Rule Changes for Major Competitions in 2014

THE Queensland Rugby Football League (QRL) has implemented the following rule changes and interpretations for the Statewide Competitions for 2014.

Statewide Competitions are defined as:

Intrust Super Cup
FOGS Cup
FOGS Colts Challenge
Mal Meninga Cup
Cyril Connell Cup

Laws of the Game Changes for Statewide Competitions:

Spearing at the Legs/Third Man In
When a player in possession is held in an upright position by two defenders, any additional defender must make initial contact to the player in possession above their knees/knee joint. In addition, referees will be instructed to call “held” earlier on upright tackles to deter unnecessary third man in tackles. Regardless of the point of impact, a player can still be penalised for any ‘forceful, dangerous and unnecessary contact’ at the legs that involves an unacceptable risk of injury to the attacking player.

20 Metre Restart
A 20-metre optional kick is to be taken in compliance with Section 2 and Section 8 (2) (a-b) of ‘The Australian Rugby League Laws of the Game and Notes on the Laws’. The 20-metre optional kick must only be taken when all officials are in position and the whistle is blown. The first tackle after a 20-metre restart will be zero tackle.

20 Restart
After a successful 40/20 kick, play will recommence with a tap kick awarded to the attacking team 20 metres from the touchline in line with where the ball first crossed the touchline but no closer than 10 metres from the goal line.

Kick Out on Full
If the ball is kicked into touch on the full on any tackle, the non-offending team will recommence play with a handover where the ball was kicked from but no closer than 10 metres from the touchline and no closer than 10 metres from the goal line.

Interpretation Changes for Statewide Competitions

Penalty or Free Kick
A penalty or free kick is to be taken in compliance with Section 13 (1) (a) and Section 13 (4) (a) of ‘The Australian Rugby League Laws of the Game and notes on the laws’. A quick penalty restart is permitted on any infringement against the team not in possession except:

• 10 metre penalties;
• within 10 metres of the opposition goal line;
• where the referee is required to caution a player;
• where the referee requires it to be delayed; or
• where the mark has been advanced

Captains Communication
The Captain of a team is entitled to speak to a referee to clarify a ruling at any stoppage including tries, injuries or goal-line dropout (within 30 seconds) and at the half-time siren prior to leaving the field. A penalty or scrum is not considered a stoppage for the purpose of Captains Communication with the referee. In relation to the communication at half-time this is optional for either Team Captain and will be convened by the referee.

If required it will occur in the following manner:

• the Home Team Captain will speak to the referee first;
• the Away Team Captain will speak to the referee second; and
• the maximum time allotted to each team is one minute.

Additionally, the following has been implemented to ensure the safety of the players.

Cannonball Tackles
When a player is being held in an upright position by two defenders, any additional tackler must make initial contact to the player in possession above the knee. In addition, referees will be instructed to call held earlier on upright tackles to deter unnecessary third-man tackles.

Crusher Tackles
The Match Review Committee will be directed to charge crusher tackles at the higher end of the scale to provide a greater deterrent.

All rule changes will take place effectively immediately.