Rugby League Nines was seriously established in 1996 as a rival to RL Sevens, that replicated the rugby union game and had been primarily used by the Australian Rugby League in pre-season tournaments but was also used in the UK. This all came in the middle of the Super League War and Nines was given prominence by Super League so they could have their own truncated version of rugby. Nines has now taken over as the only shortened version of Rugby League.
The laws of the game are the same as standard rugby league laws with the following exceptions.
- Each team is allowed a squad of up to fifteen players, with no more than nine players on the field at any time. Unlimited substitutions are allowed from a named bench of four players.
- The match lasts for 15 minutes, divided into two halves of 7 minutes 30 seconds. There is no half time interval but teams are allowed a maximum of 1 minute to change ends. Each half starts with a place kick.
- Scrums consist of no more than 5 forwards, with a maximum 3 in the front row and 2 in the second row. When the ball is in the scrum no more than 4 players from each team shall act as backs. The ball must emerge from behind the feet of the second row.
- Conversions after a successful try take the form of drop kicks. Players from the team that has conceded the score do not have to retire behind the try line but must not interfere with any conversion attempt.
- When points have been scored the team against which points have been scored will restart the game with a tap restart from the centre of the half-way line.
- When a team is awarded a penalty then play must proceed by way of a tap 10-metres in advance of where the infringement took place.
- In the event of misconduct by a player the referee can suspend for 5 minutes.