NRL 2023 Rule Amendments

BroncsFan

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NRL has announced their changes to rule interpretations


AMENDMENTS FOR THE 2023 SEASON​

Grounding the Ball​

Tries will now be awarded if the ball rotates from the hand to the wrist or forearm provided there is no obvious separation between the ball and the hand or arm. The new interpretation will allow further clarity for officials when adjudicating grounding.

Operation of the 18th player rule​

The number of failed head injury assessments will be reduced from three (3) to two (2) to trigger the activation of the 18th player. This will allow greater flexibility for Clubs which lose multiple players to head injuries in a match.

Intervention of Bunker in Foul Play​

The Bunker may only intervene for acts of foul play which it deems to be reportable. The change will ensure fewer needless stoppages while also confirming a firmer process around foul play intervention.

Captain’s Challenge​

A challenge may be initiated after the referee blows his whistle to stop play, rather than only after a decision resulting in a structured restart. Decisions which cannot be challenged will continue to include forward passes, roll balls and discretionary penalties including 10m offside, ruck infringements relating to play-the-ball speed, tackled into touch after held call and dissent.

A Challenge can be made following the final play in each half provided the referee has not already called half or full-time. The changes will add further clarity for fans, broadcasters, Clubs and players around when a Captain’s Challenge can and cannot be initiated.

Off-side infringements at scrums​

A full penalty will be awarded (rather than a set restart), for off-side scrum infringements by the defensive team anywhere on the field. The non-infringing team will retain the option of repacking the scrum or taking the awarded penalty. Any team which deliberately locks the ball in the scrum to trap defenders in an off-side position will also be penalised.

10m compliance in general play​

Active defenders must have both feet in line or behind the referee when setting the 10-metre defensive line. Referees will have the option of awarding a full penalty for multiple 10m breaches without requiring the mandatory use of the sin bin. Referees can still use the sin bin if they consider breaches to be deliberate or cynical. The changes will give further clarity to officials and teams around what constitutes a breach of the rules.

Adjudication of completed tackles​

Referees will issue a single call of “held/release” when a tackle is complete, rather than the separate calls of “held” and “release”. The change will address unnecessary slowing of the play-the-ball and improve game continuity.

“While relatively minor, these changes will improve three elements of the game – player safety, the game presentation for fans and off-side compliance,” NRL Executive General Manager – Elite Football Graham Annesley said.

“We undertook a thorough review of the 2022 season, including consultation with the NRL Clubs, the RLPA and other stakeholders.

“The overriding feedback was the current interpretations are creating a faster and more free-flowing game, but there was a need to address some minor issues which have emerged.

“These changes will allow Clubs and players clarity on certain issues while also giving fans more entertainment and transparency as the game evolves in 2023.”
 
Super Freak

Super Freak

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Grounding the Ball​

Tries will now be awarded if the ball rotates from the hand to the wrist or forearm provided there is no obvious separation between the ball and the hand or arm. The new interpretation will allow further clarity for officials when adjudicating grounding.

Not much of an amendment to the rule if this rule already existed.
 
Sproj

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In theory they all make sense but the problem is there is still too much referee discretion involved and the repeated ruck infringements one is going to be exploited / inconsistent even more. What happens if a ref decides that 10 repeated penalties for one side is all good and then on the third one from the other team, a player gets binned? Consistency is not a word you link with referees.
 
Foordy

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a) Surely, the captains challenge change isn't a change at all ... at least that's what the NRL were claiiming the rule was when defending the refs screw job in the Cowboys v Tigers game

b) combining the "held" and "release" calls into one just gives another way to manipulate the game for the refs. hell, they can't get consistency in that area now. some teams will STILL be able to lie all over the tackled player, while other teams will get pinged if they don't get off him immediately

c) not sure i like the change to the try scoring rule, and again will be another area for controversy.
 
Culhwch

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Grounding the Ball​

Tries will now be awarded if the ball rotates from the hand to the wrist or forearm provided there is no obvious separation between the ball and the hand or arm. The new interpretation will allow further clarity for officials when adjudicating grounding.

How long before we see a wilful misinterpretation of this and a try is awarded where a player grounds it with his wrist or forearm, without ever touching the ball with his hand?
 
Super Freak

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How long before we see a wilful misinterpretation of this and a try is awarded where a player grounds it with his wrist or forearm, without ever touching the ball with his hand?

They already can. It's been a rule for a long time that you can ground the ball with your wrist/forearm.
 
Culhwch

Culhwch

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They already can. It's been a rule for a long time that you can ground the ball with your wrist/forearm.

