The white card, which allows coaches and captains to refer decisions for review to Television Match Officials (TMOs) during games, will be reintroduced in the FNB Varsity Cup next season, the tournament organisers and South African Rugby Union (SARU) announced on Sunday.
The white card was first introduced in the inaugural FNB Varsity Cup competition in 2008, but a decision was made to reintroduce the white card next season with the two referees system.
The objective is to ensure that the correct decisions are made consistently, while simultaneously empowering the coaches and captains to assist in this process.
Andre Watson, SARU’s GM of referees, and FNB Varsity Cup CEO Duitser Bosman were positive that the reintroduction of the white card would improve the competition.
“This is a step in the right direction to assist referees to get that important decision correct, and to put some responsibility on the captain and coaches to help with the process,” said Watson.
Bosman added: “We at Varsity Cup started with the two referees this year and we are reintroducing the white card this coming year in a process to get the game as fair as possible.”
Each team will be allowed only two referrals per match, one in each half, and this has to be requested almost immediately after the incident they would like to be reviewed. There will be no limit on what can be reviewed provided it concerns an infringement of a Law or incorrect application, and teams may call for a referral on their own play.
The outcome of the review by the TMO and the referee is final.
The referral process will work as follows:
- The coach will inform the TMO of the request for a review via radio contact.
- The coach has to provide the details of the referral including the location on the field, the time it occurred and the phase in which it took place.
- The TMO will then inform the referee about the referral
- At the next stoppage of play the TMO will review the incident and advise the referee on the appropriate decision to be taken.
The 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International will begin on February 9 and the matches will be broadcast on SuperSport channel 201.