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 on where to concentrate our efforts. The most common situations are:
- judging the fairness of a short-range clearance (Rules 11.2.4 and 11.2.6),
- judging the fairness of a hoop-stroke from near or actually touching a wire (Rules 11.2.6 and 11.2.7),
- ruling whether a ball has run a hoop or not, or is in a position to do so (Rule 7),
- resolving offside situations (Rule 8),
- resolving wrong ball situations (Rule 10),
- judging the fairness of a hammer stroke (Rules 11.2.3, 11.2.4 and 11.2.5), and
- judging the seriousness of damage to the court (Rule 11.2.10).
Other faults and rule breaches will occur less frequently but still need to be borne in mind when asked to watch a stroke or make a ruling.
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 - 'it is more likely than not that the relevant event occurred' (Rule 11.3.1).
A good referee knows how to explain the tricky parts of the Rules - especially Rules 6 to 13. 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 - don't get side-tracked into debates about earlier history and how they got into this situation, it almost always doesn't matter! However, occasionally you will meet the situation covered in Rule 10.4, where the previous stroke was played with an opponent ball and neither side noticed until after the last stroke had been played.