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IRB Standardizes Game Laws

Wednesday May 13, 2009 in Off the Field Laws

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May 13, 2009 - The International Rugby Board Council today ratified recommendations made by the IRB Rugby Committee and approved 10 of the 13 global Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) for adoption into the Laws of the Game.

The recommendations were unanimously approved and the integrated set of Laws will be implemented globally from May 23 or from the start of the next domestic season where competitions transcend the implementation date.

In addition to the suite of global ELVs, three Union-specific ELVs were also approved for integration into Law. These include the ability for a Union to implement a maximum 15-minute half time in matches under its jurisdiction.

“One of the recommendations of the ELV Conference held in London at the end of March was the universal application of one set of Laws that govern the Game as soon as possible after Council. This was recommended by stakeholders from the international Game, including some of the world’s top Coaches, Referees and Administrators,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

“The implementation date approved by the IRB Council achieves that goal and represents the most suitable application date. All international matches from May 23 onwards will be captured, while domestic and regional competitions played across the implementation date will be played under the current ELVs until their conclusion,” added Lapasset.

“Today’s announcement brings to an end the extensive global ELV consultation and evaluation process which began with the Conference on the Game in Auckland in January 2004. The IRB would like to sincerely thank its Member Unions for their participation in what has been an unprecedented review of the Laws of the Game,” added Lapasset.

The IRB’s Laws of the Game will be updated and available to view online in a range of languages at www.irb.com from Thursday, May 15.

ELVs adopted into Law
The following ELVs are to be adopted into Law:
Law 6 – Assistant Referees able to assist Referees in any way the Referee requires

Law 19 – If a team puts the ball back in their own 22 and the ball is subsequently kicked directly into touch there is no gain in ground

Law 19 – A quick throw may be thrown in straight or towards the throwing team’s goal line

Law 19 – The receiver at the lineout must be two meters back away from the lineout

Law 19 – The player who is in opposition to the player throwing in the ball must stand in the area between the five meter line and touch line and must be two meters from the line of touch and at least two meters from the lineout

Law 19 – Lineout players may pre-grip a jumper before the ball is thrown in

Law 19 – The lifting of lineout jumpers is permitted

Law 20 – Introduction of an offside line five meters behind the hindmost feet of the Scrum

Law 20 – Scrum half offside line at the Scrum

Law 20 – The corner posts are no longer considered to be touch in goal except when the ball is grounded against the post

Union-specific ELVs approved by Council:

Unions may implement rolling substitutions at defined levels of the Game

A Union having jurisdiction over a Game may implement a half time interval of not more than 15 minutes, but not at international level

A Union may implement the Under 19 Scrum Law Variation at a defined level of the Game under its jurisdiction



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