Wheelchair Rugby Rules 2012
Section 1: Playing Field/Court
No of Players on Court at any given time
(including In-goal Areas)
Playing Court: To be hard & consistent enough to ensure good, safe running for wheelchairs.
To be entirely object free to a width of 2m all round– an essential safety requirement.
Centrally placed on the goal lines. Are to be free standing and be erected (and padded) in a fashion (e.g. using a floor “anchor”) which ensures stability and player safety:
- Dimensions are: Post Height 4 to 5 m
- Post width apart: 3m
- Crossbar height above floor: 2m
For centre line & re-start lines – i.e. 8m & 4m lines are to be clearly displayed by use of any of (1) adhesive tape (on floor); (2) paint (on concrete); (3) plastic cones or domes (placed 1m outside touch lines).
Section 2: Glossary of Rugby League Terms
While some RL terms, will necessitate alternate wording – e.g.“Tap punch” for “tap kick”“Punch & chase” for “kick & chase”and some terms would be irrelevant – e.g.Hooking the ball (no scrum)Scrum positions (no scrum)Packing; feeding the ball; striking for ball. There are still many terms in the International Laws of Rugby Leaguewhich are applicable to Wheelchair RL and should be retained / usedfor commonality across all forms of Rugby League.
Terms, then, used in WRL should approximate as closely aspossible to those in the running game & be altered from these onlybecause of relevance. (See Appendix B)
Section 3: Ball
Games to be played with a standard size 4 ball made of approved dimensionsand materials with nothing in their construction that would prove dangerous to the players.
- Long Circumference (Dist. along “long seam”) : 690 – 695mm
- Short Circumference (Dist. about “middle”/“girth”) : 510 – 515mm
- Length of ball (end plane to end plane) : 270 – 272mm
- Width of ball (side plane to side plane) : 162 – 167mm
Ball to be slightly deflated at 65kpa / 6psi (normal inflation 69kpa).This is essential to aid grip & avoid excessive bouncing on a hardsurface / floor.
Section 4: Player & Players Team Competition Equipment
The game shall be played, normally, by two teams each consisting ofnot more than five (5) players on the court at any given time. There can be up to five (5) substitutes. Teams may be a mixture of male / female / disabled (according toOlympic classifications) / non-disabled with no age stipulations(Caution: Younger players to be judged completely suitable to opposeadults before being allowed to compete.)The maximum number of non-disabled players on the pitch / court atany one time is two (2) per team.
Up to 12 interchanges per team can be made over the length of thegame.All substitutions must be registered with the Time Keeper’s Tablebefore entering the field of play.
Mechanical Breakdowns: A player can be replaced while the breakdown is repaired – to amaximum of 10 minutes. After that maximum time has elapsed, a substitution must be used.
Until a specific Rugby League wheelchair is available, WheelchairBasketball chairs, or an approved equivalent, may be used. Refereeswill inspect wheelchairs to ensure all comply with safety / essentialconsiderations (e.g. sharp edges; compulsory bumper; (2) front stabilityrollers and minimum of 1, preferably 2, rear anti-tip rollers / safety wheels; minimum 12 degrees inclination angle for big wheels.)
It is essential that (1) a lap belt be used by all players; (2) an ankle strapalso used by non disabled players; (A SAFETY / DUTY of CARE ISSUE FOR ALL.); and, an additional Velcro belt on which extra tagscan be attached.
Tags / Flags
For International competition, all tags must be 300mm in length and50mm wide.A Velcro patch (scratchy side) (40mm x 20mm) is fixed (sewn / firmlystuck) on one side of the plastic / cloth tag.
The colour of the tags must not clash with any colour on the shirts’sleeves worn in play.
All tags must be attached to the Velcro on the shirt and lie verticallydown the arm of the player at all times during the game.
These can be standard Rugby League shirts with Velcro patch (softside) stitched to the top of the shirt sleeve. The soft side of the Velcromust be 80mm x 50mm ---- sewn or firmly stuck at the top of each ofthe sleeves (adjacent to the seams).All numbers on the playing shirts should be put as high as possible on the backs of shirts and also, if possible, an 80mm number to be put onthe front. Competing teams should liaise with each other beforehand so that there is no clashing of colours of playing kits.
Disability Levels / Disability Band
Whatever the level of disability of the players – whether they have useof their abdominals or not, they must each carry 2 tags – one on eacharm. In the case of the tag being taken without the game being stoppedby the Referee (e.g. a simultaneous pass), one (or several) player(s) cancarry on without a tag.The tackle will then be effected by touching the top of the arm of thisplayer with the hand – any part of the arm (back or front) betweenelbow and shoulder.A distinctive and clearly highly visible armband is to be worn by anyplayer with an upper limb disability to indicate that appropriateattention, in this instant, is required from the referee.
Must be of an approved design and construction, is to a standard 75mmdiameter cup and be lower in height than the wheel of the chair.
