Experimental Law Variations
End in sight for controversial ELVs
April 30, 2009
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset has overseen the latter stages of the Experimental Law Variations process © Getty Images
The scrapping of the controversial Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) has moved a step closer following the latest meeting of the International Rugby Board's Rugby Committee.
The governing body's sub-committee has ratified the recommendations made at the ELVs conference earlier this month that included the end of the experiments that allow a maul to be pulled down, unlimited numbers at the lineout and that which reduced many penalty offences to a free kick.
A total of 10 ELVs were recommended to be passed into full law including the five-metre off-side line at the scrum, the quick throw-in, lifting in the lineout and the pass-back rule, which prevents players from making any ground with a direct kick to touch if the ball has been played into their own 22. These will be put forward to the IRB Council for adoption into Law at their meeting on May 13.
The IRB Council will make the ultimate decision as to which ELVs, if any, should be fully integrated into Law but it is widely expected they will ratify the recommendations of the game's senior stakeholders who debated the ELVs at the two-day conference in London on March 30-31.
The Committee also made recommendations that three Union-specific ELVs be adopted into Law, including the ability for a Union to implement a maximum 15-minute half-time in matches under its jurisdiction.
The Rugby Committee evaluation is the latest step in the global ELV consultation and evaluation process which began with the Conference of the Game in 2004.
Recommendations for the IRB Council:
The following is recommended to the IRB Council for adoption into Law:
Law 6 - Assistant Referees able to assist Referees in any way the Referee requires
Union-specific ELVs Recommended to Council:
Unions may implement rolling substitutions at defined levels of the Game
A Union having a jurisdiction over a Game may implement a half-time interval of not more than 15 minutes
A Union may implement the Under 19 Scrum Law Variation at a defined level of the Game under its jurisdiction
The following is not recommended to the IRB Council for adoption into Law:
Law 17 - Maul - Head and Shoulders not to be lower than hips
The Sanctions and Tackle/Ruck ELVs will not be recommended to the IRB Council for adoption into Law. However, the Rugby Committee has deferred these areas for further consultation.