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Ten ELVs Adopted Into Laws Of The Game

Ten ELVs Adopted Into Laws Of The Game

The revised Laws of the Game 2009 are now available following the IRB Council’s decision this week to accept 10 Experimental Law Variations into Law.

Click here for rugby’s updated Laws.

Click here for explanations of the 2009 Law amendments.

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The revised ‘Laws of the Game’ also include the rulings in Law that have existed since 2002 and were formally incorporated into Law by the International Rugby Board Council at its annual meeting in Dublin on Wednesday, May 13.

The integrated set of Laws will be implemented globally from May 23 or from the start of the next domestic season where competitions transcend the implementation date.

On Wednesday, the IRB Council ratified recommendations made by the IRB Rugby Committee and approved 10 of the 13 global Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) for adoption into the Laws of the Game.

In addition to the suite of global ELVs, three Union-specific ELVs were also approved for integration into Law.

These include the ability for a Union to implement a maximum 15-minute half-time in matches under its jurisdiction.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “One of the recommendations of the ELV Conference held in London at the end of March was the universal application of one set of Laws that govern the game as soon as possible after Council.

“This was recommended by stakeholders from the international game, including some of the world’s top coaches, referees and ddministrators.

“The implementation date approved by the IRB Council achieves that goal and represents the most suitable application date.

“All international matches from May 23 onwards will be captured, while domestic and regional competitions played across the implementation date will be played under the current ELVs until their conclusion.

“The announcement brings to an end the extensive global ELV consultation and evaluation process which began with the Conference on the Game in Auckland in January 2004.

“The IRB would like to sincerely thank its member Unions for their participation in what has been an unprecedented review of the Laws of the Game.


Law 6 – Assistant referees able to assist referees in any way the Referee requires
Law 19 – If a team puts the ball back in their own 22 and the ball is subsequently kicked directly into touch there is no gain in ground
Law 19 – A quick throw may be thrown in straight or towards the throwing team’s goal line
Law 19 – The receiver at the lineout must be two metres back away from the lineout
Law 19 – The player who is in opposition to the player throwing in the ball must stand in the area between the five metre line and touch line and must be two metres from the line of touch and at least two metres from the lineout
Law 19 – Lineout players may pre-grip a jumper before the ball is thrown in
Law 19 – The lifting of lineout jumpers is permitted
Law 20 – Introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet of the Scrum
Law 20 – Scrum half offside line at the Scrum
Law 20 – The corner posts are no longer considered to be touch in goal except when the ball is grounded against the post

The following ELVs have not been adopted: Law 17 – Maul – Head and shoulders not to be lower than hips; Law 17 – Maul – Pulling down the maul; Law 19 – Freedom for each team to determine lineout numbers

Union-specific ELVs approved by Council:

– Unions may implement rolling substitutions at defined levels of the game

– A Union having jurisdiction over a game may implement a half-time interval of not more than 15 minutes, but not at international level

– A Union may implement the Under-19 Scrum Law Variation at a defined level of the game under its jurisdiction