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RLJ Judiciary Guidelines

RLJ DICIPLINARY PROCEDURES & SENTENCING GUIDELINES:

 

 

(RLJ Constitution, Section B, “Rules of the Association).

 

“23. DISCIPLINE.

23.1. Disciplinary matters shall in the first instance be dealt with by the Constituent Body under whose jurisdiction the matches are played be it at International, National, League, County, Parish or Club level.

23.2. Each Constituent Body will appoint its own Disciplinary Committee.

23.3. A RLJ Disciplinary Committee appointed by the Board of Directors shall deal with disciplinary matters involving matches under the direct jurisdiction of RLJ.

23.4. In the case of decisions made by Constituent Body Disciplinary Committee‟s, any person or club found guilty of misconduct or other offences of a disciplinary nature shall have the right of appeal to a RLJ Disciplinary Appeals Committee appointed by the Board of Directors, providing the relevant criteria as outlined in 23.3 has been met.

23.5. The RLJ Disciplinary Committee shall have full power to adjudicate upon all leagues; clubs, players or persons reported by any match officials for any reason whatsoever arising from any game under their control.

23.6. The RLJ Disciplinary Committee shall have full power to deal with all leagues, clubs, players or persons without the need of a match officials report or previous disciplinary action if they have committed an act or made any statement either verbally or in writing or been responsible for conduct, continuing misconduct or any matter which in the opinion of the Committee is considered to be unsporting, insulting or improper behaviour or likely to bring the game into disrepute. Any act, statement, conduct or matter which is discriminatory by reason of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or disability shall constitute behaviour in contravention of this clause.

23.7. Disciplinary Committees have full power to expel, suspend and/or fine any organization, player, official or any other person found guilty of misconduct and/or any breach of the rules and order them to meet any costs incurred.

23.8. Disciplinary Committees shall deal with all reported offences without undue delay but no later than 31 days of the alleged offence. Except for cases falling within rule (10.6) which may be dealt with without time limit.

23.9. A match official's written report on the misconduct of any organization, player, official or any person shall be sent to the Association Secretary within three working days of the game's conclusion with a copy to the reported party.

23.10. Every organization must ensure that the referee is given the full name of any dismissed player and give every assistance to any match official, to identify any official, spectator or other person about whom they have cause to enquire.

23.11. Every organization is required to take all necessary precautions to prevent assaults or threats on players or officials, in connection with games.

23.12. A referee shall have the power to order the temporary suspension, for a period of ten minutes, of a player whose conduct does not warrant a full dismissal.

JAMAICA RUGBY LEAGUE ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION PAGE 26 OF 30

 

23.13. Any organization not in receipt of a dismissal report from a match official within 7 days of a game's conclusion should immediately contact the Association Secretary.

23.14. Any organization wishing to raise an objection to the result of any game in which they have partaken, must inform the Association Secretary within 24 hours of the game's conclusion by telephone and confirm in writing within three working days, with a copy to the party against whom the objection is made.

23.15. All reported persons may request a personal hearing and bring witnesses in their own defence, send a written statement, or provide unedited video tape evidence providing application is received by the Association Secretary within seven days of the game's conclusion and be accompanied by a personal hearing deposit fee of J$1000.00 which the Committee may order to be forfeited, either wholly or in part.

23.16. If, during the game, an assault on a match official, a brawl or abandonment occurs, the referee must report such occurrence to the Association Secretary within 24 hours of the game's conclusion by telephone and confirm in writing within 3 working days with a copy to the reported party.

23.17. In all cases of Discipline or disputes, claims of non-receipt of any relevant correspondence shall not preclude any matter from being dealt with.

23.18. Decisions of a Disciplinary Committee shall be sent first class post within 48 hours of a meeting.

23.19. At all discipline hearings, three members, one who will act as Chair, and one who will act as Secretary shall form a quorum.

23.20. The Minutes, details, findings and penalties of all Constituent Body Disciplinary Committee Hearings shall be forwarded to the RLJ Disciplinary Committee for ratification and registration within 7 days of completion of the matter.

