Rugby Coaches Against the Misuse of the term "Scrum" by TV Sports Announcers
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Misuse of the the term "scrum" by major network TV sports announcers is hurting youth recruiting to the game of Rugby.
The sports announcing world has turned any chaotic experience going on in a sporting event to be described as a "scrum". This creates a false stigma against what a scrum is, and damages perception of one of the game's most common set-pieces to be uncontrolled, unplanned, and dangerous.
What TV announcers call a scrum: bodies diving after a loose ball or puck, completely unplanned flurry of activity over a loose ball by opponents, or the ball potentially changing hands at the bottom of an American Football "dog pile".
What a Scrum actually is: a highly controlled, planned event of a rugby match to restart play from a certain type of violation. Scrums are timed, carefully monitored and controlled with the ball in the position of a single player fed into 16 intentionally bound players (8 on opposing sides) who are pushing for position over the ball with their feet. Contact rules, as well as specific engagement rules apply - particularly in the youth ranks. A scrum is only started by a referee with voice commands "crouch, bind, & set". Scrums are taught to be participated in by each individual position within the scrum. This is also an important & specific test for coaches, and referees to ensure player welfare.
The term is so popularly used by American football, basketball & hockey announcers that often parents of potential youth recruits automatically assume that their son/daughter participating in anything resembling what they understand is a "scrum" is dangerous & unplanned.
We would like to make the TV announcing world aware of this and politely ask that it is not used to describe the chaotic, unplanned events of another sport. We thank you in advance for your support of the rise of American Rugby.
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