RFL announce rule changes

There will be changes to the laws of the game from 2012, bringing the Super League one step closer to in line with the NRL.

Teams will be allowed only ten interchanges from four players named on the bench, the same as in the NRL. Academy and reserve matches will use eight interchanges.

Players in possession with the ball will also not be classed as in touch in-goal if they come into contact with the corner post, however if a loose ball hits the corner post play will be restarted with a 20 metre restart.

Ball carriers will also be given benefit of the doubt if they unintentionally offload the ball after the referee has called the tackle complete. Play will be taken back to the point of the tackle and restarted with a play the ball, unless the tackle was after the fifth play the ball in which case a handover will occur.

Changes to when the ball will be in touch, touch in-goal or dead will be made simpler to correspond on all areas of the pitch. Where the ball has bounced in the field of play any player who plays it will need to be in the field of play, otherwise they will be deemed as having taken the ball into touch, touch in goal or dead.

Players must let the ball touch the ground or an object in touch (such as the whitewash) for it to be classed as in touch if the ball has first bounced in the field of play. If the ball is caught on the full from a kick by a player who is in touch then the kicking team will be deemed as having taken the ball into touch, touch in goal or dead. The rule remains the same as it currently is from a kick of restart.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: “There are three different rules at the moment and it is a matter of tidying them up.”


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