 

24. APPEALS.

24.1. The Board of Directors shall appoint a RLJ Discipline Appeals Committee and it shall be responsible for hearing all appeals against the decisions made by the RLJ Disciplinary Committee or decisions made by Organizations in membership of RLJ. No person who was at the original hearing, other than the Secretary or his or her representative, shall be eligible to participate as a member of the Committee.

24.2. Every organization and player wishing to appeal against decisions by the RLJ Disciplinary Committee or other Organizations must do so in writing, to be received by the RLJ Secretary within seven days of the decision being made. The appeal fee of J$5000.00 must accompany appeals applications, which may be returned or forfeit as the Committee so decides. Unedited videotape evidence may be submitted.

24.3. No Appeal shall be heard, unless the appellant has made representation at the original hearing, either personally or by a representative or in writing.

24.4. In instances where a player has received a suspension, there shall be only two grounds for appeal. Namely (a) severity of sentence or (b) the finding of guilt.

24.5. All appeals shall be heard, within fourteen days of the appeal being lodged.

 

24.6. At appeal hearings, three members, one who will act as Chair and one who will act, as Secretary shall form a quorum.

24.7. Decisions of the RLJ Appeals Committee are final.

 

25. SUSPENSIONS AND FINES.

25.1. A player's suspension will commence on the second Saturday, following the meeting at which the suspension was imposed, except in the case of suspensions of six or more matches or Sine Die suspensions, which will have immediate effect. Two or more suspensions must be served consecutively. A player is allowed to play pending appeal if the suspension is less than 6 matches.

25.2. The following games shall count towards a player's suspensions:

 

24.2.1. All registered team games, scheduled prior to the offence, representative games, in which the player has been selected to play and games awarded by default.

24.2.2. Abandoned games shall only count if points are awarded or if the result is allowed to stand.

25.3. No person under suspension by the Association, League or club shall participate in playing, coaching, officiating or administrating within Rugby League Football, without the Association's permission, until all suspensions are served.

25.4. A suspended player is not allowed to play in any other game of Rugby League Football until their suspension has been completed and any club or league found guilty of violating this rule shall be fined not less than J$5000.00, forfeit the game and the offending player may be liable to a further suspension.

25.5. Any suspensions, notified to the Association by other Sporting Authorities, shall be honoured unless special circumstances apply.

25.6. A player who has been fined shall not play in any game until the fine is paid. Should the fine not be paid within 28 days of imposition it will automatically double. The player's club or league or county in representative games, is responsible for the collection and forwarding of the money to the Association.

25.7. If an organization is fined, the fine must be paid within 28 days of imposition otherwise it will automatically double and if this in not paid within a further 14 days, all fixtures for that organization shall be suspended.

25.8. A Disciplinary Committee will, as and when necessary, issue guidelines to Member Leagues with regard to minimum recommended suspensions to be imposed in respect of certain offences. Member Leagues should, unless special circumstances apply, follow the guidelines.

25.9. An automatic Sine Die suspension shall be imposed upon any person found guilty of assaulting a match official. No review of that suspension, after any initial appeal, may take place until 5 years have elapsed from the date that the suspension was imposed”.

 

 

 

1 Disciplinary Committee Guidelines.

 

1.1  Reporting of Player.

  The match officials in charge of a fixture may report any player for misconduct. The Match Official is to write a report outlining the alleged incidents and submit to the relevant persons in charge of the competition/fixture. The relevant person(s) should then engage the Disciplinary Committee to address the reported incidents using the standard guidelines outlined in this document. 

 

 In relation to each Player sent before the Disciplinary Committee, the Committee may consider the following options:

 

A)  Charge the Player and deliver a sentence of Guilty (write report of findings and forward to player by mail, a copy should also be sent via email if available).

 

B)  Charge the Player and deliver a sentence of Not- Guilty in which case the Committee may still send the Player a Warning/advice letter)

 

− All decisions of the Disciplinary Committees will be minuted and forwarded to the RLJ Director of Rugby, League Secretary or League Chairman/President and an administrator of the players club (Whether Chairman, Secretary, and Manager). Where a player or official is being suspended or banned from games or from the Association, then all playing clubs, Schools, Universities and teams should be informed of the unavailability of those  persons to participate in sanctioned RLJ competitions for duration specified..