Haha, obviously I missed that. Well then it continues to be a bullshit rule, in that case.
 
BroncosFever

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Glad to hear the scrum rule but really that's just the NRL reacting to coaches, it should have been like that since day one.
 
BroncsFan

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The one I'm confused about is the bunker only coming in for reportable offences.

THAT WAS ALREADY THE RULE!!

The issue has been NRL's increasing what is reportable.... slight contact to the back of the head is now a crusher and therefore reportable.

The rule should've been amended from what is reportable to foul play that is deemed sin bin or send off worthy.

Players wont lie down for accidental crushers and minor head highs after that because they know it isn't a sin bin.

The other issue with the rule in it's current state is that the ref quickly blows a penalty whenever a player lies down.... they do this so it doesnt have to go to the bunker and be scrutinised because it would appear that they missed something. So as soon as a player gets up slowly, holding their neck the ref will blow a penalty to save face, because they know one will be coming anyway.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

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It's going to be very interesting to see the impact this has on defence. With only one call, the ruck should be even faster giving teams with possession a bigger advantage. Further, the requirement to have both feet in line with the referee is going to make it difficult for the defensive line to assert pressure, especially on their goal-line where defenders are already pushing the officials.

I can't help but look at the grounding rule cynically. For mine, it's only coming in due to the media backlash that followed the Gagai no-try against the Broncos. Why wasn't this addressed when they retroactively revealed the Staggs try should have been a No-Try against South Sydney way back in Round 2 2020?

Similarly, the captain's challenge amendment appears to be a response to the Cowboys-Tigers game. I believe the NRL argued that the official had not called full-time and only blew a soft whistle. As far as I can tell, that review would still be allowed under these rules.

10m penalties are discretionary? For whom? Penrith? Cowboys?
 
BroncosFever

BroncosFever

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Yes I think the 2 feet behind the line one will be interesting, this will be the easiest for refs and fans to see when a team is defending their own try line because obviously there's a line there and now that you must have both feet on the line (which isn't practical because it's going to hard to accelerate with both your feet next to each other).

I think they'll have to set up with one foot on the line with the other foot being about a metre behind the line, that's going to give halves and backs a lot of time to put on their plays. A metre is going to translate to a lot of extra time.
 
B

Brotherdu

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Any team which deliberately locks the ball in the scrum to trap defenders in an off-side position will also be penalised.
This is a strange one. Seems to suggest an offensive team could now be penalised if the Defenders broke early and the Ref 'interprets' that the offensive team took too long to get the ball out.
 
BroncsFan

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10m penalties are discretionary? For whom? Penrith? Cowboys?
The 10m penalties is also an existing rule... the refs just haven't been enforcing it.

I'm assuming the new interpretation will be that a penalty blown on something that is otherwise a six again will not have to result in a sin binning... i.e. it doesn't need to be at professional foul levels before the ref blows a whistle.

However, the six again rule has ALWAYS been that the ref has discretion to blow a full penalty whenever they want. It has never been a component of the six again era that a penalty on a six again infringement can only ever be a professional foul. This was just a media interpretation because the idiot from the NRL didn't correct himself in the original press conference.
 
BroncsFan

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Yes I think the 2 feet behind the line one will be interesting, this will be the easiest for refs and fans to see when a team is defending their own try line because obviously there's a line there and now that you must have both feet on the line (which isn't practical because it's going to hard to accelerate with both your feet next to each other).

I think they'll have to set up with one foot on the line with the other foot being about a metre behind the line, that's going to give halves and backs a lot of time to put on their plays. A metre is going to translate to a lot of extra time.
It will only become an easy thing to spot if Fox Sports / Ch 9 actually decide to show replays of it happening... and of course they will only deem that necessary when they want to focus on a certain club doing it... i.e. any club doing it to a golden team.

Storm, Panthers, Cows, Parra, etc. will of course be faultless on their own goal line
 
BroncsFan

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This is a strange one. Seems to suggest an offensive team could now be penalised if the Defenders broke early and the Ref 'interprets' that the offensive team took too long to get the ball out.
I didn't notice that on first reading... what a fucking ridiculous rule.

Why should it be the attack's responsibility to keep the defenders onside... NRL is run by a pack of fucking morons if that's what they think needs fixing
 
Allo

Allo

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Like always, the rule changes will be a thing for about 4-6 weeks and/or until we get fucked over in a game due to it OR because we win due to it

It’s so clever adding in MORE discretionary grey area for the refs to decide what is and isn’t a penalty 🙃
 

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