Inspection of Equipment
Referees should inspect player’s equipment – including wheelchairs,before the start of the game or delegate this duty to the Touch Judges.This does not relieve the player of the responsibility of ensuring thatnothing of an offending nature is worn or used, e.g. rings, rigidshoulder pads, and projecting eyelets on footwear.
Section 5: Mode of Play
The ball may be carried on the lap only and not gripped between the knees orthighs. This would give an unfair advantage and may be penalized.The ball can be played, and is considered “live”, as soon as it is passedbackwards. The ball, if on the floor, must not be intentionally propelledforward by a player using the wheelchair.The ball must not be punched forward with the knuckles of the hand and must be hit by the clenched fist before the forearm reaches 90 degrees if it is to beregarded as a “kick”. The ball must be “kicked” with a closed fist. If hit with an open hand whenattempting a kick it is deemed to be a knock – on.A player must not fend into the chest or face of an opposing player, nor may aplayer “flay” his arms about in a vigorous rotating manner to avoid a tackle.A player must not pull on the shirt or the wheelchair of an opposing player.At no time, may a ball be taken by an opposing player from the lap of theball-carrier.A player is responsible for maintaining control of the ball at all times. If it islost during a tackle (i.e. before the tackle is complete), it is deemed to be aknock-on.In the case of a player falling out of the chair, or the chair itself falling over,whilst a game is in progress, the Referee will stop the game at the next play-the-ball and time will be called off to allow the player to get back into thechair with or without assistance.
The object of the game is to “ground” the ball in the opponents’ in-goal toscore a try (see Section 6) and to “kick” the ball over the opponents’ cross barto score a goal (see Section 6).
Starts of Play
The captains of the two (2) teams shall toss a coin in the presence of thereferee. The captain winning the toss shall decide to either kick off or choosewhich end of the field his team will defend. The losing captain shall take theother of the alternatives
Mode of Play
Once play has started, any player who is on-side, or not out of play, mayadvance with the ball, ’kick” it in any direction and throw or knock it in anydirection other than towards the opponents’ dead ball line (see Section 10 forKnock-on & Forward Pass).
A player, who during play, is in possession of the ball may be “tackled” by anopposing player in order to prevent the player from advancing the ball or from“kicking” or passing it to one of his own team. (See Section 11 for Tackle). A player, not in possession of the ball, may not be tackled or obstructed.
Section 6: Scoring Tries & Goals
The scoring system is the same as in the International Game of RugbyLeague, i.e.
4 points for an unconverted try
6 points for a converted try
2 points for a penalty goal
1 point for a drop goal
To score a try, the ball must be placed over the goal line by a player,who is not tackled, and touched on the floor, or the wheel if there islimited upper body mobility (It is appropriate that an identifyingarmband (made of chequered fabric) be worn by those who are in thissituation and as a guide to referees.) In the latter situation, both frontwheels must also be over the goal line.No player may claim a try unless the above is achieved while clearlyseated in the wheelchair i.e. a player cannot “dive” or jump / leapfrom the wheelchair to score.
To score a drop goal (using a “drop kick”), the ball must bounce and behit on the upward bounce with a clenched fist only.An open hand would constitute a knock-on with a resulting change ofpossession.For a wheelchair player, the drop goal is (technically) most difficult toachieve. However, it is possible by obtaining a suitable bounce of theball before striking it with the fist. The bounce, however, must not be excessively high off the ground before being struck
Section 7: Timekeeping
This should consist of the following officials & be at least 1 ½ metres from the touch line.
- Scorer/Sin Bin Timer/Substitutions’ recorder
They will require – where available:
1 Large Stop Watch
1 Score Board (Manual) (essential)
2 Small Stop Watches (essential)
(1 Electronic scoreboard with clock - if available / possible.)
The timekeeper must watch the Referee(s) at all times and stop the clockappropriately when signalled to do so.The timekeeper will also sound the hooter, at the appropriate times, to signalthe end of each playing period.
The Score Keeper will ensure that all points scored are recorded accuratelyand also that substitutions are marked down as they occur. The Score Keeperwill also start the clock in the case of a sin binning.
A Tag Collector, wearing an official bib, will be allowed on the field of play during agame while his / her team is in possession of the ball. He / she will also assist whena player needs to be re-seated in his / her chair.This person is to remain behind & well clear of the play and stay silent at alltimes.
Additional Pitch Side Staff
Physios / CoachesWater Carrier / Tag Collector / Kicking Tee Official(Other than nominated officials, there should be players and substitutes only at pitch/ court side for safety)
Duration of Game
Time will be stopped only for injuries or as stated elsewhere in the Laws, a game is to be played over 2 x 40 minute halves with a ten minute interval.
Cautions / Time wasting
Where “time off” applies, time should be taken off in the event of caution beingdelivered to player / players or should it be obvious time wasting tactics are being employed by a player / team.