 

1.2 HEARING OF DICIPLINARY COMMITTEE

 

Composition and Process

At the Disciplinary Committee, a member appointed as Chairman and at least two side members are recommended to consider all the evidence put before them.

The Disciplinary Committee will normally meet each to consider cases as they arise.

The Disciplinary Committee will normally consider all matters that have been referred to it by the League/Competition that has so appointed them within 7 days.

There is a limit to the number of cases that the Disciplinary Committee can hear in one session. This number will be 5.

 

If more than this number of cases is before them, some cases may instead be heard on the following evening.

 

Options Available to the Disciplinary Committee

The Disciplinary Committee shall determine:

− Whether an Offence has been committed

− If so, the Grade (see below) of the Offence

− Where a Player has been found guilty of an Offence, the appropriate sanction (in accordance

with the Sentencing Guidelines)

If the Disciplinary Committee does not consider that it can reach a decision on the evidence before it, it may refer

the incident to the Organizers and Officials who were present at the game  for further investigation and clarification.

 

Order of Proceedings:

The Chairman will determine the order of proceedings; however usually:

− The Chairman will read the charge/report to the Disciplinary Committee

− The Player or his representative will admit or deny the Offence (and the Grading of the

Offence) if they are present

− The Match Official in charge of the game may be asked to present the evidence against the player, or the Match Official report shall be used

− The Player or his representative will present the Player’s case if they are present.

− If the Player denies the Offence the Disciplinary Committee will consider whether the Offence was committed and the Grade of any such Offence (the Player and Match Official will retire while this

decision is made) and only if the Disciplinary Committee find that the Player has committed an Offence will it then go on to consider the appropriate sanction

− If the Player admits the Offence or if the Disciplinary Committee decides that an Offence was committed then both the Match Official and the Player will have the opportunity to make submissions

to the Disciplinary Committee in relation to the appropriate Sanction. The Disciplinary Committee will then determine the appropriate sanction in accordance with the Sentencing Guidelines

 

− There will be the use of DVDs, game footage, reports and third-party accounts if deemed necessary.

 

1.3 ADJUDICATIONS

The Disciplinary Committee’s adjudications will:

− Be published in full

− Include all aggravating and/or mitigating factors taken into consideration

− Explain any deviation from the sentencing guidelines

− Give clear and full reasons for the decision

 

2 SENTENCING GUIDELINES

 

2.1 Underlying Principles

− Rugby League is a hard, fast, contact sport played at professional level by athletic players.

− In a sport with high speed collisions there will always be injuries and players take part with this

knowledge.

− Disciplinary system is not intended to sanitize the sport.

− However there is no place in the game for players who jeopardize the safety of others by

Intentional, dangerous or malicious acts.

− The disciplinary system must support and protect match officials

 

2.2 Legal System

− All sentencing should be carried out on the basic tenets of Jamaican Law.

− Everything should be taken into account.

− Each case must be judged on its merits.

− Disciplinary Committee will apply judgment & discretion.

− In determining the appropriate sanction the Disciplinary Committee will take into account all relevant

aggravating and mitigating factors (see below).

 

2.3 AGGRAVATING FACTORS

 

Previous Record

Violence

Retaliation

Injury caused

Incident not part of play

Other aggravating factors

 

2.3.1Previous Record

− Player has record of the same or a similar offence in the past - should result in a higher

penalty than would otherwise be the case.

− Player has a disciplinary record for dissimilar offences – not necessarily taken into account

unless the player’s record is such that it shows a general disregard for the safety and

welfare of other players.

− Players who regularly commit acts of foul play – should receive ever increasing suspensions

which may lead to a period suspension ie a player with a serious record may receive a

substantially longer suspension than a player with no record for an offence of the same

nature.

 

2.3.2 Violence

− No place for acts of intentional violence or thuggery.

