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Amendments to 2019 Referee Policy

The following additions / amendments to 2019 referee policy have been introduced with immediate effect:

Placing the ball on the defender lying on the ground – It is the responsibility of the player playing the ball to place the ball on the ground at their feet. If necessary the player should step backwards to ensure this can be done.

OUTCOME – If the ball is placed on the tackler, this will be ruled a knock-on.

Moving off the mark / stepping over to deliberately place the defender in the ruck – It is the responsibility of the player playing the ball to place the ball on the ground at their feet, and not to advance off the mark – if necessary the player should step backwards.

OUTCOME – The player in possession will be penalised for moving off the mark if deliberately stepping over a defender to place them in the ruck.

Playing the ball into a defender in the ruck – The player playing the ball should maintain balance and control when heeling the ball to the acting half-back.

OUTCOME – In this situation the player in the ruck will be penalised if hit by the ball – or if in the opinion of the referee the half-back is prevented from picking the ball up. EXCEPTION – A penalty will be awarded against the player playing the ball if the ball is forcibly heeled back with the intention of contacting the defending player with the ball.

Passing into an opposing player – Any ball passed into an opposing player in and around the ruck, in any direction, will be deemed to be acting against the spirit of the game. _

OUTCOME – The passer will be immediately penalised.

Steve Ganson, the RFL’s Head of Match Officials, explained:

“A number of high-profile incidents during and before the Easter weekend have shown certain teams or players acting contrary to the spirit of the game, in a manner that has infuriated fellow professionals, broadcasters and, crucially, supporters.

“After internal consultation, we have therefore decided to make these changes to referee policy with immediate effect, applying throughout the game. This is an unusual step, but not unprecedented – and we hope it will be welcomed by coaches, players and supporters.

“There is a meeting of head coaches next week, followed by the regular meeting of the RFL Laws Committee, at which these matters will be discussed, along with the situation regarding obstruction which has also been provoking a lot of discussion.”

Super League reaction: _Super League has been increasingly concerned by the increasing number of players taking advantage of the strict application of the laws around players lying in the ruck at the play-the-ball and has been working with the RFL to find a solution.

Super League is keen to stop players using the rules to gain an unfair advantage and supports referees who penalise obvious gamesmanship. It also welcomes allowing Match Officials to apply a less strict, judgement-based interpretation of the rules based on the Official’s observations at each ruck.

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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