With the call for some sort of system to allow a challenge on a rather contentious decision, the Australian Rugby League Commission have decided to implement the NFL equivalent, of a Coaches Challenge.
It was a committee of the ARLC that made the decision, with some including: ARLC General Manager of Football Operations Nathan McGuirk, ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce, current NRL coaches in Ivan Cleary and Brian Smith, former coaches in Daniel Anderson and John Lang, as well as former Broncos, QLD and Australian five-eighth, Darren Lockyer.
â€œThe idea of on-field challenges has been discussed for a number of years and this is a chance to test how a system might work,â€ Mr McGuirk said.
â€œThe biggest difficulties lie in ensuring that flow of the game is maintained.
â€œThe trial we discussed today involves a team having a limit of one â€˜incorrectâ€™ challenge in each half (there is no limit on the number of successful challenges).â€
It was a sub-committee that recommended the areas that can be assessed for change, or challenged are:
– A loss of possession (knock-on or strip) that leads to a â€˜structuredâ€™ re-start (scrum or penalty)
– A decision that led to the ball going into â€˜touchâ€™ or â€˜touch-in goalâ€™
– Any decision involving try, no-try or point scoring decisions made by on-field officials that were not previously referred to the video-referee.
– A mandatory penalty (such as a member of the team in possession being off side and restart infringements).
Some decisions however, such as forward passes, 10m penalties, scrums and play the balls, would not be interfered with, nor challenged.
â€œThe more you look at this the more it becomes important to limit the number of potential interruptions to the game,â€ Mr Raper said.
â€œThe flow of the game is an essential part of Rugby League and as much as we want to do everything we can to get the maximum number of decisions correct you have to avoid opening the game up to too many stoppages.
â€œNo matter what happens there are always going to be arguments about actual decisions particularly at this time of year.
â€œThis is about looking at the ways that we can reduce those arguments without affecting the game.â€
With the threat that the game will slow down with the introduction of such a challenge, the ARLC knows that the parameters for such a challenge cannot be too broad, and one that they would have to think about.
Despite the implementation of the Captain’s Challenge for the Round 26 Toyota Cup clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Gold Coast Titans, there is no immediate rush to introduce the challenge for the 2013 NRL season.
â€œWe have identified a Toyota Cup match in round 26 between the Titans and the Sea Eagles and that will give us an opportunity to see a challenge system in action,â€ Mr McGuirk said.
â€œIt is a long way from moving to anything further but it does give clubs and fans a chance to see how a system may work.â€