Rules of Hybrid Rugby
The Hybrid game combines the ‘rules of Rugby League’ and the ‘laws of Rugby Union’, with the addition of a number of unique ‘Hybrid Rugby’ rules that will enable a Rugby Union side to play a Rugby League side in a proper contest.
THE FIELD POSITION OF THE TEAM IN POSSESSION DETERMINES THE MODE OF PLAY.
When the team in possession is in their own (defensive) half of the field, the game is played in accordance with the rules of Rugby League (‘Play the Ball’). When the team in possession is in the (attacking) half of the field, the game is played in accordance with the laws of Rugby Union (‘Ruck and Maul’).
The unique Hybrid Rugby rules listed below are applied in conjunction with the rules of Rugby League and laws of Rugby Union, hence an understanding of these codes is required.
- When the team in possession is in their own (defensive) half of the field, the game is played in accordance with the rules of Rugby League (‘Play the Ball’). When the team in possession is in the (attacking) half of the field, the game is played in accordance with the laws of Rugby Union (‘Ruck and Maul’).
- The unique Hybrid Rugby rules listed below are applied in conjunction with the rules of Rugby League and laws of Rugby Union, hence an understanding of these codes is required.
- Thirteen (13) players are allowed on the field at any single time, six (6) forwards and seven (7) backs, with an additional ten (10) reserves.
- A try is worth five (5) points; conversions and penalty goals are worth two (2) points; a field=goal is worth one (1) point.
- A shot clock is used to restrict the attacking side to sixty (60) seconds of possession in each half of the field (no tackle counts are used). NB – The average time for a set of six tackles currently used in Rugby league is (48-50) seconds.
- The team in possession has sixty (60) seconds to cross halfway, at which point the Referees call the change of play to ‘Ruck and Maul’ rules and simultaneously, the shot clock resets. If the side in possession is driven back after having crossed the half way, or the ball is passed back across the halfway line, the shot clock and ‘Ruck and Maul’ rules continue until there is a change in possession, a break down, or an infringement.
- Teams in attack are required to score or kick during the 60 second period otherwise a turnover and a penalty against the side caught in possession occurs, resulting in a free kick. NB – The player in possession at the end of the 60 second period is the only player permitted to score in this phase.
- The shot clock is reset after all penalties, scrums and restarts.
- Upon recommencement of play, the rules are determined by the field position of the now attacking side.
- Defending players are required to stand no closer than five (5) metres from the line of the ball after the completion of a tackle, excluding players involved in the tackles and rucks. This rule applies to both ‘Play the Ball’ and ‘Ruck and Maul’ (5 metre rule).
- Under the ‘Ruck and Maul’ rule whereby a team has gained possession from an infringement the advantage is deemed to have been exhausted after two phases of play. The referee will rule at his discretion to resume play at the place of the original infringement or signal play on. (Advantage Rule).
- The team of a player who kicks the ball from within his own (defending) half, into touch within twenty (20) metres from his opponent’s try-line, is awarded a tap free kick in line with the point at which the ball crossed the touch line to a minimum of 10 metres from their opponents try – line. The ball must first bounce in the field of play before entering touch (50/20 rule).
- If the player who has kicked the ball within his own (defending) half, into touch outside the twenty (20) metres from his opponents try-line, then there will be a line out with the defensive side awarded the throw in, in line with the point at which the ball crossed the touch line. The ball must first bounce in the field of play before entering touch, if the ball goes into touch on the full then play will return to where the ball was kicked with a scrum advantage to the defending team.
- The lineouts will have a maximum of 5 players from each side with ‘No’ lifting in the throw in. NB – for the purpose of simplification and fairness to a proper contest to the line out. The furthest two players from the throw in will stand no less than two metres apart. (Lineout Rule).
- If the attacking team kick the ball into the in goal area and the defending team touches down or the ball goes dead in goal, then the advantage will go to the defending team and play will resume with a play the ball on the twenty (20) metre line. In all other circumstances, (knockons or other infringements by the defending team) then play will resume with a ten (10) metre scrum with the loose head and feed going to the attacking team. NB – The in goal area will be at least fifteen (15) metres.
- Six (6) players (three in the front row, two in the second row and one lock) are to contest scrums, with the attacking side having the loose head and feed. 1:- The ‘crouch – touch – pause – engage’ system applies, with the ball to be fed into the centre of the scrum. 2:- A team in a scrum must not push the scrum more than 1.5 metres toward their opponents goal line. 3:- A team in a scrum must not wheel/screw a scrum more pas a 45 degree position. (‘Scrum’ challenge for the ball rule).
- All starts and restarts of play require a place kick and must travel at least 10m in a forward direction. The ball must not be kicked out on the full. If this occurs, a penalty results from where the ball was kicked and the game is restarted under ‘Ruck and Maul’ rules.
- Substitutions are allowed at any time during stoppages, however a player cannot return to the field during the same half or quarter in which he has been substituted.
- Penalty kicks at a goal are not included in the 60-second time frame.
- There are four twenty- five minute quarters.
- Two (2) referees, one from each code, are to umpire Hybrid matches similarly to the NRL style of refereeing.