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Law changes for 2021

Here are the six law changes for 2021 as given on the RFL website:

1 — 20/40 kick: Where a player kicks the ball in general play, bounded by his own dead-ball line, 20-metre line and touchline and the ball finds touch, otherwise than on the full, at a point on the touchline between the opponents' 40-metre line and the goal line, the kicking team shall restart play with a tap kick.

The tap kick will be taken 20 metres in from touch and in line with where the ball first crossed the touchline, but no closer than 10 metres from the goal line.

Prior to blowing the whistle the referee will give the defending team “reasonable time” to get in position.

The tap kick may only be taken when the referee blows his whistle to restart play. This will only occur when all match officials are in place and ready to officiate.

2 — Ball steal: The ball can be stolen from the player in possession at any stage prior to a tackle being completed and when there is only one defender effecting the tackle.

If there are two or more defenders effecting the tackle and the ball is stolen, a penalty should be awarded except if the player in possession is attempting to ground the ball for a try.

(note: This changes the previous situation in which a defender would be penalised for stealing the ball if other defenders had been involved in the tackle, then dropped off).

3 — Lateral position of scrums: Where play is recommenced by a scrum, both teams must be properly bound and packed within 30 seconds from the time the referee has verbally indicated that the “scrum clock” has started.

The team with the loose head and feed must elect, within five seconds of the referee verbally indicating that the “scrum clock” has started, to move the scrum to (a) 10 metres in from touch (b) 20 metres in from touch (c) centre field.

Each team must nominate two players on the team sheet prior to the match as able to inform the referee where the scrum should be set. If both nominated player are off the field, one additional player may be nominated to the touch judge by the head trainer during the match.

If the team does not elect to move the scrum or if five seconds elapses prior to the team with head and feed nominating where the scrum should be moved to, or there is confusion as to where they would like the scrum moved to, the scrum will be formed at the point of the infringement, but not closer than 20 metres from the touchline or 10 metres from the goal line.

The scrum can only be moved to one of the nominated points on the same side of the field to where the infringement occurred.

If the scrum clock is not started due to an injury, or for a reason outside the control of the team with the loose head and feed, they are required to advise the referee of the nominated position as the referee moves to check on the injured player.

4 — Restart of play after ball crosses the touchline: Play-the-ball restart after the ball, or player carrying the ball, finds touch (note: would previously have been a scrum).

The play-the-ball will be 10 or 20 metres from touch or midfield, nominated within ten seconds by the captain.

The default position will be the 20-metre mark.

5 — Incorrect play-the-ball: A handover is to be awarded when players do not make a genuine attempt to play the ball with the foot (note: would previously have been a penalty).

6 — Scrum break: When players break early (at the scrum) before the referee has called “Out”, the referee will award a full penalty. The team receiving the penalty will have the option of re-fprmingn the scrum. If the scrum is reformed and players again break early, a further penalty will be awarded and one of the offending players will be sent to the sin-bin.

SCRUMS – EMERGENCY LAW AMENDMENT

Due to the current state of the Covid pandemic, it is recommended to continue with the emergency law introduced in 2020 with scrums removed.

This will be kept under constant review and when safe to do so, on medical and scientific advice, scrums can be re-introduced during the season. However, the shot clock application will be removed.

The play-the-ball restart will be 10 or 20 metres from touch or midfield, nominated within 10 seconds by the captain (as defined above).

The default position will be the 20-metre mark.

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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