Super League Addresses Penalty Feigning with New Rule Similar to NRL

Super League Considers New Rule to Curb Penalty Feigning

(Sky Sports, 20 June 2023) In a move to address the growing trend of players attempting to win penalties through feigned injuries, the Super League could soon implement a new rule similar to one recently introduced in the NRL.

Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in players staying down after tackles, seemingly exaggerating their injuries in an effort to sway officials. To combat this issue, the NRL has implemented a “remote independent doctor” rule, where players who are “slow to stand” after head contact will be required to undergo a 15-minute head injury assessment (HIA).

“While I’m not suggesting that players may be feigning injury in an attempt to receive a penalty, players who do not regain their feet within 15 seconds after identifiable head contact, will generally find they are removed to undergo a head injury assessment.”

  • NRL Head of Football, Graham Annesley

This change mirrors a trend where Super League has often followed the lead of its Australian counterpart in implementing rule changes, such as the introduction of the “six-again” rule and the centralized “Bunker” video referee system. The latter, in particular, has made a significant difference for stadiums with more primitive technology, as video referees now have access to better screens to review every available angle.

As the NRL’s new rule has already been used in recent weeks, it is likely that Super League will consider adopting a similar measure in the near future, should it prove successful in curbing the issue of players feigning injuries to gain an advantage.

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