The Council of the International Rugby Board (IRB) this week accepted 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.
André Watson, manager of referees at the South African Rugby Union (SARU), will communicate with the various Unions, Clubs and Schools in writing within the next week about the implementation of these laws in respect of the who, when, where, etc.
“This is in order to avoid any confusion. The ideal would be for it to be implemented at all levels as soon as possible as the whole of South African rugby is playing 12 out of the 10 newly approved laws anyway,” said Watson.
“The only laws to adjust to is the non-collapsing of the maul and no number restrictions at the line out.”
These ELVs will be implemented globally on May 23. It will be used during the Castle South Africa 2009 Lions Series and as advised through Watson’s desk from SARU.
ELVs 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 metres 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 metre line and touch line and must be two metres from the line of touch and at least two metres 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 metres 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:
1. Unions may implement rolling substitutions at defined levels of the Game.
2. Union having jurisdiction over a Game may implement a half time interval of not more than 15 minutes, but not at international level.
3. A Union may implement the Under 19 Scrum Law Variation at a defined level of the Game under its jurisdiction.