RFL will get a rule revamp this season following modifications on how certain areas of the game will be policed. Changes to nine rules, introduced for a trial run during pre-season friendlies, will now come into permanent effect when the 2013 Championships and Super League kick off this week.
Changes to both hard and interpreted rules have resulted from suggestions offered to the RFL Council by a collection of league figureheads including administrators, coaches and past and present players, all of whom form the RFL’s Law Committee. The most important to take note of are the interpretive rules which rest in the referee’s hands and are therefore the most controversial to spectators and players alike.
Amendments to the advantage rule will certainly serve well for those given one. Where advantage is being played, referees can take play back to the initial infringement if the team with the advantage lose possession before the next tackle. Heading back to the initial offending spot they can award a scrum against the team who infringed first, ruling that no benefit was gained if they’re tackled near to their own goal line.
…no longer valid…
Also of note is the loosening of rules around late challenges on the kickers meaning the automatic sin bin that has usually applied is no longer valid. However the referee is still within his jurisdiction to penalise, sin bin or dismiss any players doing so dangerously.
Keep an eye out for the 20 metre restart – any in-goal dead ball can be taken quickly if done so by the player who collected or killed the ball assuring he takes it in the centre of the 20m line, all his players are onside and the referee is back on the 20m line.
…help maintain the fast-paced nature of the game…
In addition, any player being dragged, in situations where there is more than one tackler, will be called “held” should any of the tacklers hold up the player while moving either towards the sideline or in-goal area. Penalties will continue to apply to those who continue to drag after held is called.
The changes will be monitored throughout the season to see their impact however Blake Solly, RFL Director of Standards and Licensing, is confident these changes will help maintain the fast-paced nature of the game which continues to see eager league fans coming back for more.