Cody Kuxmann is a Referee at the London Society Of Rugby Football Union Referees, while studying International Relations at Richmond, The American International University in London. He lives in Richmond Upon Thames but hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
LONDON, ENGLAND – Dipping into the archives, my first article for RWU was about making the game flow and potential new laws that could help to promote a more fluid and open game. Recently the IRB has announced their global trials set to come in August 2012 for the northern hemisphere and January 2013 for the southern hemisphere. The changes that they have made will most likely not have a drastic impact on the game, but should provide for a more flowing fluid game that we all want to see! Let’s take a look.
One of my suggested law changes for the 2012 I got right; use it or lose it rucks. The IRB have decided that there will now be a five second use it or lose it at a ruck. I don’t think this will stop play being slow, but it will provide for a more open playing style in the last few minutes.
The others changes aren’t too substantial:
One allows for a player to take a quick throw-in anywhere between the line of touch (where kicked from) instead of where the ball went out. This will probably not be used that often but it gives the attacking team more options as to where to quick throw-in from.
Another line-out variation is that if a team now knocks-on into touch, the team will have the option of line-out or scrum. Personally I would have liked to see this with in-goal to, allowing for a knock on by the attacking team to be a dropout.
A fourth change is that a team may take another lineout off of a free-kick or penalty-kick at a lineout. This could be something that will speed up the game a bit and also provide for more scoring. When looking at the Six Nations stats, a team was more likely to score from a lineout than from any other stoppage.
The final thing they have added is that a conversion kick must be completed within 1 minute and 30 seconds after the try has been scored. Previously it had been once the tee had arrived the kicker had one minute. I believe that this will not have an impact on the game, except for an often longer time for the kicker to take a kick.
The IRB are also trialing some laws at the elite level. The most significant of which is an extension of the TMO being allowed to rule on things in the field of play. At the upper levels, I think this will be able to weed out some of the offenses that go unpunished. Take a look at this clip:
The final change has been to the number of subs permitted within 7s and 15s elite games. They will be bringing it up to 5 and 8, respectively. I see this as a way for teams to really keep fresh, especially in 7s where it is needed.
How does the law-tweaking tickle you?