Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 11:08 AM


Rugby league is constantly evolving. Here are six rule changes or interpretations the NRL must implement.

Stop The Clock in Dead-Ball Situations

Nearly every sport stops the clock when the ball is out of play, a score has just been registered or a player is down injured. For consistency throughout the 80 minutes, the clock should stop whenever the ball is not in play. This can operate easily in conjunction with the shot clock to ensure teams don’t give themselves extra time for a breather.

Video Refs to Rule on Forward Passes

The touch judges and referees seemingly miss most of these so out of necessity, the Bunker should be able to rule on forward passes. If they can rule on offside then the technology is there to rule on forward passes.

Bring Back the Five-Minute Sin Bin

Referees are loath to use the sin bin because 10 minutes is a long time. The five-minute bin needs to be reintroduced if, for nothing else, to stop the prevalence of teams giving away consecutive penalties on their own line.

No Seven-Tackle Set Off a Missed Field Goal

The seven-tackle set has virtually killed the field goal. It was introduced to stop teams deliberately kicking the ball dead but has had the flow-on effect of limiting field goal attempts. The field goal is a wonderful part of the game so this rule needs to be tempered.

Penalties for Moving Off The Mark

Rugby league officiating has become a nanny state in many areas, referees “teaching” players on the run. Players know the rules and if they don’t, they should. If a player moves off the mark and plays the ball, it should be a penalty to the defensive team.

Start Penalising Voluntary Tackles

It will surprise many to know that the voluntary tackle is still a penalty in rugby league, though it hasn’t been called in a quarter-century. Voluntary tackles are becoming an increasing blight on the game with players deliberately going down near their own in-goal. It needs to be eradicated.

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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