Rugby's administrators have an underappreciated capacity to both miss the point and distract when it comes to the laws of the game and how they will be applied.
The game is governed by a law book that is preposterously thick, having been dragged out of the Dark Ages unedited and no one has any idea how to consistently interpret or apply more than half of what is in there.
And yet, while referees can't get solid guidance from their bosses on how to apply the laws from one week to the next and half of them can't even consistently manage their rulings within the same game, Super Rugby launches this week with two experimental adaptations.
We are supposed to be excited by this – see the introduction of new ideas such as a captain's challenge and goal-line drop-outs as innovation.
This is rugby adapting to its audience apparently – bringing an element of razzmatazz that will enhance the drama and fan experience.
Except it won't really do either of those things, or if these new laws do bring greater intrigue and drama, no one is going to particularly notice amid the same old frustrations that will surface when the basics of the game fail to be officiated.
These new introductions are gimmicks. They are the equivalent of putting a fancy design on the milk, in the hope it distracts from the coffee being a touch rank.
Rugby needs substance to triumph over style in the vexed issue of its laws. It doesn't need innovation as such, just strong, hard, unflinching leadership that has a vision of rugby being played under a handful of enforceable laws that are consistently applied around the world.
Someone, somehow, somewhere obviously thought it was quaint, charming even, that rugby is one thing one day and another the next and wrongly decided inconsistency was a selling point – an antidote almost to football's simple, consistent laws that can be successfully explained and grasped by a chimpanzee.
It's sad more than it is frustrating and irritating that all the well-paid people charged with making sure the laws remain appropriate to the modern game and that referees know how to interpret and apply them, can't do their jobs.
The game is battling enormous financial headwinds, desperate to find new followers and break into new markets and it puts itself out to the world as an infuriating and unfathomable mass of ruling contradictions and excess complexity.
It's doomed while it continues to operate with so little certainty about what will be legal on any given weekend. It's doomed while it continues to operate as one version in the North and another in the South and then sneers at casual followers for not being able to keep up when they take a look and can't understand what's happening.
A captain's ruling and a goal-line drop out are not bad ideas, they just aren't what the game needs.
It would be more exciting, re-assuring at least, to hear that referees in Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021 are once again going to wage war on the offside line.
That was the big-ticket item last year and that had everyone's attention. That was both populist and yet practical – a win-win-win as the players, coaches and fans all supported its intent.
Here's the wild and crazy thing, rugby has an existing law that if it were actually applied every week, would massively enhance the flow of the game.
If defensive lines were behind the back most body part as they should be, instead of half a metre in front as they consistently are, there would be time and space for the ball players to pass and dance instead of brace for the inevitable collision as they take possession.
Even better would be if the defensive lines were one metre, even two or ideally five back from the ruck. That would be the sort of innovation, practical thinking that would materially impact the game in a way a captain's call or goal-line drop-out never will.
There was also a big tick last year for the move to stop players entering from the side of rucks or any other illegal position.
Neither of these initiatives were new or gimmicky – they were simply an attempt to properly apply the laws as they exist.
But as so often happens in rugby, there is pushback when change impacts and requires players and coaches to adapt. And when that happens, administrators run for cover.
They quietly abandon their mission as self-preservation takes over and the fundamentals continue to be ignored and plans are hatched to fix everything with virtually meaningless new ideas.