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Varsity Rugby´s Add-on Laws

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The Varsity Cup Board met recently and decided on more law experiments for the Varsity Cup and the Varsity Shield.

By Paul Dobson, Moonsport

They are certainly startling changes/amendments in the context of rugby conservatism.

The most radical change is rugby's version of cricket's power play.

Once during a match, a team may remove any two opposition players of their choice for three minutes' playing time, the time controlled by an official on the touchline.

Regulations governing Power Play

1. The power play entails that you may remove any two nominated backline players from the opposition for a period of THREE minutes PLAYING TIME. Only the team calling the powerplay may nominate who will leave the field.

2. These players may re-join the match only after three minutes playing time and may return only from their own DEAD-BALL LINE. They may, however, return to play DURING PLAY. A hooter will sound the start and end of the power play.

3. If the OPPOSITION/defending team scores during this play, they will be awarded two extra points for that try.

4. The power play may be taken only in your own half of the field and must be nominated by the captain.

5. It must be called before the start of a first phase (a penalty kick does not constitute the 1st phase)

6. It must be taken before the strategy break in the 2nd half. If the team has not taken a power play, it will be nominated directly after the strategy break or as soon as a yellow/red carded player returns. This will be indicated by the referee.

7. Each team gets only one power play in a match

8. The power play can be called either on your own or the opposition team in possession

9. It may not be called whilst the opposition is a player down because of a yellow card or red card.

10. It will be signalled the same way than a “powerplay signal” in cricket by the referee at the start after which a hooter will indicate the beginning and end of the powerplay.

11. A match official next to the field will indicate the end of the powerplay by turning his back on the field of play and sounding the hooter.

Unique Laws for 2018

• PowerPlay

• Free catch advantage will be over when

– the player has run 5m in ANY direction
– the player passes the ball
– the player kicks the ball

• Scrum calls – we go back to “set”, where we used "slide"

• Defending scrumhalf may not advance beyond the middle of the scrum

• Maul – in line with World Rugby applications

• Red card – Player off for 15 minutes, then replaced by another player

• Point of Origin – same as the 2017 application-(ONLY VARSITY CUP)

• White card – same than 2017 application- (ONLY VARSITY CUP)
The white card review system, introduced in 2015, to allow teams a limited opportunity to ask the referee to review a decision or non-decision, will be used only in the semifinals and the final. The teams are limited to one review per half.

Points System

Varsity Cup Points System 
Try – 5 points
• Try from own half- 7 points (POR)
• Try during power play whilst defending +2 additional points-(thus 5-point try becomes 7 and 7-point try become 9)
Conversion – 2 points
Drop Goal and Penalty- Goal 3 points
Penalty Try - 7 points 

Match Points in Varsity Cup
Four (4) points for a win
Two (2) points for a draw
No points are awarded for a loss
One (1) bonus point for team losing within 7 or less points
One (1) bonus point for scoring four (4) or more tries
The maximum of points in a match is thus five (5) points.

In the event of a default or where the opponents for whatever reason cannot fulfil the fixture, the non-offending team will receive maximum log points (5) with a score of 28-0.

Varsity Shield Points System
Try – 5 points
Conversion – 3 points
Drop Goal and Penalty Goal – 2 points
Penalty Try – 8 points

Match Points In Varsity Shield
Four (4) points for a win
Two (2) points for a draw
No points are awarded for a loss
One (1) bonus point for team losing by 8 or less points
One (1) bonus point for scoring four (4) or more tries

The maximum number of points in a match is thus five (5) points

In the event of a default or where the opponents for whatever reason cannot fulfil the fixture, the non-offending team will receive maximum points (5) with a score of 32-0.

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