Three new significant rules to be implemented in Super League, Championship and League One for 2023

THERE will be three major new rules implemented for Super League, Championship and League One for the 2023 season.

One is surrounding the concussion debate, another a penalty ruling and the last concentrating on the green card.

In terms of the concussion debate, an 18th man will now be introduced in case there are three players from the same team that fail a Head Injury Assessment.

In an extension of that, the customary concussion protocol now stands at 12 days rather than 11.

“We have gone from 11 days last year to 12 days this year in terms of the recovery period,” the RFL’s Head of Medical Standards and Integrity, Laura Fairbank said.

“We reviewed the world rugby model so it is inline with that. It offers a consistent and cautious approach. The extra day falls before contact training so it builds in an extra day for exercise recovery. It is indicated that that extra day could facilitate a more thorough recovery from concussion.”

“The basic recovery would be 12 days and that’s provided that there has been no complications within that period. Any signs or symptoms that reoccur within that period, the GRTP will see. 12 days is the minimum should everything go ok.”

Fairbank also hinted that there is an urge for more players to admit that they are struggling with non-visible symptoms of concussion.

“There is also the encouragement for players to bring attention to non-physical signs and symptoms which aren’t visible to teammates, coaches and doctors,” Fairbank continued.

“The law change in this space is around the 18th player. It was used during the Rugby League World Cup where a team has three players fail a HIA in the same match, there is an option to introduce a named player as the 18th man.

“It’s only where three players have failed their HIA that the 18th man can be brought in, there is no scope for foul play. They will be named on that teamsheet at Super League, Championship and League One level.

“That supports what we are trying to do in looking after players in reporting concussion. We know that they may not report if they don’t want to let their team down but it helps reduce the load on players that are still on the bench as well.

On the field itself, the differential penalty from a scrum has now been scrapped, with a full penalty being awarded instead.

“There will be the removal of a differential penalty, keeping it clean where every infringement of the scrum becomes a full penalty,” the RFL’s Chief On-Field Officer, Dave Rotherham, said.

“If there is misconduct at the scrum, a referee shall award a penalty and the penalty applies to all players, even those outside the scrum, who should be penalised where they offend.

“A penalty will be awarded for an offence which occurs before the scrum is properly formed.

“For the avoidance of doubt, only early detachment from the scrum will allow the team winning the penalty the option to reset the scrum if they wish. In the case of the backs being offside, a full penalty will be awarded where the offside infringement took place.”

Last but not least, the green card itself will also be given a major change, with Rotherham explaining why it was brought in in the first place.

“The green card was aimed at keeping the match flowing. There were times games were taking too long, halves of rugby were taking 50 minutes or more,” Rotherham continued.

“This has been communicated to the clubs and the match officials have been doing their pre-season visits to coaches and players.”

The Green Card itself- should the referee call time off or at the request of either a physio, doctor or head trainer to allow a player to receive attention then the protocols set out in the timekeeping protocols will be followed.

The player will either:
– Leave the field for a concussion assessment
– Be interchanged
– Leave the field of play and return once an interchange card is handed over
– Leave the field for two minutes of elapsed playing time before being allowed to re-enter the field by the reserve referee in an onside position from the dug-out side of the field – in this event, the referee will show a green card with a white cross confirming this process.