2017 – 2018 USA Rugby Game Management Guidelines

Please review the newly released Game Management Guidelines from USA Rugby for 2017. 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:

2017 – 2018 Game Management Guidelines

As there are quite a few new law trials this time around, USA Rugby has also put together a presentation going over the trials as well as supporting videos:

USA Rugby Presentation on the 2017 Law Trials

Level 1 Officiating 15s – June 11 at Lewisville, TX

Level 1 Officiating 15s Click Here to Register
Date/Time: Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
Organizer: Lewisville Tigers Rugby Club-Boys
Clinic Details
Clinic Description
Pre-course Registration Requirements.  Students must complete the following World Rugby online modules available at the World Rugby Passport website.  First, register with WR on their Passport website that you will access with the noted links.  After completing each module, download the certificate you will receive from WR and email it to education@usarugby.org where it will be uploaded into your USA Rugby member profile.  The three WR modules to be completed in order to register for this course are:

Location & Contact Information
Facility: Harmon High School
1250 West Round Grove
Lewisville, TX  75067
Course Host: Jason Tucker
Email: lewisvillerugby@gmail.com
Phone: (325) 514-7840

Register Now!

Level 1 Officiating 15s – June 17 in Austin, TX

Level 1 Officiating 15s
Saturday, June 17, 2017 (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
Comfort Suites Austin Airport
7501 E Ben White Blvd
Austin, TX  78741
: Hosted by: Texas Rugby Referee Association
Pre-course Registration Requirements.  Students must complete the following World Rugby online modules available at the World Rugby Passport website.  First, register with WR on their Passport website that you will access with the noted links.  After completing each module, download the certificate you will receive from WR and email it to education@usarugby.org where it will be uploaded into your USA Rugby member profile.  The three WR modules to be completed in order to register for this course are:

REGISTER

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.

TRRA Referees to attend South Africa Referee Academy

The TRRA would like to congratulate Joey Swatzell and Cole Jones on being selected to attend the South Africa REFS Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Both Joey Swatzell and Cole Jones will spend three months at the SARefs Academy which is one of the worlds premiere rugby referees training academies. The SARefs Academy endeavors to train young referees to attain a very high standard of refereeing, creating young, competent referees who will serve the game of rugby proudly.

This is the only institution where a referee can expect to have their pick of 26 hostel games per week, not to mention WP League and school games on weekends as well as enjoying access to the University’s Gym, Vision lab, and a curriculum developed specifically for referees.

“This is an incredibly historic moment for Texas and the entire United States. Texas becomes the first Local Referee Society to send referees to South Africa for the best training on the planet” said TRRA Chairman Butch Neuenschwander.

The TRRA would like to acknowledge both the Texas Rugby Union and Houston Youth Rugby Association for making significant contributions to the TRRA Ref Academy Fund as well as the SWC, LSC, Rugby Texas conferences and our sponsor Ruck Science . In addition to this generous support, we would also like to recognize the TRRA referees that have been donating their match fees to the TRRA Development Fund.

The TRRA Ref Academy was set up to provide young referees with the highest level of training and to ensure that our partners in the Texas Rugby community have access to quality match officials for years to come. It is through the continued support of the Texas rugby community that this effort of raising the level of rugby match officials in Texas will continue to be a success.

National Panel Referee Scott Green explains “The training and development of referees is a long and somewhat difficult process that requires a considerable amount of time and resources. With most referees already busy doing their own matches on Saturdays it becomes near impossible to provide our referees with the level of coaching needed to improve in a timely manner. Attending the SARefs Academy addresses this by allowing the TRRA to expose it’s referees to the number of matches and training that would normally take 3 years in Texas effectively cutting their development time by more than half. Its a win win for everyone in the rugby community”.

If you would like more information on how to be considered for SA Refs Academy or if you want to support the TRRA Ref Academy Fund by donating please contact the TRRA Chairman.

World Rugby announces new measures to limit contact with the head

New measures to limit contact with the head announced

  • New law application guideline will codify zero-tolerance to contact with the head
  • Approach informed by largest-ever study identifying most common situations leading to head injuries
  • Players, coaches and match officials urged to be proactive in changing culture
  • Latest step in proactive, evidence-driven approach to injury reduction
  • Head is a no-go area

World Rugby has further strengthened its commitment to injury prevention by announcing details of a zero-tolerance approach to reckless and accidental head contact in the sport.

While injuries in the game are not on the rise, the federation continues to be proactive in furthering evidence-based strategies to reduce injury risk for all players.

In a change to law, World Rugby has redefined illegal (high) tackle categories and increased sanctions to deter high tackles via a law application guideline. This will apply at all levels of the game from 3 January 2017 introducing minimum on-field sanctions for reckless and accidental contact with the head, effectively lowering the acceptable height of the tackle.The guideline will be supported with a global education programme.

