Video technology approved
April 1, 2000

Following trials by Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, the IRB Council have approved the use of video technology, when available, to assist referees.

This judgement preceded a disputed try by France's Thomas Castaignede against Italy in their Six Nations clash this weekend. The highly dubious try was given but the decision given was shown to be incorrect when viewed on slow motion replay.

Use of 'technological devices' will limit the referee to consulting the video official when making in-goal decisions related to tries and kicks at goal, a player who could be in-touch close to the goal line in the act of scoring, touch in goal and the ball being made dead.

Australia's John O'Neill told Council that the Super 12 experience with video technology had been very positive and used regularly for in-goal situations. "We found it enhanced the referee's decision-making and added a lot of theatre to the game with the crowds quickly becoming involved."

New Zealand's Tim Gresson said the introduction of video aids had been very successful and widely acclaimed but commented there had been a few occasions when decisions took too long to confirm.

The Council also approved a proposal permitting the use of a timekeeper to keep time and/or score. Until now this has been the sole responsibility of the referee.

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