ELV 4

(IRB.COM) Thursday 15 May 2008
 

Teams will no longer be able to pass or play the ball back into their own 22 and then kick directly to touch in order to gain ground.

In diagram 1, the ball has been passed back into the 22. After two passes and a kick directly to touch the ball has not touched an opposition player, and there has not been a tackle, ruck or maul, so the lineout will take place opposite where the player kicked the ball.

In diagram 2, the ball has been passed back into the own 22, a tackle, ruck or maul has occurred, and then a kick directly to touch has been made, the lineout will take place where the ball went into touch.

This Experimental Law Variation is designed to ensure that defending teams do not have an unfair advantage over attacking teams. It encourages tactical kicking and counter-attacking skills.

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Law text

Law 19.1 THROW IN

NO GAIN IN GROUND

(a) Outside a team's 22, a team member kicks directly into touch. Except for a penalty kick, when a player anywhere in the field of play who is outside the 22 kicks directly into touch, there is no gain in ground. The throw in is taken either at the place opposite where the player kicked the ball, or at the place where it went into touch, whichever is nearer that player's goal line.

(b) When a team causes the ball to be put into that team's 22. When a defending player plays the ball from outside the 22 and it goes into that player's 22 or in-goal area without touching an opposition player and then that player or another player from that team kicks the ball directly into touch before it touches an opposition player, or a tackle takes place or a ruck or maul is formed, there is no gain in ground. This applies when a defending player moves back behind the 22 metre line to take a quick throw-in and then the ball is kicked directly into touch.

(c) Defending team takes the ball into that team's 22 at a scrum or lineout. When a defending team throws the ball into a scrum or lineout outside that team's 22 and the ball then crosses into the team's 22 without touching an opposition player and then a player from the defending team kicks the ball directly into touch before it touches an opposition player, or a tackle takes place or a ruck or maul is formed, there is no gain in ground.

GAIN IN GROUND

(d) Player takes the ball into that team's 22. When a defending player plays the ball from outside the 22 and it goes into that player's 22 or in-goal area and it touches an opposition player, or a tackle takes place or a ruck or maul is formed, and then the ball is kicked by a player of that team directly in touch, the throw in is where the ball went into touch.

(e) Ball put into a player's 22 by the opposition. When the ball is put into a team's 22 by the opposition, without having touched (or been touched by) a player of the defending team before crossing the 22 and the ball is then kicked into touch by the defending team, the throw in is where the ball went into touch.

(f) Kicks indirectly into touch. When a player anywhere in the playing area kicks indirectly into touch so that the ball bounces in the field of play the throw in is taken where the ball went into touch.

When a player anywhere in the playing area kicks the ball so that it touches or is touched by an opposition player and then goes indirectly into touch so that the ball bounces in the field of play the throw in is taken where the ball went into touch.

When a player anywhere in the playing area kicks the ball so that it touches or is touched by an opposition player and then goes directly into touch the throw in is taken in line with where the opposition player touched the ball or where the ball crossed the touch line if that is nearer the opposition player's goal line.