GC Refereeing: What Comes Up Most Often?
A competent GC referee should be able to find the right rule to answer any problem in a reasonable time by using the Index and Contents in the rule booklet - get used to using these.
But inevitably, some rules and situations come up much more often than others in real refereeing - this guides us where to concentrate our efforts. The most common situations are:
- judging the fairness of a short-range clearance (Rules 13(a)(6) and (8))
- judging the fairness of a hoop-stroke from near or actually touching a wire (Rules 13(a)(7) and (9))
Less common but still frequent situations:
- ruling whether a ball has run a hoop or not, or is in a position to do so (Rule 7)
- resolving wrong ball problems (Rule 11)
Least common situations:
- judging the fairness of a hammer stroke (Rule 13(a)(5) and (11))
- judging lawn damage from jump shots (Rule 13(a)(14)). (Regarding lawn damage arguably caused by the mallet, always check the face of the player's mallet to see if any debris has adhered. If the mallet has hit the lawn, there is usually evidence of dirt and grass adhering to the face.)
- resolving Non-Striking Faults involving a moving ball (Rule 12(a))
- judging boundary balls (Rule 6(g)) and offside balls (Rule 10(b))
Rare to be called to consider:
- Rules 13(a)(1) to (5) are situations taken from the AC Laws that rarely happen in GC because there is no continuation stroke to be earned - although a referee should check for them in hampered strokes.
- Rules 13(a)(12) to (14) cover situations that do crop up from time to time but a referee is only rarely Active when they occur.
Do consider what may be the likely faults when asked to watch a stroke, in order to know where to stand, what to mark and what to watch - but don't then be surprised when a player plays an apparently 'impossible' stroke cleanly. You need to be reasonably confident a fault has been committed before awarding it.
A good referee knows how to explain the tricky parts of the Rules - especially Rules 10, 11, 12 and 13(b). When a messy multiple wrong ball situation has occurred and the players are in dispute, get the players to focus on exactly what was the final wrong ball, as only that is rectified (Rule 11(f)) - don't get side-tracked into debates about earlier history and how they got into this situation, it doesn't matter!