News

Law Changes, including the scrum

Fri, 07 Jun 2013 00:11
Shota-horie-rebels-scrum

Tthe scrum engagement process changes.

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The IRB held its Annual Meeting and a Special Meeting on 8 May 2013 and promulagtes law changes of which the scrum law is the most significant.

The changes also deal with bleeding and concussion.

Although the IRB requested that these Alterations be applicable for competitions starting on or after 1 August 2013, SARU believe, and have decided, that it is in the best interest to start all the remaining SARU competitions with the new scrum trial law from 1 July 2013 to cater for all remaining SARU competitions in 2013 (Women, Under-19, Under-21, Currie Cup 1st and Currie Cup Premier).

Let's start with Law 20, the changes to the scrum law.

Andre Watson, the chief of SA Referees, says: "All these regulations and laws are obviously important. But I venture to state that the scrum law (Law 20) will be the big ticket issue as the scrum engagement process changes from 'crouch-touch-set' to 'crouch-bind- set'.

"The binding of props to the opponent before engagement is fundamentally different from the current, but should result in far fewer penalties for slipping and binding issues.

"The 'hit' will be on the "set" call and the props - that are already bound to the opponent - will 'slide' into the interlocking position.

"The scrum feed by the scrum half be straight - (yes, eventually!)."

Watson adds: "We are awaiting a clip or link from the IRB which will graphically show how this works with tips for referees and coaches, which we will send on as soon as received, latest by 13 June.

"All existing school and club rugby competitions in the various provinces are to continue with the current scrum process until the end of this season) The National weeks therefore will all be played under the existing scrum law and not the new."

Law 20 Scrum - Trial Scrum Engagement Process

Law 20.1 Forming a Scrum
(a) Where the scrum takes place. The place for a scrum is where the infringement or stoppage happened, or as near to it as is practicable in the field of play, unless otherwise stated in Law.
(b) If this is less than 5 metres from a touchline, the place for the scrum is 5 metres from that touchline. A scrum can take place only in the field of play. The middle line of a scrum must not be within 5 metres of the goal line when it is formed.
(c) If there is an infringement or stoppage in in-goal, the place for the scrum is 5 metres from the goal-line. The scrum is formed in line with the infringement or stoppage.
(d) No delay. A team must not intentionally delay forming a scrum.
Sanction: Free Kick
(e) Number of players: eight. A scrum must have eight players from each team. All eight players must stay bound to the scrum until it ends. Each front row must have three players in it, no more and no less. Two locks must form the second row.
Sanction: Penalty kick
Exception: When a team is reduced to fewer than fifteen for any reason, then the number of players of each team in the scrum may be similarly reduced. Where a permitted reduction is made by one team, there is no requirement for the other team to make a similar reduction. However, a team must not have fewer than five players in the scrum.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(f) Front rows coming together. First, the referee marks with a foot the place where the scrum is to be formed. Before the two front rows come together they must be standing not more than an arm’s length apart. The ball is in the scrum half’s hands, ready to be thrown in. The front rows must crouch so that when they meet, each player’s head and shoulders are no lower than the hips. The front rows must interlock so that no player’s head is next to the head of a team-mate.
Sanction: Free Kick
(g)The referee will call “crouch” then “bind”. The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop must bind. A loose head prop must bind on the opposing tight head prop by placing the left arm inside the right arm of the tight head and gripping the tight head prop’s jersey on the back or side. A tight head prop must bind on the opposing loose head prop by placing the right arm outside the left upper arm of the opposing loose head prop and gripping the loose head prop’s jersey with the right hand only on the back or side. The props must not grip the opponent’s chest, arm, sleeve, or collar. Following a pause 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.
Sanction: Free Kick
(h) A crouched position is the extension of the normal stance by bending the knees sufficiently to move into the engagement without a charge.
(i) Charging. A front row must not form at a distance from its opponents and rush against them or pull them.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(j) Stationary and parallel. Until the ball leaves the scrum half’s hands, the scrum must be stationary and the middle line must be parallel to the goal lines. A team must not shove the scrum away from the mark before the ball is thrown in.
Sanction: Free Kick
Please note Law 20.3 applies
(a) Binding by all front row players. All front row players must bind firmly and continuously from the start to the finish of the scrum.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(b) Binding by hookers. The hooker may bind either over or under the arms of the props. The props must not support the hooker so that the hooker has no weight on either foot.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(c) Binding by loose head props. A loose head prop must bind on the opposing tight head prop by placing the left arm inside the right arm of the tight head and gripping the tight head prop’s jersey on the back or side. The loose head prop must not grip the chest, arm, sleeve or collar of the opposition tight head prop. The loose head prop must not exert any downward pressure.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(d) Binding by tight head props. A tight head prop must bind on the opposing loose head prop by placing the right arm outside the left upper arm of the opposing loose head prop. The tight head prop must grip the loose head prop’s jersey with the right hand only on the back or side. The tight head prop must not grip the chest, arm, sleeve or collar of the opposition loose head prop. The tight head prop must not exert any downward pressure.
Sanction: Penalty kick
(e)Both the loose head and tight head props may alter their bind providing they do so in accordance with this Law.
Please note Law 20.6 Throw-in at the scrum
(a) The scrum half must stand one metre from the mark on the middle line so that player’s head does not touch the scrum or go beyond the nearest front row player.
Sanction: Free Kick
(b) The scrum half must hold the ball with both hands, with its major axis parallel to the ground and to the touchline over the middle line between the front rows, mid-way between knee and ankle.
Sanction: Free Kick
(c) The scrum half must throw in the ball at a quick speed. The ball must be released from the scrum half’s hands from outside the tunnel.
Sanction: Free Kick
(d) The scrum half must throw in the ball straight along the middle line, so that it first touches the ground immediately beyond the width of the nearer prop’s shoulders.
Sanction: Free Kick
(e) The scrum half must throw in the ball with a single forward movement. This means that there must be no backward movement with the ball. The scrum half must not pretend to throw the ball.
Sanction: Free Kick

