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Bryan
24-07-05, 05:07
Have a look at the new ELV that the IRB are testing in South Africa. Seems as there are more to come in Argentina regarding scrummaging.

Click here for the new ELV (http://www.planet-rugby.com/Off_The_Field/Laws_And_Referees/Law_Discussions/story_44941.shtml )

Food for thought...
-Bryan

madref
24-07-05, 11:07
Hello All

At first glance I like line out numbers, what a pain the current law of numbers is to police.

Love the kicking variations passing back into 22 and the penalty.

Supporting in line out, without TJ this would be difficult to police lower down you physically can't see both side of the line.

Touch laws I think are just about right.

David

robertti
24-07-05, 12:07
Numbers in the lineout is an issue that could work; it can be a pain to police at the moment.

I really don't like the idea of players not being able to kick for touch from penalties in their opponent's half. Firstly whats the point of changing the law, its not a concern at the moment? Secondly, it is really a law that would favour the infringing side because the non-infringing side would have less options to benefit from their opponent's offences. And Thirdly it would result in alot more kicks at goal because the lineout option has been diminished; this would bore the game much further.

I think the touch laws at the moment, whilst complicated are fair and accurate and work. There are very little scenarios regarding touch which aren't covered by the laws. Whilst a statement like 'If the ball or ball-carrier crossed the plane of the touch-line, the ball was in touch' surely doesn't cover all situations such as if he is in the air and half his body was in and half the ball was out etc.

The pregripping law would probably work in theory and be a good thing but in reality it would be almost impossible to police fairly.

I like the idea of the ball being passed back inside the 22m as constituting taking the ball inside one's 22 so this new rule is good.

OB..
24-07-05, 13:07
1. >= two in each line-out

Largely a case of waiting to see how tactics develop. Calling a short lineout would mean defenders could always have an extra man.

What is the receiver allowed to do? Join at any time, presumably.

2. pre-grip

Surely that is what the current law says? Of course it is widely ignored, and I understand that at lower levels that was always accepted for safety reasons. The argument appears to be that at top levels players will not make a mess of grabbing the player just after he has jumped.

3. penalty kick outside own half

I see no point in this. What is the problem they are trying to solve? Do they object to 5m lineouts? Are long range penalty goals preferable? Not to me.

4. pass into 22

The obvious attacking ploy is the high bomb just outside the 22. Is that a good thing?

Unless this restriction is limited to cases when the ball is caught from an opponent's kick, we have the following: player catches the ball and starts to run, but is flattened by the pursuit. His side wins the ball, but the scrum half is still outside the 22, so cannot pass back, and the attackers are now well aligned in defence. The catcher might just as well have kicked to touch, handing the attackers a large slice of ground and the ball.

5. the plane of the touch-line

The current law is a mess, cobbled together from bits and pieces as situations arose. It badly needs tidying up. This is a start.

More definition is need: what constitutes crossing the plane of touch for a player? an arm? I would restrict it to the main part of the torso. That means jumping to knock the ball back in is unlikely to be effective.

It also means that a ball that curves out and back in again is in touch.

I am not convinced that all the exceptions built into the current law are sufficiently important to justify the complexity.

Mat 04
24-07-05, 18:07
I think they are all rubbish. Dont fix something that isnt broken. Definitely dont make it worse, which is what these new laws do.

Fabio
24-07-05, 18:07
I don't really see how these ELV make it worse, except number 3. I see no point on this. But all the other seem to be an effort to make rugby easier (no body count at line-out), safer (no pre-grip)... and passing the ball inside the 22... always defended the idea that couldn't mean gain in ground.

didds
24-07-05, 22:07
regarding pasing back inside... presumably one pass again inside the 22m would permit a clearnace ditrect to touch?

as for PKs in the oppo half... well, all you will get is more kicvks at goal. Which was why the current scenario was introduced I thought ie kick to touch=own throw in !!!

pre-gripping... I doubt it will make a lot of difference at the elite end... at the bottom end I thin it will just make lineouts scrappier as poor techniques see missed supporting *ahem* and jumpers donpt get anywhere near the ball and we go back to volleyball as per pre-1996/whenever.

didds

didds

didds
24-07-05, 22:07
its a moot point that no pre-grip is safer... I see the point about lack of height as a result (maybe.... I never pregripped and I was still able to extend my full arms length pressed againstb the jumpers knees... and I wss NOT a particularly good player I will hasten to add!)... but I can also see one supporter getting a grip and heaving whilst the second isses, and the jumper gets toppled as a result..

