Major League Rugby Release
DALLAS, TX (March 18, 2021) — Furthering its commitment to be a top professional rugby league in North America, Major League Rugby (MLR) is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Advantage Referee Communications (ARC) for the 2021 season. ARC will provide a set of RefAudio Elite full-duplex radios to each MLR team for use in all regular season and playoff matches.
The RefAudio Elite is the newest addition to a stellar group of broadcast-quality full-duplex radios from L&W Sports Communications, an Australian-based communications company. ARC and L&W have partnered to distribute the RefAudio Pro line of radios throughout the Americas and the Pro line of radios is now the go-to radio for community rugby. As North America grows into the professional age, with the Elite line of duplex radios, ARC will fill a void in the marketplace besting the competition on value and service. The Elite line boasts a waterproof (IP68 rating), and is completely secure with over 510,000 encrypted channels.
“I firmly believe that our product improves the matchday experience for the Match Officials, resulting in a better overall experience for players and fans,” said Marc Nelson, Owner of Advantage Referee Communications.
In addition to the enhanced communications for the referees, MLR will be trialing new law variations which the referees will be implemented as the 2021 season begins March 20.
• Kickers will have 60 seconds as opposed to 90 seconds for any kick (conversion/penalty) and will have a kick clock to help guide them.
• Seven points will be automatically awarded for any try scored directly under the posts and no conversion will be necessary.
• Referees will work with stricter protocols that will limit the number of scrums to two per incident – the original plus one reset for a collapse, penalty, or freekick.
• The offside line will be the feed line/channel of the scrum to allow for unimpeded access to the ball at the back of the scrum for the attacking team.
• No longer will a red card mean a team plays a man down for the remainder of the match. Under the new law, a red card would lead to a player being sent off and the team goes down to 14 players for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the player can be replaced with another player on the bench. The red-carded players cannot return to the field in any event and will go through subsequent disciplinary procedures.
“Our goal is to continue to offer fans and teams fast-paced, competitive rugby that is safe and balanced,” said Jonathan Kaplan, Match Official Director. “We believe these new laws will enhance our on-field product while staying true to the spirit of rugby.”