Extra time shall be added to each half to compensate for time wasted or lost from an illegal breach. The Referee shall be the sole judge of extra time unless these duties have beendelegated to a timekeeper. Normally, where a game is drawn, the draw will be thefinal result. In competitions where the “Golden Point Rule” is applied, play willcontinue (as in IRL Laws) till a team scores. That team will then be declared the winner and the score, at the end of “GPR” time,will be the final score.
The referee will stop the game (by whistle and raising both hands vertically) every time the safety of the players or the smooth flow of the match requires it, e.g. falling over, or out of, a wheelchair; too many Tags on the floor (sometimes necessary when play stops for a foul, tackle or handover).
Continuation of Play
While ensuring that a match is always played within the "the spirit of thegame", the referee should not unnecessarily stop the game during a set oftackles (except for safety reasons) when a supposed breach occurs that does notalter the trend of play.To signal the continuance of play, should there be a need to do so, the refereeshall whistle and effect a scissor motion with the arms, across the body at waisthigh.
Attempt at Goal
The clock is stopped – after 1 minute, at attempts at goal.
Section 8: Kick-Off / Drop Out / Re-starts
The kick-off will commence each half, or restart play after a score. If the kick-off is following a score, the scoring team kicks off, the team restarting play must be in their own half when the kick is made and the receiving team must be 4 metres from the halfway line. If the ball travels out of play from the kick-off without bouncing in the field of play, or without touching a member of the receiving team, then this results in a penalty in the centre of the halfway line to the receiving team. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels 'dead-in-goal', this will result in an 8 metre restart to the receiving team. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels over the touchline, this will result in a restart to the receiving team, 4 metres in from touch, where the ball crossed the touchline but no closer than 4 metres to the try line.
In the case of an unsuccessful penalty attempt at goal (with a tee) and the ball going dead, the game re-starts with a “drop out”, taking place at the centre of the 8 metre line.Opponents must be a minimum of 4 metres back from the 8 metre line. The ball must travel at least 4 metres forward and not go directly into touch. If the ball travels out of play from the drop out without bouncing in the field of play, or without touching a member of the receiving team, then this results in a penalty in the centre of the 8m line to the receiving team. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels 'dead-in-goal', this will result in an 8 metre restart to the receiving team. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels over the touchline, this will result in a restart to the receiving team, 4 metres in from touch, where the ball crossed the touchline but no closer than 4 metres to the try line.
8m Optional restart
If the ball is knocked out over the dead ball line by the attacking team, the re-start, in this case, will be 8 metres out from the goal line. Opponents must be a minimum of 4 metres back from the 8 metre line. The ball must travel at least 4 metres forward and not go directly into touch. If the ball travels out of play from the drop out without bouncing in the field of play, or without touching a member of the receiving team, then this results in a penalty in the centre of the 8m line to the receiving team. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels 'dead-in-goal', this will result in an 8 metre restart to the receiving team. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels over the touchline, this will result in a restart to the receiving team, 4 metres in from touch, where the ball crossed the touchline but no closer than 4 metres to the try line.
Goal line dropout
If the team in possession infringes in its own in-goal (eg.tackled, forward pass, direct from arm into touch, grounds the ball etc.) the game re-starts with a “drop out” at the centre of the goal line. The ball must travel at least 4 metres and cannot go directly into touch. If it does, a penalty is awarded to the opposition directly in front of the posts on the 4metre line. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels 'dead-in-goal', this will result in an 8 metre restart to the receiving team. If the ball bounces in the field of play and travels over the touchline, this will result in a restart to the receiving team, 4 metres in from touch, where the ball crossed the touchline but no closer than 4 metres to the try line.
Tackled in In–Goal
If an attacker is tackled in the opponent’s in-goal, play will resume from the 4 metre line with the tackle count continuing.If an attacker is tackled in the opponents’ in-goal on the 6th tackle, thenthe ball will be handed to the defending team and play will resume on the 8 metre line. If a defender is tackled in the in-goal area, and is trapped there, then adrop out will take place at the centre of the goal line.
Each time the game stops, e.g. ball knocked-on, 6thtackle changeover, ball in touch, etc) the game re-starts by the ball being put back into play by any player. The ball is tapped on the floor (or wheel) and passed back to a teammate.
If the ball goes out of the field of play, and bounces into touch, the gamewill re-start by the non-offending team, positioned on the 4 metre line. The ball is tapped on the floor (or wheel) and passed back to a team mate.
In the case of the 6thtackle, the ball is given to the opposing team, from which a player plays the ball in the same way. This play does not count in the set of 6 which will start at the next play.
In the same way, in the case of recovering the ball from a “punch and chase”, the first play does not count in the following tackle set i.e. a “zero” tackle.
Section 9: Touch / Touch In – Goal
Ball in Touch
The ball is in touch when it, or a player (i.e. his / her wheelchair) in contact with it, touches the touch line or the ground beyond the touch line or any object outside the touch line. When a player, tackled in the field of play, goes into touch as he / she regains his / her balance / position he / she shall play the ball in the field of play.
