Have the ball played correctly in rugby league matches. The foot must touch the ball.

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Robert Grant
Robert Grant signed this petition

At least for the last five years now in English rugby league, the referees have stopped enforcing the play of the ball laws correctly. Now if you watch a game probably about 90% of the time the ball is never played correctly with most players rolling the ball straight from their hand stepping over the rolling ball making every effort to NOT touch the ball with their foot. Personally I find this very frustrating and irritating to watch to the extent that I have given up watching any rugby league in England.

When I heard there was going to be a crackdown on this for the 2020 season I was over the moon and thought finally sense had prevailed and I could regain my love of the game. However, when I saw that the wording was "as long as the player makes a genuine attempt to touch the ball with their foot" my initial excitement subsided as I guess where this would go. Three TV games and nothing has changed. It is still the same as ever with players stepping over the ball without ever attempting to touch it.

I've already written to the RFL to raise my frustrations but I doubt they will take much notice of a lone voice but having read the comments written on this topic on various RL online forums I see that I'm not alone in being fed up with this so hopefully if enough people join me in signing this petition then maybe we can get this changed.

At the end of the day professional sport only exists if you have spectators and fans so why are we never consulted about this? If you read the RFL press release about the "rule clarifications/interpretations" it talks about various people inputting into it but not the spectators or fans. In Australia they had the same problem but they did have a refereeing crackdown on the play-of-the-ball because of fan feedback.

There is no need for any grey areas here, we don't need or want "as long as they make an attempt to touch the ball with their foot". It is very simple, at every play of the ball the player gets his foot on the ball or they get penalised, no if's sort but's. It really isn't difficult!