Topic: Rugby League

New NRL rules to add two minutes of game per match

Two new rules to the NRL will see rugby league fans gain an extra two minutes of game play per match when a shot clock is introduced at the beginning of next season for scrums and goal line dropouts, and interchanges going down from 10 to 8.

It's a fast pace game and not for the faint-hearted.

ARL Referee Development Officer, John McKeown says, “The rules are simple, all games should belong to the players and if the players understand what they're doing, they can do things at speed and accurately, that's the secret of the game.”

Two new rules will be introduced to the NRL next year and some experts are sceptical.

Te Arahi Maipi says, “The game is fine at the moment, why change something for the sake of changing it?”

The new rules will state, teams who fail to pack scrum or complete the dropout within the designated time will be penalised.  The number of interchanges will also come down from 10 to eight.

John McKeown says, “I would hate to see it get to the stage where the bigger players, the George Roses or anyone over 100kg can no longer take part in the game because they can't play a big enough role.”

Maipi says, “It's differentiating between a footballer and an athlete.  A lot of people say it's an athlete’s game at the moment.  It's the bigger faster players who are really leading the game.”

Despite the changes, McKweon is confident with today's technology the players are ready to take the pace of the game to another level.

He says, “They will actually tell them how many minutes they had the ball, how many meters they ran, what part of the field they ran in, the analysis is very very thorough and that way they train the athletes to be the very best.”

The length of the shot clock is yet to be determined and the new rules will come in to play at the start of the 2016 season.