Examining the effects of a variation to the ruck law in Rugby Union

Kirsten Spencer, Hannah Brady

Abstract

Arias, Argudo, and Alonso’s review (2011) found that when rule changes were introduced to achieve a certain outcome, less than 60% were actually accomplished. Reflecting on past law changes in Rugby Union, the subject ELV is similar to the ‘use it or lose it’ law that was applied to mauls in 1994 (the aim being to increase open play and encourage continuity). Interestingly the number of mauls actually decreased as they resulted in greater possibility of turnovers (Quarrie & Hopkins, 2007) and the ruck became the more favoured play. Many of the studies which have examined rule modification, for example, Eaves and Hughes (2003), Eaves, Hughes and Lamb (2005) and Quarrie and Hopkins (2007) have concluded that the changes ultimately achieved a different outcome from that predicted (Arias, Argudo & Alonso, 2011). Thus emphasising the need for this analysis. The aim of this study is to determine whether limiting the time the ball is allowed to remain stationary improves the continuity of the game through increasing the time the ball is in open play.

Keywords

Rule change; Analysis; Performance

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2015.102.02