NRL Considers Microchip Technology for Future Forward Pass Adjudications


The National Rugby League (NRL) has expressed that the idea of integrating microchips to rule on forward passes isn’t an idea entirely put to rest. The consideration of further Bunker involvement in future determinations is anticipated to be decided upon by the Australian Rugby League Commission during the off-season.

This consideration is usually prompted annually when there’s a noticeable miss of an overt forward pass, as experienced during Saturday’s preliminary final. In this match, the officials didn’t detect a clear violation by Broncos fullback Reece Walsh, which subsequently culminated in a try being awarded.

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Such circumstances have led Peter V’landys, ARLC’s chairman, to suggest over the weekend that the NRL would perhaps consider the Bunker’s involvement in ruling on forward passes in the future. This is reminiscent of measures last seen in 2001, when video referees were permitted to deliberate over marginal calls.

However, the complexity of determining an obvious error without a camera consistently aligned with the ball led to the distancing from this adjudication method.

NRL’s Head of Football, Graham Annesley, stated on Monday that everything will be evaluated at the conclusion of the season. He further clarified that V’landys was referring to the overt forward passes, hinting there may be a possibility of devising a process where the Bunker could review such plays.

In the past, the NRL had experimented with the idea of integrating microchip technology for accurate scientific rulings on forward passes. Despite the technology having been tested in some NRLW games, the commission has chosen not to implement it at this moment.

As Annesley elucidated, the effectiveness of current technologies in solving the problem is still questionable. However, he confidently announced that as technology continues to evolve, adopting different technologies within the game in the future is inevitable.

On another note, Annesley showed optimism about not implementing the NRL’s extreme heat policy for Sunday’s Grand Finals. With the weather predicted to be favorable, the anticipation of the final games is mounting, ringing an end to another eventful season.

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