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Thread: Covid Law Variations for England

      
  1. #1

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    Default Covid Law Variations for England

    With these adapted laws coming into force in just over a week, and interclub games restarting I thought it would be useful to see if anyone envisages any problems with them? We had a Society presentation on Monday and all seems fairly clear. Management and communication seem to be the main focus.
    I have reffed them a bit at U15 without issue.

    COVID-19 Law Variations 2020/21
    FACT SHEET

    The principal changes are to:
    1. Suspend Law 19 (other than the amended Law 19.1 below) in its entirety.
    2. Suspend Law 16 in its entirety.

    Law 16: The Maul is suspended in its entirety
    Players must not bind onto a team-mate who is in possession of the ball. Sanction: Penalty kick.
    When one or more players come into contact with an opposing ball carrier and do not bring that player to ground, those players may attempt to gain possession of the ball if done immediately, but thereafter must not prevent the ball carrier from playing the ball. Sanction: Penalty kick to the team in possession of the ball.
    No other player may join these players in contact. Sanction: Penalty kick against arriving players.
    The ball carrier must play the ball immediately. Sanction: Penalty kick to the team not in possession.

    Law 18 Lineout
    18.11 – Forming a Lineout. The throwing team must, when forming the lineout, have a minimum of five players and maximum of seven players. Sanction: Free-kick to the non-throwing team.
    18.14 - Amend to - The non-throwing team must match the number of players in the lineout with the throwing team.
    Sanction: Free-kick to the throwing team.
    The player winning the ball in the lineout must either pass the ball immediately, release it to a teammate or leave the lineout as soon as they land on the ground. Sanction: Free-kick.
    NB: Law 18.3 & 4 (quick throw) have not been varied.

    Law 19 Scrum
    19.1 - Principle. Amend to Where the game would restart play with a scrum, is replaced with a Free-kick in all circumstances.

    Law 5 Time
    5.7 a: Delete ‘scrum’.
    5.7 b: Amend to - The referee awards a Penalty or Free-kick, other than a Free-kick for which a scrum would have been awarded previously. (This will end the half or full-time.)
    5.9 - Irrespective of the weather conditions, the referee has the discretion to allow water breaks at any stage of the match.

    Law 20 Penalty and Free-Kick
    20.3 - Amend to - A team awarded a Penalty or Free-kick may not choose a scrum.
    20.4 – Amend to - A team awarded a Penalty or Free-kick at a lineout may instead choose another lineout at the same mark.
    20.11 - Amend to - Taking a Penalty or Free-Kick. The ball must be kicked a visible distance. If the kicker is holding it, it must clearly leave the hands. If it is on the ground, it must clearly leave the mark. At a free-kick, other than on either fivemetre lines, once the kick has been taken legally, the kicker may not run with the ball. Sanction: Free-kick.
    NB: For the avoidance of doubt, there is no change to the law relating to taking a penalty kick, which can be played immediately, and the kicker may run with the ball.

    Variations
    Sevens
    No variations
    Tens
    Lineout - 18.11 – Forming a Lineout. Law 18 Lineout:The throwing-in team must have a minimum of three players and maximum of five players. Sanction: Free-kick to the non-throwing team.
    Insert 18.14 - The non-throwing team must match the number of players in the lineout with the throwing team.
    Sanction: Free-kick to the throwing team.

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  2. #2
    Rugby Club Member Flish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    I got two adult games over Xmas reffing these, main take always where;

    - really slow down the scrum replacement FK and get them back a clear 10 (or 11!)
    - same with line out, keep them back 10 so space to play it disappears fast
    - players responded well to the ‘to ground’ thing, no accidental mauls or held up issues but lots of pick and go’s
    - lack of creativity at all those FK’s
    - quicker game, not all players appreciate that, so use the water breaks, and slowed down FK’s to appease them
    - it’s fun, but can be fast

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    I did one before Christmas on a muddy pitch.

    We played 3x 25 mins to allow for coaches to swap and change and fat lads to rest.

    I had one accidental maul.

    I would concur with Flish's points above.

