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On-field disciplinary process changes

Following a review of the current system, the Disciplinary Review Group have had their recommendations approved by clubs and the Rugby Football League and a number of changes will be implemented to the disciplinary process ahead of the 2018 season.

The Disciplinary Review Group, which is comprised of Hull Kingston Rovers Chairman Neil Hudgell, Wakefield Trinity Chairman Michael Carter, Oldham Chairman Chris Hamilton, former Hull FC Football Manager Motu Tony alongside Rugby Football League representatives, was launched in November 2016 to assess the current system and identify its strengths and weaknesses.

The system was reviewed against best practise in other sport disciplinary proceedings and involved consultation with stakeholders, including a survey on topics such as Match Review Panel and Operational Rules Tribunal sent to club owners, chief executive officers, coaches, players, members of the media and supporters.

Changes approved for 2018 onwards are as follows:

Early Guilty Plea replaced by Penalty Notice for cases graded A-C. Match Review Panel to decide grade and consult player’s disciplinary record to ascertain what sanction will be handed down:

  1. No record showing two or more offences in last 24 months, including one in last 12 months; and no similar offence (as defined in the Sentencing Guidelines) at Grade C or above in last 24 months = penalty at lower end of range (for example – one match for Grade B)
  2. Two or more offences in last 24 months, including at least one in last 12 months; or similar offence at Grade C or above in last 24 months = penalty at higher end of range (for example – two matches for Grade B)

Cases graded D-F, or where Match Review Panel deem it appropriate not to issue a Penalty Notice, will automatically be referred directly to the independent Operational Rules Tribunal

Players can challenge a Penalty Notice (A-C) – in which case the matter will be determined by the Operational Rules Tribunal. A refundable deposit of £500 for Super League players and £250 for all other players must be lodged when submitting a challenge. If challenge is successful, the deposit shall be returned. Challenges to a Penalty Notice can only be made on the following grounds:

  1. Guilt; or
  2. Improper Grading of the Offence by the Panel

Unsuccessful challenges will result in a one-match increase in sanction where grounds for challenge considered unreasonable. If player is found not guilty then no sanction will be handed out. A successful grading challenge will lead to a sanction that would have been imposed for the revised Grade.

Chair of the Disciplinary Review Group, Neil Hudgell, said:

“We are very fortunate to be involved in a sport that regularly reviews its own processes seeking improvement and overall excellence.

“It’s well documented that the On Field Disciplinary process has been much maligned, often unfairly, down the years. Working in a collegiate manner with the Governing Body and other stakeholders in the game, we have hopefully delivered a set of proposals that lead to improvements in the quality of decision making, consistency and understanding of the basis for those outcomes.”

Rugby Football League Interim Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Rimmer, said:

“Over the past 12 months we have seen the group come together regularly with a focus on improving the On Field Disciplinary process for everyone.

“Many stakeholders have been involved from the start and it’s encouraging to see that this review has been conducted by the clubs for the clubs.

“Throughout the course of the year the Rugby Football League reviewed all processes in depth and instigated any necessary improvements which can enhance the system for the benefit of the game.

“We are proud of the way our disciplinary system has developed and the efficient and fair way in which it operates.”



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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