− Includes head butting, vicious attacks with fists, intentional high tackles, kicking a prone

opponent, an assault on an opponent from behind, gouging.

− Unprovoked violent assaults punished severely & period suspensions considered.

 

2.3.3 Retaliation

− When retaliation is calculated and intentional it is an aggravating factor.

 

2.3.4 Injury

− If the Misconduct has caused injury to an opponent; this may result in a higher penalty than if

no injury had occurred.

− Panels may consider the length of time an injured opponent is likely to be out of the game

when passing sentence.

 

2.3.5 Incident not part of play

− Where an incident is not part of play ie off the ball or in back play then this may be an

aggravating factor.

 

2.3.6 Other Aggravating Factors

− The Panel shall be entitled to take into account other aggravating factors as they reasonably

think appropriate in the circumstances of an individual case.

 

2.4 MITIGATING FACTORS

Previous Good Record

Provocation

Technique or Fitness in some cases

Genuine Remorse

Other Mitigating Factors

 

NB the fact that no injury was caused is not usually a mitigating factor

2.4.1 Previous Record

− Where a player has a good previous record this may be treated as a mitigating factor.

− Must have been playing the game at professional/amateur level for long enough to have established a

good record eg at least three years.

− Where a player has a previous record but has not committed a similar offence for a period of

at least five years his previous record may be discounted.

 

2.4.2 Provocation

− An immediate reactionary retaliation to foul play by an opponent may be a mitigating plea as it

may be seen as self defence.

 

2.4.3 Technique or Fitness

− Rarely a valid defence at Senior Rugby League.

− A player who does not have the appropriate technique or fitness levels may be a danger to

other players.

− At junior level some consideration may be given to these factors when accompanied by

genuine remorse and intention to resolve the problem.

 

2.4.4 Genuine Remorse

− Genuine remorse for the Offence and formal apologies to his opponent may be mitigating

pleas.

 

2.4.5 Other Mitigating Factors

− The Committee shall be entitled to take into account other mitigating factors as they reasonably

think appropriate in the circumstances of an individual case.

 

2.5 LAWS OF THE GAME

 

The Laws of the Game On Field Misconduct offences are:

 

15.1(a) Trips, kicks or strikes another player

15.1(b) When tackling or attempting to tackle makes contact with the head or neck of an

opponent

15.1(c) Drops knees first on an opponent on the ground

15.1(d) Uses a dangerous throw

15.1(e) Intentionally & continuously breaks the Laws of the Game

15.1(f) Uses offensive or obscene language

15.1(g) Disputes a decision of the Referee or Touch Judges

15.1(h) Re-enters the field of play without the permission of the referee or touch judge

15.1(i) Behaves in any way contrary to the true spirit of the game

15.1(j) Intentional obstruction of an opponent not in possession

 

Breaches of the Operational Rules which take place on field are not included in these Sentencing

Guidelines.

 

 

 

All offences can graded in six grades A – F where Grade A is the lowest level of offence and

Grade F the most serious.

 

The commonest offences are listed in the sentencing guidelines with a description to assist all

those concerned in referring to incidents in a standardized manner. It is accepted that there will

be incidents not covered by the guideline descriptions and each sub section of the laws includes

Other Offences which can be graded from A to F.

 

GRADE NORMAL SUSPENSION                  

                                                        

A

SOS/NFA -1

B

1 – 2

C

2 -3

D

3-5

E

4-8

F

8+ or period suspension

 

Offences

Law

Charge

Recommended Ranges

Guideline Description

15.1(a)

Trips, kicks or strikes another player

 

Trips

1-2

Reaction trip   

 

 

2-4

Intentional trip

 

Kicks

4-6

Intentionally kicks body

 

 

8+

Intentionally kicks head

 

 

2-4

Intentionally stands on

 

 

4-6

Trampling

 

 

4-6

Stamping

 

Strikes

1-2

Recklessly strikes with hand or arm

 

 

2-4

Intentionally strikes with hand or arm

 

 

2-4      

Recklessly strikes with elbow

 

 