    Bear in mind this was the first game of any sort for 9 months or so when i did it so we were all a bit rusty.

    I explained all at the PMB to all players (ordinarily I would only do FRs and Capts.) but still had the odd instance of a lack of understanding. Between the layoff, the pitch and the revised format it was a good challenge.

    I don't think the fatties appreciated it although some got a lot more ball than normal from the plethora of free-kicks. I was excellent a nd my game recorded. If I was clever I could let you watch it somehow, but I'm not, so you'll just have to believe me!
    It's like a big tide of jam coming towards us, but jam made out of old women......Father Dougal McGuire 1998

  4. #4
    Rugby Club Member Flish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    The self reflection I took back from my games was that maybe I was a little too enthusiastic around the new breakdown expectations (time jackler needs on the ball, lifting, how long they can be etc) - I don’t think I was technically wrong, but with rusty players, old habits, lack of fitness, and the other law changes I think my expectations where a bit off.

    I have a charity mixups 15s game on 1st May, so no team unity or cohesion whatsoever, so I think I’ll be more coaching around expectations than whistle if I can help it.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    In our presentation the biggest concern for most people seemed to be the forming of a maul and who was at fault.
    In my few games this was never really an issue.

    Good communication (before and during the game) helps a lot here, but its a fast paced dynamic situation so you have to think and speak quickly. This is where the phrases 'use it' and 'release' are good.

    At free kicks remind them that they can't tap and run unless they are on the 5m line. They must tap and pass.

    Coaches need reminding that rucks are as normal. Some seem to think they can only be 1v1 which was an early rule that was done away with.

    I have several 10 minute training sessions coming up and then a full game on the 2nd May. Looking forward to it.

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    In our presentation the biggest concern for most people seemed to be the forming of a maul and who was at fault.
    In my few games this was never really an issue.

    .
    yes, I think that's because everyone understands this isn't a rugby law, where players naturally look for loopholes and play at the boundary of what the ref allows -- but it's a COVID thing, so it's a different kind of rule.

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    Law 16: The Maul is suspended in its entirety
    Players must not bind onto a team-mate who is in possession of the ball. Sanction: Penalty kick.

    so in reality when a team A player has the ball and no team B player is in contact with him, NO other team A player may bind onto A (eg pre binding, ripping the ball etc) come what may ... correct?

    didds

  8. #8
    Rugby Club Member Flish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    Quote Originally Posted by didds View Post
    Law 16: The Maul is suspended in its entirety
    Players must not bind onto a team-mate who is in possession of the ball. Sanction: Penalty kick.

    so in reality when a team A player has the ball and no team B player is in contact with him, NO other team A player may bind onto A (eg pre binding, ripping the ball etc) come what may ... correct?

    didds
    In amended law writing yes, in practice and the webinar guidance no! The RFU webinar basically said "latching ok, binding not". If you think of the ultimate goal is use it or go to ground, then penalising a player from either team for "binding" if he's doing so to ensure the 'nearly a / might become a maul, upright tackle thing' to ground and continue play is harsh. And that was my experience, secondary players came in, bound, helped the bundle of bodies to ground and we had a tackle, breakdown, play on.

    If in the process of that contact they rip the ball, then play on too. I didn't penalise anyone for this, but I did have a couple of free kicks for where it didn't go to ground quick enough for me, but no fault, just circumstance and staying safe.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    OK. so accepting these are interim and temporary laws to aloow games to happen, to be clear when the law now requires

    Players must not bind onto a team-mate who is in possession of the ball. Sanction: Penalty kick.

    that isnt actually what is expected necessarily

    Gotcha.

  10. #10
    Rugby Club Member Flish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Covid Law Variations for England

    Quote Originally Posted by didds View Post
    OK. so accepting these are interim and temporary laws to aloow games to happen, to be clear when the law now requires

    Players must not bind onto a team-mate who is in possession of the ball. Sanction: Penalty kick.

    that isnt actually what is expected necessarily

    Gotcha.
    Exactly, so any coaches who have taken then time to read the laws, prepare their players are going to find that refs who have done the same, and participated in the webinars will do something different - normal service really!

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