Jury's out.

didds

Robert Burns
25-07-05, 01:07
I actually prefer pre gripping as the chance of the jumper landing on his head is obvioulsy far less, IMO.

Ian_Cook
25-07-05, 02:07
1. This is a return to a law which was in force some years ago. The team throwing in set the length of the line out with their first and last players, The opposing team had to match that length with no less than 2 and no more than 8.

2. Is this really going to change anything? Supporters could hold their hands VERY VERY close without actually gripping. Pointless!

3. This is also pointless, very negative, and favors teams with long distance goal kickers. Do we really want to see a long distance goal kicking competition. Also, this could encourage defending teams to infringe in a situation like fourty metres out from their own line, four or five points ahead with two minutes left on the clock. If I was the captain of a team playing under this rule, I would take the shot at goal instructing my kicker to sacrifice accuracy for distance, i.e. make sure you kick the ball DEAD. That way, at least you will probably get the ball back about 30 metres out.

4. This would work only in general play (e.g., a kick down field caught by a player outside his 22). From set play, however, this could be subverted. e.g. A defensive scrum two metres or so outside 22. Defending team allows their scrum to be pushed back until the ball comes back inside the 22 then halfback kicks directly to touch. The case outlined above by OB would mean that there would be no incentive for the team catching the bomb outside the 22 to get the ball back quickly. Better for the catcher to go straight to ground from the catch and get the scrum feed.

5. This is just plain stupid. Do we really want a player to be ruled in touch if they fend off a defender, and in so doing, their hand crosses the plane of the touchline! Far better would be to have the rule this way "The ball is in touch if it touches the touchline, or the ground outside the touchline, or if the player carrying the ball touches the touchline or the ground outside the touchline." This is simple, concise and easy to police. This does not prevent the place where the ball crosses the line being the place it went into touch (for position of line-out etc) it would just mean that the ball is not actually RULED in touch until it lands.

In summary, these rule changes will achieve nothing. If it ain't broken, don't try to fix it!!!

If they want some ideas to speed up play, how about these; (Please forgive the wording)

1. A ball kicked into touch by the non-offending team while under advantage for a penalty shall be deemed to have been kicked into touch from a penalty. This means the kick can go into touch on the full, and the non offending team gets the throw-in. A similar rule could apply to advantage from scrum or free-kick infringement, with adjustment for direct into touch and the throw in being given to the appropriate team. Obviously, the referee could still decide that not enough advantage has been gained, and come back for a penalty, free-kick or scrum.

2. In General Play, a when a player carrying the ball back into his own 22 , or receiving a ball from a team-mate passing back from outside the 22, kicks into touch, the line-out will take at a place opposite where the player kicked from unless he runs at least 10m in any direction (but not if he runs outside his 22 metre area). Alternatively, and in any event the player may pass the ball to a teammate, who may then kick the ball directly in to touch. This restriction would not apply to a ball passed DIRECTLY back from any scrum or line-out or DIRECTLY from a Ruck, Maul or Post-Tackle situation. (DIRECTLY means DIRECTLY from the halfback or player in the halfback position to the first receiver)

3. In the event of the awarding of a try being subject to a TMO decision, the goal kicker may proceed to set up the ball for the conversion even though the try has yet to be awarded. (although I admit this might be objected to on the grounds of the goal-kickers set-up routine).

Mat 04
25-07-05, 04:07
3. This is also pointless, very negative, and favors teams with long distance goal kickers. Do we really want to see a long distance goal kicking competition. Also, this could encourage defending teams to infringe in a situation like fourty metres out from their own line, four or five points ahead with two minutes left on the clock. If I was the captain of a team playing under this rule, I would take the shot at goal instructing my kicker to sacrifice accuracy for distance, i.e. make sure you kick the ball DEAD. That way, at least you will probably get the ball back about 30 metres out.


