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Time for change

Kiwiwomble

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Rugby simply needs to change some rules. Here are some suggestions: 1. scrum clock. From the ref's call for a scrum, forwards get 25 seconds to lock together ready for engagement with the other pack. Failure results in a differential penalty. 2. Fewer replacements. Limit subs or finishers to 5 in total. Because players are now so fit and half the team can be subbed there is much less space for attack. It would open up the last 30 minutes particularly. 3. Ball out at scrum base. Once the scrumhalf touches the ball at the base of the scrum the ball is live . 4. (Most controversial) Reduce on field team to 13, probably losing Flankers. There now too many (very fit) players on the field, especially with no gap between defenders and attackers at the gain line to allow open flowing Rugby.

The last thing rugby needs is more penalties!

Here are my suggested rule changes.

1. Every time you take a shot at goal, a new player in the side has to do it. You can only have your main kicker take a second shot when all 15 players have had a kick at goal.

2. Ball is fitted with a device that causes it to burst into flames at a predetermined but random time, ie different with each ball. Any player who refused to play once the ball is on fire will see the opposition awarded a penalty. New ball to be provided once it is no longer in one piece.

3. Each player is allowed to pick one method of penalty foul that doesn't apply to them.

4. Tries scored in which the ball is caught, held and grounded in one hand are worth an extra two points.

5. If a player misses a tackle, but apologises profusely, the player in possession has to come back and be tackled. Play restarts with a scrum to the attacking team.

6. Two balls are involved, but one belongs to the referee and the touch judges, who pass the ball across the field continuously. Interfering with the ref ball is a yellow card offence.

7. Any tries scored do not count until the scorer can name the opposition country's capital, currency, official language and three dominant socioeconomic issues.
I was talking to one of my aussie work mates, trying to get some rugby banter going...no luck. What he did just come out with was a story about how at his school they use to take a ball of rags, wrap in chicken mesh or wire, then soak in kerosene then light on fire to kick around...there was this really long pause followed by..."didn't everyone play fire ball as a kid?"
 

Broms

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It's a more convincing argument that a diff. penalty after 25 seconds is better to move the game on than 2 or 3 minutes of scrum setting and then resetting which regularly ends in a penalty anyway. Slow play is a habit allowed by the rules until it is addressed by penalties of some form such as it has in many other games - tennis, NFL, RL, basketball, for example. For those who love watching the power and technique of a scrum it would still be there to enjoy.
Your Aussie mate isn't alone in playing Fireball. I once actually heard a group of them comparing notes about the best composition of a fireball. The recipe seems to have been passed down through the generations right across the country.
 

Yulia

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What he did just come out with was a story about how at his school they use to take a ball of rags, wrap in chicken mesh or wire, then soak in kerosene then light on fire to kick around...there was this really long pause followed by..."didn't everyone play fire ball as a kid?"
Jeez,my childhood was really boring then :rolleyes:
 

Kiwiwomble

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It's a more convincing argument that a diff. penalty after 25 seconds is better to move the game on than 2 or 3 minutes of scrum setting and then resetting which regularly ends in a penalty anyway. Slow play is a habit allowed by the rules until it is addressed by penalties of some form such as it has in many other games - tennis, NFL, RL, basketball, for example. For those who love watching the power and technique of a scrum it would still be there to enjoy.
Your Aussie mate isn't alone in playing Fireball. I once actually heard a group of them comparing notes about the best composition of a fireball. The recipe seems to have been passed down through the generations right across the country.
in fairness...that's rugby

Teams loosing points for scrum infringements that might be out of their control, just because one team is stronger, ****** me off

I must be in the minority, I prefer to see two teams competing for the ball within the rules than waiting a couple of minutes for someone to kick a goal...and then waiting again for them to go back to half way to kick off again
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Extra changes! Because why not.

