Five rule changes that will be game-changing for rugby

NRL averaged 18 more minutes of ball-in-play time (556 minutes) and AFL operated a soccer-like system (ball-in-play time of 80 minutes), Rugby Union (37 minutes 23 seconds) was criticized and consistently. Stoppage, kicking and penalty goal attempts are ridiculed.

The events that made the game so unique are now the things that keep it from appealing to casual fans.

Even longtime fans of the game claim (rightly or wrongly) that “the game is not what it used to be”. On top of that, players are being pushed more and more into penalty kick attempts, a time consuming exercise that is much less entertaining than trying.

So how do we achieve a more exciting brand of rugby? In this article, we’ve changed five rules that will help speed up the game, increase ball-in-play time, and set up a game to be a fast-paced, exciting rugby.

1. Shot-clock for set piece, penalty goal effort and kick off

The first rule proposed is to introduce a shot-clock in the game to ensure a quick resume of the game and to take a breath less time to look forward. Games regularly spend more than 13-14 minutes of the match packing scraps.

A match in 2021 with an average of 12 scrams, which is more than one minute per scrum. Lineouts are better but still take about 25-30 seconds to set up a throw.

Finally, there is currently no time limit for kick-offs, which allows teams to deliberately slow down the game.

Our proposal is to introduce world rugby:

20 second shot-clock for scram and lineout (referees asked to speed up reset)
20 second shot-clock for kick off after trying
The fine must be taken 45 seconds after the decision is made
If a team fails to set up on time, the opponent will be awarded a penalty, from which there will be a lineout / scrum / penalty attempt or a half-way kick. These new rules will force teams to plant less time and play more time.

2. Penalty goals have been reduced from three to two

It can be an unpopular, but it can also be a solution for teams that often prefer to go for goals. In Round 2 of Super Rugby AU last year, we saw the Rebels almost defeat the Reds, though not a single goal was scored.

The Reds scored two try and four penalties and the rebels scored seven points. Seven! Needless to say, the Reds weren’t equally guilty, four was certainly enough.

One way to solve this is to change the points system, to reduce the value of penalty goals. This makes it much less likely for teams to pick three and often go for a try

Some say it will lead defending teams to accept more penalties because they are less likely to concede penalty goals, but referees still have the discretion to blame players for intentional / repeated offenses.

What do the lesser players on the field? This opens up opportunities to score more.

James O'Connor of the Reds converted a penalty
James O’Connor kicks in for a goal. (Photo by Jono Searle / Getty Images)

3. Allow TMO to review the game as it unfolds and decide how to proceed at that time.

Officers spend much more time looking at the big screen and deciding what punishment an activity deserves. Instead, let TMO decide (if possible) while playing referee advantage.

At the moment, TMOs are instructed to show field officials the angle and allow them to make the final decision.

Like the TMO as the second referee, the minimum time is deliberately spent. Of course, this would require further standard interpretation between the referee and the TMO and may even require them to be paired together so that the calls are consistent between them.

4. Make the offense of throwing the ball away

Oh, this is a big one. Earlier this year, Fijian Drew coach Mick Byrne criticized the Australian team for throwing the ball away when they conceded a penalty, accusing them of deliberately slowing down the game.

This behavior deprives the team of the opportunity to tap quickly and deprives us of more free-flowing rugby.

If this rule is introduced, players who do not transfer the ball directly to the opponent after the penalty will cost their team 10 meters. In my opinion, the faster the tap the better!

5. Get rid of the number 22 mark

This is probably the least stressful issue in this article but it needs to be brought up nonetheless. This is an easy and quick way to get more time to play the ball and allow players to play rugby, rather than kick the ball to the opposing team.

I don’t really know why this law was introduced but let’s get rid of it and give more benefits to the team applying air pressure on the attack.

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