06 Dec 2017
World Rugby's project of simplifying the laws of the game will come to fruition on 1 January 2018 when its Simplified Law Book becomes available.
By Paul Dobson, Moonsport
The language of the new book is more readable and the new book will be 42% shorter. No laws have been changed but reading the laws is simpler in is statements with the removal of repetition and cluttered sentences.
Over a period of some two years, Mark Harrington of World Rugby oversaw the project with eight legal experts, referees, a club coach, a sports scientist and a web designer/illustrator to help him. In addition, there was consultation with many other people around the world.
The work was done and checked and submitted to World Rugby's rugby committee, who approved it and recommended to the council that it be adopted. It was adopted by the council on 15 November 2017.
It is an historic event.
Brett Gosper, World Rugby's CEO, described it as another way in which World Rugby seeks to make rugby more accessible and simpler.
Bill Beaumont, World Rugby's chairman said: " “As our game continues to grow around the world, we continue to strive to make the sport as accessible to all. The laws can be difficult to understand for new participants and fans and the new law book goes a long way towards simplifying it and making it easier to understand for players, coaches, referees and the viewing public.
“This has been a truly collaborative effort with every union given the opportunity to contribute. I’d like to thank them and the working group for their full commitment to an extensive and important process. I believe what they have produced will make a big difference to the game as we seek to make rugby more accessible to all.”
The new law book will shortly be printed and distributed in the usual way while an online version will go live on 1 January 2018. As there is no difference in law between the two books, either version may be used to finish the present season.