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TheBFG
16-09-15, 09:09
World Rugby is to trial new laws during a series of upcoming tournaments in 2016.

World Rugby will trail a new laws at The Pacific Challenge, U20 Trophy, Tbilisi Cup, Nations Cup, Principality Cup in Wales, France’s Academy League, the National Rugby Championship in Australia and England’s Army Premiership throughout 2016.

Yesterday’s announcement, published on the governing bodies website, is part of a complete health check that ensures ‘the sport continues to develop at all levels around the world’. Indeed World Rugby are trialling these law variations in order to promote ‘player welfare, law simplification and spectator experience’.

Possibly the most radical proposal is to change the sports scoring system. In order to promote attacking play World Rugby have announced that in all of the above tournaments, with the exception of the Army Premiership, six points will be awarded for a try, and two each for a conversion, penalty and drop goal. In a further variation, no conversions will be taken after a penalty try has been scored, instead teams will automatically be awarded eight points.

Failed restarts will also be punished by the awarding of a free kick in the middle of the field instead of a scrum. However teams will be not be able to elect for a scrum from the resultant free kick, instead they will have to choose between a tap and go or a kick to touch.

Changes to the maul have also been unveiled. Mauls will now have to move forward within five seconds of being established. If the attacking maul fails to gain any momentum after five seconds and the referee can see the ball, ‘a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge’. If the ball does not emerge a scrum will be ordered.

The scrum will also be affected the proposed changes. While the current scrum sequence of ‘crouch, bind, set’ has reduced front row injuries by 50% by ‘reducing forces on engagement by 25 per cent’, World Rugby remain worried by the rate of scrum completions. Therefore the sequence will now change to just crouch and bind.

In the crouch position ‘front rows will be shoulder to shoulder with their opponents, stable and supporting their own weight without pushing’. Upon the bind call being made by the referee, ‘props will position their arms in the correct ‘bind’ position. The front rows (+ back 5 players) will tighten binds and set themselves for the throw-in’.

Defending teams will also be discouraged from wheeling the scrum by awarding the attacking team with a new scrum if wheeling does occur. In a situation where a team is unable to supply front row cover due to in game injuries or suffer a sending off, each team will have to commit to involving eight players in uncontested scrums. This differs from the current law, where it is possible to have uncontested scrums involving less than the sixteen players required.

Scrum halves will continue to have to throw the ball into the scrum straight and square, but will now be allowed to align his shoulder to the centre of the scrum. This change will have the effect of allowing the scrum half to ‘stand a shoulder width towards his side of the middle line’ of the set piece. The scrum half can also expect to receive a signal from his hooker that he is ready to strike the ball. It is hoped that by allowing the hookers signal for the feed it will encourage them to strike the ball early.

The advantage rule will also be overhauled for the duration of the trail. In a situation where a number of penalties have been conceded during a period of advantage, the attacking team’s captain be be allowed select from which penalty he would like to restart the game.

In a bid to stop defending sides giving away penalties after 80 minutes has expired, if awarded a penalty, attacking sides will be allowed kick for touch and and take the resultant line out. The game will then be brought to a close upon the next occasion in which the ball goes dead. Unless of course another penalty is awarded. This would be a welcomed new departure, as defending sides would run the risk of having to defend a set piece in time added on.

Five meter drop outs will also be trialled in the event of an attacking team knocking on the ball or throwing a forward pass in the defending team’s in goal area. Although the defending team would still have the option to scrum if they so wish, the trials will offer the opportunity of taking a five meter drop out instead.

Finally World Rugby has moved to clarify four aspects of the laws relating to the ball being in touch. At the moment if a player is juggling with possession, but not in contact with the ball, and puts his foot on the touchline, he is deemed not to be in touch. However under the proposed changes, that player would be deemed to be in touch, despite the fact that he may not be in contact with the ball.

It has also been confirmed that players may ‘jump from the playing area and return a ball to play that has reached the plane of touch, provided the player does so before he or she lands in touch’.

