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2024 Laws and Interpretations

The NRL has confirmed a change to Law and Interpretations ahead of the 2024 NRL Pre-Season and Premiership. 

The change is designed to incentivise more contests for the ball from set restarts.  


Contested Restarts 

If a team kicks the ball out on the full over the touch line, or the ball fails to travel at least 10 metres forward in an attempt to contest a restart from the goal-line, 20m line, or half-way line, play will now restart with a play-the-ball 10 metres out from the line of the kick and 10 metres in from touch, rather than with a penalty kick. The change will give more incentive for teams to attempt short kick-offs or drop-outs. 

“While relatively minor, this change will add to the unpredictability of the game,” NRL Executive General Manager – Elite Football Graham Annesley said. 

“Teams will no longer risk conceding significant territory as well as a penalty for attempting to regain possession from restarts of play. 

“We undertook a thorough review of the 2023 season, including consultation with the NRL Clubs, the RLPA and other stakeholders, and while there was a strong desire to keep changes to a minimum, this minor change will incentivise short kick-offs and drop-outs. 

“This will strongly accompany the Commission’s direction to enhance the existing rules, leading to a faster, more free-flowing and unpredictable game.” 

The change has been approved by the Commission and was communicated today to the NRL Clubs and Coaches. 

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.