The TMO is to be given slightly more interventional and decision-making power in trial amendments to its protocol starting next season.
World Rugby announced the new TMO tweaks on Thursday, calling it a ‘collaborative and solution-focused approach.’
Under the new protocols, he or she will be allowed to examine several scenarios without stopping play:
Law 8 Scoring: Incidents relating to whether a player was in touch or touch-in-goal,
Law 9: Dangerous play, specific to where any dangerous play can be immediately, determined as a ‘play on’ or a penalty kick only offence,
Law 11: Knock-on or throw forward,
Law 18.2-18.8: All touch/touch-in-goal decisions, including whether a ball was in touch or not, and who took it into touch.
“Starting for all competitions and stand-alone matches taking place after July 1, the TMO will be given greater scope, supporting better, quicker decisions,” read the statement from the game’s governing body.
“(This includes) formal adoption of the current practice of ‘on the run’ decision-making, where the TMO acts as a ‘sweeper’ on behalf of the referee (for the above scenarios).
“In addition, in the event of a try, should the footage relating to an infringement only be made available by the broadcaster after the conversion has taken place, but before the restart, then the referee and TMO may highlight the infringement and deal with it accordingly.
“The revised protocol has been designed with input from the world’s top match officials, broadcasters and laws experts, underpinning a collaborative and solution-focused approach.”
Key to the trials is the concept of reducing the amount of dead time in games and eradicating scenarios such as that on last year’s British and Irish Lions tour, where some halves of rugby lasted over an hour because of interruptions.
“Not only will this update help the elite game better identify and deal with any foul play, but it will also assist in the clear and obvious being addressed without stopping the game, potentially reducing the number of unnecessary and often lengthy stoppages which impacts the spectacle for all concerned,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.
“Combined with the trial adjustment to the scope of water carriers, this is a common-sense development that can aid the spectacle by reducing stoppages, and I would like to thank the match officials for their full and expert input.”
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