2022 Participation Changes

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) understands that in order to create quality rugby experiences for all participants, the game needs to develop to ensure it meets their needs and abilities.

Improving the participant’s experience is key to ensuring that rugby remains a safe, relevant, and viable offering for the communities that play, coach, manage, referee, and support the game - and is a vital part of NZR's Participation Framework.

The introduction of initiatives such as Game On, the U85 Club Cup, and Small Blacks changes in 2020 provided opportunity for more rugby to be played, resulting in an enhanced player experience.

As a continuation of this thinking, fifteen Experimental Domestic Safety Law Variations (EDSLVs) are being introduced in the 2022 season.

Eight of the fifteen EDSLVs are intended to be rolled out nationally across Small Blacks, Secondary School Rugby and Senior Club Rugby; with the other seven being trialled in selected competitions, in consultation with Provincial Unions. 

How were the EDSLVs developed?

The EDSLVs were developed over the past six months through a series of successful trials in Provincial Unions competitions, workshops, and working groups, as well as informed by World Rugby Laws.

The 2022 law variations are intended to preserve the characteristics of the game, while allowing rugby to continue to explore ways to increase the safety, relevancy and attractiveness of the game for community rugby participants.

While experimental in nature, these variations provide an opportunity for NZR to trial innovative ways to improve participation through better experiences for our players.

When will the EDSLVs be reviewed?

The EDSLVs will be reviewed at the conclusion of the 2022 season to determine if there is a need to refine these or adopt them into Domestic Safety Law Variations (DSLVs). The review will take a qualitative and quantitative approach, taking into consideration game footage, key metrics, and participant feedback.

Share your feedback

If you have any feedback on the 2022 EDSLVs, please send us an email at participation@nzrugby.co.nz.