Players whose momentum takes him or her over the touchline, will be permitted to return the ball to play, provided that neither the player nor the ball lands in touch before the ball is released.

Last but not least, players who are in touch and who catch or pick up the ball before it has reached the plane of touch, are now deemed to have taken the ball off the field of play.

The aim of the new laws is to speed up the game. This will certainly be the case with the changes to the restart laws and those in the scrum. However critics will point to the fact that the scrum should remain a contest, and allowing the scrum half feed to the ball from his own side, is far too advantageous to the attacking team. Nevertheless allowing teams kick the ball to touch from penalties that have been won after the 80th minute is to be welcomed.

http://www.punditarena.com/rugby/adrumm/world-rugby-to-trial-new-laws/

crossref
16-09-15, 11:09
that's certainly a lot of change.

Phil E
16-09-15, 12:09
Some thoughts.


Failed restarts will also be punished by the awarding of a free kick in the middle of the field instead of a scrum. However teams will be not be able to elect for a scrum from the resultant free kick, instead they will have to choose between a tap and go or a kick to touch.

So they can't just kick it down field then? Badly worded? Do you have to kick for touch (if you don't tap it). What happens if you fail to make touch?


Defending teams will also be discouraged from wheeling the scrum by awarding the attacking team with a new scrum if wheeling does occur.

Do they really mean "attacking team" in the law definition sense? Do they just mean no turnovers (as for U19) or do they mean the team in the opponents half gets it after a wheel?


Scrum halves will continue to have to throw the ball into the scrum straight and square, but will now be allowed to align his shoulder to the centre of the scrum. This change will have the effect of allowing the scrum half to ‘stand a shoulder width towards his side of the middle line’ of the set piece.

So no contest for the ball then? Might as well just let him sling it into the second row. Or is this an attempt to teach hookers to hook without competition?


The scrum half can also expect to receive a signal from his hooker that he is ready to strike the ball. It is hoped that by allowing the hookers signal for the feed it will encourage them to strike the ball early.

What's new about that? Or is it a thinly disguised way of saying the SH doesn't have to put it in without delay? He can instead wait for the hooker to be ready?


Finally World Rugby has moved to clarify four aspects of the laws relating to the ball being in touch.................

Is this the long awaited clean up of the in touch definitions?

crossref
16-09-15, 12:09
Is this the long awaited clean up of the in touch definitions?

not just a clean up -- this :


Last but not least, players who are in touch and who catch or pick up the ball before it has reached the plane of touch, are now deemed to have taken the ball off the field of play.

Is a rather significant change...

FlipFlop
16-09-15, 15:09
but but but....

Failed restarts will also be punished by the awarding of a free kick in the middle of the field instead of a scrum. However teams will be not be able to elect for a scrum from the resultant free kick, instead they will have to choose between a tap and go or a kick to touch.

A FK to touch from the half-way doesn't result in a gain in ground. So why would they do that?

crossref
16-09-15, 16:09
here is the document from WorldRugby that explains these trials properly.

http://pulse-static-files.s3.amazonaws.com/test/worldrugby/document/2015/09/05/0b9c59b0-bd64-449d-94be-6d6ef938f7f2/150906_Law_Trials.pdf

for the FK one, it actually says


To increase ball in play time, penalise poor kicks and reduce scrum time, the sevens variations for kick-off sanctions will apply: Free kick at the centre of the halfway line. There is not a scrum option from this free kick.

the journalist's re-write is not helpful.

Other illogicalities in the article pointed out above disappear when you read the actual text.

crossref
16-09-15, 16:09
to me this is the oddest one, by a long way ..


Law 20.6(d) How scrum-half throws the ball into scrum
The scrum half must throw the ball in straight, but is allowed to align his shoulder on the middle line of the scrum, therefore allowing him to stand a shoulder width towards his side of the middle line. This is designed to further promote scrum stability and enhance player welfare by reducing the pressure on the hooker striking the ball.

so he throws it straight ---- but not down the middle.

