Disciplinary Team Update – May 24
29th April 2024

Disciplinary Team Update – May 24

The Disciplinary team have submitted the following update…

Match Official Abuse

Sadly, looking at current data Match Official Abuse and Striking are now vying at the top of statistics for red cards and citings coming before the Panel.

Unfortunately, there is a rise in the number of coaches, other club officials and supporters being cited for Match Official Abuse rather than players and this is across the rugby spectrum. Whilst Age Grade players are handled within their specific environment adults, regardless of the team with which they area engaged, all come before the Panel. The net result of this is any League points deduction etc. award impacts the Clubs 1st XV.

At the same time, it should be remembered that if a Club is sanction and the sanction awarded is a points deduction the deduction is against the 1st Team which may not necessarily be the infringing Team.

Clubs are expected to police pitchside behaviour to ensure that we have a safe environment for our Match Officials as without them there won’t be rugby. To assist with this, you’ll find that the Panel can now require Clubs to undertake Active Bystander Training to assist with this; RFU Education support this. Also, as a resource there are ‘Angry Man Cards’ which can be used to nip it in the bud; available via the Disciplinary Secretary.

It is hoped that as the season end approaches the number of cases coming to the Panel’s attention will reduce.

Other Disciplinary Points

A few other points to keep in mind please.

Firstly, if there is a video of the game, which is usually noted by the Referee, then then it must be made available to all parties upon request; failure to supply has implications.

It should be borne in mind that most touch judges are unappointed club personnel however they should be respected just as if they were appointed officials. Under law 6 they are obliged to act objectively as if they were fully independent of any club affiliation.

It is also worth noting that RFU has recently re-issued its guidance with regards to entry to the field of play. Basically, unless you are part of the match day medical team entry is only permitted at the Referee discretion.

Finally, regardless of the result of a Club’s disciplinary process, an individual player is automatically suspended and remains so until notified by the NLD Disciplinary Secretary; if a ban is issued there will be a return to play date issued which is not negotiable.

Contact for support and guidance is via the Disciplinary Secretary, Andy Statham at [email protected]