New Scrum Communication Method Starts March 1st

New Scrum Communication Method Starts March 1st

February 28, 2014


BOULDER, Colo. – The USA Rugby voted to adopt the IRB’s newest revision to the ongoing scrum engagement global trial: non-verbal communication to indicate to the scrumhalf when the ball can be placed into the scrum.

Effective March 1 at all college and club matches, referees will discuss in the front-row briefing with scrumhalves how the touching should be accomplished and what the signal will be. Typically, the touch is either in the middle of the back – between the shoulder blades – or on the shoulder. The signal can be a thumbs-up, a nod, or play-on gesture, but must be demonstrated to the scrumhalves prior to the start of each match.

The “yes, nine” verbal call will still be utilized at the U19/high school level and younger.

The decision to implement the non-verbal communication at all levels of adult rugby was reached after input was received from all levels of the game in the U.S.A. as to what each community would prefer.