The ball is in touch in-goal when it, or a player (or wheelchair) incontact with it, touches the in-goal touch line, or any object on oroutside the touch in-goal line.
Point of Entry
When a ball has entered touch or touch in- goal, the point of entry shall be taken as the point at which the ball first crossed the touch or touch in-goal line.
Touch from Penalty
If the ball is “kicked” into touch from a “penalty kick” play is Re-started by a ‘free kick’ 4 metres in-field from the point of entry into touch.
A corner post, placed at the intersection of a touch line and a goal line, is in touch in-goal. It is a duty of an official to replace a corner post which is displaced during the game.
Ball into Touch direct from Kick
On the punch and chase if the ball goes directly into touch (without first bouncing on the court or being touched by a player), itwill be handed over to the non-offending team to play the ball, back at the spot where it was initially punched.
Ricochet or Rebound
In all aspects of play, a player who does not deliberately play at theball (e.g. ricochet or rebound from body or wheelchair) will not bedisadvantaged by a consequent re-start of play when the ball has gonedead or into touch.
Section 10: Knock-On / Forward Pass
A player shall be penalised if he / she deliberately knocks the ball on or passes the ball forward.
Attackers must progress towards the opponent’s goal line, by meansof effectively passing backwards or by punching the ball forward (equivalent of a kick).All forward passes and every ball dropped forward / (knocked-on), brings (except in the case of advantage play), a handover of theball to the other team.
The counter to a “punch” (kick equivalent) does not count as a knock-on if the counter takes place during the upwards or rising phase of theball. (This is equivalent to a charge-down in International Law).
Knock-On over Goal Line
Should a player from the field of play knock on into his opponents in -goal area and he or a colleague touches down; play is re-startedwith a handover to the opposition 8 m from the goal line and nocloser than 4 m from the touch line.
During the sets of play, if a defender interferes intentionally with theball (trying an interception, for example) without being able tocontrol it and the attacking team recovers it, the tackle countrecommences with a “zero tackle”.
Section 11: Tackle / Play the ball
Each attacking team will have a set of six (6) tackles to promote theball, by on-side passing, towards the opposing team’s try line.On the sixth (6th) tackle, the ball will be handed to the defendingteam, a handover or change of possession.When a tag is removed by a defending player and raised in the airbefore being dropped to the floor, a tackle is deemed to be complete. The referee may have to blow his whistle to clearly signal to the ball carrier that the tackle is complete a short sharp blast of the whistle issufficient.The tag should be dropped and not thrown to show where play shouldbe re-started.
Any persistent throwing of tags is an offence which will be penalized even sin binned.
As soon as the tag has been taken, it must be dropped to the floor (or handed back to the ball-carrier) for the tackle to be complete. NB: i) If a player in possession of the ball raises his arm or arms above shoulder height to avoid the removal of his tag it will be deemed a surrender tackle and play will be restarted at the mark. The ball carrier must not make any contact with a defender and should only use evasion to avoid being tackled (i.e. - there must be no attempt to fend or disarm a tackle).
ii) As soon as the tackle is deemed to be completed, any furtheraction by a defender (ie removal of second tag or obstruction on theball carrier) will be penalized.
When a player has had one or both tags removed during play and istherefore tackled, he must return to the point where the tag lies on thepitch, replace the tag appropriately and play the ball (at least one ifboth are removed) face forward towards the opposing team before playing the ball.The precise mark of the PTB remains under the control of the referee.
Play the Ball
Once a tackle is completed, the player in possession must replace his tag / tags, make themselves square i.e. directly face his opponents’ in-goal. The play-the-ball should be one continuous movement. Lowering the ball, tapping the ball on the floor or, where disability does not permit, the chair wheel, raising the ball and releasing the pass should all be accomplished with as little hesitation as possible (i.e. - if a player pauses during the play-the-ball in a deliberate attempt to win a penalty by dummying the play-the-ball, then this should result in a penalty to the defence).
During the play-the-ball, the ball is considered to have been played, once the ball has been tapped on the floor or, where disability does not permit, the chair wheel. This means that the defending team may move when the ball is tapped on the floor or, where disability does not permit, the chair wheel at the play-the-ball (this applies to both the defensive line and the marker).
If the player receives the ball while wearing 1 or no tags then a subsequent tackle may be made by clearly touching with an open hand the arm area from the shoulder to the elbow.
To effect a tackle, a player must be attempting to remove a tag and notdrive-in with both hands pushing on wheels of chair.
