chapter  39
The Effect of the Wheeled Scrum Law in Rugby Union
Pages 6

In 1999, the International Rugby Board introduced the “use it or lose it” law with regards to the wheeled scrum in Rugby Union. Firstly, this change involves the referee calling “use it, lose it” when the ball does not emerge immediately from the scrum. Secondly, if the scrum rotates over 90 degrees it is called to an end by the referee and it is reset, with the ball being put in by the opposition. This was meant to improve the scrum, reducing the time being used up in reformations, collapses, wheels and injury (Silver, 1992). These problems have largely been answered with the introduction of this change (Thomas, 2002). However, it may be argued that there have been changes with other aspects of the scrum, such as winning the scrum through fair competition. It is hypothesised that that the amount of possession gained through winning or losing in the scrum, with a clean strike of the ball, is decreasing. The present aim was to investigate this rule change within Rugby Union and measure the effect on the amount of possession gained through winning or losing the ball at the scrum.