International Rugby
IRB approves ELVs recommendations
May 13, 2009
Bernard Lapasset, head of the French rugby union federation, holds a press conference prior to the rugby union World Cup third place final match France vs. Argentina at the Parc des Princes in Paris on October 19,  2007
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset drew a line under the extensive ELVs process earlier today © Getty Images

The scrapping of the controversial Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) has been confirmed following the latest meeting of the International Rugby Board's Rugby Council.

The Council has ratified the recommendations made by the IRB Rugby Committee 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 also 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.

The recommendations were unanimously approved and the integrated set of Laws will be implemented globally from May 23 or from the start of the next domestic season where competitions transcend the implementation date.

"One of the recommendations of the ELV Conference held in London at the end of March was the universal application of one set of Laws that govern the Game as soon as possible after Council. This was recommended by stakeholders from the international Game, including some of the world's top Coaches, Referees and Administrators," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"The implementation date approved by the IRB Council achieves that goal and represents the most suitable application date. All international matches from May 23 onwards will be captured, while domestic and regional competitions played across the implementation date will be played under the current ELVs until their conclusion," added Lapasset.

In addition to the suite of global ELVs, three Union-specific ELVs were also approved for integration into Law. These include the ability for a Union to implement a maximum 15-minute half time in matches under its jurisdiction.

"Today's announcement brings to an end the extensive global ELV consultation and evaluation process which began with the Conference on the Game in Auckland in January 2004," added Lapasset. "The IRB would like to sincerely thank its Member Unions for their participation in what has been an unprecedented review of the Laws of the Game," added Lapasset.

ELVs adopted into Law

The following ELVs are to be adopted into Law:

Law 6 - Assistant Referees able to assist Referees in any way the Referee requires
Law 19 - If a team puts the ball back in their own 22 and the ball is subsequently kicked directly into touch there is no gain in ground
Law 19 - A quick throw may be thrown in straight or towards the throwing team's goal line
Law 19 - The receiver at the lineout must be two metres back away from the lineout
Law 19 - The player who is in opposition to the player throwing in the ball must stand in the area between the five metre line and touch line and must be two metres from the line of touch and at least two metres from the lineout
Law 19 - Lineout players may pre-grip a jumper before the ball is thrown in
Law 19 - The lifting of lineout jumpers is permitted
Law 20 - Introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet of the Scrum
Law 20 - Scrum half offside line at the Scrum
Law 20 - The corner posts are no longer considered to be touch in goal except when the ball is grounded against the post

Union-specific ELVs approved by Council:

Unions may implement rolling substitutions at defined levels of the Game

A Union having jurisdiction over a Game may implement a half time interval of not more than 15 minutes, but not at international level

A Union may implement the Under 19 Scrum Law Variation at a defined level of the Game under its jurisdiction


Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.