MLR to Trial New Law Variations
With files from Major League Rugby
LEAGUE TO TRIAL NEW LAWS AIMED TO INCREASE ACTION
DALLAS, TX (March 18, 2021) — Furthering its commitment to be a top professional rugby league in North America, Major League Rugby (MLR) is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Advantage Referee Communications (ARC) for the 2021 season. ARC will provide a set of RefAudio Elite full-duplex radios to each MLR team for use in all regular season and playoff matches.
The RefAudio Elite is the newest addition to a stellar group of broadcast-quality full-duplex radios from L&W Sports Communications, an Australian based communications company. ARC and L&W have partnered to distribute the RefAudio Pro line of radios throughout the Americas and the Pro line of radios is now the go-to radio for community rugby. As North America grows into the professional age, with the Elite line of duplex radios, ARC will fill a void in the marketplace besting the competition on value and service. The Elite line boasts a waterproof (IP68 rating), and is completely secure with over 510,000 encrypted channels.
“I firmly believe that our product improves the match day experience for the Match Officials, resulting in a better overall experience for players and fans,” said Marc Nelson, Owner of Advantage Referee Communications.
In addition to the enhanced communications for the referees MLR will be trialing new law variations which the referees will be implementing as the 2021 season begins March 20.
• Kickers will have 60 seconds as opposed 90 seconds for any kick (conversion/penalty) and will have a kick clock to help guide them.
• Seven points will be automatically awarded for any try scored directly under the posts and no conversion will be necessary.
• Referees will work with stricter protocols that will limit the number of scrums to two per incident – the original plus one reset for a collapse, penalty, or freekick.
• The offside line will be the feed line/channel of the scrum to allow for unimpeded access to the ball at the back of the scrum for the attacking team.
• No longer will a red card mean a team plays a man down for the remainder of the match. Under the new law a red card would lead to a player being sent off and the team goes down to 14 players for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the player can be replaced with another player on the bench. The red carded players cannot return to the field in any event and will go through subsequent disciplinary procedures.
“Our goal is to continue to offer fans and teams fast paced, competitive rugby that is safe and balanced.” said Jonathan Kaplan, Match Official Director. “We believe these new laws will enhance our on-field product while staying true to the spirit of rugby.”
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fourth season on March 20, 2021 and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2021, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, among other national and local market platforms. Select matches are available to stream live in North America on The Rugby Network, and all matches are available on The Rugby Network for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit www.MajorLeague.Rugby, and download the MLR App on the App Store/Google Play.
ABOUT ADVANTAGE REFEREE COMMUNICATIONS:
Advantage Referee Communications has been the main provider of communications equipment in the USA for Rugby Union match officials for the last three years. Covering local events, like the Freetail 7s and Rugbytown 7s, ARC is able to add a professional feel to the grassroots game. They also have extensive experience in servicing international events in the USA, Canada, and South America, such as HSBC 7s, Americas Rugby Championship, The Rugby Weekend, and the Junior World Trophy.
The new Elite line of equipment can seamlessly be routed to broadcast to use for production audio, as well for a Television Match Official to communicate with the referee for scoring decisions or to review foul play. Major League Rugby hopes to add TMO in the near future to put the league on equal footing with other professional leagues around the world.
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