Amendments to Laws

14 June 2004

Amendments to Laws The following amendments come into play on 19.6.2004 LAW AMENDMENTS These Law amendments come into effect on 19 June. LAW 3.5: SUITABLY TRAINED AND EXPERIENCED PLAYERS IN THE FRONT ROW (c) When 19, 20, 21 or 22 players are nominated in a team there must be five players who can play in the front row to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement hooker is required and, on the first occasion that a replacement prop forward is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums. (d) The replacement of a front row forward must come from suitably trained and experienced players who started the match or from the nominated replacements. LAW 3.14: FRONT ROW FORWARD SENT OFF OR TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED OR INJURED (a) If after a front row player has been sent off or during the time a front row player is temporarily suspended, and there are no further front row players available from the nominated team, then uncontested scrums will be ordered. It is not the responsibility of the referee to determine the suitability of trained front row replacements nor their availability, as this is a team responsibility. Comments – Importantly, these changes ensure that the referee does not have the responsibility to determine if a player is trained or not. This responsibility rests with the team and by inference the coach. LAW 10.2: THROWING INTO TOUCH (c) A player must not intentionally throw or knock the ball with his arm or hand into touch, touch-in-goal, or over the dead ball line. Comments – Self explanatory LAW 13.1: WHERE AND HOW THE KICK-OFF IS TAKEN (a) A team kicks off with a drop-kick which must be taken at or behind the centre of the half-way line. (b) If the ball is kicked off with the wrong type of kick, or from the wrong place, the opposing team has two choices: To have the ball kicked off again, or To have a scrum at the centre of the half-way line and they throw in the ball LAW 13.13: DROP-OUT INCORRECTLY TAKEN If the ball is kicked off with the wrong type of kick, or from the wrong place, the opposing team has two choices: To have another drop-out, or To have a scrum at the centre of the 22 metre line and they throw in the ball Comments – This change is designed to ensure that there can be no delay in bringing the ball into play at a kick off by using the wrong kick or by taking the kick from the wrong place. Previously the team was allowed to take the kick again. Under this law the non kicking team can have the kick taken again or a scrum put-in at the place of the kick. LAW 15: TACKLE A tackle occurs when the ball-carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground. A ball-carrier who is not held is not a tackled player and a tackle has not taken place. Opposition players who hold the ball-carrier and bring that player to ground, and who also go to ground, are known as tacklers. Opposition players who hold the ball-carrier and do not go to ground are not tacklers. Comments – The tackle definition is a biggy. The words "Opposition players who hold the ball carrier and do not go to ground are not tacklers" have been added to the definition for clarification. These players must therefore approach the tackle from their goal line side (through the gate) before they can play the ball. They cannot, having made the tackle, reach down from anywhere and pick it up if they are not on their goal line side of the tackle area. LAW 19.10: OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO PLAYERS NOT IN THE LINE-OUT The receiver may run into the gap and perform any of the actions available to any other player in the line-out. The receiver is liable to penalty for offences in the line-out as would be other players in the line-out. Comments – The receiver of the team throwing the ball into the line-out can join the lineout. He no longer has to have the ball thrown to him. He can be a dummy jumper or a supporter or a catcher. The non throwing team receiver can also join the lineout, but his team must not at any time have more players in the line-out than the throwing team. If the non throwing team has more players in the line-out than the throwing team at this point, another player from the non throwing team must drop out of the lineout.
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