View Full Version : Rolling subs ....Spreaders says it's good

27-10-05, 15:10
Spreaders says in order to prevent all the injury time ... players going down injured, physios piling on to pitch and water carriers etc .... if we employed rolling subs we can prevent these scenarios ... so as soon as a player goes down injured ref says "get 'im orf, sub on" .... and this will prevent the old logistical issues with who has been on/ off ... etc.

sounds like a good idea ... any thoughts ?

27-10-05, 15:10
I'd have no problem with it.

However it would mean that you could keep someone like Neil Jenkins on the bench as you designated place kicker and could then sub him in and out when needed. If that happens you are dangerously close to the NFL.

27-10-05, 16:10
I would be in favour of it if there were a maximal number for a game which would need to be calculated from previous matches this would mean it is a risk to bring on a N Jenkins or three 25 stone props for a 5m scrum etc etc. Do rugby league not do this already??

27-10-05, 17:10
bath did it years ago with a "blood bin" to Mike Catt, bringing on callard to slot the winning touch line conversion/penalty/whatever

bound to be abused.


Simon Griffiths
27-10-05, 18:10
But that's just Bath... cheats! ;)

I agree though, as with any similar Law, it will be very open to abuse, but, in principle I would support it for many of the reasons mentioned by others and more.

27-10-05, 20:10
We have being using for a season already and this is our second/third season. We laid the rules down with the coaches and had the home team provide a 4 official to keep the score for us i.e they provide cards with 1 - 7 on them and once these where used up so was the reserves. It has worked with a few minor hic ups with the home teams not providing the cards and the official this was then taken up by the SRU and was sorted.

28-10-05, 07:10
Here's the official "Experimental Law" from the SRU I got this week:

Experimental Variation 2
Law 3 – Number of players

Rolling Substitutions
Rolling substitutions will be permitted at all levels of club rugby next season (except 7-a-side tournaments).

No of Substitutes
There will be a maximum of 4 substitutes in Premier 1 – 3 1st XV matches and cup matches between 2 premier clubs.
For all other club matches a maximum of 3 substitutes will be permitted.

- A maximum of 12 substitutions per side per match will be allowed.
- Substitutions will include blood, yellow cards for front rows, etc. Blood injury off and then back on will count as 2 substitutions.
- After all 12 substitutions are made, no other substitutions will be allowed for whatever reason including injuries. If after the 12 are used there is any reason for a player to come off the pitch, the team goes down to 14 players. Non contested scrums will happen if this includes a front row player.
Exception: If a front row player is yellow carded and the subsequent substitution of a player to allow a front row player on to maintain contested scrums results in the team using its 12th card, the original yellow carded player and the substituted player will be allowed to return at the end of the period of suspension.
- When “rolling substitution” applies to the front row, it must be on a like for like basis.
- Substitutions will only be permitted at “dead ball time”.
- It will not be the responsibility of the referee to count the substitutions.
- At Premier 1xv level, the home club will appoint a No 4 official to administer the changes.
- At all other levels, the home club touch judge/No 4 official will be responsible.
- Cards indicating Home 1-12 and Away 1-12 will be provided electronically to each club. The club will be responsible for providing the cards and submitting them to the 4th official/home touch judge at the appropriate time.


28-10-05, 13:10
I don't like the idea at all. And I especially don't like it at grass roots level.

Clubs have suffered for years now trying to find enough players to run the number of sides they used to. Part of the problem is the need to ensure that the ones have enough replacement front row players, then the twos...when the thirds are looking for a team they don't have any FR left so the other 12 don't get a game, nor do the 15+ opposition. So they give up and do something else on a Saturday.

Rolling subs would exacerbate this problem. By travelling with a full complement of subs teams get an advantage, so the pressure is on the strip the lower sides even more, and cost the game even more players who can't be bothered training only to get their game cancelled for lack of players.

In addition side who don't have all the subs will be at a huge disadvantage. They do at the moment of course, but now subs must be used judiciously. If they can be rolled on and off then the flying winger can be kept ultra-fresh, only brought on when his team have a line-out or scrum in the opposition half, say. The 10 who is good but can't tackle can be taken off when the opposition get an attacking set piece. Etc.

I think it will damage the game, reduce the pool of players, and act very much in favour of thoses clubs who have greater player resources. The result over time will probably be the disappearance of some small clubs, and the growth of bigger ones. Some may wish that - I do not.

Chris Picard
28-10-05, 13:10
This wonderful game is starting to look like American Football. I main reason it appealed to me was the stamina a player need to compete. Now that is slowly being erroded away. What a shame. :(

28-10-05, 15:10
I would be happy to see it trialled in the National Leagues, where they always have a full subs bench anyway. It should help manage the situation.

