Posted by John Gates on

As a Rugby tragic, afficionado, alicadoo and former ref (I'm getting the cataracts fixed this month!) .. I always grimace when people talk or ask about the "rules" of Rugby..

In our sport we don't have rules - we have "laws".

We don't have umpires - we have referees. The apparent origin of that is that when gentlemen first played Rugby on the village green, there was no umpire - the captains sorted out disputes - if they couldn't they "referred" the question to a local luminary on the sideline - either the vicar, the local PC Plod, or the local magistrate - hence "referral"- hence referee.

But I digress, as usual.

Rugby has LAWS - can only assume that it is because the gentlemen who oversaw the development of our game were lawyers, or, god forbid, lawmakers - who knows?

Like much of Rugby folklore, it is happily shrouded away in the mists of time, and nobody wants to disturb it - I recently saw a doco on Kayo, where a lot of Rugby experts, ex-players etc were asked if they thought the William Webb Ellis story is truth or myth - the overriding theme from all of them was "who knows, or who cares, or maybe, but let's not let truth get in the way of a great tradition!..."

So, back to the laws - I have seen a lot of misinformed comment about it over the years, but if you want to put doubts to bed, just go the World Rugby website - - and put all arguments to rest.

You can register and log in to the site - there they have the most up to the minute laws, the most up to the minute interpretations, discussiona and explanations of trial protocols, modifications, guidance for referees, the latest videos, guidance on the decision making frameworks, policies, progress of working committees - you name it.

I reckon it is time that we, as Roarers, entering the exciting new RWC 4 year cycle, owed it to ourselves to get properly up to speed, so great, informed debate can rage, and the Roar become even louder!

Who agrees?


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