Sunday, February 08, 2009

Learning point of the day - ELVs

No, not elves. ELVs. Experimental Law Variations. This is something that's happening in rugby at the moment.

The powers that be are experimenting with the game to see if it can be improved, so they tweak this or that law and the variation stays in place for a couple of seasons to see if it does, in fact, improve the game.

The one that was being mentioned during the Wales v Scotland (through which I confess to have slept due to extreme exhaustion) was the law about kicking out from within your own 22 yard section of the field. It used to be that this was permissible, but the ELV in place at present means that if the ball has been carried (passed) back into this area, you may not simply kick it straight out.

I realise that I am something of a hypocrite. I embrace change in the workplace. I recognise that my entire career is built on change.

But, when it comes to sport...

Do. Not. Mess. With. Perfection!

Let's look at it like this. Most of the soccer fixtures were cancelled this week because of frozen pitches. Soccer is a game in which full body contact is not permitted, and in which the players spend almost their entire time upright. The Six Nations rugby fixtures, on the other hand, went ahead as scheduled. Rugby is a full contact sport in which the players spend much of their time being pulled or knocked to the ground, often ending up under a pile of other players.

Rugby is not a game for fashion icons or the precious. It is a rough, uncompromising game. And I love it.

No doubt my objection to their existence will not bring a halt to ELVs, so I expect to spend some time being confused by the ever changing rules in a game I used to know like the back of my hand.


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