Of u could just go fora scrum alternative ;)

Ian_Cook
25-07-05, 05:07
Why would you want to take a scrum a couple of metres inside your opponents territory when you could have a 22 dropout 30 metres downfield. OK I admit, the scrum is near certain possession, while dropout is not. I could be convinced that this rule would be OK if it applied only in the attacking 22 metre area, where a scrum alternative to a penalty is a good tactical choice. I just don't see the sense in changing a rule which wasn't broken in the first place. Instead of the law makers meddling unnecessarily with rules that aren't broken, they could try to fix areas of the game which are, such as

1. Post-Tackle, Cleanout, Ruck & Maul
I would advocate experimenting with a rule which addresses the situation where whoever is first to the breakdown (we'll assume its the Openside Flanker No. 7) is LEGALLY attempting to take the ball from the tackled player. The Law should allow the No. 7 to hold on to the ball regardless of players binding on. In other words, the Post-Tackle situation remains Post-Tackle while the No. 7 has his hands on the ball. If the tackled player lets go before he is penalised, and the No. 7 is able to stand up with the ball, it becomes a maul, or if the number 7 is blown over with or without the ball, it becomes a ruck. Personally, I believe that this situation would be helped no-end if referees IMMEDIATELY penalised the tackled player for not releasing. Not one second later or two seconds later; the ball is a HOT POTATO! IMMEDIATELY. Any delay, ping!

2. Scrums (unstable and collapsing, again and again and again). I have no suggestions at this time.

3. Wilful and deliberate flouting of the offside law, especially outside backs and the defensive screen. This would be helped by pushing all players not in the ruck/maul back 5 metres. This would prevent teams from forming the negative defensive screen of forwards who don't commit themselves to the breakdown. i.e.they are either IN the ruck/maul, or they are 5 metres back. Any players wishing to unbind must either rebind IMMEDIATELY or retire 5m IMMEDIATELY. Similarly, players who are 5 metres back could run up DIRECTLY BEHIND the ruck/maul and IMMEDIATELY bind on. NO LOITERING.

4. Line-outs need to be made much simpler. The Referee has to adjudicate on five or six different things BEFORE the ball is even thrown in, and more than thirty after it is thown in.

OB..
25-07-05, 17:07
Ian - I am not comfortable with your post-tackle idea. Red is tackled. Blue gets his hands to the ball but cannot lift it before a Red supporter grabs him. You want Blue to be allowed to prevent release by keeping his hands on the ball. Red will naturally try to pull them off. I am not sure we have gained anything.I agree the tackler should release immediately if a player on his feet has his hand on it. The tackled player should assume the hand on the ball is legal, and let the referee decide if it isn't. Tacklers who deliberately put a hand on the ball to prevent release before getting up should be penalised.

I don't mind him placing the ball if he can, but if he has been brought down facing the wrong way, he should have no right to roll over the ball.

As far as I am concerned, cleanouts are illegal and should be penalised.

My only thought on scrums is that they could be required to remain stable after the hit, with the ball only being thrown-in when the referee is happy that it is stable and square. I doubt if that would be very popular with forwards, but I do get tired of seeing the ball thrown in when the scrum has already wheeled 45 degrees.

I don't see why your ruck 5m would work. It would certainly make the offside lines even harder to police. The scrum half needs to be exempt, and so does his opposite number. The defensive screen would indeed be 5m back, but so would any forwards who might otherwise have been looking to attack round the fringes. There is already (in theory!) a significant gap between the opposing players outside the ruck.

If you want to simplify the lineouts, what do you want to see removed? I would like to see the effect of banning players from changing places - it immediately closes the gap. Alternatively, the TJ could be required to indicate closing the gap before the ball is thrown.

SimonSmith
26-07-05, 05:07
Just an observation, and I'm usually the last person to jump on "showbiz" bandwagon, but it strikes me that some of the discussion here is centred around issues that are only issues because of lax implementation.

You want offside doen properly - enforce it.
Tackled player not releasing? Enforce it. You might be the only person, but you'll be enforcing the law as written.

There is always some latitude for materiality ( ;) ), but if it looks like a phase isn't working, let's look at why not rather than rushing to suggest ways of making it better!

Ian_Cook
26-07-05, 07:07
Ian - I am not comfortable with your post-tackle idea. Red is tackled. Blue gets his hands to the ball but cannot lift it before a Red supporter grabs him. You want Blue to be allowed to prevent release by keeping his hands on the ball. Red will naturally try to pull them off.

OB- my suggestion allows for these four scenarios

1. Blue is able to pick up the ball and set it up for his team before any opponents can bind onto him. This could end up as a Ruck or Maul depending on Blue's ability to stay on his feet, and his team's clearance speed.

2. Red is strong enough to pull Blue's hands off the ball and/or drive (NOT DIVE) over the top. The Post Tackle is now a Ruck and the ball is on Red's side, therefore he has successfully prevented the turnover. NOTE: Red would not be permitted to put his hands in the ball on the ground, only the FIRST player to the breakdown or the tackler LEGALLY attempting to strip the ball (in this case, Blue) can have his hands on the ball.

