stretch the rules

stretch the rules

To allow something to be done which is technically against the rules or not normally accepted. It's galling to know that the management team, who are so strict with the lower-level employees, all stretch the rules to give themselves more vacation time and bigger bonuses. You're normally not allowed to take an exam if you arrive late, but because of the student's excuse, his teacher stretched the rules for him.
See also: rule, stretch

bend/stretch the ˈrules

allow somebody to break the rules to some extent because you think there is a good reason: We don’t normally employ people over 50, but in your case we’re prepared to bend the rules a little.
See also: bend, rule, stretch
References in periodicals archive ?
The Pacific Islanders will stretch the rules to breaking point and the risk of another failure is a clear and present danger if we don't meet them head on.
Azarenka has claimed she was suffering from a rib injury, but the incident fits nicely into a pre-existing narrative that not only she is prepared to stretch the rules to their limit to achieve victory, but of her history of abrupt retirements in matches.
War ned by the official about elbows, heads and low blows, DeGale was not prepared to be shoved and manhandled by Smith so was only happy to bend and stretch the rules of combat.
War ned by the official about elbows, heads and low blows DeGale was not prepared to be shoved and manhandled by Smith so was only happy to bend and stretch the rules of combat.
and that passion for their city captivated the judges and persuaded them to stretch the rules and award the title to Liverpool just because they felt the city deserved to win (even though that wasn't one of the competition criteria).
Some seem to have abandoned the principle of public service to bend, twist and stretch the rules to try to their own advantage.
Always clad in cloth, with a chain around his neck and sporting a goatee beard, Joe would stretch the rules of the House of Assembly to a point where the Speaker, Mr Justice A.
Portugal's coach hinted Holland have already been allowed to stretch the rules to the limit during Euro 2004, adding: "We must be careful.
For instance, you would not want to "be creative" or stretch the rules at all if you were dealing with sensitive information such as HIV or sexually transmitted diseases.
Unethical prosecutors who withhold exculpatory evidence from defendants have their counterparts in unethical defense attorneys who stretch the rules beyond their breaking limit.
Their detractors claim that the Rhinos stretch the rules to breaking point.
George's GP, Dr Ian Wilson, is so worried about his health that he has urged officials to stretch the rules.
His downfall reinforced how fast bright stars can tumble in financial markets, where the staggering temptation to stretch the rules can abruptly make - and break - fortunes and fame.
As a guide to how much you can stretch the rules, refer to results in the climate most like your own.