation into next season.”