World Rugby Officiating : The home of Rugby officiating on the web : Technical Zone Programme

Practical application reminders for TZOs

Even with the TZ protocol relatively straightforward and, given that there is only one Law (Law 3 – NUMBER OF PLAYERS – THE TEAM),we are concerned with when it comes to substitutions and replacements, out of the 22 Laws in the Laws of the Game, given scenarios and extended pressure from the teams and the crowd can make it a tough job for all involved.

Therefore, the following practical application reminders (please always refer to the original test of the Laws of the Game) should serve to ensure compliance in the most common situations:

Be clear in Law...

  • Replacements - replaces an injured player.
  • Substitutions - substitutes a player for tactical reasons.
  • There exist two exceptions if a player is substituted:
  • Exception 1: a substituted player may replace a player with an open or bleeding wound
  • Exception 2: a substituted player may replace a front row player unless the referee has ordered uncontested scrums
  • In Sevens, a substituted player may only replace a player with a bleeding or open wound and the Law 3 front row exceptions don’t apply.
  • In U19, if a team nominates 22 players, it must have at least six players who can play in the front row (loosehead prop, hooker and tighthead prop); if a team nominates more than 22 players there must also be three players who can play in lock position.
  • The onus to define a suitably trained and experienced player available for the front row is with the team management of this player.