T Nation

Rugby ELVs

Don’t know if any Northern Hemisphere guys are following this, but read these two articles in the Daily Telegraph a couple days ago, sort of knew about the ELVs but didn’t realize they were this bad:

"Enjoy your rugby while you can for the remainder of this season because from August the game as we know it now may cease to exist. This Thursday the International Rugby Board will vote on a series of experimental law variations (ELVs) that, if implemented, will dramatically affect the way rugby is played, will heap an intolerable educational burden on all those splendid, unpaid officials who referee the community game in all areas of Europe, and will pander to those who believe that rugby is a sport where ball-in-play time and try-counts are the only indicators of value. Crazy.

The prospect is so appalling that for the first time in my memory, Premiership directors of rugby, referees and Rugby Football Union officials, never the most compatible of bedfellows, have collaborated in an alliance of condemnation against the proposed changes. Leading figures in Wales and Ireland are also dead set against the variations, which have been driven chiefly by Australia and trialled (some of them) in this year’s Super 14 competition."

"What must also be remembered is that the laws are for the enjoyment of all players and spectators, not just those of internationals and the professional televised game. The single most beneficial aspect of rugby union is that it is a game for all shapes and sizes, where the contributions of those blessed with static strength rather than speed are of equal value to their team.

The avowed intent of the ELVs, to speed up the game, runs counter to this ‘prime directive’, and I ask why those championing speed over all else are able to do so without demur. Nothing and no one should threaten this principle."

Looks like they’re trying to turn it into an imitation of league, where everyone’s basically the same size and the set-piece is non-existent (or close). I’ve only watched a rugby league game once (and may be biased because the league guys at my school are dickheads), but it looked boring to me, don’t want to see union go that way.

Rugby is one of the greatest sports ever…

Leave it the fuck alone.

I like the Scrum, Lineout and 22 changes as they speed up the game and increase the attacking intensity.

But the tackle and sanction changes are just plain stupid. You’ll end up breeding a bunch of soccer players!

[quote]Ruggerlife wrote:
I like the Scrum, Lineout and 22 changes as they speed up the game and increase the attacking intensity.

But the tackle and sanction changes are just plain stupid. You’ll end up breeding a bunch of soccer players![/quote]

The “pass back behind the 22” is the only law change I can really agree with. The lineout laws are just going to make things more chaotic and dangerous (especially at lower levels) and the 5 metre offside line at scrums is just stupid. If you want to watch guys take a 10 meter run up and smash head first into one another, watch rugby league. One of the most exciting parts of union is watching teams offload in contact, kick in tight situations, and create space with good tactical play and solid rucking. Opening it up to increase attacking intensity and speed is just going to dumb the game down another notch.

The offside in the tackle rule is probably the stupidest of them all. Earlier in the super 14 season a guy broke through the line around midfield and ran down to inside the 5 meter line before being tackled. As soon as he hit the ground, i.e. after the tackle, he popped the ball up to a man in support. Said supporting player was immediately tackled FROM BEHIND. The ref blew his whistle and awarded a penalty try. As soon as the first player was tackled, every player on the other team (who were all still running to catch up with the break away) was immediately put offside. In other words, the defenders attempting to catch up and tackle the second player would have had to literally run around him or let him run until they were past the previous tackle before tackling.

I can promise you, Rugby League is a lot more exciting than the posh game of rugby union.

You should be so lucky to have the rules changed to make your game similar to our’s.

[quote]tomrowe wrote:
I can promise you, Rugby League is a lot more exciting than the posh game of rugby union.[/quote]

Bloody league fans, usually just too slow to figure out the rules in union.

Anyway, I wasn’t trying to say anything negative about league. I watch it occasionally and may play it this summer instead of sevens (more my size and speed). I just like having the two sports separate. And at the grassroots level, union appeals to a much broader group of players.

