Ever since the first set of rules as to how rugby should be played were drawn up by the newly formed Rugby Football Union in 1871, there have been revisions to reflect the evolution of the game.
The core of “The Laws of the Game”, as they were grandly called, has stood the test of time, however, revisions have been constant as the game has sought to adapt to playing conditions and outside pressures over the past 146 years.
Nowadays, the ultimate responsibility for the Laws rests with World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Board) and it has a committee that is responsible for recommending changes and their trial before they enshrined in the Laws.
This season World Rugby has added six amendments to its “Global Law Trials” (GLT) following positive trials in specific international competitions earlier this year. The amendments apply to all games in England with effect from 1st August 2017.
The following is a synopsis of the amendments.
1. Definitions – Possession
This happens when a player is carrying the ball (or attempting to bring it under control) or the team has the ball in its control, for example the ball in one half of a scrum or ruck is in that team’s possession.
2. Law 3.6 Number of Players – The Team
Uncontested scrums as a result of a sending off, temporary suspension or injury must be played with eight players per side.
3. Law 5.7 (E) – Time
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. To end the half, the ball must be tapped before the kick to touch.
4. Law 8.1 (A) – Advantage
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.
5. Law 9.A.1 – Method of Scoring
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.
6. Law 15.4 (C)- Amended Tackle
The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their side of the tackle gate.
7. Law 16 – Amended Ruck Law
A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside line is created. A player on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives no hands can be used.
8. Law 16.4 – Other Ruck Offences
A player must not kick the ball out of a ruck. Sanction: Penalty kick.
The player can only hook the ball in a backwards motion.
9. Law 18 – Definition: Mark
To make a mark a player must have one or both feet on or behind that player’s 22 metre line and catch a ball that has reached the plane of the 22-metre line.
10. Law 19 – Definition: Touch
If a 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.
If the 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.
11. Law 19.1 (C) – No Gain in Ground
If a player, with one or both feet behind the 22-metre line, picks up the ball, which was outside the 22, or catches the ball in front of the 22-metre line and kicks it directly into touch from within the 22, then that player has taken the ball back inside the 22, so there is no gain in ground.
12. Law 20.5 – Throwing the Ball into the Scrum
No signal from the referee. The scrum must be stable and there must be no delay once the ball has been presented to the scrum.
13. Law 20.6 (D) – How the Scrum Half Throws in the Ball
The scrum half must throw the ball in straight, but is allowed to align their shoulder on the middle line of the scrum, therefore allowing them to stand a shoulder width towards their side of the middle line.
14. Law 20 – Striking After the Throw-in
Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel, any front row player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball. One player from the team who put the ball in must strike for the ball. Sanction: Free-kick.
15. Law 20.9 (B) – Handling in the Scrum – Exception
Allow the number 8 to pick the ball from the feet of the second-rows.
16. Law 22.9 (B) – Defending Player In-goal
If a player with one or both feet on or behind the goal line picks up the ball from within the field of play, or catches the ball in front of the goal line, that player has taken possession of the ball in the field of play.
17. Law 22.9 (D) – Defending Player in In-goal
If a player with one or both feet on or behind the dead ball line picks up or catches a ball that has not reached the dead ball line, or touch in-goal line, that player is deemed to have made the ball dead.
Video clips illustrating the amendments are available on the World Rugby website at www.laws.worldrugby.org – click on the Global Law Trials 2017 tab.
The GDPR is what is described as a “landmark” piece of European legislation that will come into effect on the 25th May 2018.
The new law will have a major impact on the world of data privacy giving consumers a range of new rights, including the right to know what data is held about them and who holds it , the right to have personal data deleted, new civil liberties around data portability and consent, as well as the right to be quickly informed about data breaches.
Anyone who handles personal information about consumers, for example, loyalty card programmes, airlines, travel operators, sports clubs, multiple grocers and so on, will be profoundly affected.
The new piece of legislation is already causing debate and concern across Europe since it demands higher levels of security and compliance. The reason is simple: GDPR is powerful: break the law and a company, organisation or individual could face a maximum fine of up to Euro 20 million or four per cent of global turnover, whichever is greater.
Companies (of all sizes) have been advised to review how they obtain customer consent when GDPR comes into effect.
The new law also aims to promote trust – currently, only one in four adults in the UK trust businesses with their personal data.In addition, data protection incidents are fast becoming reputation issues, investors have started punishing companies for data security breaches.
