2017 Global Law Trial Webinar

The recording of the 2017 Global Law Trial Webinar is up and available here for you to view, along with the video clips from the presentation and the PDF of the power point. You will also find a video from World Rugby and High Performance Referee Manager Alain Rolland covering all the new laws in effect for competitions this fall. Enjoy..



World Rugby Global Law Variations 7s – Effective March 1

The Rugby Committee has approved the use of the following World Rugby Global Law trials for seven a side rugby tournaments played in the USA and leading to a USA National Championship. These trials are to go into effect in the USA as of March 1st, 2017. World Rugby have approved their use in domestic 7s tournaments in the USA.

The original trial start date would have put the adoption of these trial laws into effect in the middle of our National 7s tournaments, and rather than change laws mid-stream we have opted to bring the law changes in early and operate the entire tournament set under the new laws.

Each of the law trials, and their specific law segment are listed below:

Law 5 Time

Add to 5.7(e) If a penalty is kicked into touch after time has elapsed without touching another player, the referee allows the throw-in to be taken and play continues until the next time the ball becomes dead.

Law 8 Advantage

Add to 8.1(a) When there are multiple penalty infringements by the same team, the referee may allow the captain of the non-offending team to choose the most advantageous of the penalty marks.

Law 9 Method of Scoring

9.A.1 (points values)

Penalty Try. If a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent, a penalty try is awarded. No conversion is attempted.

Value: 7 points

Law 19 Touch and Lineout

• A player who is attempting to bring the ball under control is deemed to be in possession of the ball.

If a player jumps and knocks the ball back into the playing area (or if that player catches the ball and throws it back into the playing area) before landing in touch or touch-in-goal, play continues regardless of whether the ball reaches the plane of touch.

If the ball-carrier reaches the plane of touch but returns the ball to the playing area without first landing in touch, play continues.

If the ball has passed the plane of touch when it is caught, then the catcher is not deemed to have taken the ball into touch. If the ball has not passed the plane of touch when it is caught or picked up, then the catcher is deemed to have taken the ball into touch, regardless of whether the ball was in motion or stationary.

Sevens specific variations

Law 5 Time

Finals should last no longer than seven minutes each half (rationale is player welfare – the evidence shows that a disproportionate number of injuries take place in the second half of finals. Injuries per minute are higher in the second half of finals as opposed to the first half and throughout normal matches of seven minutes each way.)

Law 13 Kick off and Restarts

The restart kick must be taken within 30 seconds of a penalty kick or dropped goal being attempted where the kick is successful or goes dead. FK

Law 19 Touch and Lineout

Teams must form a lineout within 15 seconds from the time the referee indicates the place where the throw-in will take place. FK

Law 15 Scrum

Teams must be ready to form a scrum within 15 seconds from the time the referee indicates the mark of the scrum. FK

Law 21 Penalty and Free Kicks

A penalty or free-kick must be taken within 30 seconds of being awarded.

REMINDER: Head Injury Assessment (HIA) NOT Allowed

A quick reminder, the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) is NOT an option for rugby athletes competing in any domestic competition in the United States.

Clubs, colleges, and high school teams must still practice USA Rugby’s five Rs – Recognize, Remove, Refer, Recover, and Return – in terms of suspected concussions, keeping athletes safe with precautionary measures.

Read more at https://www.usarugby.org/2016/04/be-safe-on-the-rugby-field-concussion-protocol-reminder/


Interactions with TRRA Referees

Based on guidance from World Rugby and USA Rugby, the following information is to be passed to all rugby clubs that utilize the TRRA for referees.

–          Match referee is to be contacted by home team no later than Wednesday prior to a Saturday match or 72 hours to any match.  Confirmation of kickoff time and location are required. It is the home team’s responsibility to verify visiting team will play.

–          When Assistant referees are not assigned, teams should have touch judges identified and presented to referee upon the referee’s arrival to pitch. In addition, front row waivers and CIPP rosters with jersey numbers listed must be provided to referee prior to kickoff.

–          Team Assigned Touch Judges are there to judge touch and conversion kicks, nothing else. At no time will a touch judge approach a referee and question a call during the match.

–          A technical zone should be present on every pitch. If there is no technical zone, then all players and coaches should be behind the 5 meter barrier. The referee may allow the head coach to remain inside the barrier. If so, the coach should remain in the area between the 22 meter and 10 meter lines.