Tackling Front- On
When affecting a tackle, a player must not drive directly head on andtoe to toe into an opponent in possession of the ball. NB. It is sometimes likely that, while keeping control of his speed / momentum, an approaching defender may have his arm outstretched to grab the tag before his wheelchair collides with that of the ball-carrier. Also, in some low speed situations when wheelchairs are almost stationary, the chairs may collide before the defenders have time to reach out with their arms. In both these cases, the collision should not be deemed dangerous
Tag / Flag – How Taken
The tag must be definitively taken before the ball-carrier makes the pass to a teammate.The referee to give a short whistle blast to momentarily stop the actionin progress and allow the play-the-ball.The referee may call “held” when he / she deems the tackle to beeffected and then “move” to indicate that the play-the-ball is toproceed. In the case of the Tag being taken simultaneously to the pass beingmade the game continues as normal (with the referee not whistling).
Valid Tackle Recognised
After the tackle, the defender must raise the taken tag in the air witharm vertical in order to clearly show it to the Referee.If the tackle is then considered valid the Referee whistles as indicatedabove. If not, he will indicate that the game continues by shouting play on with two arms spread obliquely upwards and forwards asthe signal to continue.
Assisting Tag Replacement
In the flow of the game the tag may also be handed to the referee if heis near to the point of the tackle or even directly to the ball carrier if he was tackled in a fixed position.Use of able bodied assistants as tag collectors is permissible. Entering the pitch (while the team is in possession of the ball), behindeach team, their role is to return the dropped tags to the players.
At each play-the-ball, all the defending team must retire 4 metres (or bydefault, on the goal line in case of a tackle less than 4 metres from thisline)When the defensive line is set on their own goal line, the centre of the defenders pushing wheels must be directly above the goal line when the ball is played.
The Defence Referee will stand on the 4 metre mark (or on the goal line) thereby indicating the position of the defensive line.
As soon as the ball played the defenders can move up, it is strictly forbidden when defending (or attacking) to collidedangerously and violently with the front of an opponent’s wheelchair.The tag must be taken from a lateral or sideways position. (It is a gameof avoidance not confrontation.)When a defender moves side-by-side with an attacker skirting from thetouch line, the former can properly try to bring his opponent into touch by taking an angled course, wheel against wheel. It is up to the ball carrier to avoid going into touch.It is however forbidden for the defender to propel an attacker intotouch by running into him with the wheelchair.It is not permitted to steal the ball from a player who carries it on hisknees when going forward nor snatching it from one who is playingthe ball (because of the danger of different levels of ability / disability).In any case the defender must not grab on to whatever way it may be the wheelchair and or the body of the attacker.
Any player who stops to make his tag available to an opposing player will be deemed to be making a voluntary tackle and will be penalized.
Single Marker at the Play-The–Ball
A marker must be used and sitting square on to the play-the-ball, the marker must be no less than ½ metre from the ball-carrier and no more than 1 metre from front wheels of chair.The marker must not move until the ball is in play, the ball is considered to have been played, once the ball has been tapped on the floor or, where disability does not permit, the chair wheel. This means that the defending team may move when the ball is tapped on the floor or, where disability does not permit, the chair wheel at the play-the-ball (this applies to both the defensive line and the marker).If the marker is more than 1 metre away and becomes involved in thenext play without retreating 4 metres beforehand, then he / she will bedeemed off-side.
Section 12: Scrum
There are no scrums in WRL. Clauses re scrums in the “International Laws of the Game” are therefore irrelevant there is a handover / change of possession to the non offending team at the whistle.
Section 13: Penalty Kick
When Awarded (A)
A penalty kick shall be awarded against any player who is guilty ofmisconduct provided that this is not to the disadvantage of the non offending team. Unless otherwise stated the mark is where the offence occurs. If misconduct occurs in touch the mark shall be 4 metres fromthe touch line in the field of play and opposite where the offenceoccurred or, in the case of obstruction, where the ball next bounces or is caught, in the field of play, or 4 metres opposite the point ofentry if the ball enters touch on the full or 8 metres from thegoal line if the ball crosses the goal line on the full, whichever is to thegreater advantage of the non-offending team.If the offence is committed by a defender in his own in goal or anattacker in his opponents’ in-goal, the mark is taken 4 metres intothe field of play opposite where the offence occurred.In the event of further misconduct by the offending team, the refereeshall advance the mark once only 4 metres towards the offendingteam’s goal line.
When Awarded (B)
In the event of a breach by the kickers team a handover to be given at the point where the penalty kick was awarded.
Other issues involving penalty kicks are outlined in other sections.
If a penalty is given the non-offending team has the option of takingeither a place kick at goal, kicking to touch or taking a tap.When taking a tap, the player does not need to be facing the opposition.A tap may be played either by touching the floor with the ball in thehand before passing it or by lightly punching it vertically beforegetting it back in the hand(s) and passing it.
After kicking into touch on the full at a penalty the game must be re started by a tap kick 4 metres into the field of play from the touch lineopposite where the ball crossed the touch line.When a penalty kick at goal is taken, non-kicking team must remain stationary away from the posts and not attempt to distract the kicker.
Section 14: Offside
A player is offside except when he / she is in his / her own in-goal, if the ball touches, is touched, held or kicked by one of his / her own team behind him.
