World Rugby Law Changes Clarifications for USA Rugby

Thu, Jun 20, 2024, 10:49 PM
by Calder Cahill.

World Rugby (WR) has announced law changes applying to competitions starting from July 1, 2024. These changes will generally take effect in the USA starting September 1, 2024. Fifteens competitions, pre-season matches, and friendlies starting in August should apply these new laws.

Lowered tackle height will also take effect at the same time. The exact wording for that will be released next month, but teams should be practicing with contact lower on the ball carrier’s torso.

  • On kicks, players of the kicking team ahead of the kick may not loiter, but must retreat until onside, even if they are more than 10 meters from where the ball is expected to land. Also, players are NOT put onside by an opponent running 5 meters with the ball, or passing the ball. This is a significant change; teams should ensure that all players understand it.
  • The so-called "gator" or “crocodile" roll on a jackler, or player attempting to start a ruck is illegal and considered dangerous play. A player may still be levered out of the contest or driven back.
  • When awarded a free kick, a team may NOT opt for a scrummage.

The information from World Rugby explaining the changes can be found HERE and the exact text of the laws can be found HERE. The changes will be discussed with more detail in the new Game Management Guidelines to be released during the summer.

WR has released the following Clarifications this year:

  • At scrummage, some hookers have used a “semi/half brake foot”. The brake foot must be in position to serve as a brake taking pressure off the head and necks of the front row until the call of “set”. See further info HERE.
  • On conversion kicks, once a kicker is “finally settled”, that indicates to everyone that the next time the player steps, or lifts a foot off the ground to step, that will be the start of their “approach to kick” as per law 8.14. See further info HERE.

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