Phil E
16-09-15, 16:09
the journalist's re-write is not helpful.

Other illogicalities in the article pointed out above disappear when you read the actual text.


That is the biggest understatement ever!

The journalistic re-write managed to completely change a lot of the law trials!!

OB..
16-09-15, 17:09
so he throws it straight ---- but not down the middle.I presume part of the ball has to be over the centre line in both cases.

If you stand off-centre, then you have to throw the ball parallel to the front row.
If you stand centrally, you can angle the throw slightly towards your own hooker.

I would have thought the second was more favourable.

Any expert hookers care to comment?

crossref
16-09-15, 17:09
the wheeling trial is interesting --


Law 20.11 Wheeling the scrum
In order to promote, quicker, completed scrums and enhance player safety, the law trial is aimed at discouraging the team not in possession from wheeling the scrum. 20.11 (b) will be applied as follows: The new scrum is formed at the place where the previous scrum ended. If neither team win possession, the ball is thrown in by the team that previously threw it in.

which doesn't make sense, the way it's written, but what I think it means is after a wheel, the ball is always thrown in by the same team who threw it in before.


Which means that I think we'll see a lot MORE wheeling, as the team who throws in will wheel as a matter of course, to provide a better platform for the 9 or 8, safe in the knoweldge that if it wheels too much, doesn't matter, they'll get the throw in again ....

I think WorldRugby are very confused here : if they want to discourage wheeling, then why not simply ban wheeling (as is the case in U19).

MrQeu
16-09-15, 17:09
It's a trial. They want to see the impact. If it's negative, then it's not accepted.

Rushforth
16-09-15, 17:09
I presume part of the ball has to be over the centre line in both cases.

If you stand off-centre, then you have to throw the ball parallel to the front row.
If you stand centrally, you can angle the throw slightly towards your own hooker.

I would have thought the second was more favourable.

Any expert hookers care to comment?

I don't claim to be an expert hooker, but when I played that position in the 90's (pre-"hit" escalation) any front row I was part of did well on ball against the head.

A competent hooker should win the majority of own ball regardless of how the ball is put in. A good hooker - in the 90's and perhaps again - will be able to actually hook some opposition ball too (fair contest). But this is only really possible if the feed is straight, as it then (usually) was.

One of my scrum-halves - himself a referee by that time - told me years later that standing off-centre was harder to detect than the crooked feed.

But OB.., you are correct that tan(8°) = 14 cm per metre over the width of a 3-4-1 scrum makes things easier.

crossref
16-09-15, 17:09
I wonder how they measure the impact. if the objective is "quicker, completed scrums and enhance player safety" then presuambly what they want is simply fewer wheels.

Ian_Cook
16-09-15, 20:09
Possibly the most radical proposal is to change the sports scoring system.....six points will be awarded for a try, and two each for a conversion, penalty and drop goal.

I prefer the current NRC Aussie system, 5 point tries with 3 point conversions. You still get eight point converted tries, but having the split this way helps to maintain the need for a good goal-kicker. Goes part way to restoring the relative value of try and conversion (60%) from when tries were only worth three points (67%)


In a further variation, no conversions will be taken after a penalty try has been scored, instead teams will automatically be awarded eight points.

Fair enough, but I can't see why


Failed restarts will also be punished by the awarding of a free kick in the middle of the field instead of a scrum. However teams will be not be able to elect for a scrum from the resultant free kick, instead they will have to choose between a tap and go or a kick to touch.

Works for Sevens so no reason why it shouldn't work for 15s


Changes to the maul have also been unveiled. Mauls will now have to move forward within five seconds of being established. If the attacking maul fails to gain any momentum after five seconds and the referee can see the ball, ‘a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge’. If the ball does not emerge a scrum will be ordered.