1) Get rid of the pseudo hit that still exists in the scrum. New calls of crouch, brace & engage. Crouch is the same, brace is the bind and the 2 teams push lightly on to each other so they are engaged but just taking each others weight, not pushing. When the ref says engage the scrumhalf has 5 seconds to put the ball in. Neither side can fully shove until the ball has been fed in.
2) If the scrum collapses without any significant forward momentum (eg the 8 crossing over the mark) then it is a free kick to the attacking team.
3) If the scrum collapses after significant forward momentum then it is a penalty.
4) Opposition 9 must stay on their side of the scrum
5) Any of the back row is allowed to pick up the ball and break from the scrum

The thoughts behind this is trying to rebalance the scrum. Make the punishments too hard and teams will only use it to try to milk penalties, too lenient and teams will collapse it all the time. Any change to benefit one team will always make it worse for the other team. My hope is that by having the opposition 9 more out of the way and allowing the flankers to pick up the ball, it creates additional tactical options to increase the incentive to get the ball out of the scrum. Likewise reducing the penalty to a free kick if there is no go forward should hopefully reduce the chance of very evenly matched scrums duking it out trying to get penalties rather than getting the ball out. However if one team has a clearly dominant scrum, they will still be able to get a penalty from it by generating forward momentum. Obviously you could then get an issue where teams argue whether significant ground was made or not to determine if a penalty should be awarded or not.

It just seems that the way to fix scrums is to make it more attractive to get the ball out and run with it, which means making the scrum a good way of freeing up more space somehow.

Additional:
6) Kicks from a mark cannot go out on the full

Just feel it's a bit too safe now, nearly 1/2 of the pitch you wouldn't want to kick to because of the mark. I don't want to get rid of the mark otherwise it will be constant kicks to the 22 but I do want to make it a little less safe so a player has to weigh up the benefit of calling a mark and having time to make a kick over the fact he can no longer kick it out on the full, and will more likely have to keep it infield.
 

Kiwiwomble

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Extra changes! Because why not.

1) Get rid of the pseudo hit that still exists in the scrum. New calls of crouch, brace & engage. Crouch is the same, brace is the bind and the 2 teams push lightly on to each other so they are engaged but just taking each others weight, not pushing. When the ref says engage the scrumhalf has 5 seconds to put the ball in. Neither side can fully shove until the ball has been fed in.
2) If the scrum collapses without any significant forward momentum (eg the 8 crossing over the mark) then it is a free kick to the attacking team.
3) If the scrum collapses after significant forward momentum then it is a penalty.
4) Opposition 9 must stay on their side of the scrum
5) Any of the back row is allowed to pick up the ball and break from the scrum

The thoughts behind this is trying to rebalance the scrum. Make the punishments too hard and teams will only use it to try to milk penalties, too lenient and teams will collapse it all the time. Any change to benefit one team will always make it worse for the other team. My hope is that by having the opposition 9 more out of the way and allowing the flankers to pick up the ball, it creates additional tactical options to increase the incentive to get the ball out of the scrum. Likewise reducing the penalty to a free kick if there is no go forward should hopefully reduce the chance of very evenly matched scrums duking it out trying to get penalties rather than getting the ball out. However if one team has a clearly dominant scrum, they will still be able to get a penalty from it by generating forward momentum. Obviously you could then get an issue where teams argue whether significant ground was made or not to determine if a penalty should be awarded or not.

It just seems that the way to fix scrums is to make it more attractive to get the ball out and run with it, which means making the scrum a good way of freeing up more space somehow.

Additional:
6) Kicks from a mark cannot go out on the full

Just feel it's a bit too safe now, nearly 1/2 of the pitch you wouldn't want to kick to because of the mark. I don't want to get rid of the mark otherwise it will be constant kicks to the 22 but I do want to make it a little less safe so a player has to weigh up the benefit of calling a mark and having time to make a kick over the fact he can no longer kick it out on the full, and will more likely have to keep it infield.
this is the thing I never get...to what end? I played all my rugby in the front row and deliberately collapsing was never a thing, I know some do do it deliberately.....but what does doing it all the time achieve?

I really think more free kicks is the key to scrums, a prop folding under superior strength or slipping on a muddy track and loosing three points just seems disproportionate
 

Ragey Erasmus

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this is the thing I never get...to what end? I played all my rugby in the front row and deliberately collapsing was never a thing, I know some do do it deliberately.....but what does doing it all the time achieve?

I really think more free kicks is the key to scrums, a prop folding under superior strength or slipping on a muddy track and loosing three points just seems disproportionate
If scrums aren't being deliberately collapsed, or more accurately a player sees what they can get away with, then the fault must lie in that they are being made inherently unstable. The first point is meant to address the stability by having the front rows already pressing against each other and allowing players to reposition their feet if necessary without the risk of immediately going down. Simple physics, it's easier to maintain stability and push against something if you brace yourself against it and then shove rather than hitting it at pace and trying to shove. Even now teams try to get some advantage in the "hit" which leads to instability and early shoves. The hit was supposed to have been taken out but it hasn't, it's just become shorter.
 