Out of Play
An offside player shall not take any part in the game or attempt in anyway to influence the course of the game.
Section 15: Misconduct
A player is guilty of misconduct if he / she:
(a) Strikes an opponent.
(b) Intentionally effects, or attempts to reflect, a tackle on anopponent in a reckless or
(c) Deliberately and continuously breaks the laws of WRL.
(d) Uses offensive or obscene language.
(e) Disputes a Referees’ decisions.
(f) Behaves in a manner contrary to the spirit of WRL.
(a) Only the Captain of a team can approach and speak to the refereeor match officiala game
(b) Any players other than the Captain, approaching or shouting at the referee or match official during play will be dissenting and will be penalized accordingly.
(c) At no time should the team support staff ever approach any referee or match official while a game is in progress.
Technical faults normally resulting in a scrum (impossible inwheelchair sports), e.g. forward pass, accidental offside, ball in touch(whether ball alone or ball and carrier), will bring about a re-start. Thereferee will indicate to the defence to retire 4 metres before giving thesignal to re-commence play.
For deliberate fouls such as deliberate offside, dangerous tackle, crashing into opponent’s wheelchair front- on, unsporting attitudes, disputing the Referees decisions etc., a penalty and possibly temporarysin binning (yellow card) or permanent sending off (red card) willresult.
If the Referee moves the penalty point (disputes, mouthing etc) it willbe moved (once only) 4 metres and the defence must all retreat beforethe game is re-started.
If a player uses his legs for support (whether on the ground or with thewheelchair) and gains an advantage from it, the Referee will hand theball over to the opposing team. The game will re-start when the team atfault has retreated.
Section 16: Referees / Match Officials
There must be 2 referees in charge of an International game – one oneach touch line. (There should be either one referee from each teamcompeting or 2 neutral referees.)Both referees should have a whistle as both can blow the whistle inthe case of infringements on the field of play and also in the case of ablood binning. Referees are to be in communication during the match and relate constantly. Referees will normally remain on the touch line.
This will be the main match referee. He / she will hold the cards and make the relevant infringement calls during the game. He / she will also take charge of the offensive play. He / she must be positioned on the same side of the pitch as the officials’ table. The offensive referee is responsible for calling “held / hold” when a tackle is complete and also calling the number of tackles completed. The offensive referee is ultimately responsible for any penalties given and any player being given a red or yellow card.
This referee marks the defensive line and operates on the oppositetouch line to the offensive referee.He / she watches for defensive infringements and offside situations.The defensive referee may blow the whistle for an infringement if he /she is in a better position than the offensive referee, but shouldconsult with the offensive referee if the infringement appears seriousenough to warrant a yellow or red card.
In -Goal Judges
There should be 2 In-goal judges, one in each in-goal area to assist thereferees’ decisions.
These judges will also indicate to the referees if a ball has passedcorrectly through the uprights of the posts and over the crossbar in thecase of a drop goal.In the case of a kick at goal, the In-goal judge will act with thedefensive referee to assist the offensive referee with the decision. Two flags will be placed near the uprights to be used for the kickattempts’ decisions.
There must be a 1 metre area around the pitch for match officials to move insafely.
Use of Cards by Match Officials
Green Card -This is used to designate a blood bin, a player requiring medical treatment or a player with any mechanical problem.Such a player should be immediately replaced and this should not count as a substitution. After ten minutes an official substitution should be made if the situation is unresolved.
Yellow Card - Indicates a Sin Binning. If a player is given a yellow card he must spend 4 minutes off the field of play in thedesignated sin bin area.
Red Card – If a player receives a Red card, he must leave the playing area immediately and not return to the area around the pitch or be nearhis team for the remainder of the game. The team will then play for 8 minutes with one 1 less player before using a substitution to replace the dismissed player.
The Referees shall enforce the Laws of the Game and may imposepenalties for any deliberate breach of the Laws. He / she shall be thesole judge on matters fact.
Permission to enter Playing Area
He shall not allow anyone apart from the players onto the playing areawithout permission nor will he / she enter the playing field unlessabsolutely necessary. Any intrusion would occur only at a break in play “time off” would be signalled.
In cases where circumstances in connection with the match are likely tobe made the subject of possible official investigation, the referee shallreport to the investigating authority only and shall refrain fromexpressing criticism or comment through ANY other channels.
A Judiciary will be constituted at each / all tournaments for the purposeof deliberating on any misconduct leading to a Red Card. It will consistof the Tournament Director / Umpire together with the Managers of theteams competing in the match in which the player is dismissed.
Section 17: Referee Signals
APPENDIX A --- REFEREE’S SIGNALS
Signal nature of offence
When the Referee is required to give a decision he shall whenever possibleindicate the nature of his decision by making the appropriate signal.
Indicate how play restarts
When he wishes to stop the game temporarily, he shall, after blowing hiswhistle, indicate the nature of the decision, point to the offending playerand then signal as to how the game is to be restarted.
