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Volume 7 No. 83
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World Rugby Council Approves Simplified Rulebook To Be Introduced In January

Rugby laws will become 42% "clearer" in the new World Rugby rulebook, which received approval by the World Rugby Council on Wednesday, according to Cheree Kinnear of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Labeled as "one of the most complicated rule books in the sporting world," rugby's laws have "bemused players and fans for decades," but that is "set to change after the simplified version is globally introduced" on Jan. 1. World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said that the book was found to be "overcomplicated" and added that World Rugby is "very excited about the new simplified version." Gosper: "We're always trying to simplify the game and make it more attractive ... it's another way we're trying to make rugby more accessible and more simple" (NZ HERALD, 12/7). REUTERS' Mitch Phillips reported World Rugby "assembled a group of experts which undertook a comprehensive two-year consultation and feedback process" with the sport's 120 member unions and six regional associations. The eight-member group includes law experts, referees, a club coach, a sports scientist and a web designer/illustrator. The laws "were not perceived as a problem -- though they are routinely tweaked -- rather, the way they are explained." The simplified rulebook is designed to make the laws "easier to understand while not altering their meaning or affecting the way the game is played" (REUTERS, 12/6).