NRL 2024 Rule Amendment - Contested Restarts

17th January 2023

The NRL has confirmed a change to Law and Interpretations ahead of the 2024 NRL Pre-Season and Premiership. The change is designed to incentivise more contests for the ball from set restarts.

Contested Restarts

If a team kicks the ball out on the full over the touch line, or the ball fails to travel at least 10 metres forward in an attempt to contest a restart from the goal-line, 20m line, or half-way line, play will now restart with a play-the-ball 10 metres out from the line of the kick and 10 metres in from touch, rather than with a penalty kick. The change will give more incentive for teams to attempt short kick-offs or drop-outs.

"While relatively minor, this change will add to the unpredictability of the game," NRL Executive General Manager – Elite Football Graham Annesley said. "Teams will no longer risk conceding significant territory as well as a penalty for attempting to regain possession from restarts of play. We undertook a thorough review of the 2023 season, including consultation with the NRL Clubs, the RLPA and other stakeholders, and while there was a strong desire to keep changes to a minimum, this minor change will incentivise short kick-offs and drop-outs. This will strongly accompany the Commission’s direction to enhance the existing rules, leading to a faster, more free-flowing and unpredictable game."

The change has been approved by the Commission and was communicated today to the NRL Clubs and Coaches.

Ref - NRL [Viewed 28 Jan 2024] / FN-2

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