Section A1: Membership & Membership Obligations
CLUBS: ACCEPTANCE OF OPERATIONAL RULES
A1:1 All Clubs which participate in Super League, the Championships, or in any league or competition or any game under the jurisdiction of the RFL or organised by the RFL are deemed by acceptance of the invitation to be bound by the Operational Rules (including but not limited to those relating to discipline or Misconduct), the Rules and Regulations of any body of which the RFL is a member, the terms of any agreement entered into by the RFL and the Laws of the Game and accept the jurisdiction of the RFL The Laws of the Game and the Operational Rules will be published on the RFL website. All Clubs competing in Competitions are deemed to have read and accepted the Rules as a condition of entry into each Competition.
A1:2 All Clubs which participate in Super League or in any league or competition or any game under the jurisdiction of the RFL or organised by the RFL are required to act in accordance with all applicable laws. Each Club agrees that the RFL shall be entitled to take any action and/or make such orders as it considers appropriate where to do otherwise would knowingly allow a Club to breach any applicable laws even where such behaviour is not prohibited through a strict interpretation of these Operational Rules.
CLUBS: COMPETE IN COMPETITIONS
- Every Club by becoming a member of the RFL agrees to compete in all competitions under the jurisdiction of the RFL or organised by the RFL in which it is eligible to compete.
- A Club shall not play a friendly match or competitive match in Rugby League (ie, any match other than a Cup Tie, a League Match, an Event or a Match in any competition approved by the Board) or take part in any other sport at any time without receiving the prior written approval of the Board. The Board's consent shall not be unreasonably withheld and the Board in reaching its decision shall pay due regard to the integrity of the respective competitions and the interests of the Game.
Each Club agrees to indemnify the RFL (together with its Members, officers, employees and contractors) from and against any and all costs, damages, losses, expenses and/or claims (including but not limited to claims for loss of profit or income) which may be made by any third party and which are a consequence whether directly or indirectly, of the fact that the Club has not complied with its obligations in these Operational Rules (whether wilfully, negligently or otherwise howsoever) and whether or not such loss was foreseeable by the RFL and/or the relevant Club at the time of the Club's agreement to be bound by these Operational Rules.
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
A1:5 See Articles of Association 4
LICENSING AND CRITERIA FOR A SUPER LEAGUE LICENCE
- There shall be no promotion or relegation between Super League and Championship from the 2008 Season onwards. Instead for the 2009 Season and for every 3 seasons after that, the Board shall invite applications for membership of Super League from: (i) current Super League Clubs; (ii) Clubs in the Championships that meet minimum standards set by the Board; and (iii) any overseas clubs invited to apply by the Board. Those Clubs being offered and accepting a Super League Licence for 3 years shall participate in Super League – for the avoidance of doubt, all Clubs offered a Licence shall be obliged to re-apply for a further 3 year Licence at the end of each 3 year Licence period. Those either not being offered a place or not accepting a place offered shall: (i) in the case of Super League Clubs, participate in the Championship; (ii) in the case of Clubs in the Championships compete in the League they are currently in, unless they are relegated or promoted in accordance with the rules below, which shall take precedence; or (iii) in the case of overseas clubs invited to apply by the Board and who are not currently in the Super League or the Championships, the Board shall have the discretion to offer a place in one of the Championships or reject the application outright.
- The Board’s shall have discretion to set criteria for membership of Super League and discretion to assess Clubs against set criteria and determine membership of Super League from 2009.
- At least one Club that has competed in the Championships during the Licence Period 2012 – 2014 and that meets minimum standards set by the Board will be granted a Super League Licence for 2015 – 2017.
- For the purposes of A1:6 (a) above the applicant must submit a completed and signed application form and provide such documents, including financial records, as the Board shall at its discretion require.
LICENCE APPLICATION PROCESS
A1:7 The Board shall set a process for application for a Super League Licence and shall communicate that to Clubs
PROMOTION & RELEGATION IN CHAMPIONSHIP
For the avoidance of doubt, Clubs which finish in the first to eighth positions in the Championship shall participate in the Championship play-offs leading to a Grand Final. In accordance with Rule A1:6, the winner of the Championship Grand Final shall not be promoted to Super League save through the Licensing process.
In 2013 the RFL Board shall announce, at a time of its own choice, for the 2014 season onward the structure of the Championships (or any successor competition(s)); the criteria for membership for each level of the structure; the teams that will compete in each level of that structure and the Operational Rules that will apply to each level of that structure.
CLUB NAME / LOGOS
- A Club shall not adopt a title which implies that it is representing, either wholly or in part, a country or county or town or any area or sponsor or commercial organisation nor shall it alter its name from that specified in the schedule unless, in either case, authorised to do so by the Board.
- A Club shall not adopt or use any logo which may, in the opinion of the Board, bring the game into disrepute. No Club shall change its logo during the Season and any Club intending to adopt any new logo shall submit the proposed logo to the RFL before 1 January in any year for approval and shall not use such logo until it has received written approval from the RFL of such log.
DATA PROTECTION ACT
A1:10 All Clubs and Person Subject to the Operational Rules shall handle all personal data provided to it by the RFL in accordance with applicable data protection laws and any instructions provided by the RFL in relation to use of such data.
A1:11 In order to ensure that Rugby League is a sport in which it is safe and acceptable for those who have concerns about potential Misconduct the RFL has a Whistle Blowing Policy which is attached in Section E. It is an offence of Misconduct for any Person Subject to the Operational Rules to harass or victimise any person who has made a disclosure in accordance with the Whistle Blowing Policy.