World Rugby Announces Television Match Official (TMO) Protocol Amendment


World Rugby has announced a minor amendment to the Television Match Official (TMO) protocol within Law 6 to provide the match official team with greater decision-making support when applying the high tackle sanction framework for dangerous shoulder charges and high tackles.

Operational immediately, it will be mandatory for the TMO to be involved in the verification process to confirm any red card decisions which are linked to the referee’s use of the framework as follows:

  • 4.6: If the referee determines that a dangerous high tackle or shoulder charge warrants a red card, then the referee must firstly verify the decision with the TMO. Both the referee and TMO should use the High Tackle Sanction Framework to determine whether a red card is the correct sanction.

The amendment to aid decision-making follows an initial review of progress since the framework’s implementation in May 2019 by the international federation’s Executive Committee with the objective of ensuring that the important player welfare initiative continues to optimise clear and consistent officiating.

Importantly, the amendment enables the match officials to have full use of the comprehensive Hawkeye technology that will operate at Rugby World Cup 2019 to support on-field decision making. The committee has given its full backing to the process, its implementation by the match officials and has endorsed the continued close collaboration and communication between coaches, players and match officials ahead of Rugby World Cup.

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