GDPR is also wide-ranging in its application, it has an extra-territorial effect. If data is sitting on a US based server for example, this will have to comply with EU legislation. Anyone who handles information – processors, collators and collectors, from EU citizens will have to comply.
Companies that are trying to build-up a detailed profile of their clients so that they can customise loyalty and marketing aimed at the clients, will have to rethink their strategies and obtain greater consent from clients as a minimum.
Already it is apparent that GDPR compliance needs a holistic and integrated approach involving many stakeholders, processes and technology, all of which need to talk to one another. People will need to act less in silos and realise that everyone has a vested interest in making information governance work. The business of data management will never be the same again.
GDPR is a cultural shift in terms of respect for people’s data.
Data integrity and information governance is everyone’s issue. GDPR is like no other piece of previous legislation.
Undoubtedly, more similar legislation will come into effect from other countries beyond the EU.
The year 2008 will be remembered for the financial crisis and its impact on economies around the world. Yet, in the midst of the gloom, a small enterprise was launched that defied the economic climate and found its niche in the world of music.
That enterprise was the Kingston Academy of Music which opened its doors in premises in Dun Laoghaire in September 2008.
Three moves of location and almost ten years later, the Academy is a thriving business that has succeeded on its own merits without the support of national or local government.
A hallmark of the Academy has been the consistency of its examination results over recent years.
For the past five years, the Academy’s students have had an average success rate of over 85 per cent in State and Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) exams. In 2016 for example, two students recorded “outstanding achievement” results of over 90 per cent in their RIAM exams.
In addition, the Academy has always achieved gold medals in any of the Feis Ceoil competitions in which its students have participated.
Plans are under way to mark the milestone anniversary with a series of activities and special events. Among the former is the publication of a book about the Academy. The events programme will include a number of concerts and recitals in prestigious heritage venues in Dublin and elsewhere.
Visit the Academy’s website at www.kingstonacademyofmusic.com for further announcements as the academic year unfolds.
Harlequins completed the celebration of its 150th anniversary season on Wednesday evening (14th June) with a ceremony at its Twickenham Stoop Stadium during which two memorial boards were unveiled honouring the players and officials associated with the club that never returned from World War I and II.
The boards were unveiled by Harlequins President, Bob Hiller in the foyer of the DHL (East) Stand at the event which was attended by representatives of all sections of the club. Prayers for the fallen were lead by Gary Scott, Padre of the Household Cavalry, and “The Last Post” and “Reveille” were played by Ian Graves, former State Trumpeter.
Among the famous players listed on the WWI board is Ronnie Poulton-Palmer, believed by many of his era to be one of the greatest three-quarters ever to play the game. In just six seasons of senior rugby, Poulton-Palmer left a lasting impression on fellow players and spectators as a personality, leader and gifted runner. He made his international debut for England against France in 1909 aged 19 and went on to receive 17 caps. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet in Belgium.
Speaking at the ceremony, Harlequins Chief Executive, David Ellis, said, “In celebrating our 150th season we’ve been very aware of the legacy that has been handed down to us. One of the notable gaps in that legacy has been the absence of a formal memorial at The Stoop to commemorate the players and club officials that went to the two Great Wars of the last century but never came back.
“Thanks to the efforts of the club’s heritage team, and individual members, a detailed list of the fallen has been compiled and we’re pleased to reproduce it on the two elegant boards that we’ve unveiled in the foyer of the DHL Stand for all to see.”
John Westerby, sports writer of The Times, was named as “Guinness-London Irish Rugby Union Journalist of the Season” at a ceremony in Diageo headquarters in London yesterday evening (22nd May).
Westerby came top in a nomination and adjudication process that involved the 12 clubs in the Aviva Premiership, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union.
The award citation praised Westerby for his expertise as an all-round sports journalist who covers rugby with knowledge and enthusiasm and how he has always written about players and coaches responsibly and with empathy.
The award, which has been presented annually for the past 14 years, recognises the contribution of rugby union broadcasters and journalists to the development of the game in this country.
Phil Edwards, the former rugby correspondent of Sky Sports News, received a special award for outstanding service to rugby union in a media context for his professionalism in a demanding media environment in bringing news about the game from all over the rugby playing world to television audiences in this country and Europe.