The approach, approved by the World Rugby Council after extensive expert, independent and union evaluation, combines with new disciplinary sanctions and a re-focus of match officials on dangerous play. It will provide a package of measures that aims to change culture in the sport to ensure that the head is a no-go area.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby continues to be proactive in aligning with the latest evidence-based recommendations in this priority player welfare area to ensure players and coaches at all levels of the game are appropriately educated, managed and protected when it comes to head impacts and injury within the environment of a contact sport.

“We believe that we are playing a leading role in terms of the development and implementation of best-practice interventions and this important study further reflects our commitment to an evidence-based approach to player welfare. We believe that the invaluable data from this study will inform the law review process and lead to changes in playing or training practices.”

Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong said: “When it comes to protecting the head and neck of players, everyone is rightly very cautious now. The culture around concussion has completely changed and it’s no longer acceptable for players to continue in a game if they’re even suspected of having a concussion. When it comes to dealing effectively with concussion in sport, rugby is at the forefront. The International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) supports any measure that protects our welfare and we are in favour of this initiative, which we believe will help further to reduce head and neck injuries at all levels of the game. Rugby is a physical sport and there will always be a level of injury risk associated with it but the sport is doing as much as it can to make it as safe as possible.”

World Rugby Chief Medical Officer Dr Martin Raftery added: “The findings of this important research study will also be prepared into a series of scientific articles that we aim to have published in peer-reviewed journals. We continue to welcome and facilitate all quality research for the betterment of the game in this priority area.

“World Rugby is committed to playing a leading role in the sporting head injury agenda and continues to drive forward evidence-based strategies in education, prevention, management and research that are proving successful in protecting players at all levels of the sport.”

From 3 January, 2017, two new categories of dangerous tackles will carry penalty offences to deter and eradicate high tackles:

Reckless tackle
A player is deemed to have made reckless contact during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game if in making contact, the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway. This sanction applies even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. This type of contact also applies to grabbing and rolling or twisting around the head/neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders.

Minimum sanction: Yellow card
Maximum sanction: Red card

Accidental tackle
When making contact with another player during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game, if a player makes accidental contact with an opponent’s head, either directly or where the contact starts below the line of the shoulders, the player may still be sanctioned. This includes situations where the ball-carrier slips into the tackle.

Minimum sanction: Penalty

VIEW THE EXPLANATORY VIDEO HERE >>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6SKgwx7syo&utm_source=World+Rugby+Press+List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=161205+DR+Head+Injury+Prevention

VIEW THE RELEVANT LAW APPLICATION GUIDELINE HERE >>
https://laws.worldrugby.org/guidelines?utm_source=World+Rugby+Press+List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=161205+DR+Head+Injury+Prevention

VIEW PLAYER WELFARE EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS HERE >>
https://playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/?utm_source=World+Rugby+Press+List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=161205+DR+Head+Injury+Prevention

Global education programme
World Rugby will support this initiative with a global awareness and education programme aimed at:

  • Reinforcing the zero-tolerance culture regarding head contact in the game at all levels using practical advice and visual educational materials
  • Educating that illegal tackles are not necessarily defined by where they start as they can slip up from a legal position to make contact with the neck/head
  • Educating that “bent at the waist” while tackling and entering into contact is the optimal position for injury prevention
  • Promoting best-possible technique to protect the head – expert advice will be obtained from elite defence coaches to identify the best tackle technique and the best impact position for the ball-carrier, including guidelines on double and treble tackling.

World Rugby is also investigating the practicality of a closed trial of a lowered tackle height at community age-grade level in 2017.

Extensive research programme
This ground-breaking programme is entirely evidence-based and these interventions have been developed by game experts following extensive research examining videos of more than 600 incidents leading to head injury assessments (HIA)* occurring across 1,516 elite-level matches globally between 2012 and 2015.

Specifically, World Rugby investigated circumstantial and law factors that may contribute to head injury events to enable the international federation’s game expert group to determine whether potential law amendments or other interventions are indicated.

The study focused on tackle injuries and considered a number of conditions associated with the tackle including: The presence of foul play; what happened at the preceding event; the nature and angle of contact; body positions at the point of impact; the tackle height; the relative velocity at the time of impact; the number of tacklers involved; the type of tackle; and other variables.

The data confirmed that 76 per cent of all head injuries occur in the tackle, that the incidence of injury for the tackler is more than two and a half times greater than the ball-carrier and that tackle height is a contributing factor.

Headline findings:

  • 611 HIA incidents were reviewed from 1,516 elite matches
  • 76 per cent of HIA incidents occur in the tackle
  • 72 per cent of HIA incidents in the tackle occur to the tackler
  • Body position, speed and direction of tackle all influence risk

A specialist multi-disciplinary injury prevention group of game experts, comprising elite coaches and individuals with playing and match officiating experience at the elite and community levels was tasked with reviewing the data. The group then made recommendations to World Rugby’s Law Review Group and education departments for consideration with the following injury prevention interventions proposed to and approved by World Rugby’s Rugby and Executive Committees.

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.

        VIDEO EXAMPLE OF DANGEROUS PLAY – SHOULD BE PENALTY KICK

    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.

    Regards,

    Richard Every
    High Performance Referee Manager