Law Changes for 2017/2018 season

New laws effective from 1st August ’17

Those of you who are eagle eyed will have noticed that these laws were already being implemented during the recent Lions tour to New Zealand. As far as we are concerned they will apply from 1 August 2017 for any games North Midlands referees officiate in.

 3.6 (Uncontested Scrums) Law 3 Number of Players – The Team 

Add (h) Uncontested scrums as a result of a sending off, temporary suspension or injury must be played with eight players per side.
Reasoning: To discourage teams from going to uncontested scrums.

Law 5 Time 

Add to 5.7(e) If a penalty is kicked into touch after time has elapsed without touching another player, the referee allows the throw-in to be taken and play continues until the next time the ball becomes dead.
Reasoning: To discourage teams from infringing in the dying moments of the game.

Law 8 Advantage
Add to 8.1(a) When there are multiple penalty infringements by the same team, the referee may allow the captain of the non-offending team to choose the most advantageous of the penalty marks.
Reasoning: To discourage repeat offending when advantage is already being played and to reward teams against whom repeat offending has taken place.

Law 9 Method of Scoring
9.A.1 (points values)
Penalty Try. If a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent, a penalty try is awarded. No conversion is attempted.
Value: 7 points
Reasoning: To discourage teams from illegally preventing a probable try from being scored while also saving time on the clock by negating the need for a conversion.

Law 19 Touch and Lineout
Add to definitions on page 117:
• A player who is attempting to bring the ball under control is deemed to be in possession of the ball.
Reasoning: This brings into law something that is already applied in practice. It means that a player “juggling” the ball does not have to be in contact with it at the exact moment of touching the touchline or the ground beyond it for the ball to be deemed to be in touch. This makes it easier for the match officials to adjudicate.

Amend eighth definition on page 117:
• If a player jumps and knocks the ball back into the playing area (or if that player catches the ball and throws it back into the playing area) before landing in touch or touch-in-goal, play continues regardless of whether the ball reaches the plane of touch.
Reasoning: To simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Add to definitions on page 117:
• If the ball-carrier reaches the plane of touch but returns the ball to the playing area without first landing in touch, play continues.
Reasoning: To simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time. 

Add to sixth definition on page 117:
• In this case, if the ball has passed the plane of touch when it is caught, then the catcher is not deemed to have taken the ball into touch. If the ball has not passed the plane of touch when it is caught or picked up, then the catcher is deemed to have taken the ball into touch, regardless of whether the ball was in motion or stationary.
Reasoning: To simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time. 


Become A Referee

If you are interested in becoming a referee in the Midlands then in the first instance please contact Mike Vaughan who is our Development Officer – you can use the form below.

Training is provided in conjunction with the RFU and we can tell you when and where the next course will take place.

NMSRFR covers Greater Birmingham, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. It is also federated to Staffordshire Society and often covers games there.

NMSRFR also operates exchanges with many of the other referee societies in the country giving developing referees the chance to experience games in other counties.


Information for Clubs

The Society provides referees to clubs, schools and colleges throughout Greater Birmingham, Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Worcestershire.

A small registration fee is payable to put clubs onto the WhosTheRef (WTR) appointments system – each season – and then a further fee is payable per game which includes the referee’s travelling expenses.

To enquire or ask questions about joining, please use this form.

Useful Documents

The NMSRFR procedural document for 2017-18 contains information on appointment guidelines and charging structure. [Click to Download]

The NMSRFR Club Application Form should be completed in order to join the society and request referee appointments. [Click to Download]

The WTR Club Application Form must also be completed so that you can be given access to the WhosTheRef system to provide fixture details for appointements. [Click to Download]