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Monday, June 01, 2020
World Rugby Approve 10 Optional Trial Laws

World Rugby has approved 10 optional law trials designed to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission when the sport fully returns.

The laws, mainly aimed at recreational rugby, include the possible introduction of orange cards, reducing the number of scrums during a game and removing the choke tackle.

World Rugby has also recommended several hygiene procedures for training and matches.

Individual unions have been asked to implement the trial laws depending on the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in their countries.

The sport's worldwide governing body said the difference in the levels of infection across the world meant it had decided not to insist on compulsory global application of the laws.

"We have extensively evaluated the perceived risk areas within the game in partnership with our unions," World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.

"This has enabled an evidence-based assessment of risk areas and playing positions, which led us to develop optional temporary law amendments, complementing the extensive return-to-play guidance we published earlier this month.

"Unions can apply to implement one or more of these amendments on a domestic basis according to the respective government directives relating to COVID-19."

The "orange card" system would be applied to potential red-card offences and is aimed at reinforcing high-tackle guidelines and reducing the amount of contact between players.

A player given an orange card would be removed from the match while the incident is checked by the television match official.

If it is deemed a red card, they will not be permitted to return, and if not, they would be able to enter proceedings after 15 minutes.

The laws have been criticized by some in the game, such as Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies, who said the governing body would not be implementing them.

"I'm not a fan," Davies told the BBC.

"I think it eats away at the integrity of the game.

"There are a couple of positives there, looking at the scrum, it would be great if we could put something in place long-term."

World Rugby has suggested the ball be washed before, during and after matches as part of its hygiene measures.

They also include hand and face sanitisation before and after a match and players will be asked to avoid team huddles and close-contact celebration.


IPC Call for Change as Protests Continue

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has posted a message calling for change to ensure a world without racism, as protests continue in the United States following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd's death has prompted renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, with anger centered on police killings of black Americans.

Floyd died on May 25 in Minneapolis with video footage showing a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on his neck for several minutes.

Floyd repeatedly says he cannot breathe.

Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder, although calls have been made to upgrade the charge to first-degree murder.

Three officers present at the time have been sacked, with protesters calling for them to also face charges.

Demonstrations began in Minneapolis on May 26 and have continued to spread in the US, with at least 30 cities seeing protests to date.

Other countries have also seen protests, with anti-racism demonstrations taking place in London in Britain and Auckland in New Zealand.

The protests come despite Government rules on social distancing and public gatherings introduced over coronavirus concerns.

The IPC is among the sporting organisations to have commented on the ongoing situation.

"At the IPC we are committed to make for an inclusive world," the IPC said in a tweet.

"A world with zero discrimination.

"A world where we are all united and the rights of all people are respected and not violated.

"Acts of racism cannot go on.

"Change must happen."
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