The FFR XIII will provide the RFL with a contingent of referees to officiate at the matches in the Betfred Super League and the Betfred Championship taking place on French soil for 2024.
An initial list of 12 referees has been approved by the RFL for the Dragons and TO matches. It is not yet to officiate as a central referee, but, for now, as a linesman, in-goal judge or as the fourth official managing the likes of interchanges.
These appointments are a real source of motivation for a large number of French referees. This is an opportunity for them to show their determination and also their qualities.
The FFR stated: “Congratulations to all, those who officiated at this kick-off match of the 90th anniversary of the FFR XIII, those on the RFL roster, and those who will arrive next. Thank you to them for representing French refereeing in a beautiful way.”
New Super League rules
The following Laws amendments, recommended by the RFL Laws Committee, were approved by the RFL Board this week – and will therefore be introduced for the 2024 season.
The Board also considered a separate paper on Concussive and Sub-Concussive Impacts, which have led to a number of recommendations from Laws Committee, the Clinical Advisory Group and the Brain Health Sub-Committee which will be announced in due course.
Laws Amendments, 2024:
1 – Scrum Penalties
Teams awarded penalties from scrums may now take the option of resetting the scrum – whereas previously, that option was only available for early detachment. Laws Committee recommended the change to encourage attacking play from scrums – by disincentivising deliberate concession of penalties. (The option of using the sin-bin for a repeat offence is seen as especially significant in this regard)
2 – Restarting the tackle count (Six Again)
If a defensive team infringes within the 40-metre area of the team in possession, the referee will award a penalty, rather than restarting the tackle count. Laws Committee felt that some teams were deliberately conceding six-agains early in the tackle count to gain a tactical advantage.
As part of this, Match Officials will put particular emphasis on cleaning up the ruck area. Players, coaches and match officials have agreed to see greater sanction for flops, hands on the ball-by-ball carriers and to ensure that ball carriers regain their feet on the mark and make a genuine attempt to play the ball with the foot. Ahead of the season work will take place to improve these areas and in matches, match officials will be expected to sanction these infringements more firmly.
(Other exemptions remain – professional fouls, repeat infringements, or where play has broken down)
3 – 18th Player Interchange
The 18th Player which teams have named in their matchday squad for use in case of head injuries will now be more readily available. Whereas they could only previously be used when three players had failed Head Injury Assessments (HIAs), they will now be activated following two failed HIAs – or when a player is deemed ineligible to return to the field by any injury (not only to the head) caused by serious foul play which has led to an opponent being dismissed or sent to the sin bin. This change has been endorsed by Head Coaches, the Laws Committee and the Clinical Advisory Group.
4 – Reckless Endangerment
Following an increase in the 2023 season in the number of tackles that have caused serious lower limb injuries, the Laws Committee recommended a new category of Misconduct as part of the Dangerous Contact charge, defined as recklessly endangering the safety of another player by making reckless contact to the lower limb(s) of the ball carrier where they have not made a “controlled” attempt to make a tackle.
For a more thorough break down click here.