New Zealand Rugby – Small Blacks Laws Update – Half Game
To all New Zealand Rugby Provincial Union Rugby Development staff, Junior Rugby Clubs and Members,
Late last year, New Zealand Rugby undertook a substantial review of its Domestic Safety Law Variations, Small Blacks Development Model and Teenage Rugby and made some important changes to maintain a strong focus on players enjoying their rugby for the 2014 season and beyond.
One new law change being implemented requires all players to get at least half a game at Small Blacks level. At halftime, any reserves that are present, were required to take to the field before the second half starts.
We fully appreciate this new law change has been challenging for a number of coaches to manage effectively. We also appreciate that playing conditions throughout New Zealand will be varied and consideration needs to be given to allow some flexibility to minimise the time Small Blacks are inactive on the sideline. In weighing up the feedback we have received, we remain committed that all players must play a minimum of half a game, however we will allow some flexibility for coaches to base the playing time around two full quarters of play.
Therefore we are amending the Small Blacks law to allow for a “substitution only” break to take place as close as possible to half way through each half. Coaches can make substitutions if they wish at these breaks.
Coaches now need to ensure that all players (unless injured) play 2 quarters of every game.
We appreciate your support in providing a positive environment for young children playing rugby and hope that by providing coaches with some flexibility with the implementation of the Half Game Law we will continue to keep kids involved in our game and encourage new ones to take it up.
New Zealand Rugby 2014 Game Laws – Update June
Ensuring all Small Blacks get fair playing time during a match is at the heart of New Zealand Rugby’s Half Game law.
These laws apply to Small Blacks grades of rugby only (including Small Blacks representative games).
1. All players must play a minimum of half a game (this is to include at least two full quarters).
Rolling substitutions are not permitted.
Substitutions may be made at half time or approximately half way through each half when the referee will allow and signal a Substitution Break.
This break should be no longer than one minute and will indicate the end of the current, and beginning of a new quarter. This Substitution Break is solely for the purpose of making substitutions, coaches are not permitted to use this break to provide coaching advice to players/teams.
Non-injury substitutions can only take place at half time or these quarter time breaks. Rolling substitutions are not permitted.
2. Return to play after minor injury
If due to a minor injury a player leaves the field during a quarter, and is cleared to later continue playing, then this player may only return at a designated Substitution break, or at halftime.