Exclusive: Scrum engagement law changed (ELV)

Exclusive (it would seem): The IRB have approved the change to the scrum engagement sequence for trial globally from next season (us in August, Jan 2013 for SH teams. This is in addition to those announced last week. You will remember that while this was mentioned in last week’s communique it was suggested it was going into a further round of discussions. Not so it would seem:

The new sequence will be “Crouch, Touch, Set”.


10. Law 20.1 (g) Forming a Scrum Current 20.1 (g):
The referee will call “crouch” then “touch”. The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop touches the point of the opposing props outside shoulder. The props then withdraw their arms. The referee will then call “pause”. Following a pause the referee will then call “engage”. The front rows may then engage. The “engage” call is not a command but an indication that the front rows may come together when ready.

Amend 20.1 (g) to read:
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.

News: IRB sanction global Law trials

New from the IRB this afternoon:

IRB and Unions sanction global Law trials
(IRB.COM) Tuesday 15 May 2012

  • IRB Council approves trials for five Law amendments
  • Full Union consultation and amendment evaluation undertaken
  • Laws Representative Group comprises Union technical experts
  • Successful trials undertaken at Cambridge and Stellenbosch
  • TMO jurisdiction extension trial approved for elite competition
  • The International Rugby Board and its Member Unions have sanctioned a global trial of five aspects of Law amendments following an extensive process of consultation and evaluation.

    The trial, approved by the IRB Council at its Annual Meeting in Dublin on Tuesday, will commence at the start of the next season in each hemisphere (August 2012 in the north and January 2013 in the south) and will be applicable to both international and domestic competition.

    Aspects of Law approved for trial include limiting the time that the ball is available at the back of a ruck and the positioning of taking a quick throw-in. In addition to the suite of seven Laws approved for global trial, three additional trials will operate during 2012.

    A trial extension of the jurisdiction of the Television Match Official will be introduced later this year, while the number of nominated replacements in Test Rugby will be increased to eight for a trial in the November window.

    The global trial has been sanctioned after an unprecedented evaluation process that kicked off with submissions and recommendations for 20 potential amendments from Member Unions and has culminated with recent trials of amendments to seven aspects of Law as a package at dedicated playing environments in Cambridge and Stellenbosch.

    This evaluation process is in line with the remit of the Laws Amendment Process approved by the IRB Council in December 2009.

    Unlike previous amendment processes, the process of selection, monitoring and evaluation has been steered by an independent Laws Representative Group, comprising technical representatives from each of the 10 Tier 1 Unions covering elite and community Rugby and representatives of the IRB Rugby Committee.

    Extensive evaluation of the Cambridge and Stellenbosch University trials undertaken earlier this year determined that each of the seven amendments could have a positive effect on the Game or clarify existing areas of Law and therefore a recommendation was made to the IRB Council via the IRB Rugby Committee to approve a global trial of all seven amendments.

    The five Law amendments to be trialled globally are:

    1. Law 16.7 (Ruck): The ball has to be used within five seconds of it being made available at the back of a ruck with a warning from the referee to “use it”. Sanction – Scrum.

    2. 19.2 (b) (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.

    3. 19.4 (who throws in) When the ball goes into touch from a knock-on, 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. The non-offending team may exercise this option by taking a quick throw-in.

    4. 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.

    5. A conversion kick must be completed within one minute 30 seconds from the time that a try has been awarded.

    In addition to the global trials, the IRB Council approved three specific additional trials:

    1. A trial to extend the jurisdiction of the TMO to incidents within the field of play that have led to the scoring of a try and foul play in the field of play to take place at an appropriate elite competition in order that a protocol can be developed for the November 2012 Tests.

    2. A trial has been sanctioned for the November 2012 Test window permitting international teams to nominate up to eight replacements in the match day squad for Test matches. In line with current practice at domestic elite Rugby level, the additional player must be a qualified front row player.

    3. An amendment to Law 3.4 (Sevens Variation) to enable Sevens teams to nominate up to five replacements/substitutes. Under the revision, which will operate from June 1 2012, a team may substitute or replace up to five players during a match. Approval has been granted on player welfare grounds to recognise the additional demands on players and squads owing to the expansion of the HSBC Sevens World Series where there are three blocks of three events on consecutive weekends.

