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The Game Rugby League Rules Ideas and Areas of Inprovement


First Grade
I think the biggest problem to fix is gang tackles and one on one tackles and the disproportionate advantage/disadvantage that has on the speed of the ball. Maybe something as subtle as allowing a one on one tackler more time to peel off properly, which in turn would hopefully reward a good one on one tackle.

Difficult to implement though


I like the any involvement in the tackle must be *Marker... but what happens when theres 4 guys in, instant advantage to defence near the scrum..
Food for thought..
I read earlier here a fantasy league round,
A full list of maybe 5 rules to get voted upon.
Apply it to magic round
That would be one of them.

Another would be
*Multi ball, a hooter goes off randomly by the referee and they all grab one of the 4 extra balls that get kick in by the crowd from the goal posts, and anyone that scores off it gets 6 points, (as conversions from random areas would be stupid)
Imagine the carnage 5 on field balls would do

*Drop the wings... let the game run with 2 less players

*Fumbleball... for those ALF lovers, the knock on is non existent, as long as its not intentionally passed forward, you can drop or knock the ball on

And lastly my favorite

*Half Time Spray... huge hose on the sideline, just taking out players randomly


Penalties in scoring situations should be a one on one penalty.

Attacking team puts their best player at half with the ball and defensive team puts their best defender on the try line.

Whistle blows and they play one on one for one tackle.

Also teams should be allowed to throw the ball forward when in their own in goal but ball must also be caught in the in goal.

Also dogs.
The only rule I think needs to change currently, especially with lots of short restarts coming into vogue, is that the receiving team should be able to touch the ball inside the 10 without it being a penalty. That should be an additional punishment for coming up short with the restart.

You'd find teams would do the short restart a lot less, and if they do kick it deeper. The lottery as it stands favours the kicking team too much.
I have long agreed this needs changing. The law states the kicking team must kick the ball ten metres. If the kick is bubbling around, it should be to the advantage of the receiving team to be able to gather it before it bobbles over the 10m line for teams to then dive on it.
I would also like to see players contest high kicks more, rather than timing their run to tackle the receiver at the time of catching it. Any rule that could promote that more wins in my eyes too.


First Grade
I think the biggest problem to fix is gang tackles and one on one tackles and the disproportionate advantage/disadvantage that has on the speed of the ball. Maybe something as subtle as allowing a one on one tackler more time to peel off properly, which in turn would hopefully reward a good one on one tackle.

Difficult to implement though
Interesting that 1 on 1 tackles have evolved into hip drop tackles


I would like to see charge downs not restart the tackle count. It would promote more attempts on the ball than the kickers and place more pressure on kickers who have too much of a free ride these days.
I've never actually heard anyone disagree with this. Cant believe it hasn't happened.
Rugby League was born out of Rugby Union. Whilst RL diverged on its own path, it still had elements and rules of Union left over that were redundant to the game of League and should've been changed. A number of them are still there today.

Namely....because Union was an unlimited tackle game, therefore errors like knock-ons and tackles across the sideline were ways for the defense to get a share of possessing the ball.

When RL finally brought in the limited tackles rule in the 60s, it should've changed the rules around these errors too, because they are logical only to an unlimited tackle game.

So ideas like no knock-ons at all, or crossing the sideline is ok, are often popular ideas because other people see that redundancy too once it went to a limited tackle game.

Now, whilst I could argue why these things should be changed, however, every code of football is its own thing, and shouldn't copy ideas from other codes per se.

But as RL evolves it needs to emphasize what makes its sport great and tweak areas of the game that are bad/dull.

I don't want to turn RL into another sport, but what specifically is its selling point? What makes it great? There's no more exciting play in any sport than a long-range chain-passing RL Try, with all the crazy offloads and little kicks and ad lib support play involved. I think everyone would agree that where RL ought to improve on is promoting that more, urging teams/coaches to chance their hand more no matter where on the field they are.

