Regulatory Group

red hall

The Community Regulatory Group meets twice a year and is made up of representatives from the Community Game.

The group is a committee of experienced adminstrators who make decisions concerning regulatory issues.

Below you will find updates from the latest meeting.

Protective Goggles - Update 13/12/13

The RFL has confirmed it's policy on the use of Protective Goggles.

For more information visit

Latest Update - 26/07/13


Following the tragic death of Christopher Brown following incidents on the field of play in September 2009 the Game was criticised by the Coroner who raised a number of concerns as follows:

a)    that there was no single set of Rules governing the Game;
b)    that there was no guidance on managing head injuries in the Community Game;
c)    that there was no system of training first aiders for the Community Game; and
d)    That the match was allowed to continue while a player had collapsed on the field.
Information to Clubs 
Specifically with regard to First Aid and injured players, the RFL is drafting a booklet setting out each club and volunteer’s responsibility in this area.  The booklet will require each club to carry out its own risk assessment but will set out general recommendations covering duty of care, risk assessment, first aid provision, management of head injuries, protection against blood borne diseases, record keeping, equipment and anti-doping. It will be provided both as a hard copy and as a download from the RFL website.

Head Injuries
The poster circulated to clubs in 2010 will be revised and re-circulated. The protocols set out on the poster will also be included in the booklet. 

Training First Aiders
The RFL has reached an agreement with the FA to access its First Aid courses, specifically the FA Emergency First Aid and Basic First Aid for Sport.  The RFL will be able to provide these courses, with joint FA/RFL branding, to volunteers at a cost of £15. Subject to approval, the roll out of courses will begin in July 2013 with courses offered on a regional basis in the North West, Yorkshire and London/Midlands/Wales.  Alternatively individual clubs will be able to book a course as for volunteers at its club. The course will be relevant for coaches, first aiders, volunteers and match officials. The course will not be compulsory and first aiders who have alternative approved qualifications will be able to continue using these prior qualifications.

Protocols for Injury
The requirement to stop play (and if necessary abandon the match) to allow a player to be treated and other relevant protocols will be included in the booklet.

The Community Board to note the actions being taken by the RFL to ensure appropriate First Aid provision is being made across the Community Game.


David Gent reported that a Hard Grounds Policy had been signed off and guidelines were in place to cover the size of pitches. As legislation was in place through COSHH and the Health & Safety at Work Act to cover other areas of the ground, there was general agreement that introducing additional rules on risk assessments at clubs was unnecessary.


Following discussion at the previous meeting, Hilary Steel felt the age bandings for the 2014 season should remain as follows:

Age Group               True age range        Plus extra age range
Under 16s/Year 11    1.9.97 – 31.8.98    1.9.98 – 31.8.99
Under 18s/Year 13    1.1.95 – 31.8.96    1.9.96 – 31.8.97

This would require players to re-register by the end of February for a March start with a final transfer date of the end of August.

Stuart Prior disagreed with this point and felt the extra age range for players could cause some confusion.

There was general consensus that the age bandings should follow academic school years.


The last 18 months have seen considerable changes in the way that leagues are managed and administered and their formal legal arrangement with the RFL. Groups have emerged which in effect are operated by the RFL and are formally a part of the legal and corporate governance of the RFL, e.g. North West Men’s League, and a second group of leagues which are in effect separate legal entities to the RFL but are affiliated to the RFL via one of the members of the RFL Community Board.

It is therefore proposed to use the following definitions to describe leagues at tiers 3 and 4 operating in the community game:

  • Definition 1 – RFL Member League.  This is a league which is wholly operated by the RFL, e.g. Yorkshire Men’s League, and in every sense under the direct jurisdiction     and legal control of the RFL.

  • Definition 2 – RFL Affiliated League. This is a league which has a separate legal status to that of the RFL but is affiliated to the RFL via one of the bodies of the RFL Community Board and is operating to the operational rules etc., e.g. North West     Counties 13 to 15s.

That the Community Board approves the two definitions above to describe community leagues under the jurisdiction of the RFL.


The Community Dual Registration Policy
This requires further consultation with the Community Game to assess its viability and the impact it could have at Tiers 3 and 4. This is also linked to the wider Policy Review taking place at present.

The Under 18 Academy Player Policy
This needs to be re-worded and then further consultation is required with the relevant sections of the game to assess its impact. This is also linked to the wider Policy Review taking place at present.

The Community Game Sentencing Policy
This needs to be consulted upon as part of the roll out of the Operational Rules. In     particular, there are concerns about the policing of the policy and the sharing of information.

Operational Rules
A consultation copy of the rules has been distributed to all community league management groups and a consultation period started on the 16 June 2013 and ends on the 16 September 2013. The final set of rules for approval will be presented to the October Community Board.

Several new courses are in the process of being drafted including an updated version of the Touchline Manager’s Course. Once drafted, several League Management Groups will be asked to feedback and engage in pilot schemes to consider the way forward.

A letter from Steve McNamara and Kevin Sinfield highlighting the values that Rugby League holds in high regard was sent in May to all junior registered players and the new Magic Shirt Video highlighting aspects of RESPECT is now available to watch on YouTube.

Other elements of the campaign will be reported on as matters progress but it is expected most elements of the campaign will become operational to coincide with the coming into force of the Operational Rules.

Commercial sponsorship of RFL community leagues
At present the RFL is working with a small working group of leagues to establish a clear set of guidelines on commercial arrangements in the Community Game between the RFL and its member and affiliated leagues. The guidelines will cover the following 4 areas:

1.    Clarity that leagues have the right to sell rights relating to matches in that league.
2.    Clarify that only the RFL has the right to sell rights relating to the RFL (logos, designations, tickets to central matches, etc.) or rights that relate to the whole Community Game.
3.    Include a requirement that leagues notify the RFL of any commercial deals they conduct.
4.    Include a requirement for leagues to provide the RFL such inventory at matches as is required from time to time by the Community Game Commercial Code of Conduct agreed from time to time by the Community Board

The exact legal framework will be presented to the October Board for approval.