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QRL confirms community rugby league law changes

Queensland Rugby League has today confirmed a number of on-field law changes for community rugby league ahead of the start of the 2021 season.

The changes approved by the Australian Rugby League Commission on February 26 will result in some of the laws introduced for both the upcoming NRL and QRL statewide competitions seasons also applied in community rugby league competitions.

These include:

Premature breaking from the scrum

Where a player(s) break from the scrum before the referee’s call of ‘break’, a full penalty will be awarded to the non-offending team.

The team receiving the penalty will have the option of re-packing the scrum. If the scrum is re-packed and a player(s) again break before the referee is satisfied the ball has emerged correctly from the scrum, a further penalty will be awarded, and one of the offending players will be sent to the sin-bin.  

Play-the-ball restarts after ball or player finds touch

Where play is stopped because the ball or a player in possession of the ball has entered touch in general play, other than a restart (kick-off, goal-line drop-out, 20-metre drop-out or 20-metre optional restart), a 40/20, play will restart with a play-the-ball by the non-offending team.

The position of the play-the-ball will be 20-metres from the touchline and no closer than 10-metres from a goal line.

The referee will give ‘reasonable’ time to restart play.

Two-point field goal

Two points will be awarded for a successful field goal kicked during general play from outside the opposition 40-metre line.


Local leagues and areas will also be given the opportunity to trial a number of other interpretations that won't be for adoption broadly across community rugby league.

These include the six again rule for ruck and 10-metre infringements, the option for the on-field captain to move the lateral position of scrums to the 10-metre, 20-metre or mid-field and ordering a ‘handover’ (rather than a penalty) when players do not make a genuine attempt to play the ball with their foot.

Leagues and associations considering a trial of approved ‘interpretations’ or seeking greater clarity on the approved changes should consult directly with their relevant region.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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