The NRL will consider punishing teams who kick into touch by rewarding the opposing team with a seven-tackle set.
ARL commissioner Wayne Pearce said the rule change would be discussed at a meeting in the near future, with the potential for it to be trialled before the end of the season.
It would mean that every kick into touch – with the exception of the 40-20 and the much-lesser used 20-40 – would lead to a seven-tackle set for the opposition.
“At the moment, when a ball gets kicked into touch, there’s a turnover and the team can have it in the middle of the field or wherever they want to have it,” Pearce told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“My view is that there’s a difference between a player running into touch – whether it be trying to score a try or whatever – and a player deliberately kicking into touch to slow the play down.
“Sometimes players can’t help going into touch or the ball getting passed into touch, but if the ball is deliberately kicked into touch, then there should be some sort of disincentive.
“This is only my view – and I haven’t run it past the innovation committee yet – is that we would restart with a seven-tackle set.
“That then becomes consistent if you kick the ball dead-in-goal. So rather than dead-in-goal, the whole perimeter of the field – if the ball gets kicked out of bounds – then there’s a seven-tackle restart. It disincentivises some of the teams from kicking into touch and trying to get a slow restart.”