Signals for Restarting Play
The signals to be given by a referee are;
Penalty Kick - Face the non-offending team and extend an arm forwardwith the hand slightly higher than the shoulder level and the palm of the hand atright angles to the ground.
Differential Penalty - Extend the arm as for an ordinary penalty then move the arm to the upright position. Perform this action twice with the wholemovement being continuous and decisive.
Drop-out - Point to the place from which the drop kick is to be taken.
Optional restart - Point to the place from which the drop kick is to be taken
Relating to Scoring
Try - Point to where try is awarded. Instruct the touch judge to stand on thispoint temporarily as a guide to the player who is to take the goal kick.
Goal - Raise hand above head.
Signals made when play is not necessarilystopped
Try disallowed - Wave hands palms facing downwards across and in front ofthe body below the waist.
Play on - Wave the hands chest high palms facing away from the chest acrossand in front of the body.
Ball touched in flight - Raise one hand above the head and tap the tips of thefingers with the fingers of the other hand.
Count of tackles is cancelled - Raise a clenched fist above head and wavefrom side to side.
Signals indicating infringements
Knock-on - With hands in front of the body below the waist slightly apart,palms facing forward and fingers pointing towards the ground make two orthree forward movements of the hands
Forward Pass - Make a forward movement with the straight arm
indicating the line of flight of the ball.
Play the ball
Tackled player does not lift the ball clear of ground - Make a liftingmovement with the hand.
Tackled player does not face opponents in goal - Stand at the angleoffending player adopted and then turn to face the opponents’ in goal.
Tackled player fails to play the ball backwards or passes when heshould have played the ball. - Mime the gesture of playing the ball.
Voluntary tackle - Make a lifting movement with hand.
Player marking retains his hold on player playing the ball - Make a decisive backward movement with one hand. This signal applies to anyinterference by the player marking when the ball is actually being played otherthan kicking prematurely or dangerously.
Tackler delays releasing tackled player - Make a downward movement withthe hands in front of the body below the waist.
Off side at play-the-ball - With a backward movement of the hand indicate thatthe player should be further back.
Stealing of the ball from the tackled player - Mime the action of snatchingthe ball from the opponent.
Team is tackled five successive times - Raise arm vertically above headwith fingers and thumb outstretched.
Team is tackled six successive times - Blow the whistle, raise the armvertically above the head, then point to the side which is to gain possession and mime the gesture of playing the ball. The surrendering of the ball isreferred to as the ‘handover’.
Count of tackle is cancelled and starts again - Wave clenched fist fromside to side above head.
Off side- Indicate player should have been further back.
Player in possession touches official - Point to the player in possession andtap the chest with one hand.
Obstruction - Mime the offending player’s action.
Disputing decisions - Place one hand on the mouth.
Ball in touch - Point to appropriate touch judge.
Extra time - Raise both arms vertically above head.
Ending extra time for stoppage - Wave one arm over head.
Temporary suspension of a player - Raise both arms with fingersoutstretched for five minutes suspension.
Player directed to leave the field to receive attention for bleeding - Draw the hand across the chest from side to side.
Touch Judge Signals
The touch judge cannot stop the play for any infringement but he maysignal the nature of an n infringement if the referee is unsighted andseeks his guidance.
Touch - Flag is raised about the head at the point of entry into touch.
Ball back - Flag waved above head accentuating backward movement.
Touch in goal - Flag waved across the body below the waist and with the other hand point to either the goal line or 8 metre line depending on whereplay should be restarted.
Successful kick at goal - Raise flag above head.
Unsuccessful kick at goal - Wave flag across and in front of the bodybelow the waist. If the ball goes over the dead ball line, tap the ground with theend of the flag stick.
Dead ball line - Wave flag up and down between shoulder and knee and thenpoint to appropriate restart position.
APPENDIX B --- GLOSSARY OF TERMS
When a ball strikes a player who makes no attempt to play at the ball.
Allowing the advantage means allowing play to proceed if it is to the advantage of the teamwhich has not committed an offence or infringement.
Is the team which at the time has a territorial advantage
As applied to a player means one who is not a forward
Means to have a change of possession back where the ball was kicked after it has entered touchon the full.
When applied to a position on the field of play, “behind” means nearer to one’s own goal line than thepoint in question. Similarly “in front of” means nearer to one’s opponents’ goal line.
Means the side of the play-the-ball nearer to touch (cf. open side).
Is blocking the path of the ball with hands, arm or body as it rises from an opponent’s kick.
Converting a Try
Is the act of kicking a goal following the scoring of a try.
Is a post placed at the intersection of each touch line and goal line. The post shall be of non rigidmaterial and shall be not less than 1.25m high. The corner posts are in touch in goal.
Means that the ball is out of play.
Is the team opposing the attacking team.
