Keep The Rules The Way They Are

(An ode to Kevin Bartlett and the Rules Committee)

by Michael Viljoen


(Sung to the tune of Just the Way You Are – B. Joel)



Don’t go changing the rushed behind rule

We’ll try to keep the ball in play,  Mmm

Sometimes I fumble across the goal line

Disguised in my own precious way


Don’t wait as lab-coats wave their surrender

Kick it in and catch them off their guard,  Mmm

Place your hands gently between his numbers

But keep the rules the way they are

Don’t go trialing a new substitute rule

They’ve taken interchange too far,  Mmm

Taking possession from the ruck duel

Doesn’t do nobody harm


I don’t want clever interpretation

Call my advantage, I’ll say, “ta”,  Mmm

It’s in the spirit to let the game flow

So keep the rules the way they are



How long for prior opportunity?

As if Kevin Bartlett even knew

Even as a player you changed the rules, KB

You couldn’t stop at one or two



Keep play in motion, that’s the agenda

Make changes plain, we’re not that smart,  Mmm

While on the subject, here’s my suggestion

Just keep the rules the way they are


I don’t want clever interpretation

Make changes plain, we’re not that smart,   Mmm

Last quarter comeback, throw away the whistle

But keep the rules the way they are

About Michael Viljoen

Michael was born in the Nelson Mandela Bay area, the same as Siya Kolisi, the successful World Cup winning Springbok captain, but was raised in Melbourne with a love for Australian Rules. He has worked as a linguist in Africa with Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia, where he wrote a booklet on the history of Cameroon's Indomitable Lions, which was translated into several Cameroonian languages.


  1. John Mosig says

    I liked it just the way it was too Michael. Now they want to make the game shorter. I’ll bet they don’t drop the prices, eh?

  2. Alovesupreme says

    The paradox about the concern that quarters are lasting too long, is that one rarely sees a reference to the major reason – that the post-goal television break has been extended to 45 seconds (or longer). With a six goal quarter (to be conservative), there’s a minute and a half added to the elapsed time of each quarter, without any adjustment to the 20 minutes playing time per quarter.
    At matches, you can sense the crowd’s frustration as the umpire waits for the (delayed) signal, that the commercial has concluded, and the producer has been able to slip in a few seconds replay of the goal.

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