Request for Change to Rugby Union Contact Laws

Request for Change to Rugby Union Contact Laws

8 have signed. Let’s get to 10!

Why this petition matters

Started by Cale H

This petition relates to the recent changes and/or additions to the laws of Rugby Union surrounding contact, specifically to the head.


As a representative of the rugby playing community as well as the rugby supporter community, it is no secret that recent laws implemented into the game are detracting from  both the playing and viewing experience of the game as well as the growth of the rugby community.


The law specifically is that surrounding contact to the head and the fact that ANY contact to the head is deemed at a minimum a yellow card and maximum a red card. The issue the rugby community finds with this law is the lack of consideration for all facets of the game including but not limited to the body height of the ball carrier, the actions of the ball carrier (ducking, stepping, changing direction and the like), the malicious nature of the act, accident vs intent and similar factors. The law is limited to a focus on the defender and wrongly dismisses any factors relating to the ball carrier or intent in the play.


Similar misrepresentation is apparent at ruck time where minimal consideration is given the the clean out-ee who may present no opportunity to be cleaned out without some form of contact to the head which also renders multiple issues with many other laws of the game that may be counter intuitive to this. 

I move to the weight behind this argument which is that playing rugby is a choice. That is, no player playing the game of rugby is forced to play the game and it is their own decision to participate. Players play by choice and by doing so understand that rugby is a high collision sport that at many points contains the risk of a high level of impact to any part of the body similar to any sport including but it limited to NRL, AFL, boxing, hurling, MMA, judo, wrestling, NFL, motorsports, cricket and the like.

This petition is to request that laws relating to collision with the head within the game of rugby be reconsidered to the following brief summary:

- Accidental and non effectual collision to the head remains a penalty only as per the majority of the history of rugby Union.


- Accidental but very dangerous play is given a yellow card and dealt with post match after a detailed review of the event.


- Malicious play of any kind involving collision to the head is given a red card and dealt with post match after a detailed review of the event.


There should be respect given to the fact that a rugby player knows and understands the risk of the rugby field, and dangerous actions are dealt with more in line with intention and severity rather than technicality.


This will improve the game for players, spectators and improve the future prospects of the game.

8 have signed. Let’s get to 10!