The Impact of Rule Changes: Comparing Rugby Union Over a 15-Year Period
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aims of this study throughout were to discover what indicators were effective in rugby union in both 1998 and 2013, while seeing the impact that rule changes have had on the game itself. Twelve Super Rugby games were used throughout this study, six being from 1998 and the same corresponding fixtures in 2013 with the main emphasis being on the Canterbury Crusaders, who are Super Rugby’s most successful franchise. Many indicators were analysed through the use of computer notational systems. Indicators that were assessed throughout this study were both team and individual indicators, as well as set pieces. Once all results were collected, they were all entered into an excel spreadsheet which was designed to produce frequencies, percentage and times of all indicators. The results of this analysis showed significant differences in values between both 1998 and 2013, as ball in play time was improved (175.2 ± 2.3), possessions in opposition half have risen (33.8 ± 3.3), while number of scrums has shown a huge drop (154 ± 105), quality of lineout possession improved (49% ± 25%), as well as rule changes impacting upon the types of kicks in outside the 22 to keep ball in play time going (257 ± 9). Overall, twelve indicators were discovered to be effective across both 1998 and 2013 even with rule changes occurring, and those indicators were; infringements (121 ± 25), turnovers (119 ± 89), kicks (257 ± 9), tries (36 ± 14), lineouts (153 ± 2), scrums (154 ± 105), missed (241 ± 71), negative (702 ± 364), positive (1187 ± 753), and effective tackles (224 ± 80), linebreaks (127 ± 81) and offloads (191 ± 74). Although frequencies differentiated between both years, the impact of them all were just important as the other. Therefore, it is concluded that despite the rule changes that have occurred over a fifteen year period, rugby has changed from being scrum based due to poor handling skills into a more skillful and open game that is more dependent on dominating territory, higher skill level as well as defensive structures being deployed making teams harder to break down.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT COACHING
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