Rules are made to be innovated in the FNB Varsity Cup

The FNB Varsity Cup has long been at the forefront of rugby rules and law innovation. Here's all you need to know about those for the 2021 tournament ...

SCRUMMING LAW
The process for the scrum is the current sequence released by World Rugby for all competitions.

STRATEGY BREAKS
One strategy break per half for three minutes, between the 18th and 22nd minutes of matches, will be allowed. The strategy break only occurs in the FNB Varsity Cup, FNB Varsity Shield and FNB Young Guns competitions.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS
Every team must have 23 players in their match-day squad and must have two props and a hooker on the bench. The team that causes uncontested scrums must finish the game with 14 players. Front-row players must be replaced with other front-row players.

RED CARD RULE
If a red card is given to a player in a team, that team will play for 15 minutes with one less player. The player given the red card will go off the field. After 15 minutes, another player may go back on to the pitch, but not the player who received the red card. The rule will only apply to FNB Varsity Cup and FNB Varsity Shield competitions.

COMPETITION RULES – POINTS VALUE
Try: 5 POINTS
Drop goal: 3 POINTS
Penalty goal: 3 POINTS
Conversion: 2 POINTS
Point of origin tries: 7 POINTS

LOG POINTS CALCULATION
FOUR (4) points for A WIN
TWO (2) points for A DRAW
NO (0) points for A LOSS
One bonus point for losing within 7 or fewer points.
One bonus point for four tries or more.
The maximum points a team can receive in a match are therefore 5.

FIXTURE FORFEITURE
Team that has forfeited loses 32-0.

DEFENDING 9
Defending 9’s offside line at the scrum will be the middle of the scrum and not the ball.

FREE CATCH RULE
Team will be awarded a free kick for a ball caught directly from a kick.
REFEREE WILL PLAY ADVANTAGE.
Player does not have to indicate free catch.

POINT OF ORIGIN RULE
The 9-point try has been disregarded.
Only a 7-point and 5-point try will apply.
7-point try is for a try originating from a team's own half.
5-point try is for a try originating in the opposition half.
Conversions are still 2 points.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF POINT OF ORIGIN RULE
1. The Blue team kicks off from the halfway line and the ball is kicked directly into touch. The Red team opts to take a scrum on the halfway line. If the Red team now scores without surrendering possession, they will be awarded 2 bonus points for that try, as they will be deemed to be inside their own half. If the Blue team hooks a tighthead and scores without surrendering possession, they will also be awarded 2 bonus points for that try.

2. At a 22m drop-out, the ball is kicked directly into touch by the Blue team. The Red team opts to take a scrum on the 22m line. If the Red team now scores without surrendering possession, they will be awarded no bonus points for that try. They will be deemed to be between the goal- and halfway lines. If the Blue team hooks a tighthead and scores without surrendering possession, they will be awarded 2 bonus points for that try, because their point of origin is inside their half.

3. The Blue team kicks the ball forward. The Blue and Red teams challenge for the ball in the air. In the process, the ball is touched by the Red team. However, the Blue team gains possession of the ball. It will be deemed that Blue RETAINED possession and the original point of origin will be where the Blue team originally gained possession.

4. The Blue team has possession of the ball. One of their players gets tackled. During the contest at the breakdown, a player from Red puts his hand on the ball, but he does not gain possession. Blue subsequently re-wins the ball and scores. Blue RETAINED possession and the original point of origin will be where the Blue team originally gained possession.

5. The Blue team takes possession inside their own half of the field and kicks the ball forward. The Red team tries to catch the ball, but loses the ball forward or knocks the ball on. A Blue player picks the ball up and scores a try. It will be deemed that Blue RETAINED possession and the original point of origin will be where the Blue team originally gained possession. A knock-on or simple touch of the ball does not constitute possession.

6. PENALTY KICK AT POSTS IS NEW POINT OF ORIGIN: The decision to kick for goal when a penalty is awarded will mean a new point of origin for the attacking team, at the spot where the kick is taken. The Red team comes into possession of the ball in their own half and attacks going forward until such a time that they are awarded a penalty in the opposition 22. If they opt to kick for goal, the spot at which the kick is taken is the new point of origin. Should the ball ricochet off the posts and be caught first by a player from the Red attacking team, who goes on to score, the value of the try will be determined from where the ball was kicked. The only way to retain the original point of origination when a penalty or free kick is awarded is to tap-and-go or a penalty try scenario.

7. PENALTY TRY AWARDED: The Blue team gains possession in their own half, attacks all the way to the opposing team's tryline without conceding possession. The Red team continuously infringes on their tryline to such an extent that the referee awards a penalty try. The try is worth 7 points. The penalty try does not take away the original point of origin.