3. Blue is strong enough to pick the ball up in spite of Red's best efforts, then the Post Tackle has become a Maul with Blue's team in possession.

4. Blue is strong enough to pick the ball up but immediately goes off his feet because he is driven over by Red and his teammates. As he is being driven over, he is entitled to turn his body if he can, and lay the ball back for his team. Whichever, Blue is now off his feet and must let go of the ball. This is now a ruck.

What I am trying to achieve here is a situation where skill and quick thinking are rewarded. Time after time I see players like George Smith, Richie McCaw and Schalk Burger go unrewarded because either an opposing player has to do no more than bind to them to form a ruck, or the referee is too slow to penalise tackled players who hold on to the ball while reinforcements arrive. My suggestion would allow more time for the Openside Flanker to win turnover ball for his team. IMHO, once Blue has got his hands on the ball, he has won it, and the opposition's options should be limited to overpowering him if they want it back.

I agree entirely with your assessment of cleanouts although if they were made illegal, referees would have to be vigilant against defending forwards "loitering" ahead of their team's hindmost foot close in to the Ruck/Maul.

I also agree with your view on scrums. I seem to remember though, that scrums used to be a lot more tidy when we didn't have to say, "crouch & hold" then "engage". Maybe I'm showing my age or looking at the past through rose coloured spectacles? (or both!)

As for the 5m offside at Ruck/Maul suggestion, I neglected to say that, of course, one player, usually the SH, would be need to be exempt (as per scrums). This is not a new idea and was originally suggested (using a 2m offside) some years ago by former South African referee Frick Burger. It would be no harder to police than the 10m at the line-out, and could be a job for the TJ. Even if the suggested 5m was infringed on and poorly policed, it would still put more distance between opposing backlines (as do line-outs) than the present laws allow even when they are policed correctly. The recent Lions v NZ test series was a case in point, where both sets of backs constantly infringed the offside laws at scrum, ruck and maul and none of the three referees pinged them unless they were VERY VERY offide. IMHO, this makes the game something of a battering ram competition. Some would say that a team could get around this by chipping over the top into the gap behind the offside defending backs, but if a team is forced to change their tactics to overcome the unpunished illegal actions of their opponents, then the referee isn't doing his job properly.

As far as line-outs go OB, I agree with you again on peeling off & changing places; outlaw it. The teams need to arrive at each line-out with a plan in mind. If they want options, they need to have more than one combination of jumper & supporters worked out. I would allow the use of the outside arm for tapping back. Players aren't allowed to use opponents to jump off so why have two laws trying to stop the same thing?. I'd also allow the thrower an option to baulk (perhaps just once) as a tactic. Its no different to an inside back "selling a dummy". Also no need for numbers. If the throwing team wants a five man lineout, and the opposition wants to put in eight, simple maths will tell you that if the team throwing in the ball taps back quickly enough they will outnumber their opposition elswhere by three players.

I have one other area which I dislike seeing, that is the sneaky arm/hand that sometimes appears out of a Ruck or Maul attempting to hold or obstruct the SH. I used to penalise these players for offside. IMO they are still part of the Ruck/Maul. Even when the ball is deemed out by virtue of having been picked up by the SH, the only people allowed to tackle him are those who have come from BEHIND their own team's hindmost feet. A player who is still in the ruck most definitely has not done this, so in my book, ping him!

PeterTC
26-07-05, 08:07
As for the 5m offside at Ruck/Maul suggestion, I neglected to say that, of course, one player, usually the SH, would be need to be exempt (as per scrums). This is not a new idea and was originally suggested (using a 2m offside) some years ago by former South African referee Frick Burger. It would be no harder to police than the 10m at the line-out, and could be a job for the TJ. Even if the suggested 5m was infringed on and poorly policed, it would still put more distance between opposing backlines (as do line-outs) than the present laws allow even when they are policed correctly. The recent Lions v NZ test series was a case in point, where both sets of backs constantly infringed the offside laws at scrum, ruck and maul and none of the three referees pinged them unless they were VERY VERY offide. IMHO, this makes the game something of a battering ram competition. Some would say that a team could get around this by chipping over the top into the gap behind the offside defending backs, but if a team is forced to change their tactics to overcome the unpunished illegal actions of their opponents, then the referee isn't doing his job properly.


This was trialed at the Cambridge Laws Laboratory a few years ago with 1m from the back foot, and was found to be nearly impossible to enforce, due to the logistics of it. I can't tell you exactly the problem as I didn't have the pleasure of refereeing a game with that variation, but I believe it became difficult for players and referee to determine who was 1m back, especially further away from the ruck. At least if it is back foot, players and referees alike have a common marker for where they must be to be onside.

