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NRL Rule changes for 2007 - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Tue, 30 Jan 2007 07:09:00 GMT
The National Rugby League Board has retained the Golden
Point rule in its present form, reinstated Sunday semi finals and accepted a
number of amendments to refereeing interpretations for the 2007 season.

Today’s meeting considered outcomes from this year’s
Football Operations Conference, the Chief Executive’s Annual Conference and
submissions from both individual clubs and the NRL Executive.

While there had been substantial debate in relation to the
Golden Point and particularly the option of moving to a Golden Try, there was
also acceptance that the existing Golden Point rule had added an exciting
dimension to matches and had provided the framework.

“There’s an element of ‘if it isn’t broken don’t fix it’,”
NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said.

“There were also some real concerns about the consistency
between matches during the year and semi finals that would need to be played
until a result was reached.

“Finally there was a fundamental concern that moving away
from the current concept would mean that you could win a game one way in the
79th minute (through a field goal) but have to win it another in the 81st
minute (through a try).

“A lot of people point to the Tri Nations Final as a reason
for change but in fact that finish occurred under the existing rule.

“We’ve implemented a large number of changes on the back of
the feedback from coaches, players, referees and CEO’s but will leave the
Golden Point in place.”

As a result of today’s meeting, referees will adjust a
number of on field rule interpretations:

· Off-side (in
judging the position of attacking players in relation to offside, both feet
must be behind the ball; in the case of defensive players both feet must be
behind the either the referees’ 10m mark or the goal line.)

· Play-the-ball
(genuine attempt must be made to play with foot)

· Obstruction (as
per points agreed at Football Operations Conference listed at the end of this

· Sin Bin (may be
used for minor repeated infringements of foul play)

· Interchange/Foul
Play (free interchange when leaving and returning to field)

· Free kicks 20
metres from touch (RLIF Executive has agreed this can be adopted as an
experimental rule in 2007)

Minor changes were also approved to the NRL Judiciary system.

The first change will result in a player’s first Careless
Grade 1 tackle conviction no longer incurring a ‘prior offence’ loading for
those players who have qualified for the 7 year incident free discount.

In effect this means a player who has played 7 years without
conviction would not lose his ‘good-record’ discount because of his first
Careless Grade 1 Tackle offence.

Furthermore, if a player who has played 7 years incident
free in Grade Football is convicted of an offence other than a Careless Grade 1
High Tackle, the loading period (the length of time the offence remains on his
record for the purposes of increasing future penalties) be reduced from two
years to one year.

“It’s an incentive for players to retain clean records,” Mr
Gallop explained.

“Without lessening any of the deterrents we have against
foul play it also rewards players who play the game in the right spirit over an
extended period.”

The meeting today also made a minor amendment to the salary
cap aimed at providing further opportunities to young players.

Players in a club’s 2nd Tier (not part of the top 25), who
have not played in the NRL and whose contract with the club is terminated, will
not remain in the club’s salary cap calculation after that point.

On the issue of scheduling, the Board agreed that the 2006
experiment of taking semi finals in weeks two and three to Friday night instead
of Sunday night should not be repeated. The semi finals in weeks two and three
will now be played on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

The Board has confirmed that 2007 will move to a system of
Home Finals in week 1, Home
Cities in week 2, Home
Regions in Week 3, with the Grand Final at Telstra Stadium.

“We’ve listened to the fans over the last couple of years in
terms of having more flexibility around finals scheduling and last year in
terms of their preference Saturday evening and Sunday finals,” Mr Gallop said.

“The mix of matches in 2007 will get the big games close to
fans but keep them in Stadiums that can accommodate semi final crowds.”

Notes on amendments to the obstruction interpretation:

Standard ‘run-around’ move is ok.

Passing across the back of decoy runners is ok.

Ball carrier cannot run behind a decoy and gain an advantage
regardless of any contact between the decoy and the defence.

Decoy runners must run into space and not interfere with the

Decoys that interfere with inside-out defenders will be

Source: NRL - Read More, Here