–          At halftime, there are absolutely no match related conversations with the referee.

–          Immediately after the match, do not approach the referee and ask questions about the match. Wait at least 24 hours to ask any questions. When conversing with a referee, please be professional and questions should be related to laws of rugby.

–          Complete a referee assessment

–          If you have any questions regarding a referee’s performance, please contact the TRRA Chairman or Vice Chairman and provide video of the match.

Visit our website to see the latest on rugby laws. TEXASRUGBYREF.COM

Ball Carrier Hurdling Tackler Guideline

USA RugbyWe have been asked many times if this is Dangerous Play. This is not specified in Law 10.4, and the question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no because there are so many possible variations on the situation.

The short answer is that sometimes it is dangerous and other times it is not, depending on the circumstances. Each play must be judged on its own merit by the referee. Here are some factors to consider when viewing this sort of play:

  1. Dangerous Play is not restricted to the specific actions listed in 10.4. That is a list of many of the most common occurrences of Dangerous Play, but the fact that an action isn’t listed does not mean the referee cannot penalize for something deemed dangerous when seen in a game. Here are some actions that aren’t listed in 10.4, but which definitely could be called dangerous:
    1. biting an opponent
    2. spitting on an opponent
    3. punching a teammate
  2. There is general agreement that if the defender is directly in front of the ball carrier and standing in a normal tackling position, and the ball carrier goes over the defender like clearing the high hurdles, this is dangerous. There are two reasons:
      1. It is dangerous to the opponent because that action brings boots into close proximity of a players face/head.
      2. It is dangerous to the ball carrier because if the defender manages to make contact while attempting to tackle, the ball carrier could get flipped and land on his head/neck.
      3. Also remember that there are many examples that could be called “hurdling” that are just fine and we see them in almost every game:
        1. Jumping over a player who is lying on the ground
        2. Jumping to avoid the outstretched arms of a diving tackle attempt from the side.


    In conclusion, if it is hurdling a standing (or crouched) defender directly in front of the ball carrier, it is dangerous. If it is something from paragraph three it is most likely fine. For the middle range, the referee needs to judge based on what is presented at the moment.


    Richard Every
    High Performance Referee Manager

World Rugby Law Clarification 2 – Injury from Foul Play

World-Rugby-Laws-of-the-GamePlease review the second clarification from World Rugby this year. It addresses some specifics regarding the new section of Law 3.14 (Substituted Players Rejoining a Match – injured as a result of foul play). The clarification is very straightforward, but please write to me if you have any questions.

2016 Law Clarification 2 Injury from Foul Play

Peter Watson
Chair, USA Rugby Law Committee


7s Rolling Substitutions – New Law Variation

usa_rugby_logoWorld Rugby is trialing a variation regarding substitutions in sevens. The USA Rugby Committee has approved the use of this Variation in all domestic competitions effective June 18, 2016.

The exact wording is copied below, but in essence it allows a player to return to the game after having been substituted off. The team is still restricted to a total of five substitutions during the game. [This includes any extra time – there are no additional substitutes permitted during additional playing time.]

The Exception that allows a replacement for a player with a blood injury remains, even after a team has made all five of its allowed substitutions.

The Law that allows a temporary replacement for head injury assessment (which is referenced in this Variation) IS NOT APPROVED FOR DOMESTIC USE.

Peter Watson
Chair, USA Rugby Law sub-committee


3.4 Players nominated as substitutes

  • A team may nominate up to five replacements/substitutes.
  • A team may substitute or replace up to five players.
  • A team may substitute the same player more than once as long as no more than 5 substitutions are made in total. See 3.13 for exception

3.13 Substituted players rejoining the match

If a player is substituted, that player may return to play in that match under the following circumstances:

  • Up to 5 tactical substitutions per game
  • In addition to which players may return to play when replacing:
    • a player with a blood injury in accordance with Law 3.11
    •  a player undertaking a Head Injury Assessment in accordance with Law 3.12. NOT IN EFFECT FOR DOMESTIC COMPETITIONS

2016 USA Rugby Game Management Guidelines

USA RugbyPlease review the newly released Game Management Guidelines from USA Rugby for 2016. Though the material is developed for referees, it is applicable to all stakeholders of the game including players and coaches. Please download the file and read through the updates:

2016 Game Management Guidelines

Also available are the Protective Equipment and Clothing Guidelines:

Protective Equipment and Clothing Guidelines