2022 Secondary School Rugby Changes

There are some exciting law variations being trialled across Secondary School rugby in 2022.

Following a series of trials in Provincial Unions competitions, workshops, and working groups, five Experimental Domestic Safety Law Variations (EDSLVs) are being rolled out across Secondary School Rugby in 2022. 

These include scrum constraints around resets, a new offside line for the opposing halfback at the scrum, and the addition of amending field dimensions to Game On.

Alongside the EDSLVs, Five World Rugby Global Law Trials will also be introduced in Secondary School Rugby during the 2022 Season. 






High ball contest*

Players must remain grounded when catching high balls

Collisions in the air are dangerous for all jumping/involved

Reduce aerial collisions and ensure safer outcomes for those receiving high balls

All Secondary School and below, excl 1st XV  

Extend to 1st XV Rugby subject to consultation with HP and PUs


All tackles must be below the sternum 

Tackles above belly put heads in the same ‘airspace’ risking collision

Safer tackles for all, reduced likelihood of head impact 

Ball can be offloaded 

Faster game 
All Secondary School and below, excl 1st XV  

Extend to 1st XV Rugby subject to consultation with HP and PUs


Reset scrum following no infringement results in team originally awarded the scrum being offered uncontested scrum or free kick

Reduce repeated resets due to technical competence and/or fatigue

Increased playing time 

Reduces risk of scrum injuries 

Provides tactical variety


Offside at Scrum  

The halfback of the team not in possession must remain 1m from the scrum and may not advance past the tunnel until the scrum has ended

Promote positive play

Provides faster and cleaner ball 

Provides greater options for No 8 and No 9 plays off the back of the scrum

All Designated non-Premier Secondary School Rugby+

Game on

Field dimensions may be varied with agreement using existing field markings down to ½ field

Provide further game variations to flexibly meet participants needs

  All Designated non-Premier Secondary School Rugby

*excludes 1st XV Rugby, subject to organising committee decision.

+Designated Premier Grade Competitions include competitions that have been designated by the Provincial Union/s (or other organisation, such as a regional secondary school sports authority) having jurisdiction over that competition. More than one grade may be designated as a Designated Premier Grade Competition.


Visit Rugby Toolbox to find out more and access resources on the following 2022 EDSLVs:

High ball catch | Rugby Toolbox

Tackle | Rugby Toolbox

EDSLVs being trialled in selected competitions

There are seven variations that will be trialled in selected Secondary School competitions in 2022, in consultation with Provincial Unions.

2022 EDSLVs in Selected Competitions

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 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 regarding the 2022 EDSLVs, please send us an email at participation@nzrugby.co.nz.