    Council also approved the referral by the Laws Representative Group of one potential Law amendment that was successfully trialled at Cambridge and Stellenbosch for further consideration by the specialist Scrum Steering Group (overseeing scrum force project) to be considered alongside the ongoing review of the scrum.

    The amendment that will be considered by the Group relates to the engagement sequence and will see the referee call “crouch” then “touch”. The front rows crouch then touch and using 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 set the scrum.

    “We have a collective responsibility to ensure that the Game is as enjoyable to play, officiate and watch as possible at every level while player welfare is of paramount importance,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

    “Rugby is currently in good health with participation growing around the world, but there is collective responsibility to ensure that a structured process can be implemented to allow for global analysis and to monitor trends relating to the shape and character of the Game as it evolves.”

    “The approval of five aspects of Law for global trial is the culmination of the Laws Amendment Process which was agreed by the IRB Council in 2009. The journey to this point has been exhaustive and collaborative and has involved full stakeholder consultation and I would like to thank Member Unions for their buy-in and commitment to the process from the outset.”

    “The Laws Representative Group were encouraged by the outcomes of the initial trials in Cambridge and Stellenbosch. The next step is a global trial with full buy-in and which has been approved by Council on the basis that the amendments can have a positive effect on the playing of the Game.”

    “The global trials are not fait accompli. It is essential at the end of the global trial process that decisions made are in the best interest of Rugby worldwide,” added Lapasset.

    Thoughts? Will they work? What about the delay to the scrum engagement change?

    ELVs decisions announced

    Following a 2 day meeting at the Lensbury, the following recommendations have been made to the iRB council on 13 May.

    Seems to be good sense and logic – hoorah! Although Im slightly baffled by the numbers in the line decision. Will be interested to see whether any commentary emerges behind these decisions.

    ELVs recommended to be passed into law:

    • Law 6 – Assistant referees allowed
    • Law 19 – Kicking directly into touch from ball played back into 22 equals no gain in ground
    • Law 19 – Quick throw permitted in any direction except forward
    • Law 19 – Positioning of player in opposition to the player throwing-in to be two metres away from line-out and the line of touch
    • Law 19 – Pre-gripping of line-out jumpers allowed
    • Law 19 – Lifting in the line-out allowed
    • Law 19 – Positioning of receiver must be two metres away from line-out
    • Law 20 – Five-metre offside line at the scrum
    • Law 20 – Scrum-half offside line at the scrum
    • Law 22 – Corner posts no longer touch in goal

    ELVs not recommended:

    • Law 17 – Maul, head and shoulders not to be lower than hips
    • Law 17 – Maul, pulling down the maul
    • Law 19 – Freedom for each team to determine line-out numbers

    ELVs sent for further examination:

    • Sanctions and free-kicks

    (Source: http://www.irb.com/newsmedia/mediazone/pressrelease/newsid=2030442.html#rugby+stakeholders+agree+elv+recommendations)

    RFU seeking ELV thoughts

    From the RFU press office:

    RFU consults grassroots over new laws experiment
    April 23, 2008

    THE Rugby Football Union is giving everyone involved in English rugby the chance to have their say on the International Rugby Board’s proposal to introduce eight new Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) throughout the game next season.

    The RFU believes that some of the ELVs could fundamentally change the nature of the game as it is currently known and that all those potentially affected by their introduction should be consulted.

    The RFU is therefore launching a special consultation website www.rfusurvey.co.uk to enable all parts of the game to express their views on the ELVs and whether they should be trialled in the manner proposed.

    The survey is scheduled to go live tomorrow evening (Thursday) and is open to players, coaches, referees and supporters and gives people chance to compare and vote on the existing law and its associated ELV before the Union formally responds to the IRB.

    RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron said: “We have a number of concerns about the ELVs and the proposed process that is being followed regarding their introduction.

    “As these Experimental Law Variations could potentially result in major changes to the Laws of the Game, the RFU believes it is important to consult those involved in the game at every level and give them an opportunity to express their views.

    “In order to discover what participants in rugby union in England actually feel and to assist us in formulating the RFU’s response to the proposed changes, the Union has compiled an online questionnaire.

    “I would urge everyone with an interest in the future of our game to go to www.rfusurvey.co.uk and spend ten minutes completing the questionnaire so we can paint as accurate a picture as possible of people’s views in England when the matter comes up for debate at the IRB in May.”


    Happy surveying!! – you’ll have to wait till tomorrow though!!