Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

If you care about your game, this really does matter...

The proposed (and ever so slightly controversial) changes to the the laws known as the ELVs - the Experimental Law Variations - have been mentioned on the blog in the past. These rule changes are more than a boring technical matter only likely to be of interest to Joe and referees - many knowledgeable followers of the game say that these will make fundamental changes to the way the game is played.

These concerns are even being expressed by the RFU. Chief Executive Francis Baron has said: "We have a number of concerns about the ELVs and the proposed process that is being followed regarding their introduction."

Because of this the RFU are - perhaps uniquely in a situation like this - consulting everyone involved in the game at every level - including you. The RFU has compiled an online questionnaire and are "urging everyone with an interest in the future of our game to go to and spend ten minutes completing the questionnaire so we can paint as accurate a picture as possible of people's views in England when the matter comes up for debate at the IRB in May."

So - what are these changes? Well, there are a fair few and the IRB have produced a summary, so maybe its worth highlighting some.

Some are a bit trivial, like touch-judges becoming "assistant referees". One is tempted to ask quite why this is deemed necessary, or more to the point why the heck rugby would be aiming to ape football, but there are bigger matters of concern... and the touchline is due to become a pretty crowded place (as we shall see later) so maybe the TJs need a higher profile?

So let's look elsewhere. Here's a good one...

Corner post, and post at corner of touch in goal and dead ball line not considered to be touch in goal unless the ball is grounded against the post.

This means that if you hit the corner flag on the tryline when scoring a try you will no longer be considered to be in touch. Instead you will only be in touch if you actually put a foot over the line. So a reasonably obvious indicator will be replaced with something that will require a TV replay, or in other words something that will lead to endless arguments at our level. Nice one.

Are you a forward (and especially a prop)? Well, looks like you could become close to unemployed as a whole raft of offences that previously resulted in scrums (or even penalties) will now become free kicks. These include...
  • Line-out throws that are not straight
  • Ball unplayable (ie. not emerging) from a ruck or maul
  • Offences at kick-offs or restarts (ie. the ball not going 10m)
  • All other offences (other than offside, not entering through the gate, and
    Foul Play).

Quite a few new offside lines appear. The scrum half and non-throwing hooker at a line out would have to stand 2m back, and the defending side at a scrum will now have to stand 5m back. In some drafts these extra lines will be patrolled by "flag judges" (cue hilarity as FJs and TJs - sorry ARs - collide while running different directions).

But all this pales into insignificance when compared with the next two belters....

  • Players on their feet may handle the ball in the ruck.
  • Defending players can pull down the maul.

Yes - you did read that right. Just think about what this means (again, especially if you are a forward) - essentially no more mauls, and an end to rucks too - at least as we know them.

So... this is important. It matters. And not just if you are a prop (who should now be considered to be on the endangered species list). You do not have to be a genius to read between the lines and see that the RFU is not exactly supporting all this and is looking to you to give them evidence to show that the games at large does not want the changes either. So spare a bit of time and follow the link

1 comment:

  1. Please all vote and show your support of the game as it stands.

    Although some of the ELVs will without doubt improve our game others will undoubtably devalue the role of the forwards.

    Effectively ruining any teams chance of playing a forwards based game of rugby.

    See you all at National 10s


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