I organise a local Merit table, and the rules say a match will count even if scrums are uncontested throughout. I also tried to introduce a rule about evening up numbers if one team is short, but was told that players would find it confusing. The aim is to get players playing, not sitting on the bench. Or going shopping.

28-10-05, 23:10
OB - hear hear.

I share the concerns aired here. I can also see some "good points" about the idea, especially if it can lead to less player fatigue over a long season.

BUT... as OB has hinted at maybe its a law for a level and higher, not just across the board.

That said... it would alter the entire approiach to the game, and coaches would become managers. And where does it eventually end?


04-11-05, 11:11
I think the 'rolling subs' idea is more for the spectators' benefit rather than the players. At my very low level, I certainly don't mind getting my breath back while someone gets treatment.
Whos benefit the game is being played FOR seems to me to be gradually separating rugby into two groups; the pro/'for the spectator' game, and the amateur/'for the player' game. Small law changes that are for the benefit of the first group don't always seem to be considered in regard to the second.

Perhaps this divergence needs to be handled in some way.


Simon Thomas
04-11-05, 13:11
We have this rolling subs situation already in England for Youth & Schools rugby for a couple of seasons. For example, in our County Colts League matches squads of up to 26 are allowed (yes 11 replacements !!!) and rolling subs are used. Aim is to retain young players and make sure they all get pitch time. But it is open to abuse by coaches. As solo refs, with club / parent TJs, we have had to trust the coaches to make the reps correctly. By insisting reps at breaks in play only, and also very quickly catching on to 'special teams', we have seemed to manage the process OK.

I haven't had any problems, but have heard from other refs of some interesting 'tactical' replacements being made by coaches not in tune with the spirit of the regulation ! Or a 'badly' injured player suddenly became fit enough to come back on in the second half - the look on their faces was priceless when the ref said he couldn't come back on, as he deemed it unsafe for the player and under Child Protection Policy and my Duty of Care he wasn't fit to return !

As said below this is another opportunity to split into a senior professional / semi-professional National League Clubs game - with 'teams of 3' and 4th officials, where it could be managed perhaps, and lower down in the Community Game, it would have to be a voluntary 4th official, who notes all reps on match card and ref coutersigns. The Scottish system seems sensible, with max of 12 subs events to be used. But what lower clubs could fill a full National League reps bench numbers and not lose yet another lower side (Dave Tooke is so right)!

13-03-11, 10:03
Sorry to dig this one up (it was the most logical thread following a search) but when we have rolling subs (which I assume means substituted players being allowed back on to replace any injured players - as opposed blood replacements) does the maximum number of substitutions count any more ie max 2 FR players and max 5 other players? I assume not.

15-03-11, 02:03
We have had new rule brought in here for rolling subs in junior games (Under 13 to Under 18).

At approximately the midpoint of each half, the referee will stop play at an opportune time (scrum, lineout where no QT is on) and will allow substitutions to take place.

Any substitutions outside this period and half time will be treated as permanent - ie injury, so that player is out for the game. Also, squad sizes are limited to 23.

The idea is to:

1) prevent subs taking place at every stoppage - especially as we have no added time under any circumstance in junior games

2) stop teams using impact players (usually but not always big Islander lads) who come on for 5 minute bursts, go off for a rest then come back on

16-03-11, 11:03
Sorry to dig this one up (it was the most logical thread following a search) but when we have rolling subs (which I assume means substituted players being allowed back on to replace any injured players - as opposed blood replacements) does the maximum number of substitutions count any more ie max 2 FR players and max 5 other players? I assume not. Taff, in England, rolling subs means that at any break in play, the coach can field the best 15 players for the next play. This is more often tactical or for reasons of game time equity than anything to do with injury.

As a coach with a matchday 22, I try to ensure as near as possible that all players get the same amount of time on the field. The exigencies of the game may militate against this egalitarianism, but rolling subs makes it possible. I imagine that it means the same in the rest of the UK, but I'll leave the locals to confirm.

16-03-11, 11:03
especially as we have no added time under any circumstance in junior games

:eek: :eek: :eek:

Time off for subs?

16-03-11, 12:03
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Time off for subs?No - multiple games on the same pitch run to a tight schedule - three minutes extra per half means the fourth game starting 20 minutes late.

Lee Lifeson-Peart
16-03-11, 14:03
No - multiple games on the same pitch run to a tight schedule - three minutes extra per half means the fourth game starting 20 minutes late.

That's right - when Al Baxter was little there was only ever time for 6 scrums per match