Rugby league has a quirky rule that if a player called a 40-20. It works as a reward for accurate and strategic kicking. If a player kicks the ball behind his 40 metre line and it goes over the sideline behind the opposition’s 20 metre line and providing the ball bounces first then his team is awarded a scrum next to where the ball went out.
This is extremely beneficial in rugby league as it means his team gets 6 more tackles right in front of the opposition try line. It may seem like a gimmicky rule, but it is actually very difficult and risky to pull off and is actually fairly rare in a game of league. The rule was introduced to the NRL in 1997 so is relatively new.
To new watchers the 22 metre rule in rugby union may seem equally gimmicky. In both sports if the ball goes out on the full then the restart, whether it be a lineout or quick tap, takes place from where it was kicked. However, there is an exception in rugby union.
If the ball is kicked out behind the kicker’s 22 metre line, providing it was not passed back to the kicker, then play restarts from where it went out whether it bounced first or not. Up until recently the ball could also be passed back into the 22 as well, but not carried back. The 22 metre rule is very common in rugby union because it is a good way of gaining territory and a chance to contest possession at the lineout.