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, May 01, 2008

Be prepared for a whole new ball game next season

The IRB have announce that some of the new Experimental Laws (ELVs) will be introduced next year for an experimental 12-month period from 1st August 2008 - so from the start of next season - and for all levels of the game. There is nothing in any annoucements to indicate that the junior or female game will be exempt.

There is going to be significant changes in many parts of the game - and a degree of chaos I suspect at our level as we come across referees who know about the changes and ones who do not!

Not all of the 23 proposals are being trialed worldwide as the nothern hemisphere unions rejected any ELVs sanctions that reduced to free kicks from penalty kicks being tried out in the non-elite game. However, 13 rule changes will be in effect, and will apply to all:

Assistant Referees
  • Assistant Referees can assist referees in any manner required when appointed by a match organiser [other than a change of title this does not actually change much]

Posts and flags around the field

  • The corner posts are no longer considered to be in touch in-goal except when a ball is grounded against the post [If you knock the corner flag out while scoring it will now be a try, unless you actually step over the touchline as well. Means that we may as well get rid of the flags...]

Lineout and throw

  • If a team puts the ball back into their own 22 and the ball is subsequently kicked directly into touch there is no gain of ground [This means that you will no longer be able to run back into your 22, or pass back, so as to be able to kick the ball out on the full. In practice this is not something that we ever do].
  • A quick throw may be thrown in straight or towards the throwing team's own goal line
    There is no restriction on the number of players who can participate in the lineout from either side (minimum of two) [Again not hugely relevent as we have never taken a quick throw in our entire history, and probably would not go in for 14-player lineouts]
  • The receiver in a lineout must stand 2 metres back from the lineout [Currently the scrum-half can stand as close as they like]
  • The player who is in opposition to the player throwing in the ball may stand in the area between the 5 metre line and touch line but must be 2 metres away from the lineout [Ditto. Unlikely to make much difference as only Hannah from Welwyn has taken advantage of the old law by presurising the thrower]
  • Lineout players may pre-grip a jumper before the ball is thrown in [In the junior game this was already allowed]
  • The lifting of lineout jumpers is permitted [Effectively a restatement of current position]


  • Players are able to defend a maul by pulling it down [The effect of this cannot be underestimated - and it is something that we will need to work on (like how to do it - safely). Potentially quite dangerous, it does mean that driving mauls will be a thing of the past. A pity as we've always been quite good at them.]
  • Remove reference in Law to heads and shoulders not to be lower than hips [Again this has an effect on safety - heads below hips must be dangerous. Referees will hopefully still have safety in mind in the junior game]


  • Introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet of the scrum [No longer can the defending team come up to the backfoot. But half the time you forget anyway so this may be academic, but still an important tactical change]
  • Scrum must be in close proximity to the scrum (as present Law) or must retreat five metres [Again I cannot see that this will affect our playing style]

There are also some extra changes for "elite Northern Hemisphere competitions" (presumably internationals, premiership etc, but clearly not relevent to us). These will include - for all offences other than offside, not entering through the gate, and Law 10 (Foul Play) - that the sanction will be a Free Kick instead of a Penalty. This may cause confusion as the game you watch on TV may well be noticably different to the one you play.

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