Legal website explains laws of rugby on eve of 6 Nations Championship
Law Donut is a major legal website providing free advice to UK small businesses and individuals.
It was founded by publisher Rory MccGwire, a rugby enthusiast who coaches in his spare time.
So perhaps it was inevitable that Rory would be asked to summarise some of the key rules of rugby on the website: 12 laws of rugby every spectator should know.
“Rugby has masses of laws,” he explains. “For example, a referee is supposed to know 53 different hand signals to communicate the refereeing decisions… and the hand signals are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Most players and coaches struggle once they get past the basic rules. So someone who only watches rugby has little chance of understanding it all.
“To help solve this problem, I teamed up with some referees from our rugby club. We came up with 12 rules that every spectator should know.”
No doubt MccGwire is hoping to publicise his legal website, which has extensive free information on topics ranging from shareholders’ disputes to divorce settlements.
But he says there is much more to it than that.
“Rugby referees get a hard time from the spectators, especially in junior rugby when the parents are watching. It would be really helpful if more spectators knew the key rules. For example, rules about playing ‘advantage’ and the concept of ‘materiality’, both of which allow referees NOT to blow the whistle every 30 seconds.”
Was it easy to agree which 12 laws to explain?
“Picking the 12 laws was easy. Agreeing on how much detail to go into was another matter.
“And all referees have their own interpretation of the rules and what is acceptable. Was that tackle high, or late, or simply a barge? Some of these decisions are very subjective.
“Generally the coaches and spectators are content when the decision is in their team’s favour, but they howl with indignation when a decision goes against them. I suppose that is the nature of sport, especially these days. It’s very different from the footage of long-ago rugby matches, when all the spectators watched and cheered politely.”
Notes to editors
- The 12-point blog url: http://www.lawdonut.co.uk/blog/2016/01/12-laws-rugby-every-spectator-should-know
- Donut-themed images are available upon request.
- Rory MccGwire coaches the Under 16s team at St Brendans RFC in Bristol, in which his son Luke plays. Someone has to coach, which is how Rory became a coach. And someone has to referee, which is how Rory became a referee. (True fact: Fortunately Rory was born deaf in one ear, so he cannot hear any moaning from the sidelines when he referees.)
- Rory is happy to be interviewed. Call on 0117 373 6160 and say that you are a journalist.
- Law Donut is one of five ‘Donut’ websites. The others cover start-up, marketing, tax and IT. A year ago (January 2015) their combined pageviews-per-month passed the one million mark. Following new investment, all five will be relaunched in March 2016, together with a major sixth Donut site.
- Atom Content Marketing, which owns the websites, was started by Rory MccGwire in 1991. Atom’s main activity is supplying online business advice content to banks, law firms, accounting firms, universities, local councils and business support organisations.