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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:

Less common but still frequent situations:

Least common situations:

It is rare to be called to consider:


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 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, as only that is rectified (Rule 10.2) - don't get side-tracked into debates about earlier history and how they got into this situation, it almost always doesn't matter! However, it is just possible that you might meet the situation covered in Rule 10.5.4, where the previous stroke was played with an opponent ball and neither side noticed until after the last stroke had been played.