Disappointed that this is all they are offering. Frankly, I don't think this will make any difference... mauls are still just legalised obstruction IMO.


The scrum will also be affected the proposed changes. While the current scrum sequence of ‘crouch, bind, set’ has reduced front row injuries by 50% by ‘reducing forces on engagement by 25 per cent’, World Rugby remain worried by the rate of scrum completions. Therefore the sequence will now change to just crouch and bind.

In the crouch position ‘front rows will be shoulder to shoulder with their opponents, stable and supporting their own weight without pushing’. Upon the bind call being made by the referee, ‘props will position their arms in the correct ‘bind’ position. The front rows (+ back 5 players) will tighten binds and set themselves for the throw-in’.

I can't see how this will fix anything. The issues are with illegalities in the front row; boring, driving in and up, pulling down etc. Monkeying with the engagement sequence does little if anything to address the issue of front row players doing illegal stuff after the ball goes in!


Defending teams will also be discouraged from wheeling the scrum by awarding the attacking team with a new scrum if wheeling does occur.

Pointless. Just use the U19 scrum laws and don't allow any wheeling at all!

20.11 SCRUM WHEELED
(a) No wheeling. A team must not intentionally wheel a scrum.
Sanction: Penalty kick

If a wheel reaches 45 degrees, the referee must stop play. If the wheel is unintentional, the referee orders another scrum at the place where the scrum is stopped. The same team throws in the ball.

Take away the incentive to wheel and you take away the reasons for FR players not pushing straight!


In a situation where a team is unable to supply front row cover due to in game injuries or suffer a sending off, each team will have to commit to involving eight players in uncontested scrums. This differs from the current law, where it is possible to have uncontested scrums involving less than the sixteen players required.

Ok.


Scrum halves will continue to have to throw the ball into the scrum straight and square, but will now be allowed to align his shoulder to the centre of the scrum. This change will have the effect of allowing the scrum half to ‘stand a shoulder width towards his side of the middle line’ of the set piece.

What? Presumably he will have to roll the ball parallel to be middle line rather than along it?

I can see what they are trying to do here. They are trying to stop this situation where two evenly matched packs are pushing but the ball is not being hooked because neither hooker is willing to stop pushing to hook it lest his scrum start going backwards.

It would be easier to just make it illegal for either hooker to push until the ball has been hooked. If referees enforced this Law...

Law 20.2 (c) Hooker in a position to hook. Until the ball is thrown in, the hooker must be in a position to hook the ball. The hookers must have both feet on the ground, with their weight firmly on at least one foot. A hooker’s foremost foot must not be in front of the foremost foot of that team’s props.
Sanction: Free Kick

...then it wouldn't happen. A hooker should not be allowed to stand in such a position that he effectively becomes a third prop!


The scrum half can also expect to receive a signal from his hooker that he is ready to strike the ball. It is hoped that by allowing the hookers signal for the feed it will encourage them to strike the ball early.

If this replaces the referee signalling the put in then I am 100% in favour. The hooker of the team throwing in the best person on the field to know when he needs to get the ball in.


The advantage rule will also be overhauled for the duration of the trail. In a situation where a number of penalties have been conceded during a period of advantage, the attacking team’s captain be allowed select from which penalty he would like to restart the game.

Good idea, but they missed a chance to have an official means to allow the team with the advantage to signal that they want the penalty.


In a bid to stop defending sides giving away penalties after 80 minutes has expired, if awarded a penalty, attacking sides will be allowed kick for touch and and take the resultant line out. The game will then be brought to a close upon the next occasion in which the ball goes dead. Unless of course another penalty is awarded. This would be a welcomed new departure, as defending sides would run the risk of having to defend a set piece in time added on.

Same as the Aussie NRC. If the team wants to end the game, they have to take a tap kick first and then kick into touch.


Five meter drop outs will also be trialled in the event of an attacking team knocking on the ball or throwing a forward pass in the defending team’s in goal area. Although the defending team would still have the option to scrum if they so wish, the trials will offer the opportunity of taking a five meter drop out instead.

