What are Law Trials & Experimental Laws?

Periodically, the governing bodies of the game, World Rugby and New Zealand Rugby, will put in place trial or experimental laws in order to help the game evolve and meet the needs of its participants. These laws usually address safety issues, but can also seek to improve other aspects of the game to help it achieve the outcomes set out in the Playing Charter.

What Law Trials & Experimental Laws are currently in place?

In 2023, both World Rugby and New Zealand rugby have each issued a range of laws each which affect different grades. It is important to understand which laws apply to the grade of rugby you are involved in, and to consider what impact these may have on the game. Some laws are minor tweaks with minimal impact, however some may alter a team's tactical approach and change the shape entirely of a particular aspect of the game.

Below each of the sets of Global Law Trials (set by World Rugby) and Experimental Domestic Safety Law Variations (EDSLV set by New Zealand Rugby). Unless specified, all laws are compulsory, and teams/competitions cannot opt to enter in or out of applying these laws.

2023 EDSLV Workshop #1

Held on Monday 20th March, all Referees & Coaches were encouraged to attend this online workshop, and highly recommended for players looking to deepen their understanding of the game.

Check out the recording (across/below), and if you would like to view the slides, click here.