[quote]
You should be so lucky to have the rules changed to make your game similar to our’s.[/quote]

That’s just stupid. If anyone wants to watch or play a game similar to yours, why not just find a league team.

For those of you not familiar with the codes. Rugby league is more like american football in the sense that play goes dead after the tackle and the ball is played back behind the place it was tackled and you get 5 tackles (downs) to score. If you don’t, you turn the ball over (or punt on the last tackle). Rugby union is the original code from which league split off earlier in the 20th century. In union, the ball is still live and in play after the tackle, so more players are involved in rucking over the tackled player to secure the ball. The defense doesn’t have to retreat as far from the tackle, and there’s no limit to how long either team can maintain possession.

League has 2 fewer players on the pitch, doesn’t contest scrums, and has gotten rid of lineouts all together. The whole game is pretty much just one guy running at the other team and either getting annihilated, breaking through, passing off, or kicking. Union is more complex, some would say to its detriment.

In general, league is faster and much harder hitting, but many find it boring to watch when compared to union.

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:
The offside in the tackle rule is probably the stupidest of them all. Earlier in the super 14 season a guy broke through the line around midfield and ran down to inside the 5 meter line before being tackled. As soon as he hit the ground, i.e. after the tackle, he popped the ball up to a man in support. Said supporting player was immediately tackled FROM BEHIND. The ref blew his whistle and awarded a penalty try. As soon as the first player was tackled, every player on the other team (who were all still running to catch up with the break away) was immediately put offside. In other words, the defenders attempting to catch up and tackle the second player would have had to literally run around him or let him run until they were past the previous tackle before tackling. [/quote]

i watched the game you are referring to and have had discussions about how stupid that interpretation is.

just remember though that the E in ELV stands for experimental. these laws aren’t set in stone yet!!

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:
Ruggerlife wrote:
I like the Scrum, Lineout and 22 changes as they speed up the game and increase the attacking intensity.

But the tackle and sanction changes are just plain stupid. You’ll end up breeding a bunch of soccer players!

m0dd3r wrote:
The lineout laws are just going to make things more chaotic and dangerous (especially at lower levels) [/quote]

I assume the opposing team will still be able to eliminate the possibility of a throw-in if they get 2 men to the line. If so, I think it will just make the game more fluid and honestly, teams will screw up near as often as they benefit. I’ll admit though, I always hated lineouts.

If I read it right its only 5 meters on the defenders side. The way I look at it, the change is only for the set piece and a defender should be up to full speed once you get to the inside centre so it only gives the stand-off more time. I’m also assuming the defending scrum half is not impacted by this change.

Well, the IRB voted to test some of the ELVs worldwide, some others in an Elite Northern Hemisphere competition, and referred some back to the laws group for further analysis.
http://www.irb.com/newsmedia/mediazone/pressrelease/newsid=2023546.html#irb+announces+global+trial+elvs

Here’s the summary

so at least they decided against testing the offside at the tackle and sanctions laws, although I don’t really like most of the changes. I think allowing defenders to pull down a maul will prove dangerous, as will allowing guys to go in with head and shoulders lower than hips (basically allowing diving at players legs). Oh well, we’ll see what happens in the fall.

[quote]m0dd3r wrote:
so at least they decided against testing the offside at the tackle and sanctions laws, although I don’t really like most of the changes. I think allowing defenders to pull down a maul will prove dangerous, as will allowing guys to go in with head and shoulders lower than hips (basically allowing diving at players legs). Oh well, we’ll see what happens in the fall.[/quote]

I agree, the maul change seems dangerous to both the defender and the attacker. I really don’t like the idea of the attacker being taken down from behind likey with his head on the defending side of the ball.

I also don’t like these, that’s what scrums are for.

[quote]
Tackle and ruck

  • If the ball is unplayable at the breakdown, the side that did not take the ball into contact will receive a Free Kick

Maul

  • If a maul becomes unplayable, the team not in possession at the start of the maul receives a Free Kick [/quote]