Jonathan Kaplan says the decision to implement a white card during the Varsity Cup will help the game move forward.
The white card was first introduced in the inaugural Varsity Cup competition, but fell away after limited success. The Varsity Cup has long been used as a platform to innovate, especially when it comes to officiating and rule changes.
In the new system, 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. Writing on www.ratetheref.co.za, Kaplan says that Saru and the Varsity Cup deserve praise for their continuous innovation.
'The decision to trial the white card must be applauded,' says Kaplan. 'It may be a few years too late, but better late than never! There are so many matches, often those at the top tier which have been decided by referee error, I simply cannot believe that it has taken this long. It’s not the poor referees' fault.'
'We all make mistakes. It is a failing on the part of administration to understand the direction and needs of the modern game.'
Kaplan believes that the greater transparency in decision-making situations will benefit both players and officials, as well as the fans and the viewers on television.
'What this will do is cater for a greater degree of accuracy on the part of officials, and will be an inclusive management tool which will make the players feel as if they are part of the decision-making (around points scoring).
'It will also have the effect of eradicating officials who are not up to it. If referees keep getting it wrong, they will no longer be used in time.'
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