ARLC chairman Peter V'landys has signalled that there will be a further rule change for the 2022 season.

V'landys indicated that the focus instead was being placed on implementing previous changes correctly throughout the new season.

Speaking with News Corp, V'landys said that there was still room for improvement on how the new rules- which were brought in to speed up the game, were officiated.

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“We want to consolidate the rules now – they now need bedding down,” V’landys said.

“It’s certainly opened the game up to be more entertaining and brought the brilliant players back into vogue.

“Without the rule changes, I don’t think players like Sam Walker and Reece Walsh would have been as dominant as they were.

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“In saying that, that’s enough for the time being.”

V'landys said that the only rule change for 2022 would be one with the aim of keeping games as competitive as possible after a number of blowouts in the 2021 season.

"The only rule change we’re going to make is that when you’re inside your own 40m line and a defensive team is offside, it won’t be six-again, it will be a penalty,” he said.

“Teams were giving away six-agains to keep the pressure on the other team. We want to eradicate that.

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“If you give away a penalty and they get themselves out of their own territory, it takes away from that. That’s the only thing we’re looking at.

“In any sport or industry you’ve got to look at ways of improving. You can’t sit still. But we’ve done enough for the time being.”

The sometimes controversial figure also confirmed that he won't be going anywhere just yet.

He said that after a tough two years he's very much looking forward to the game reaping some rewards for its efforts.

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“I’ve had a break so it’s probably the wrong time to ask me if I’ve had enough,” V’landys said.

“I feel refreshed. Ask me again in six months.

“I’m feeling good and I like the challenges. Covid has been a challenge.

“When you contribute to the game succeeding it gives you satisfaction.”


  1. First: “Speaking with News Corp, V’landys said that there was still room for improvement on how the new rules – which were brought in to speed up the game, were OFFICIATED” (my emphasis)

    That may have been reported inaccurately, or he may have not said quite what he meant to say, but the idea of replacing a six-again with a penalty is not a change in the way the rules are officiated by the referees, it is a change to the rules.

    Now let’s look at rule changes, more generally. Every rule change can result in four sorts of outcomes:
    – Expected, positive outomes;
    – Expected, negative outcomes;
    – Unexpected, positive outcomes;
    – Unexpected negative outcomes.

    If the positives outweigh the negatives, then the rule change is successful.
    If the negatives outweigh the positives, then the rule change is unsuccessful.

    What we are seeing here is a decision being made to address an unexpected negative outcome from introducing the six again rule.

    The expected negative outcomes (for me) are:
    – increased complexity of the rules of the game (harder for fans to understand and enjoy);
    – slowing down the game (ie conflicting with the aims of the six-again change);
    – teams giving away penalties so they can reset their defensive line (ie conflicting with the aims of the six-again change);

    Other readers may identify more negatives.

    More generally, I would like to see the introduction of a rule change that says “for every new rule introduced, one old rule must be removed”.
    Expected positive outcomes to be:
    – simplified rules of the game (easier for fans to understand and enjoy);
    – simplified rules of the game (easier for referees to adjudicate);
    – (possibly) a faster game because there could be fewer stoppages for technical infringements.

    Candidates for removal?
    How about seven tackle sets, or 40-20s ? (I imagine that out in the bush or in schools, with no TV replays or Bunker analysis, it must be a nightmare for a referee to make a call on a 40-20.)
    Again, other readers may have ideas.

    So, for me, this looks like adding more complexity to the rules, with no commitment to back out the change if it is found to be unsatisfactory.

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