Operational Rules

Section E10: Tackle IT!

Tackle It! programme has three key aims:  to tackle discrimination, bullying or abuse in both the club setting and match day environment, to increase reporting of unacceptable language and to celebrate the diversity within Rugby League

Tackle it! has been expanded from only providing protection against racism to providing protection from discrimination, bullying or abuse based on the following individual or group, perceived or actual, characteristics:

1. Gender or gender identity

2. Race

3. Disability

4. Religion / faith or belief

5. Sexual orientation

6. Age

Club responsibilities

  1. Clubs must adopt a zero tolerance approach to discrimination, bullying or abuse based on an individual’s gender, gender identity, race, disability, religion / faith, sexual orientation or age. Doing nothing is not an option.


  1. Ensure that all club staff and volunteers understand why it is vital to the club and Rugby League that discrimination and abuse is challenged effectively


  1. Ensure club policies and procedures include the protected characteristics under the 2010 Equality Act and the club takes practical steps to ensure the club and match day experience is welcoming and inclusive for all and maintain a family friendly environment


  1. Respond consistently and appropriately to discrimination, abuse or bullying. It is important to consider all the relevant factors when deciding what action to take; the safety of the victim, staff and other spectators is paramount.  Sanctions and / or education may be the most appropriate actions depending on the context and gravity of the situation. Ultimately if abusive behaviour or language cannot be brought under control the game could be abandoned


  1. Celebrate and acknowledge the diversity within the club, identify and put in place actions to attract targeted underrepresented groups to the club. The research documents and recommendations developed by RFL provides information and suggestions to help clubs engage successfully with specific groups and communities. Raise awareness of the diversity within the club by, for example, sharing examples of good practice across the sport, identify local ambassadors / role models and include a Tackle IT! Section on the club website
  2. Promote and implement the Tackle It! match day text line service at the club, making use of posters, club websites, programmes, screens, scoreboards and PA announcements. Evaluate spectator awareness of, and effectiveness of the text line service.


  1. Maintain accurate records on all such incidents, actions taken by the club and outcomes  and report to RFL according to established procedures and protocols



RFL support:

  1. Provision of tackle it text line mobiles, Tackle it! suite of seven posters, Tackle It! DVD and supporting educational resources which clubs can offer to deliver in high schools and/or to educate club staff and players. The education pack comprises an assembly, lesson plans and a fact file which can be adapted to include club and local club information and role models.
  2. RESPECT code of conduct, information and resources which enables a club to tackle any behaviours and language that are unacceptable within a family game that is not covered under Tackle IT!
  3. Range of resources available on RFL website – Equity and Diversity including: Guidance for Rugby League Clubs – Challenging Anti Gay (homophobic) Abuse and Behaviour, a  Disability Guidance for Rugby League Clubs, and research and recommendation on engaging with both  Asian Muslim  and LGBT young people
  4. Advice and information relating to any incidents of discrimination, bullying or abuse from RFL compliance team, Equality and Diversity Manager and Safeguarding Manager
  5. Advice and support in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment and engaging with diverse communities from RFL Equality and Diversity Manager
  6. Equality and Diversity training for club staff and stewards is currently being developed

Rugby League – inclusive, passionate, uncompromising, family sport