Kiwiwomble

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If scrums aren't being deliberately collapsed, or more accurately a player sees what they can get away with, then the fault must lie in that they are being made inherently unstable. The first point is meant to address the stability by having the front rows already pressing against each other and allowing players to reposition their feet if necessary without the risk of immediately going down. Simple physics, it's easier to maintain stability and push against something if you brace yourself against it and then shove rather than hitting it at pace and trying to shove. Even now teams try to get some advantage in the "hit" which leads to instability and early shoves. The hit was supposed to have been taken out but it hasn't, it's just become shorter.
I was more meaning your comment that if the penalties aren't strong enough teams will collapse them all the time, meaning its deliberate...what are they gaining by collapsing them all the time

I understand some people deliberately collapse them when on the back foot for example , maybe get a better reset or the three points is better than a push over try...but do we really think players will just keep collapsing scrums, risking hurting someone?

i look at SO many of the scrums that get penalised for deliberately collapsing and think...ive been in that situation...they had no control of that, just over powered or unbalanced, neither things i consider penalty worthy
 

Broms

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Some interesting points to fix the scrum frustrations- ie, length of time to set, collapses and resets, technical infringements, inexplicable (to spectators) penalties. How about avoiding even more lost time with conventional penalties by the ref awarding automatic possession to the non offending team, 25 metres directly upfield, to be restarted with the offending team a further 10 metres back from the mark (as for a line out). Only a scrum infringement within the offending team's 22 can result in a Penalty kick for goal. Penalty kickers are given 45 seconds only from when the ref points to the posts to complete the kick ( unless given more time if ball falls off tee, for example). In total, over the length of a game, this could add maybe 10 minutes of 'ball in hand' playing time, if you consider the number of scrum penalties (let's say 6-8) and penalty goal attempts ( again 6-8).
 

Lancashire Nick

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To be fair, the RFU have drastically reduced my enjoyment of union since February 2019.
You're lucky, they've been reducing my enjoyment since 1995.

I miss proper Forward play, with contested scrums, lineouts, mauls, rucks.

I miss players playing the full 80 minutes.

I miss the Backs having space to play in.

And most of all, I miss a bit of "biff". The occasional punch-up, or piece of skulduggery at the bottom of a ruck was a joy (although admittedly, I enjoyed it more when I was spectating rather than on the receiving end).

And yes, I know I'm an old fart and a dinosaur whose time has passed.
 

Kiwiwomble

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Some interesting points to fix the scrum frustrations- ie, length of time to set, collapses and resets, technical infringements, inexplicable (to spectators) penalties. How about avoiding even more lost time with conventional penalties by the ref awarding automatic possession to the non offending team, 25 metres directly upfield, to be restarted with the offending team a further 10 metres back from the mark (as for a line out). Only a scrum infringement within the offending team's 22 can result in a Penalty kick for goal. Penalty kickers are given 45 seconds only from when the ref points to the posts to complete the kick ( unless given more time if ball falls off tee, for example). In total, over the length of a game, this could add maybe 10 minutes of 'ball in hand' playing time, if you consider the number of scrum penalties (let's say 6-8) and penalty goal attempts ( again 6-8).
that's just so complicated, a scrum is a just a way to compete for possession with the team with the feed getting an advantage due to the other team having made a mistake like a knock on, not even an penalty infringement...so if one team infringes at scrum time why not just give the other team what they were competing for....possession...and we can use an existing rule to do it...without making something new...free kick

We keep stacking new rules on top of old ones which just escalates things, a knock on near your goal line could cost you a game. small knock on leads to scrum...scrum gets demolished just because they're not strong enough...leads to a penalty or penalty try...from a knock on...does that make sense?
 

ncurd

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that's just so complicated, a scrum is a just a way to compete for possession with the team with the feed getting an advantage due to the other team having made a mistake like a knock on, not even an penalty infringement...so if one team infringes at scrum time why not just give the other team what they were competing for....possession...and we can use an existing rule to do it...without making something new...free kick

We keep stacking new rules on top of old ones which just escalates things, a knock on near your goal line could cost you a game. small knock on leads to scrum...scrum gets demolished just because they're not strong enough...leads to a penalty or penalty try...from a knock on...does that make sense?
The only issue is the scrum has secondary purpose of giving the backs space hence tying up players into it. It fails completely to do this but I'm not a fan of uncontested scrums.
 
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