Assessing the impact of the season and rule changes on specific match and tactical variables in professional rugby league football in the United Kingdom.

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Abstract:

Rule changes in sport are an inherent part of the changing environment for players, coaches and spectators. However, the impact of these rule changes is often not assessed objectively. The aim of this study was to establish whether rule changes implemented between 1992 and 2000 significantly influenced the playing pattern of professional rugby league teams. A specifically designed hand notation system was used to assess 17 key variables in 48 full game performances over four time Periods (1988-92; 1993-95; 1997-98; 2000-02). Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed a significant (P<0.01) increase in the frequency per unit time of dummy half passes in the Period immediately after the introduction of the 10-m rule; a significant (P < 0.01) decrease in the percentage of tackle errors and an increase in the frequency per unit time of dummy half passes (P < 0.01) in the Period immediately following the change of playing season (1996) and a significant (P < 0.01) decrease in the percentage of kicks out of play in the Period immediately following the introduction of the 40-20 rule. It was concluded that rule changes implemented between 1992 and 2000 had little impact on the playing patterns of professional rugby league teams.

Keywords: NOTATIONAL ANALYSIS; RUGBY LEAGUE; RULE CHANGES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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