Principles of the Laws

Enjoyment and entertainment

The Laws provide the framework for a Game that is both enjoyable to play and entertaining to watch. If, on occasions, these objectives appear to be incompatible, enjoyment and entertainment are enhanced by enabling the players to give full rein to their skills. To achieve the correct balance, the Laws are constantly under review.



There is an over-riding obligation on the players to observe the Laws and to respect the principles of fair play. The Laws must be applied in such a way as to ensure that the Game is played according to the principles of play. The referee and touch judges can achieve this through fairness, consistency, sensitivity and, at the highest levels, management. In return, it is the responsibility of coaches, captains and players to respect the authority of the match officials.