Sometimes referred to as a field goal is a goal scored by propelling the ball on the full overthe crossbar by drop kicking it
Is a kick whereby the ball is dropped from the hands (or hand) and is kicked immediatelyit rebounds from the ground.
Means a drop kick from between the posts when bringing the ball back into play.
Is the pretence of passing or otherwise releasing the ball while still retaining possession of it.
Field of Play
Is the area bounded by but not including the touch lines and goal lines.
Means in a direction towards the opponents dead ball line.
Is a throw towards the opponents’ dead ball line.
Refers to the types of misconduct specified in the laws.
Is the kick awarded to a team which kicks into touch from a penalty kick.
Means the end of the game.
Refers to all aspects of play after a match has been started or re-started by a place kick, drop out, optional restart, penalty kick or free kick.
A goal scored at conversion is worth 2 points, a goal scored at penalty is worth 2 points and a drop goal is worth 1 point.
Grounding of the Ball
Means placing the ball on the ground with hand or hands or exerting a downward pressureon the ball with hand or arm, the ball itself being on the ground.
Means the end of the first half of the game.
Is the surrendering of the ball to the opposition after a team has been tackled the statutorynumber of successive times.
See Plan of Field.
Means to be holding or carrying the ball.
Means imparting motion to the ball with the hand as described in the Laws.
Starts or restarts play.
Means to knock the ball towards the opponents’ dead ball line with hand or arm, while playing atthe ball.
Is the point at which a penalty kick or free kick is awarded.
Is the illegal act of impeding an opponent who does not have the ball.
As applied to a player means that he is temporarily out of play and may be penalised if hejoins in the game.
Means that a player is not off side.
On the Full
Means the ball is kicked over a given line without first bouncing.
Is the kick to be taken from the 8m restart. The kick can be taken in any manner and kicked inany direction and it is in play from the moment it is kicked.
Means the side of the play-the-ball further from touch (cf. Blind Side).
Is a throw of the ball from one player to another.
Is to award a penalty kick against an offending player.
See the Laws (Section 13)
Is to kick the ball after it has been placed on the tee for that purpose.
Is the area enclosed by a line of demarcation, which prevents the encroachment of spectators.
Play the Ball
Is the act of bringing the ball into play after a tackle.
Is a kick whereby the ball is dropped from the hand or hands and is kicked before it touches theground.
See Accidental Strike
See Accidental Strike
Is the area, at the play-the-ball, between the player playing the ball and the marker.
See the Laws (Section 11)
Is the grounding of the ball by a defending player in his own in-goal.
See the Laws (Section 9)
See the Laws (Section 6)
Is where the player in possession voluntarily stops play when not effectively tackled. (See Section11)
Where a breach occurs and possession changes hands, the following tackle will be a zero tacklenot withstanding that the team gaining possession may have gained a territorial advantage.
Amendments to Wheelchair Tag Rugby League rule for 2012
The following rule amendments have been adopted following discussion with our French colleagues and will be implemented with immediate effect.
Section 8: Kick-Off / Drop Out / Re-starts
The scoring side restarts (i.e. - kicks off).
Section 11: Tackle / Play the ball
The ball carrier must not make any contact with a defender and should only use evasion to avoid being tackled (ie - there must be no attempt to fend or disarm a tackle).
Tackle / Play the ball
Once a tackle is completed, the player in possession must replace his tag / tags, make themselves square i.e. directly face his opponents’ in-goal. The play-the-ball should be one continuous movement. Lowering the ball, tapping the ball on the flooror, where disability does not permit, the chair wheel, raising the ball and releasing the pass should all be accomplished with as little hesitation as possible (i.e. - if a player pauses during the play-the-ball in a deliberate attempt to win a penalty by dummying the play-the-ball, then this should result in a penalty to the defence)
Single Marker at the Play-The–Ball
During the play-the-ball, the ball is considered to have been played, once the ball has been tapped on the floor or, where disability does not permit, the chair wheel. This means that the defending team may move when the ball is tapped on the floor or, where disability does not permit, the chair wheelat the play-the-ball (this applies to both the defensive line and the marker).
Tackle / Play the ball – defensive line
When the defensive line is set on their own goal line, the centre of the defenders pushing wheels must be directly above the goal line when the ball is played.
And a reminder - safety must be the prime concern
We will be asking referees to pay particular attention to the following areas where
To effect a tackle, a player must be attempting to remove a tag and not drive-in with both hands pushing on wheels of chair.
Tackling Front- On
When affecting a tackle, a player must not drive directly head on and toe to toe into an opponent in possession of the ball. NB. It is sometimes likely that, while keeping control of his speed / momentum, an approaching defender may have his arm outstretched to grab the tag before his wheelchair collides with that of the ball-carrier. Also, in some low speed situations when wheelchairs are almost stationary, the chairs may collide before the defenders have time to reach out with their arms. In both these cases, the collision should not be deemed dangerous
All of the above rules should achieve our aims of reducing heavy, one-sided score lines and increase the emphasis on skill and speed, not strength.