A Look At Finalized Rule Changes To Effect The 2013 NRL Season

There will be a number of rule changes that will come into effect for the 2013 NRL season. Their announcement has come at a strange time but then again, with the way the ARLC is making decisions, you can’t be all that surprised.

From the NRL official web site the new rules are:

Benefit Of The Doubt Rule Scrapped
From 2013, referees will make an on-field call in relation to any try-scoring situation. In the event that the match referee has reservations regarding his original decision he will indicate “time out”, signal that the video referee is to be introduced and then signal his on-field decision.

Only in those cases where the video referee believes there is ‘sufficient’ evidence to suggest the on-field decision is incorrect will he overturn the decision. In either case the video referee will communicate the outcome via the scoreboard.

Shoulder Charges Banned
Having determined at its November meeting that the shoulder charge would be deemed an illegal tackle from 2013, the Commission has today approved an amendment to the NRL Rules that provides a definition of the outlawed tackle:

“Where a defender, without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the ball-carrier (or any opposing player) using the arms or hands, makes direct physical contact using the shoulder or the upper arm (tucked into the side).”

Under the amended NRL Judiciary Code Rules, players will no longer be automatically referred to the judiciary panel for illegal contact from shoulder charges.

Instead, penalties for shoulder charges under the NRL Judiciary Code will range from a base of 200 points (two-match suspension) for a Grade 1 charge increasing to 800 points for a Grade 5 charge.

State Of Origin Eligibility
From 2013 no player will be eligible to play for NSW or Queensland unless he has lived in that state before the age of thirteen, or unless he is the son of an Origin player. The player must also be eligible to play for Australia.

Captains Challenge Trialed In Under 20’s
The Commission has also expanded the trials of the Captain’s Challenge System for next year with each televised match in the Under 20s competition to use two referees and implement the challenge system that was trialled at the end of this season.

The introduction of the second referee in these games allows the Captain’s Challenge to be viewed in conditions reflective of an NRL match.

“There are only specific areas that can be challenged such as: a mandatory penalty; a loss of possession (knock-on, strip) where play is to recommence with a structured start; charge downs where play is to recommence with a structured start; and determining which team last played at the ball prior to the ball going into touch or touch in-goal,” NRL General Manager of Football Operations Nathan McGuirk said.

“Having trialled it in one game last year this is an opportunity to test the concept in a way that would allow us to make a clear recommendation about its future at NRL level.

“It will also introduce a number of our emerging talented referees into the two referee model in our elite competitions.”

These are pretty big changes if you ask me.

The benefit of the doubt change seems like a good idea but still sounds a bit grey. I wouldn’t be surprised if that rule was changed once again by next season. After all, the problem with most rules in Rugby League isn’t so much the rules themselves but the poor decisions made by the people that implement them.

The shoulder charge changes to me read terribly. They are open to way too much interpretation. The ironic thing is, if you hit a player with your shoulder with the ball in hand, you’ll be find.

I tend to think this hysteria surrounding the shoulder charge is ridiculous. I don’t give it too long before we see this rule scrapped.

The changes to the State Of Origin eligibility rules are a step forward but don’t go anywhere near far enough. You can still be born overseas and end up playing for New South Wales and Australia.

As for the Captains Challenge being brought in at NYC level, it just sounds like another layer of bullshit to keep geeks happy. I don’t want the game stopped and a committee meeting held every time a bunch of knuckle headed players aren’t sure if they should challenge a call or not.

I also give it five whole minutes before players stop the game so that the coach can run out with his decisions on whether to challenge a call or not anyway.

Call me silly but, I tend to this the game itself was pretty good in 2012. I didn’t think any changes needed to be made. The application of the rules in place was a problem. Not the rules themselves.

Liked it? Take a second to support League Freak on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

4 thoughts on “A Look At Finalized Rule Changes To Effect The 2013 NRL Season

  1. How can you be fined for a shoulder charge if you hit a player with ball in hand? The rules state that they relate to a defender, so surely ball in hand you are an attacking player.

    1. I’m not arguing about the rule, I think it’s daft that it’s being taken out. I was just pointing out that your assertion that an attacking player can be penalised under the rule is incorrect.

      That said it does point out yet another hole with the change – namely what you say above, why is one shoulder charge worse than the other? In fact as an attacking player, given the head position of a tackler, you’re surely more likely to cause damage!

  2. I like the new BOD rule. It seems to have given the Refs some confidence as they have to make a decision before sending it upstairs. The new interpretation of only over ruling if there is a clear reason to do so is also a winner.

    Yes they will get it wrong from time to time as it’s still an “interpretation or opinion” but so far so good I say.

    I think the new rule about SOO eligibility is basically useless. There needs to be more done as right now if I’m born in NZ, move to QLD when I’m 3 and then to NSW when I’m 8 who the fuck do I play for ? There needs to be more to qualify that sort of scenario. What happens if I’m born and raised Victorian and play in the NRL for the Storm ?

    It might be short sighted but I think SOO should be about QLD and NSW, not Victoria and WA and NZ. Yes somebody born in those states/countries should be eligible under certain scenarios but right now the new “rule” seems to do fuck all to address those concerns.

Leave a Reply