Whistle Talk - News from the British Columbia Rugby Referees’ Society
Volume 2 ed 1
Published Wednesday, August 8, 2012
by Dave Pue, BCRRS

New Season Begins
There will be a lot of “new” in the upcoming season of BC Rugby: new Rules of Competition, new league structures, new experimental Laws, some new interpretations of existing Laws and new focus by referees on some phases of the game. It will take a while to get used to all of the changes but hopefully we will have even better rugby in BC.

The IRB controls the Laws of the Game and how they are administered in several ways. They use actual Law changes, Law clarifications (interpretations), Law Amendment Trials (or Experimental Law Variations) and directives to referees on how to apply current Law. This season all of these will affect the way the game is played. All of the following are available on line (along with example video) at http://www.irblaws.com/. (On this site you can also take a test on the Laws… you’ll get a certificate… suitable for framing !)

The Big Five
From an IRBs meeting with the International Referees Panel in 2009 (and reaffirmed in 2012), the focus for referees was laid out, as the “Big Five”. These are NOT new Law but rather a call to referees to police the existing Law. All are designed to allow the game to be more open and played at speed.

1 All areas of the tackle law to be strictly applied.
2 Offsides at breakdown to be strictly policed.
3 Zero tolerance to offsides from kicks to be strictly policed.
4 Scrum: Four calls and four actions: crouch means crouch, touch means touch, etc. (see below)
5 Maul: The ball carrier at the commencement of the maul must be available to be
defended by his opponents.

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