Experimental Law Variations (ELV’s)

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RFU Press Release

RFU Press Release



The RFUW will be supporting the IRB in trialling the 13 Experimental Law Variations

(ELV’s) for the 2008/09 season.

  • Premiership and Championship leagues will play full IRB Laws and will trial all 13 of the ELV’s.
  • National Challenge 1 and below will play to the IRB U19 laws and will trial all the ELV’s with the exception that they will NOT TRIAL Law 17 The Maul
  • All U18’s Competitions will play IRB U19 laws and will trial all the ELV’s with the exception that they will NOT TRIAL Law 17 The Maul.
  • All U15’s Competitions will play to the RFU U14 Variations and will trial some of the ELV’s. They will NOT TRIAL Law 17 and Law 19 number 9 and 10, for Law 19 please refer to the RFU U14 Variations.

All remaining ELV’s where they apply will override the existing laws and variations.


For Example – U15’s Competition


ELV Law 19 number 5 and 6 will override the RFU U14 Variation,about maximum numbers in the line out.


 Experimental Law Variations (ELV’s)

 Law 6 – Match Officials

 1 – Assistant referees are able to assist the referee in any way that the referee requires

 Law 17 – Maul

 2 – Remove reference to head and shoulders not being lower then hips.

3 – Players are able to defend a maul by pulling it down.

Law 19 – Touch and Lineout

4 – If a team puts the ball back into its own 22 and the ball is subsequently kicked direct into       touch, there is no gain in ground.

5 – A quick throw in may be thrown in straight or towards the throwing team’s own goal line.

6 – There is no restriction on the number of players from either team who can participate in the lineout.

7 – The receiver at the lineout must be 2 meters away from the lineout.

8 – The player who is in opposition to the player throwing in the ball must stand in the area between the 5 meter line and the touch line but must be 2 meters away from the 5 meter line.

9 – Lineout players may pre grip a jumper before the ball is thrown in.

10 – The lifting of lineout players is permitted.

Law 20 – Scrum

11 – Introduction of an offside line 5 meters behind the hindmost feet of the scrum.

12 – Identification of scrum half offside lines.


Law 22 – Corner Posts

13 – The corner posts are no longer considered to be touch in goal except when the ball is grounded against the post.


For a full break down of the Experimental Law Variation please go to  http://www.rfu.com/elv/pdf/irb-elv-guide.pdf