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FAQs - Law Trials 2016

allblacks.com     31 Mar 2015


The central themes are:
  • Safer to play
  • Easier to understand
  • More entertaining to watch

Questions:
1. What’s the difference between law amendments and law trials?
2. What are the law amendments?
3. Why are we carrying out law trials?
4. What law trials are being done in Super Rugby?
5. When will the law trials become new laws?
6. What are the two law changes being trialled?
7. Which competitions will be trialling them?
8. When are they being trialled?
9. What is the tackle midpoint?
10. What is the breakdown offside line?
11. Can both teams have someone acting as a halfback?
12. Why is the ruck now called the breakdown?
13. Can the tackler go for the ball?
14. Why is the breakdown law so important to the Game?
15. Who was involved with determining the new breakdown law?
16. Was there something about a 1m offside law?
17. Where do we go for more information?
18. May I give you some feedback or ask another question?


There are some Law Amendments which are simple changes and took effect for all levels of rugby in New Zealand on 1 January 2016, Super Rugby was the first competition to run with these changes.

Others laws that are more complex are being trialled by various competitions around the world, termed as Law Trials. New Zealand domestic competitions will participate in three of these, namely breakdown, different point’s scoring values, and allowing a team to kick for touch and take a lineout if they are awarded a penalty after time expires.


What’s the difference between law amendments and law trials?

Law amendments are small in nature and have relatively lighter and known effects on the game. Law trials require using them in practice to determine the effects due to the complexities that may arise.


What are the law amendments?


Maul laws
1. A player with the ball cannot move to the back of the maul, otherwise a penalty can be given.

Scrum laws

2. The ball can be cleared if available, when the scrum collapses.
3. If a player is lifted in the air, the scrum is ended immediately.
4. A team must be ready to crouch within 30 seconds of the referee setting the mark. Sanction: free kick
5. If a scrum wheels, it is reset and the ball is thrown in by the same team.
6. When a team has won the ball, the opposing halfback may not step into the space between the flanker and No.8.


Why are we carrying out law trials?

Every four years, World Rugby undertakes a complete health check of the game’s playing trends across the Rugby World Cup to ensure that the sport continues to develop at all levels around the world.

New Zealand Rugby is participating in two of the law trials which we believe are significant and will create a game that is safer to play, easier to understand and more entertaining to watch.


What law trials are being done in Super Rugby?


Teams awarded a penalty after halftime or fulltime who choose to kick directly to touch must play the lineout. This law trial is also going to be trialled at the Mitre 10 Cup, Mitre 10 Heartland Championships and the Farah Palmer Cup.


When will the law trials become new laws?


The trials will be tested in 2016. This will be followed by a robust review process by World Rugby, following which consideration for a global trial in 2017 and then possible adoption in May 2018.


What are the three law changes being trialled?

1.Breakdown Laws
Videos explaining the changes can be viewed here.

The Tackle (Law 15)

1. The tackler must release the ball carrier then re-join the tackle behind the midpoint to play the ball. (see diagram A)

(Diagram A)


2. The first arriving defender may play the ball as long as they are on their feet, and it is prior to the breakdown being formed.

3. Players off their feet are out of the game!

The Breakdown (Law 16)

The ruck is now called the breakdown.

1. A breakdown is formed when an attacking player is over the ball on their feet (See diagram B)

(Diagram B)



2. At this point an offside line is in place

3. The breakdown offside line for defenders is the hindmost foot (See diagram C)

(Diagram C)


4. Players joining the breakdown must do so from behind the offside line and join behind the midpoint of the breakdown. (see diagram D)


(Diagram D)


5. Players joining the breakdown must bind onto any player, using their whole arm.

6. Players must be on their feet for the duration of the breakdown.

7. A player in the halfback position may lift the ball from the breakdown.

8. Once the ball emerges from the breakdown it has ended.


2. Points Value

A different scoring system will be used. The points for each scoring action are outlined below:
Try: 6 points
Penalty Try: 8 points, with no conversion attempt necessary
Conversion: 2 points
Penalty goal: 2 points
Dropped goal: 2 points

3. Time
Teams awarded a penalty after halftime or fulltime who choose to kick directly to touch must play the lineout.



Which competitions will be trialling them?

Breakdown Laws - Mitre 10 Cup, Premier club rugby competitions in the Bay of Plenty, North Harbour, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman and Waikato.

Points Value - Mitre 10 Heartland Championship

Time – Super Rugby, Rugby Championships, Mitre 10 Cup, Mitre 10 Heartland Championship, Farah Palmer Cup



When are they being trialled?

Premier club rugby in some provinces (from now till end of July)
Mitre 10 Cup (18 August - 29 October)
Mitre 10 Heartland (27 August – 29 October)
Farah Palmer Cup (6 August – 1 October)
Super Rugby (26 February – 6 August)
Rugby Championship (20 August – 8 October)



What is the tackle midpoint?


The midpoint is where the contact is between the tackler and the tackled player.


What is the breakdown offside line?


The breakdown offside line for defenders is the hindmost foot.


Can both teams have someone acting as a halfback?

Yes


Why is the ruck now called the breakdown?


To better reflect current practice and terminology in the game.


Can the tackler go for the ball?

The tackler can only go for the ball by first getting to their feet then rejoining the tackle area prior to a breakdown forming behind the midpoint of the tackle.


Why is the breakdown law so important to the Game?

It is seen as a key element of the game to remedy in terms of player safety and to make the game easier to understand.


Who was involved with determining the new breakdown law?

A group in New Zealand including All Black coaching staff, Provincial coaches, players, referees and other. This was then considered by the World Rugby Laws Review Group who approved for the Law Trial.


Was there something about a 1m offside law?

Initially yes, but after a discussion and review with provincial unions that had trialled it for a week in their club competitions, it was decided to take out this element in the interests of safety. This is an example of how we are adapting the trials to continue our focus on our goals, namely player safety and making the game easier to understand and more entertaining.


Where do we go for more information?

Our video explanations on the trial law amendments can be viewed here.
You can also download and print the 2016 Trial Laws Explained here.


May I give you some feedback or ask another question?


Yes. You can write to 2016lawtrials@nzrugby.co.nz.