Two Heads Better Than One?

Last night was the first opportunity I had to see the new two referee system in action in the Yorkshire Cup game between Hull Stingrays and Sheffield Steelers. The move by the Elite League has caused much debate since it was announced two weeks ago, David Simms has said that he feels the £30,000 it has cost to implement could be better spent on marketing, while referee Tom Darnell thinks that it is a positive step that can help promote the game. Personally I have been in favour of this move so I was keen to see how it worked in reality.

Paul Staniforth and Marco Coenen were the men in charge and I pretty much agreed with every call they made. The most pleasing thing for me is that everything behind the play was picked up and called by the trailing ref. One of my biggest moans is when sly hooks and slashes behind the play go unpunished because the ref is keeping up with play and doesn’t see them. This looks like it could be eradicated under the two man system. Another pleasing aspect was that original offences and retaliations were being called. OK, I appreciate it’s early days, but the outlook is positive if last night is anything to go by. The only negative I can see is that the new officials uniforms could clash with teams playing in very dark colours. Not an issue last night with Hull in white and Sheffield in dirty green, but after watching highlights of Newcastle v Coventry it’s pretty obvious there will be clashes. I only hope that CH Sports have an alternative kit available.


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