New disciplinary laws for Super Rugby

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 2 Feb 2012 at 07:25
Tagged with : , , , , ,

SANZAR have issued a press release describing a number of variations to the disciplinary rules that will be trialled during Super Rugby 2012.

The intention seems to be twofold; firstly ensuring that acts of foul play do not go unpunished, due to the ability for refs to do on-field referrals and citing officers to retrospectively hand out yellow cards and secondly to speed up the disciplinary process by removing the need for full, in person hearings in most cases.

The full test of the release follows:

“SANZAR is to trial new disciplinary rules during the 2012 Super Rugby competition, CEO Greg Peters announced on Thursday.

The changes follow a cross-country Working Group meeting with representatives across all areas of the game held in September last year, which conducted a ‘clean sheet’ review of the SANZAR judicial process.

The objectives of the review were to provide a system that is fair, consistent and simple with fewer full hearings and consequently reduced costs.

“SANZAR has long held the view that the disciplinary process could be enhanced to provide for a more consistent and simplified outcome,” said Peters.

“We believe that these changes are an important step in the right direction”.

Key Changes:

1 On-field Referee Referral to Citing Commissioner

  • Instances where a referee thinks an act of foul play has occurred but is not sure if a red card is warranted, or is unsure of the identity of a player
  • Where a player makes a complaint to a referee who did not see an incident
  • Can be in addition to a yellow card or penalty
  • Referred to the Citing Commissioner for review

2 Citing Commissioner issues an “Off-Field Yellow Card”

  • Instances where a Citing Commissioner observes a serious act of foul play that is close to but not quite a red card
  • The Off-field yellow card is logged on the player’s disciplinary record in the same manner as an On-Field yellow card

3 Duty Judicial Officer

  • Performs an initial assessment of citings, red cards or three yellow cards
  • Duty Judicial Officer may hold a brief teleconference with the player and/or his representative
  • Determines whether or not to offer the player a preliminary indication of penalty
  • May refer to a full judicial hearing
  • The player must accept he committed an act of foul play to be offered an indication of penalty
  • If player does not accept the indication of penalty the matter will be referred to full hearing

4 Judicial Hearings

  • Where a full judicial hearing is required it will be held by videoconference or teleconference with ‘in-person’ hearings only taking place in exceptional circumstances
  • Other processes for the hearing will be the same as previously

5 Appeals

  • SANZAR has a right of appeal the outcome of a judicial hearing on the following grounds:

– Where there is substantial unfairness, or the penalty imposed on a player is clearly excessive or inadequate

– Where there has been a fundamental error by the Judicial Officer in reaching his decision

  • Normal rights of Appeal apply for players

The SANZAR trial has been approved by the International Rugby Board (IRB) and will form an important part of the IRB’s own full review of Regulation 17 that governs the disciplinary process internationally.

The new system will come into operation when the Super Rugby tournament kicks off on February 24.”


  • I’d really like to see refs taking a stricter approach to players that prevent quick lineout throw-ins and quick taps.

    Would also love to see all the one foot: in touch/over goalline/over deadball line rules changed to mean the complete opposite of what they do now. e.g. if a player catches a ball with 1 foot in touch – lineout on the spot to the team that kicked the ball, over tryline = 5m scrum to opposition and touch-in-goal = 22 drop out – not scrum back from where ball was kicked.
    Rather let the ball cross the line on it’s own in all cases – makes the rules a lot simpler, I think it encourages teams to play the live ball and rewards accurate punt kicking.

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.02.12 08:23:05 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • i`m not sure what they mean by “off field” yellow card?? does it mean that in the next game he should sit out 10minutes or is it just a “card” for future misconduct?

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.02.12 08:27:41 by VanWilder Reply

  • HKGK 😈

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.02.12 08:31:45 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • If it is enforced, it would make the game a bit more fair

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.02.12 08:32:15 by Mutley Reply
  • Looks full of loopholes to me 😕

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.02.12 09:26:56 by Viking Reply
  • The only plus side of these changes is the ability to review repeated infringers of the game. But at the end of the day if the ref miss it on the field you still require the citing commissioner to report the offence. The question that comes to mind then is WHAT CITING COMMISSIONER? The blind drunk in the back of the bar would do a better job.

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.02.12 09:29:45 by Viking Reply
  • @Mutley (Comment 4) : I suppose that is the key to ny judical process. If it is enforced! And that is a very big IF 😯

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.02.12 09:30:36 by Viking Reply

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