In order to confuse rugby spectators, even more, the IRB announced new laws or amendments to old laws for the 2017 season that will be implemented in the Southern Hemisphere on the 1st of January 2017 and in the Northern Hemisphere on the 1st of August 2017.
One can not help to wonder when will the lawmakers be happy with the game of rugby. Continuously striving for a game which will attract spectators across the world leaving behind the true values of the game, and if taking into account a drastic decline in spectators they are not succeeding.
- Law five was changed to allow attacking teams to kick a penalty to touch even if the time is up. The change has been introduced so as to discourage defending teams from giving away tactical penalties in a bid to slow their opponents.
- The advantage law was changed so that the attacking team will now be able to select the most advantageous penalty mark if the defending side concede multiple infringements.
- A further law change will see the game continue when a player jumps and knocks the ball back into the playing area, even if the ball was deemed to have crossed the touchline.
- Conversions will no longer be required after a penalty try has been awarded instead the value of the score has been increased from five to seven points.
- Finally, in a bid to discourage teams from manufacturing uncontested scrums, such scrums must be contested by 16 players, even if one side has been reduced to fourteen men as a result of a sin-binning or sending off.