8+

Intentionally strikes with elbow

 

 

8+

Strikes with elbow off ball intentional

 

Strikes - knee

1-2

Raising knee in tackle

 

 

4-6

Strikes with knee

 

 

8+

Strikes with knee violent & aggressive

 

 

2-4

Head Butting – makes light contact

 

 

3-5

Head butting – makes full contact

 

 

5-8

Head butting – makes full contact in aggressive violent manner

 

Strikes - head butting

2-4

Head Butting – makes light contact

 

 

3-5

Head butting – makes full contact

 

 

5-8

Head butting – makes full contact in aggressive violent manner

 

Strikes – punching

SOS-1

Reaction to opponent – lashing out

 

 

1-2

Punching – self defence

 

 

1-2

Punching – one on one

 

 

2-4

Punching – sustained, repeated

 

 

5-8

Punching – sustained, repeated, violent & aggressive

 

 

4-6

Running in & punching

 

 

5-8

Running in & punching – opponent off guard

 

Other striking offences

Discretion of Panel

 

15.1(b)

When tackling or attempting to tackle makes contact with head or neck of an opponent

 

Careless

SOS-1

Careless grapple or strangle tackle

 

 

SOS-1

Careless – flat hand off balance

 

 

SOS-1

Careless - Ball carrier dips

 

 

SOS-1

Careless - Stepped and reaching

 

 

SOS-1

Careless – initial contact with ball or chest

 

 

SOS-1

Careless – second tackler in – wrapping tackle up

 

Reckless

2-3

Reckless grapple or strangle tackle

 

 

2-3

Reckless – whole body to go at – tackler in control

 

 

2-3

Reckless – tried to tackle but reckless about outcome

 

Intentional

4-6

Intentional grapple or strangle tackle

 

 

5-8

Intentional – clenched fist – intent to make contact with head

 

 

8+

Intentional – stiff arm tackle – no attempt to tackle legitimately – violent

 

Other Tackling offences

Discretion of Panel

 

15.1(c)

Drops knees on an opponent on the ground

 

Drops knees first

4 - 6

Intentional

15.1(d)

Uses a dangerous throw

 

Dangerous throw

SOS – 1

Other tackler’s actions were part of the problem

 

 

1 – 2

Ball carrier’s actions were part of problem

 

 

2 – 3

Lifting & dropping player

 

 

4 – 6

Throwing player into ground

 

 

8+

 

Spear Tackle – intentionally driving player into ground on head or neck

 

Other Dangerous Throw

Discretion of Panel

 

15.1(e)

Intentionally and continuously breaks the Law of the Game

 

 

Discretion of Panel

 

15.1(f)

Uses of offensive or obscene language

 

 

2 – 4

Foul language

 

 

4 – 6

Foul & abusive language

 

 

4 – 6

Foul language towards match official

 

 

8+

Foul & abusive language towards match official

 

 

8+

Verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, national or ethnic origin – heard by the match officials

 

 

Discretion of Panel

Verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, national or ethnic origin – not heard by the match officials

 

Other offensive or obscene language

Discretion of Panel

 

15.1(g)

Disputes a decision of the Referee or Touch Judges

 

 

1 – 2

Disputes decision

 

 

2 – 4

Disputes using aggressive language or body language

 

 

8+

Disputes using aggressive language & body language

 

Other disputes decision

Discretion of Panel

 

15.1(h)

Re-enters the field of play without the permission of the referee or touch judge

 

 

2 – 4

 

15.1(i)

Behaves in any way contrary to true spirit of the game

 

 

Discretion of Panel

Dangerous Contact (e.g. Chicken Wing, Ninja tackle)

 

 

8+

Intentional gouging

 

 

8+

Intentional biting

 

 

8+

Intentional spitting

 

 

8+

Intentional attack on testicles

 

 

8+

Raking with studs

 

 

8+

Threatening words or actions towards match officials

 

 

8 + to 2 years.

