Referees confer over new rules for game at Cooee Bay

CENTRAL Queensland's top whistleblowers have run the rule over this year's new rules.

The region's top rugby league referees attended the two-day annual Central Queensland Referees Conference at the Cooee Bay Recreation Centre on the weekend.

A refresher course ahead of the 2014 season, about 40 referees from Gladstone, Rockhampton and the Central Highlands watched footage of last year's matches and discussed the positioning and decision-making of the referees.

Run by Central Queensland's NRL game development officer for referee participation Stephen Hamilton and his Brisbane-based equivalent, Paul Oliver, the pair was joined by QRL referees academy manager Eddie Ward.

The conference discussed the NRL's newly introduced rules, which apply to the Intrust Super Cup, FOGS Cup, Colts, Mal Meninga Cup and Cyril Connell Cup competitions.

The Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras play in the Intrust Super Cup while their junior teams play in the Mal Meninga Cup and Cyr Connell Cup.

Along with a number of interpretation changes, the biggest changes apply to restarts. The first tackle after a 20m optional kick will be called a zero tackle to discourage tactical kicks which prevent fullbacks from bringing the ball back in broken field.

What used to result in a scrum, a 40/20 kick will restart with a tap kick 20m in from touch while a handover will be awarded when the ball is kicked out on the full.

They've also outlawed the infamous cannon ball tackles. When a player is being held in an upright position by two defenders, any additional tackler must make initial contact to the player in possession above the knee.

At this stage they do not apply to Rockhampton Senior Rugby League competition matches, but could be introduced.

Anyone interested in refereeing should phone 0429 066 931.



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