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Global law trial FAQ

Background: The iRB have approved a request from the NZRU to trial the recently agreed 11 law changes in 2012 during the ITM Cup, Heartland Championship and Women’s Competition.

Of the 11 changes, the 8 changes relevant to our three competitions are;

Law 4 : Players’ Clothing
4.2 Special additional items for women – Female players allowed to wear tights

Female players may wear cotton blend long tights with single inside leg seam under their shorts and socks.

What does this mean?

Cotton blend tights may be worn but not “Skins”

Law 4.3 Studs.
A new sole configuration was approved for trial. Save for the new configuration, studs must be compliant with Law 4 and IRB Specifications (Regulation 12).

What does this mean?
The following sole configuration has been approved for trial. This configuration can only be used in boot specifically manufactured this way . Players may not simply remove a sprig.


Law 9 : Method of Scoring
9.B.1 Taking a conversion kick – The kicker must take the kick within one minute and thirty seconds (ninety seconds) from the time a try has been scored.

The player must complete the kick within one minute and thirty seconds even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again.
Sanction: The kick is disallowed if the kicker does not take the kick within the time allowed

What does this mean?

The conversion must now be completed within 90 seconds of the try being awarded.

The ball that was in play must be used unless it is defective.

Players who celebrate by kicking or throwing the ball away need to remember that the 90 seconds has started and the same ball used in the scoring of the try needs to be used for the conversion.
Opposition players who kick the ball away may be sanctioned including the option of awarding a penalty kick on halfway.

Law 12 : Knock-on or Throw forward
12.1 The outcome of a knock-on or throw forward. Quick throw-in after knock-on or throw forward Knock-on or throw forward into to touch. When the ball goes into touch from a knock-on or throw forward, the non-offending team will be offered the choice of a lineout at the point the ball crossed the touch line or a scrum at the place of the knock-on or throw forward. The non-offending team may exercise the former option by taking a quick throw-in.

What does this mean?

The non-offending team now has the following options if the ball is knocked on or thrown forward into touch;
• Scrum
• Lineout
• Quick throw-in
This law does not apply to a ball thrown forward or knocked on into touch-in-goal

Law 16 : Ruck
16.7 Unsuccessful end to a ruck – Five seconds to play the ball from the back of the ruck.

When the ball has been clearly won by a team at a ruck and the ball is available to be played the referee will call “Use it!” after which the ball must be played within five seconds. If the ball is not played within the five seconds the referee will award a scrum and the team not in possession of the ball at the ruck is awarded the throw in.

What does this mean?
The team in possession now has 5 seconds to use the ball in a ruck once it is available.

Available means that the ball is at the back of the ruck and available for the halfback to play unimpeded.

Once the ball is clearly available the referee will call “use it”. From that moment the halfback has 5 seconds to clear the ball.
There will not be a 2nd “use it” call.

Law 19 : Touch and Lineout

19.2 Quick throw-in – Position of thrower at quick throw-in

9.2 Quick throw-in – For a quick throw in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the line of touch and the player’s goal line.

What does this mean?


Law 20 : Scrum

20.1 Forming a scrum

Changed scrum engagement sequence – The referee will call “crouch” then “touch”.

The front rows crouch and using their outside arm; each prop touches the point of the opposing prop’s outside shoulder. The props then withdraw their arms. The referee will then call “set” when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then engage. The “set” call is not a command but an indication that the front rows may come together when ready.

What does this mean?

The scrum calls will now be CROUCH, TOUCH, SET.
The referee will still be in control of the three calls.
The referee will still need to observe an action before moving to the next call.
After TOUCH, the referee will need to observe two balanced front rowsbefore moving to SET.
Essentially “Pause” has been removed and “Engage” replaced with “Set”

Law 21 : Penalty and Free Kicks

21.4 Penalty and free kick options and requirements – Lineout alternative.

A team awarded a penalty or a free kick at a lineout may choose a further lineout, they throw-in. This is in addition to the scrum option.

What does this mean?

If you are awarded a Penalty or Free Kick from a lineout, you can have a lineout, with the throw in without having to physically kick for touch.

This is the only time you are entitled to throw to a lineout following a lineout from a free kick.

Project Scope: In Scope
• 11 law changes for 2012 ITM Cup, Heartland Championship, Women’s NPC
• 11 law changes for all rugby 2013

Not in scope
• TMO protocol changes
• 7’s
• 2012 Ranfurly Shield challenges (pre-ITM Cup)
• ITM Cup/Heartland Championship/Women’s NPC prior to 6 August.

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