OK, so here is some more detail on my original post.
Sixteen new ELV's are currently being trialled. Nine are being trialled at Stellenbosch and seven at the Cambridge University Law Labs
They will then supply statistics to the IRB, and from those, and from trial reports, the IRB will choose any that they want to go on with. These will be incorporated in the 2013 Laws of the Game as ELV's. After a one year global trial, a review will be conducted during which there may be some discarded, and what is left will be incorporated law for the 2014 law book. This will give all countries another year to play under the new Laws before the next World Cup.
The seven being trialled by Cambridge soon are as follows:
1. RUCK – UNSUCCESSFUL END TO A RUCK - Law 16.7
The ball has to be played within 5 seconds of it being at the back of a ruck with a warning from the referee to “use it”.
Sanction: (1) Scrum or (2) Free Kick
Protocol: (1) When the referee observes that the ball is clearly at the back of a ruck (but it has not emerged) which is no longer being contested, the referee will indicate that the ball must be played by saying “use it”. The team in possession has 5 seconds to ensure that the ball emerges and is played. If the ball does not emerge and is not played within the 5 seconds, the referee will award a scrum and the team not in possession will throw in the ball.
Protocol: (2) When the referee observes that the ball is clearly at the back of a ruck (but it has not emerged) which is no longer being contested, the referee will indicate that the ball must be played by saying “use it”. The team in possession has 5 seconds to ensure that the ball emerges and is played.
Sanction: Free Kick
This is intended to address the issue of rucks being won and then the "ruck winning" team sitting on the ball and doing nothing with it.
2. TOUCH AND LINE OUT – QUICK THROW IN - Law19.2 (b)
For a quick throw-in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the line of touch and the player’s goal line.
Addresses an issue that the current law doesn't permit the player to come all the way back to where the ball was kicked from if it goes directly into touch from a defender's kick outside his 22m line.
3. TOUCH AND LINE-OUT – WHO THROWS IN - Law 19.4
When the ball goes into touch from a knock on, the non-offending team will be offered the choice of a lineout at the point where the ball crossed the touchline, or a scrum at the place of the knock on. The non-offending team may exercise this option by taking a quick throw-in.
Protocol: When the ball is knocked on into touch or subsequently goes into touch, the referee will permit the non-offending team to take a quick throw-in
An innovation that effectively extends "scrum advantage" beyond the touchline.
4. SCRUM - FORMING A SCRUM - Law 20.1 (g)
(g) The referee will call “crouch” and then “touch”. The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop touches the opposing prop’s outside shoulder. The props then withdraw their arms. The referee will call “set” when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then set the scrum.
AIUI, the rationale for this change is as follows;
Currently the sequence is effectively "Crouch!" **pause** "Touch!" **pause** "Pause!" ** pause** "Engage!". NOTE: **pause** is a physical but unspoken gap between the words.
Firstly, taking out the word "pause" recognises a fact that most rugby referees and fans understand completely; that the word "Pause!" serves no useful purpose whatsoever.
Secondly, replacing the word "Engage!" with "Set!" replaces a two-syllable word with a one-syllable word, making it more difficult for the players in the scrum to use the "en" in "Engage" as a cue for getting the jump on their opponents.
So the new sequence will effectively be "Crouch!" **pause** "Touch!" **pause** "Set!"
This is nearly identical to the sequence that was trialled in the ITM Cup in 2010; "Crouch!" **pause** "Touch!" **pause** "Engage!"
This is obviously another attempt to fix the endless and boring scrum resets that are such a blight on the game, but IMO it could turn out to be yet another rearranging of the deck chairs on RMS Titanic.
5. SCRUM - OFFSIDE AT THE SCRUM - Law 20.12 (b)
Offside for scrum-halves. When a team has won the ball in the scrum, the scrum half of the other team is offside if both feet are in front of the centre line of the scrum while the ball is still in the scrum. The offside line is parallel to the goal lines and remain parallel even if the scrum wheels. Please note that current Laws 20.12 (d) and (e) apply.
(d) The scrum half whose team did not win possession of the ball must not move to the opposite side of the scrum and overstep the offside line. For that scrum half, that runs through the hindmost foot of that player’s team in the scrum.
Sanction: Penalty Kick
(e) The scrum half whose team did not win possession of the ball must not move away from the scrum and then remain in front of the offside line. For that scrum half, that runs through the hindmost foot of that player’s team in the scrum.
Sanction: Penalty Kick
The will give the ball-winning scrum half more time and space to distribute the ball. It is effectively an Under 15 Law being trialled at adult level.
6. PENALTY AND FREE KICK OPTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS - Law 21.4
Lineout alternative: A team awarded a penalty or a free kick at a lineout may choose a further lineout. They throw in.
This is in addition to the scrum option above (Law 21.4(a))
Makes logical sense. A team that doesn't want to scrummage can take the line-out instead. The Aussies will like this!
7. IN-GOAL – BALL KICKED DEAD THROUGH IN –GOAL - Law 22.8
Remove reference to drop goal in Law 22.8. Amend the first sentence as follows
If a team kicks the ball through their opponent’s in-goal into touch-in-goal or over the dead ball line, except by an unsuccessful conversion or penalty kick, the defending team has two choices either
To have a drop out or to have a scrum at the place where the ball was kicked and they throw in.
All I can say is, at long, long last, we have something that adds an element of RISK to those tedious 60m Drop Goal attempts that players like Francois Steyn seem to like indulging in.
Under the current Law, if you try it from your own 10m and miss, and the ball goes dead in goal you gain 38m (dropout 22) and have a chance to compete for the ball
Under this ELV, you will gain ZERO metres, instead, coming back to where you kicked it from and giving up the feed to a scrum. Saffas will hate this.