Amendment to Law 1 - Dimensions of the playing enclosure
Amend 1.2 (a)
Add new 1.2 (d) (e)
1.2 REQUIRED DIMENSIONS FOR THE PLAYING ENCLOSURE
(a) Dimensions. The field of play does not exceed 100 metres in length. Each in-goal does not exceed 22 metres in length. The playing area does not exceed 70 metres in width.
(b) The length and breadth of the playing area are to be as near as possible to the dimensions indicated. All the areas are rectangular.
(c) The distance from the goal line to the dead ball line will preferably be not less than 10 metres.
(d) In respect of:
(i) Matches between the Senior National Representative Team or the Next Senior National Representative Team of a Union against the Senior or Next Senior National Representative Team of another Union; and
(ii) International Seven-a-Side Matches; the dimensions should be as close to the maximum sizes as possible, and not less than 94 metres in length for the field of play, 68 metres in width, and with a minimum in-goal length of 6 metres*.
(e) The perimetre area should not be less than 5 metres where practicable.
* On a case by case basis a Union may apply to the International Rugby Board for dispensation relating to the minimum dimensions for the playing enclosure. A Union, may apply to the Rugby Committee ordinarily three months in advance of the date of intended use of the pitch requiring dispensation. Such cases may either be considered in person or by e-mail correspondence by the Committee.
Reason: To provide definitive minimum dimensions for playing enclosures for international matches consistent with minimum sizes approved for RWC

Law 3.10 - Temporary replacement - Blood injury

Law 3.10 TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT
(a) If a player has a blood injury which has uncontrolled active bleeding (a blood injury) that player may be temporarily replaced. The injured player must return to play as soon as the bleeding has been controlled and/or covered. If the player who has been temporarily replaced is not available to return to the field of play within 15 minutes (actual time) of leaving the playing area, the replacement becomes permanent and the replaced player must not return to the field of play.
(b) In international matches the Match Day Doctor shall decide whether an injury is a blood injury necessitating a temporary replacement.
(c) Minor cuts and abrasions not constituting a blood injury should be treated during stoppages in play for other reasons.
(d) If the temporary replacement is injured, that player may also be replaced.
(e) If the temporary replacement is sent off for foul play, the replaced player may not return to the field of play.
(f)If the temporary replacement is cautioned and temporarily suspended, the replaced player may not return to the field of play until after the period of suspension.
3.10 Temporary replacement
(a) When a player has a blood injury which has uncontrolled active bleeding (a blood injury) player leaves the field to have bleeding controlled and/or have an open wound covered, that player may be temporarily replaced. The injured player must return to play as soon as the bleeding has been controlled and/or covered. If the player who has been temporarily replaced is not available to does not return to the field of play within 15 minutes (actual time) of leaving the playing area, the replacement becomes permanent and the replaced player must not return to the field of play.
(b) In international matches the Match Day Doctor shall decide whether an injury is a blood injury necessitating a temporary replacement.
(c) Minor cuts and abrasions not constituting a blood injury should be treated during stoppages in play for other reasons.
(d) If the temporary replacement is injured, that player may also be replaced.
(e) If the temporary replacement is sent off for foul play, the replaced player may not return to the field of play.
(f) If the temporary replacement is cautioned and temporarily suspended, the replaced player may not return to the field of play until after the period of suspension.