Bryan
26-07-05, 13:07
Spot on there Peter. I had also heard of this ELV already at the Laws lab. The hard thing about it was that unless a match was played using a team of three, it was very difficult for the referee to manage the offside lines on their own and as such infringements often occured. Referees had to look twice to ensure that the outside centre was indeed 1m behind the offside line, etc.Given that this law needs to be implemented throughout all levels of rugby, 80% of matches would have this problem.

That being said, they seem to be able to manage it in rugby league, so not too sure why union refs have problems...

OB..
26-07-05, 16:07
Bryan - if you look at the positioning of the referee in Rugby League, you will see that he stands on the offside line at the play-the-ball ie 10m away from play. There are two offside lines at rucks and mauls, and not even a Rugby Union referee can stand on both!

ExHookah
26-07-05, 23:07
not even a Rugby Union referee can stand on both!

Don't underestimate us OB.., we'll find a way!

Ian_Cook
27-07-05, 00:07
So then I have to ask, if you feel that we cannot judge offside lines that are only 10-12m apart without the assistance of the TJ, how can we possibly judge offiside lines that are 20 metres apart (at line-out) where you also have literally dozens of things to watch in the line-out as well?!. I know how I have done this in the past. Practise. All referees should spend some time practising the judgement of distance. I was taught a simple routine by an assessor when I first started refereeing. I used to do it at the ground before the match; walk onto the pitch stand at the centre of halfway and look at the 10m line, then walk up to the 10m line and try to imagine (visualise) where a 20m line would be, then check my accuracy. Do this in both directions so that you are allowing for different shadow and lighting, and repeat this routine out where you would be standing for lineouts on halfway, and on 10m marks either side of the half, and on the left and right sides of the field. Admittedly, I was not always able to do this because of the very short time available between matches on a Saturday morning or afternoon.

I still believe that a marginally poor policing if a 5m rule will allow more room in the backs than the best policed hindmost foot rule. The game's administrators have to recognize that players in the modern game are much faster and much fitter then they were when these offside laws were put in place. This is precisely the reason why Rugby League went from a 5m rule at the scratch back to a 10m one; an acknowledge ment that fitness levels and speed had turned the game into a "bash and crash" contest.

PeterTC
27-07-05, 00:07
But how long to you get to set a 10m gap? It's a break in play, a stoppage. Give yourself and the players a second or two to make such a gap, and we have a very ineffective law coming into practice. It has been tried, and it is near on impossible to enforce and is more confusing for players and referees.

Ian_Cook
28-07-05, 00:07
I guess we'll have to agree to differ on the 5m idea. The suggestion has certainly brought forward some discussion. Just remember though, that the Laws of Rugby cannot work if the PLAYERS decide to be uncooperative. Maintaining a 5m law (as for any law) is all about co-operation between Refs, TJ's and players. Rugby League players seem to be able to maintain a 10m gap with far less time available at the scratch back than we have at ruck & maul. This is as much about co-operation between referee and players as it is about enforcement. If maintaining a 5m gap would create problems for referees in lower grades, then maybe its something that could apply only at higher grades, e.g. those that use appointed TJ's, where the "team of three" concept can be used. There are and have been plenty of rules which differ for Junior grades (scrum rules, SH offside line etc. etc.)

OB..
28-07-05, 00:07
Ian - the RL situation is different. The referee indicates that the tackle is complete, and all the defenders (except 2) know they have to get back in line with the referee. They usually have 2-3 seconds to do so, at least. That is why the tacklers delay getting up - to give their team-mates more time. There is only one 10 meter line.

In Union there is no time delay, there are two offside ines, the referee is not marking either offside line. Some players would be permitted to cross the 5m line to join the ruck/maul - and if they time it right, they would be able to tackle a player breaking away. What about player A bound on to the ruck, player B bound on to player A but to the side of the ruck. Good screen?

Moreover I don't really see what you are trying to achieve. The attackers have to be back 5m as well, so when the ball comes out, the two lines can meet in the middle - just as now.

I am not convinced by the theory, and I am convinced by the reactions from the Cambridge Laws Laboratory. Presumably the RFU/IRB are also convinced, as we have heard no more of it.

I am also strenuously opposed to having different laws at different levels. Age group differences make sense and are simple to apply. Players do not usually migrate betwen age groups. I think the disadvantages of having two parallel systems outweighs any supposed advantage.