Referees will go red and talk directly to fans through the PA system as the innovations continue at the 2012 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on Saturday week (February 4).

All Stars appointed referees Ashley Klein, Jason Robinson, Phil Haines and Gerard Sutton will be wired as normal for the match but NRL Referees Coaches Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper said they would also have the added task of broadcasting their calls through the PA system to help explain the three new rules being trialled.

“With the new All Stars rule around penalties for infringements in the ruck area, the referee’s call on zero tackle or a restart will be broadcast over the PA system so everyone in the crowd will know what is going on,” he said.

“They will also call 20-40s and when a team uses the Power Play the referees will announce it to the spectators and tell them which players are coming off … otherwise people in the grandstand will be wondering what is happening.”

Harrigan said the referees were excited about the innovations for the match, from enforcing the rule changes to wearing their new-look bright red uniform.

Designed by Sid Domic, Indigenous artist and former Rugby League player, the referee jerseys will feature a star-like formation over the left-shoulder representing the ‘Min Min Light’, a symbol present in Indigenous folklore.

“A referee needs to have strength, knowledge and guidance to perform their role to the best of their ability; I believe the Min Min light is a symbol of these characteristics,” said Domic.

“The appearance of the Min Min light is a sign of connection to our ancestors. I included the Min Min Light in the referee jersey design to remind us of those who have come before us, those who have taught us, supported and those who have mentored us and loved us.”

Referees appointed
Referees - Ashley Klein, Jason Robinson, Phil Haines and Gerard Sutton
Touch Judges - Adam Reid and Ricky Macfarlane
Video Ref - Tim Mander

Rule Changes for 2012 All Stars
Power Play
- Each team will receive one (1) optional power play in each half of the match.
- Once a team captain nominates to the match referee that they wish to use their power play for the half at a stoppage in play (Changeover, scrum etc.), the opposition team must immediately drop two (2) players from the field of play for a 5 minute period (11 players on the field of play).�
- If the team who called the power play scores a try during this period, the power play will end immediately and the two players who left the field may return.   
- Players returning to the field of play must do so under the supervision of the interchange official.
- The team defending the power play will make the decision which two players leave the field from their team during the power play.
- Once a power play has been called, the opposition team may not call their power play at the same time.  If both teams call a power play at the same time, the team about to receive possession will be granted the power play.
- A second clock will appear on the scoreboard showing the time period for the power play.

20/40 kicks in play
- A team which kicks the ball from within their own 20m area and can successfully find touch within the 40m area of the defending team will receive the feed to the ensuing scrum.

 Changes to Penalties in the Ruck Area
- For infringements in the ruck area by the defending team (holding down, leg pull, hand on ball etc.) which does not result in the breakdown of play (i.e. drop ball),  the referee will indicate the infringement followed by immediately restarting the tackle count at the point of the infringement with a zero tackle.
- There will be no kick for touch for these infringements. Play will continue immediately from the point of the infringement. 
- Any foul play in the ruck area by the defending team will result in a traditional penalty.
- Any infringement by the attacking team in the ruck area will result in a traditional penalty.

Have you selected your team yet in Toyota All Stars Dream Team?