World Rugby announce new guidelines to speed up game

The new laws are aimed at speeding up the game with less delays
The new laws are aimed at speeding up the game with less delays

World Rugby has announced new guidelines which will be effective from 1st January 2023 with an aim to speed up the game.

The most significant rule being time limits to be enforced for breaks in play which will see teams needing to kick a conversion within 90 seconds and a penalty goal within 60 seconds from when they are awarded.

The kick is disallowed in each case if not, while a scrum is awarded to the opposition team for a delayed penalty.

Teams also will get penalised if they take more than 30 seconds to form a scrum while line out has to be formed “without delay”, with no strict time limit imposed in this case.

"World Rugby, member unions and competitions will work with broadcasters and match hosts to implement on-screen (stadia and broadcast) shot clocks for penalties and conversions to ensure referees, players and fans can view the countdown," World Rugby Director of Rugby Phil Davies said in a statement.

The referees were also reminded not to be over reliant on Television Match Officials with obvious offences to be dealt on-field.

"It was agreed (at the Shape of the Game conference in November) that reviews can often take too long, suggesting the offence being reviewed is not clear and obvious," Davies said.

"While we can always enhance the technology interaction to speed up the process, the match official teams -- led by the referee -- should attempt to make speedier decisions and limit replays where not necessary."

Meanwhile, players who put their hands on the floor at tackles, rucks and mauls are subject to sanction, although judgement can be used if the player is using the ground briefly to maintain their own balance and stability.


2019 Rugby World Cup Points Table