Tuesday 18 December 2012

NRL 2013: Explaining ARLC rule changes

Explaining NRL rule changes for 2013

2013 NRL Premiership

By W D Nicolson - December 18, 2012

Rule changes for NRL in 2013... but what do they really mean?
Today the ARLC (but to keep this post as easy to understand as possible - let's just call it the NRL from now on), decided to implement another round of rule changes for the coming 2013 season.

So here on www.wdnicolson.com we've put together our best explanations for the 3 key rule changes that will take force next season.

View the NRL's rule amendment press release here

After enduring a less than 100% endorsement of the change in the shoulder charge rule (that is they created a shoulder charge rule that is supposed to eliminate it from the game but annoyed the players in the process and may not eliminate it at all)... The NRL has now put its foot down and tried to make a stand on Origin eligibility, a new Video Referee referral system and have followed up their unpopular decision above and finally set the standards for how long you can get suspended for performing the shoulder charge.

There are 3 rule changes and the key things you need to know are as follows:

If you are a Rugby League player and want to be eligible for NSW or QLD - make sure you live in NSW or QLD prior to turning 13 years of age or be the son/grandson of a former Origin player.

Key Translation: Greg Inglis will stay a Queenslander and any children he has will be eligible for QLD regardless of whether or not they live in NSW for the first 13 years of their lives.
It also means that anyone who has already declared themselves a Blue or a Maroon - will remain that way, but it's no longer parental relations that make or break your eligibility. Also - if you want to play for Australia right off the bat - live in Australia before you turn 13.

The NRL will now ask its on-field referees to make a decision on every single try-scoring incident in a game... and then if they are unsure if they got it right - they will now be able to send it up to a Video Referee who will then have to find a reason to give or take away the try... all the while IGNORING the 'Benefit of the Doubt' ideal that ruined so many games in recent seasons.

Key Translation: The on-field referees finally have to put their judgement into play immediately - which as we all recall, more often than not proved to be the right call.
The loss of the 'Benefit of the Doubt' is a nice sounding concept, but the real win here for the fans and the players is the on-field referee now has to make a call - and if you make a call, you are likely to pay more attention and back your judgement first and foremost - then call on the 'safety' of the Video Referee (who may not even get it right anymore than they did in 2012 - but they have to prove something, not come up with a close enough is good enough decision).

We will let the official wording describe what is illegal:
“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).”
This means... charges that stem from "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."

Key Translation: You do the crime and you'll get at least 2 weeks... we think. 
Grade 1 high tackles barely approach 100 points or so, (which if the NRL is fair dinkum about eliminating as many dangerous tackles as possible should be at least 180 points as well - so even an early plea equals 1 week out) but the shoulder charge - which doesn't involve hitting the head nearly as often as a high shot, means you should miss significant time... if it goes wrong.
That's the key part - basically the shoulder charge will still exist in the game but if you get it wrong you pay a price.
Great idea, but as we just said - why not do it for ALL contact with the head if you want to really make a difference to how damaging the game can be to an individual's melon? Now Ben Matulino gets it right above... but he might still get penalised for that hit on Dimitri Pelo at 0:15 and the rest in the highlights.


Comment below or reply and 

And another thing... The NRL also reckon the Captain's Challenge System has some merit... but even though it'll get a run in televised (and only televised) Fox Sports Under 20 games next season, it won't be in the NRL in 2013 bar a raft of general play errors early in the season. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Who will win the 2013 @NRLTweet Player of the Year Award?

The Voting Panel for the 2012 @NRLTweet POTY (won by Ben Barba) and @NRLTweet Player of September (won by Cooper Cronk) were:
Benjamin Hoese, Craig Buchanan, Greg Delaney, Justin Davies, Maria Tsialis, Matt Spillane, Matt Vickers, Matthew Duncan, Michael McLucas, Nigel Wilbow, Adrian McMurray, Matt Trodden and Warrick Nicolson.

Thanks to everyone for their time and efforts during the 2012 season - hopefully we should be back again in 2013!

Remember you can track all the votes each week after each match in 2013 via the Twitter hashtag #nrltweetpoty