Thus, areas of RL that are bad/dull... 1) the fear of mistakes in your own half, and 2) too much one-out hit-ups, often for four of the five tackles.

Drastic rule changes don't necessarily have to be the answer, like no knock-ons. It can be subtle changes that do this.

At the same time too, you want to ensure the balance of attack and defense is not put out of balance.

There are other little things in the game that should also be tidied up.

Specifically, if a player charges down a kick it should not be a restart of the tackle count. A big defensive play should be rewarded, not punished.

RL has already started to tidy these things up when it started to bring in the Zero Tackle from dead ball kicks, and, players able to do a quick restart from a dead ball or penalty, and, a quick handover play the ball that replaces some scrums, etc. The charge down rule is one glaring area that still has to yet to be tidied up.

But that's about it really. RL does not need to be drastically altered.

Just needs an idea on how to encourage teams to throw the ball around more regardless where on the field they are.

There are ideas like "options" to refuse a kick on the 6th to have another tackle or two to run the ball only. Or, removing knock-ons altogether. Or, no knock-ons inside your own 40. Etc.

But there's a really subtle simple idea out there that could solve this puzzle and that importantly doesn't disadvantage the defense, doesn't imbalance the game of defense vs offense.

Knock on > play-the-ball for the attacking team

That’s actually an interesting idea. Knock-ons definitely make teams more conservative and the winnera are usually the teams that wait for the opposition to make a mistake. Hardly fun to watch.

id like to see this trialed. My worry would be that the players run 40 metres, drop it and need to come back down the field to start again. Solve that and it might be good
The rule id love to see is a set restart based on the Gridiron 1st&10 rule. (If a team runes the ball across the 20m line in the attacking zone they get a zero tackle)

We reward teams attacking down the field, and EVERY single set is a win or lose for the attacking team (“yay, they defwnes the 20 and forced a turnover) even without scoring points.


I've been watching a lot of rugby league highlights and full games from decades ago, like the 70's, and despite all the ugly scrums, the game was actually a lot more exciting and free-flowing than the modern game. Both teams might hit it up or go one out from dummy half maybe for one or two tackles, but the rest of the set they'd fling it around crazily like there was only a couple minutes left in a game, but they'd be doing it from start of game to end of game. Also, a million more offloads, forwards also hitting it up but stopping and turning to pass back. So many little set plays every tackle -- run arounds, decoy runners, switching the play in then out then in, as well as those cool set plays like the "wall".

Helter skelter action, regardless what end of the field they are, no fear of making mistakes, knock ons, lot of chip and chases and attacking kicks early in the tackle count. Players fielding a kick at their own goal throwing the ball around on the first, running it on the last, etc.

So vital to make a line break, to get something happening, otherwise they'd be bogged down if they played conservatively.

Not sure what ALL the rules of the game were back then, but it seems like definitely the five meter rule was the main reason for that because if you didn't throw it around to try to find a line break it was hard to get over the "advantage line" given the defense is only five meters back...whereas today's game, back 10 meters, it's easier to hit it up or go one out often to pick up easy meters over the advantage line.

It would seem then that to entice more chain passing and free flowing play, a change back to the five meter rule would do the trick....but also....getting rid of a lot of the set restarts, as that just allows teams to double down on hoarding possession, on emphasizing getting over the advantage line with cheap one out runs and hit ups.

Here, take a look at this 1978 Preliminary Final between Manly and Wests, how helter skelter it is from start to finish....



Get rid of 7 tackle sets from kicks going dead from within the 20m or even 40m line, or from a knock on when attempting to score.

7 tackle set restart only when the kick is from outside the 20 (or 40).
This. Seven tackle sets were introduced specifically to stop teams kicking the ball dead to nullify dangerous kick returners (Billy Slater being the dominant exponent at the time). It was never really intended to penalise grubbers/chips.


First Grade
Remove the midfield scrum or play the ball option when ball goes into touch, alwaays pack a scrum

Make it just 10m or 20m

Pack the scrum where knockons occur

Too much time being wasted

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