RUGBY LEAGUE has a habit of tinkering with rules at the beginning of each season.
In recent years, rules such as the six again, on-field referee try/no try call and the ball strip have all become contentious issues within the sport.
However, whilst some people desire to change a number of rules, a number of people want to see the sport stop this experimenting with different regulations.
Rugby league can move too much in one direction and the scrapping of the ball stripping rule where players could strip the ball even after teammates had dropped off was a signal that the governing body had got that rule wrong.
In terms of potential rule changes that the majority of people would like to see, there is a drive for a video referee at every game which would enable a captain’s challenge.
The captain’s challenge is, of course, a major feature in the NRL which enables teams to contend a decision made by an official if the team feels the referee has got a decision wrong.
If the team is proved right, they not only get the decision but they also retain their challenge. If the team is proved wrong then they lose the ability to challenge the referee again during the game.
For former Super League referee George Stokes, who officiated 39 games at the highest level between 2011 and 2016, the captain’s challenge is something he would like to see introduced in the European top flight just as in the NRL.
“There isn’t a captain’s challenge in Super League. That would be good, it has worked in the NRL and gives the game a different dimension,” Stokes told League Express.
“The captain’s challenge has been taken really well in the NRL, but I certainly wouldn’t do anything drastic.
“The problem is that rugby league tries to change the rules all the time. You don’t get the Premier League trying to change the rules each year to try and get and more spectators every year.
“It’s not the rules that need changing, it’s the marketing.”