Regulation 10 - Medical

10.1 Concussion
10.1.1 Concussion must be taken extremely seriously. The IRB Concussion Guidelines set out the procedures for the management of;
(i) Players diagnosed with concussion by an appropriately qualified person (as applicable in the relevant jurisdiction); or
(ii) Players suspected of having concussion.
The IRB Concussion Guidelines (available on www.irbplayerwelfare.com) shall be updated from time to time in accordance with best medical practice.
10.1.2 All Players diagnosed with concussion during a Game or training must;
(i) be removed from the field of play and not return to play or train on the same day; and
(ii) complete the graduated return to play protocol described in the IRB Concussion Guidelines.
10.1.3 All Players who are suspected of having concussion during a Game or training at which there is no appropriately qualified person (as applicable in the relevant jurisdiction) present to diagnose concussion;
(i) must be removed from the field of play and not return to play or train on the same day; and
(ii) should be reviewed by an appropriately qualified person (as applicable in the relevant jurisdiction) and diagnosed as having concussion or not; and
(iii) in any case must complete the graduated return to play protocol described in the IRB Concussion Guidelines.
10.2.4 The IRB Concussion Guidelines highlight the heightened risk of concussion and its complications in children and adolescent (less than 18 years of age) Players. Extra caution must be taken to prevent such Players returning to play or continuing playing or training if any suspicion of concussion exists.
(1. Concussion is a complex process caused by trauma that transmits force to the brain either directly or indirectly and results in temporary impairment of brain function. Its development and resolution are rapid and spontaneous. A Player can sustain a concussion without losing consciousness. Concussion is associated with a graded set of clinical signs and symptoms that resolve sequentially. Concussion reflects a functional rather than structural injury and standard neuro-imaging is typically normal.)

Regulation 15 Match doctor

15.3 Match Day Doctor
15.3.1 In respect of all International Matches, a Match Day Doctor shall be appointed by the Host Union. The role of the Match Day Doctor is set out in the IRB Match Day Doctor Manual available at www.irbplayerwelfare.com. The Match Day Doctor Manual may be amended from time to time in accordance with best practice.

Regulation 17 - Discipline - Foul Play

For mitigating factors, the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer shall start at 0% reduction and apply the amount, if any, to be allowed as mitigation up to the maximum 50% reduction.
17.19.7 In cases involving offending that has been classified pursuant to Regulation 17.19.2 as lower end offending, where:
(a) there are off-field mitigating factors; and
(b) where the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer considers that the sanction would be wholly disproportionate to the level and type of offending involved;
the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer may apply sanctions less than 50% of the lower end entry sanctions specified in

Appendix 1 including in appropriate cases no sanction. In exceptional cases where the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer considers it is warranted it/he may (i) expunge the Ordering Off (Red Card) from the Player's disciplinary record, or (ii) in the case of a Temporary Suspension (Yellow Card) issued by the referee, solely in circumstances attributed to mistaken identity, may expunge the Temporary Suspension from the Player's disciplinary record.
17.19.8 In cases of multiple offending, Disciplinary Committees and Judicial Officers may impose sanctions to run either on a concurrent or a consecutive basis provided that the total sanction is in all the circumstances proportionate to the level of the overall offending.
17.19.9 Disciplinary Committees and Judicial Officers shall ordinarily in their written decisions set out the reasoning for their findings, including the finding on culpability, how they have categorized the seriousness of the offence by reference to the features set out in Regulation 17.19.2, how they identified and applied any aggravating and mitigating factors and conclude with the resultant sanction, if any, imposed.
17.19.10 Decisions on sanctions and suspensions imposed on Players under IRB Regulation 17 shall:
(a) be applied universally by Unions, Associations, Rugby Bodies and their constituent bodies such that the Player may not play the Game (or any form thereof) or be involved in any on-field Match day activities anywhere during the period of suspension;
(b) not allow Players to avoid the full consequences of their actions by, for example, playing in Matches prior to the commencement of their suspension, or playing in Matches during a break in the suspension and/or serving their suspension during a period of inconsequential pre-season and/or so-called friendly Matches;
(c) apply and be served when the Player is scheduled to play;
(d) be imposed until a stated date which should be fixed after taking into consideration all playing consequences of such suspension; and
(e) be effective immediately (subject to 17.19.11(b)).

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