My ELV Amendments

                         elf1.gif Elf or Elv, What do you think ? (ex Movie Bad Santa)

READ  Foundation Posts  to understand the thinking behind these.


Graham Henry [quote]…“We were worried about the amount of turnover ball we saw, teams were going backwards and forwards without any sort of structure. We didn’t see any territorial pressure and continuity.” …

Laurie Mains [quote] …”If the aim of these laws was to speed the game up then they’ve succeeded. But the real concern I have is rugby is looking more like league every year.”…

Ian McGeeChan [quote]..”My concern is that we will end up playing one type of game, that the variety and depth of options which the game has always had will be taken away,”…

I would retain all current 2008 Super 14 rugby ELVs, and the following:

(a)     Promote Attacking Mauls: Do not allow mauls to be pulled down outside 10 meters from the try line (reluctantly), and further once a maul is established (confirmed by the ref) the defending side (only) must be back 5 meters. This would make it very expensive for the defending side to allow the maul to roll forward, this would encourage the defending team to commit more or all forwards to attacking maul, thus removing the forwards from the field wide trench defence.

(b)     Promote Attacking Full Lineouts: Do not allow short lineouts, as the consequence of the short lineout is forwards standing in the back line. Quick lineouts are ok. Scrums and lineouts are the only situation where forwards and backs restarts are completely separated. That’s good for the rugby union traditional contests. I would have allowed short lineout pre the ELVs, but as the ELVs have created an imbalance between structured and non structured play favoring the latter there needs to be an add back adjustment. Does the IRB add back, or only deduct ?

(c)     Introduce 50/22 rule: Description: If a kick is made from the attacking teams half and it bounces out in the defending teams 22, then the attacking team receives the lineout put in. The kick must not go out on the full, the bounce need not be in the 22 but the touch line breach must be in the 22 (Not after kick off). This rewards the attacking team for an excellent tactical kick. It also encourages the defending team to have players further back and out of the ‘field wide trench defense’. This allows an attacking team to go from non structured play to structured play and still hold possession.

(d)     Player off their feet are out of the game: Any player using hands in a ruck and who are not on their feet must be a penalty. The free kick is not working with this infringement. [Added 14/09/2008]. Bring back rucking would be the correct call.

Why … 

  • – There is no method for the attacking team to go from non structured play to structured play and still hold possession. So allow (c).
  • – The field wide defensive trench is a formidable defence, therefore requires a more rigorous attacking tool to breach it. Allow (a).
  • – The ELVs have increased ‘ball in play’ and all of it is non structured play, so we must re balance this by having (b), to give further opportunity for the backs versus backs contest.
  • – Allowing rucking (preferred) or ‘hands in the ruck’ is not enough to fraught the field wide defensive trench on its own.
  • – 30 years ago the laws imposed structure within rugby union, today the ELV laws allow the players to choose to scrum or not, to have a long lineout or not. I say allow players to choose to scrum or not, but inject some structure back into the game via the laws by allowing (b). This re adjusts the balance between structure and non structure to equilibrium. [This part added in June 7th 2008]

There seams to be a lot of focus on allowing a free kick for infringements (except (d) above), I am not too fussed on how IRB cherry picks what to allow or not, I am more concerned about tactics and reducing the defense orientated advantage.


(i) Tries must be legitimate: I believe that each try should be legitimate. Use TV referee as much as possible, so this means go back and check for forward passes, touchline breaks and foul play. How far you go back may be the debate, but find a solution, there is nothing worse than the fans being robbed when TV makes it so obvious that it was or was not a try.

(ii) Sin bin must be legitimate: I prefer the rugby league method in how they handling foul play or continued infringements (placing a player on report). If not the report system, then sending the player off must be verified by the TV referee, as the on field referee continually makes incorrect decisions. Millions of dollars are spent to view a contest, most often this contest is ruined when players are sin binned. I accept a red card sending off, no issue there.



  1. Better Rugby Rules » Blog Archive » ELVs - NZ press are turning negative

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