Touch judge

Touch judge

The touch judge is an official who monitors the touch-line in a game of rugby union or rugby league and raises a flag if the ball (or player carrying it) goes into touch. Touch judges also stand behind the posts to confirm that a goal has been scored following a penalty kick or conversion of a try. There are two touch judges, one for each touch-line.

Rugby union

Within the laws of the game, touch judges have other duties, mainly related to drawing foul play to the attention of the referee. (see Laws of Rugby Union section 6.B for more details.) In practice, however, many rugby union referees (especially at the top level) delegate further duties to their touch judges, including (but not limited to) keeping score and time, spotting forward passes and off-side offences, and checking the legality of the binding on the side of the scrum that the referee cannot see. In test matches, it is not uncommon for the referee and touch judges to be connected by a radio link to aid the communication of all this information. At lower levels, shouting and hand signals suffice.

Rugby league

In rugby league, touch judges can communicate with the referee verbally or through a number of specific flag and hand signals. These indicate specific breaches of the laws, for example forward pass, knock on and penalty offences, how play should restart and whether the ball was grounded correctly for a try. As in rugby union, touch judges stand behind the posts to confirm success of a penalty kick or the conversion of a try. Touch judge and referee signals and duties in rugby league are laid out in the laws of the game. In some matches, additional officials are used solely to determine whether a try has been correctly grounded. These are known as "in-goal" officials.

External links

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