Discretion of Panel

 

 

Sine Die

Physical assault of a match official (e.g. pushing / shoving)

 

 

Sine Die

Violent and aggressive physical assault of match officials (e.g. punching)

 

Other contrary behaviour

Discretion of Panel

 






 

 

 

Definitions of Intentionally (Deliberately), Recklessness and Carelessness

 

Intentionally (Deliberately)

 

A person acts intentionally with respect to a result (for example contact with the head or neck when tackling or attempting to tackle) when: (i) it is his purpose to cause it; or (ii) although it is not his purpose to cause that result, he is aware (or should be aware) that it would occur or almost certainly occur in the ordinary course of events if he were to succeed in his purpose of causing some other result (for example stopping a player). 

 

A person who intends to harm a person and harms another person instead shall be deemed to have to have intended to harm the other person.  An intention need not necessarily be planned before or during a match; an intention may be formed on the spur of the moment, just before (or even during) the contact or other event (for example during a tackle).  

 

Recklessness

 

(a) something is caused recklessly if the person causing the result (for example contact with the head or neck when tackling or attempting to tackle) is, or ought to be, aware of an obvious risk that acting or failing to act in a particular manner will bring about that result but nonetheless acts or fails to act in that manner where a reasonable person would not do so;

(b) a person acts recklessly with respect to a circumstance or as to a possible result of an act, if the person is, or ought to be, aware of an obvious risk that the circumstances exist, or that the result will follow, but nonetheless acts where a reasonable person would not do so.

(c) a person acts recklessly if the person is, or ought to be, aware of an obvious risk of dangers or of possible harmful results (for example contact with the head or neck when tackling or attempting to tackle) in so acting but nonetheless acts where a reasonable person would not do so.

 

In showing that a person has acted recklessly the Compliance Manager need not show that the person intended or wished for a particular result to occur. 

 

A person may become aware or ought to have been aware of an obvious risk just before (or even during) the contact or other event (for example during a tackle).

 

Carelessness

 

A person acts carelessly if his conduct falls below the standard expected of the ordinary reasonable player.  The test is objective, based on the hypothetical player, and involves the person either doing something the reasonable player would not do, or not doing something which the reasonable player would do.  It does not matter that the person was unaware that the result of his act/omission might happen, if the reasonable player would have realised the risk and taken steps to avoid it. 

 

In showing that a person has acted carelessly, the Compliance Manager need not show that the person intended or acted recklessly in relation to the result.

 

1.     Suspensions and Fines

 

Decisions of the Disciplinary Panel will be reached by majority decision. Any player found guilty of a breach of International Rules by a Disciplinary Panel can be suspended and/or fined as the Disciplinary Panel thinks fit. 

 

All suspensions will become effective immediately and will be for a specific number of approved matches unless the Panel decides otherwise and will apply to Domestic and/or International competition.

 

2.     Appeals/Reviews

 

(Extracted from RLJ Constitution)

 

Section B, Rules of the Constitution

 

“24. APPEALS.

 

24.1. The Board of Directors shall appoint a RLJ Discipline Appeals Committee and it shall be responsible for hearing all appeals against the decisions made by the RLJ Disciplinary Committee or decisions made by Organizations in membership of RLJ. No person who was at the original hearing, other than the Secretary or his or her representative, shall be eligible to participate as a member of the Committee.

24.2. Every organization and player wishing to appeal against decisions by the RLJ Disciplinary Committee or other Organizations must do so in writing, to be received by the RLJ Secretary within seven days of the decision being made. The appeal fee of J$5000.00 must accompany appeals applications, which may be returned or forfeit as the Committee so decides. Unedited videotape evidence may be submitted.

24.3. No Appeal shall be heard, unless the appellant has made representation at the original hearing, either personally or by a representative or in writing.

24.4. In instances where a player has received a suspension, there shall be only two grounds for appeal. Namely (a) severity of sentence or (b) the finding of guilt.

24.5. All appeals shall be heard, within fourteen days of the appeal being lodged”.

24.6. At appeal hearings, three members, one who will act as Chair and one who will act, as Secretary shall form a quorum.

24.7. Decisions of the RLJ Appeals Committee are final.” 

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