Fair enough. Can't see why not.


Finally World Rugby has moved to clarify four aspects of the laws relating to the ball being in touch. At the moment if a player is juggling with possession, but not in contact with the ball, and puts his foot on the touchline, he is deemed not to be in touch. However under the proposed changes, that player would be deemed to be in touch, despite the fact that he may not be in contact with the ball.

Fine, but why not just go the whole nine yards and say that a player juggling the ball is "in possession". It would cover everything then, not just touch


It has also been confirmed that players may ‘jump from the playing area and return a ball to play that has reached the plane of touch, provided the player does so before he or she lands in touch’.

Players whose momentum takes him or her over the touchline, will be permitted to return the ball to play, provided that neither the player nor the ball lands in touch before the ball is released.

Yes and about time this was trialled. I always felt that where the player landed after playing the ball should be irrelevant


Last but not least, players who are in touch and who catch or pick up the ball before it has reached the plane of touch, are now deemed to have taken the ball off the field of play.

I'm OK with this, but frankly, I think we should just adopt the RL touch laws (minus the bits that relate only to RL such as a player in the play-the-ball)

From SECTION 9: TOUCH AND TOUCH IN-GOAL

Ball in touch: The ball is in touch when it or a player in contact with it touches the touch line or the ground beyond the touch line or any object on or outside the touch

Jumping player: The ball is in touch if a player jumps from touch and knocks ball back while off the ground touches the ball. The ball is not in touch if during flight it crosses the touch line but is knocked back by a player who is off the ground after jumping from the field of play.

Touch in-goal: The ball is in touch in-goal when it or a player in contact with it touches the touch in-goal line, or any object on or outside the touch in-goal line.

Points of Entry: When a ball has entered touch or touch in-goal, the point of entry shall be taken as the point at which the ball first crossed the touch or touch in-goal line.

Not played-at: In all aspects of play, a player who does not deliberately play at the ball (eg. ricochet or rebound) will not be disadvantaged by a consequent restart of play when the ball has gone dead or into touch.

chbg
16-09-15, 21:09
the wheeling trial is interesting --

which doesn't make sense, the way it's written, but what I think it means is after a wheel, the ball is always thrown in by the same team who threw it in before.

Which means that I think we'll see a lot MORE wheeling, as the team who throws in will wheel as a matter of course, to provide a better platform for the 9 or 8, safe in the knoweldge that if it wheels too much, doesn't matter, they'll get the throw in again ....

I think WorldRugby are very confused here : if they want to discourage wheeling, then why not simply ban wheeling (as is the case in U19).

Not confused, if read in conjunction with 20.11a:
If a scrum is wheeled through more than 90 degrees, so that the middle line has passed beyond a position parallel to the touchline, the referee must stop play and order another scrum.

Without alternative direction, the same team throws in.

The explanation is clear - they wish to discourage wheeling by the "team not in possession". It is possibly accepted that the team in possession of the ball will wish for a controlled wheel, which should be safer than a disruptive wheel.

Wedgie
16-09-15, 22:09
It's a trial. They want to see the impact. If it's negative, then it's not accepted.

Who assesses the impact? Players? World Rugby Assessors? One man or his dog?

Camquin
16-09-15, 23:09
Touch icarification is useful - but could go further.
Time for a line out - yes I can see why that is in.
Maul is just a carification after all a maul has to be moving.
Scrum, they will just feed from closer to their hooker. Attacking side will wheel.I think theu have this wrong.

5m drop out - why should the attacker get a better result from knocking on than for being forced over the dead ball ine or into touch in goal.

I also do not understand the variation to 3.5(h) to discourage uncontested scrums we will have uncontested scrums ???

In order to avoid the ball being out of site - why don't we get rid of two forwards and drop rucks and mauls.

All in all it looks a bit of a muggers buddle to me.

Camquin