To ensure fans who may be attending their first ever rugby matches are not confused by laws, organisers have appointed a company to draw up ways of explaining them.
Novices to rugby union who have bought tickets for the World Cup this year are to be given a helping hand to understand the sport’s complicated laws, under an initiative by the tournament organisers.
The interpretation of rugby’s laws can at times baffle even the experts, so England Rugby 2015, the company organising the tournament, hopes the move will ensure that the uninitiated are able to have a greater understanding of the action.
Tickets for Six Nations games and QBE Series matches each autumn are allocated to members of rugby clubs. To ensure that those people who may be attending their first match are not left bewildered by the laws, ER2015 has appointed a “sports presentation” company to draw up ways of explaining them to newcomers.
A major plank of the Rugby Football Union’s decision to host the tournament was to increase participation in the grass-roots game by exposing the sport to new audiences but ER2015 is also conscious that the laws initiative does not “patronise” experienced supporters. A similar programme was employed during the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Ideas thought to be under consideration include providing pamphlets explaining some of the laws to the uninitiated when the tickets are sent out, as well as graphics and video clips shown on big screens before and during matches and at official fan zones across the country.
“The challenge is doing our best to help explain the laws of the game to people who are new to rugby while also not patronising or annoying fans who really do understand it,” an ER2012 spokesman said. “We have appointed a company to do it and are still finalising our plans.
“It is about taking the core principles of things like ref-link [which allows supporters to listen to the comments of the match referee via an earphone], which works really well and how we can extend that to the big screens in the stadiums.
“It involves everything around how we present the sport to the spectators in the venue and there will be an explanatory element to it, but we need to make sure we do it in a way that works for people who already know rugby very well.”
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