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Code Of Conduct

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NSWRL Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct (‘Code’) shall commence in operation from 1 November, 2014.

The Code applies to each category of person and entity of the NSWRL. Those persons and entities shall be bound by and shall comply in all respects with the Code. 

The following are the persons and entities of the NSWRL that the Code applies to:   

1.      All Member clubs bound by the rules and regulations of the NSWRL

2.      All other clubs that participate in competitions approved and run by the NSWRL

3.      All club officials and players that are either employed or are a volunteer within (1. and 2. above) 

4.      All Staff of the NSWRL either employed or working in a volunteer capacity with the NSWRL    

5.      All players that are contracted to their club and playing with any of the competitions run by the NSWRL   

6.      All registered and contracted players of the NSWRL participating in teams or competitions conducted by or on behalf of the NSWRL

7.      Any teams that are not a club team (Academies) and all players and staff associated with such team.  

8.      Accredited coaches, assistant coaches, and trainers of teams organised by or behalf of the NSWRL

9.      All match officials including referees and all match officials and other persons appointed to matches by the NSWRL or NRL Referees Unit.  

10.  Registered referees and other officials of the NSWRL

11.  Office bearers or other officials of the NSWRL


The code of conduct may be amended by the NSWRL from time to time in such manner as the NSWRL think fit.    


Notwithstanding anything herein or elsewhere contained, the provisions of this Code are not intended to affect in any way the provisions of the judiciary code of procedure or the operation of the judiciary.

To remove any doubt, the judiciary code of procedure is intended to exclusively govern proceedings against players for misconduct of the nature set forth and described in the judiciary code of procedure.       


In the event of any inconsistency between a provision of this Code and a provision of the NSWRL Operations Manual the NSWRL Code of Conduct shall prevail.       


No club, teams or person bound by this code shall:

1.      Act in a manner inconsistent with;

2.      Act in a manner contrary to;

3.      Act in a manner prejudicial to; or

4.      Act in a manner detrimental to

The best interests, image or welfare of the NSWRL, ARLC, NRL and the competitions, representative teams selected by the NSWRL, the clubs or the game 


No club, teams or person bound by this Code shall engage in any conduct that might impair public confidence in the NSWRL, ARLC, NRL and all competitions run by the NSWRL. This clause also includes all representative teams selected by the NSWRL   


Every club, team and person bound by this Code shall also be bound by the following schedules which have been adopted by the NSWRL:

1.      NRL Anti-Doping rules (as adopted by the NSWRL)

2.      NRL Judiciary code of procedure (as adopted by the NSWRL and operated for the practicality of the NSWRL) 

3.      NSWRL Racial, Religious & Sexual Vilification rules

4.      The NSWRL Operations Manual  

5.      The National Alcohol Code of Conduct    


No club, team or person bound by this rule shall participate or be involved in any way, in gambling in relation to a match (whether, in each case, as to its outcome, its course or otherwise) or the progress of a team in the NRL competition, the National Youth competition the NSW Cup competition, the Ron Massey Cup competition, the Sydney Shield Competition the SG Ball competition the Harold Matthews competition, their respective counterpart competitions in the QRL, or any of either the NRL or NSWRL representative matches or Queensland representative matches.    


No club, team or person bound by this Code shall offer or accept a bribe or be involved in any way in the fixing of a match or spot fixing regardless of whether or not that club, team or person is directly involved in the match. 

In any case where a club, team or person bound by this Code is offered a bribe or an opportunity to fix a match, that club, team or person shall immediately report the making of that offer to the NSWRL Chief Executive Officer.     


All players and officials should be conscious of the responsible use of social media and the ramifications that can arise from inappropriate use of the following social media devices (including but not limited to):   

1.      Instagram

2.      Facebook  

3.      Twitter

4.      Dating apps    

All players and officials should be fully aware that the NSWRL will investigate and take the appropriate action under the Code for any action by a player or official that is deemed unacceptable.  


Every club or team official shall at all times:  

1.      Act honestly, in good faith, and in the best interest of the ARLC, NRL, NSWRL, all the NSWRL Competitions, all the Representative teams and clubs and teams within the NSWRL

2.      Also use due care and diligence in discharging his obligations as a club or team official


Every player and official shall ensure that he is properly attired and, where appropriate, dress in the apparel required by his club or team in all public appearances as a player or official.    


Any player who wishes to transfer from one club to another club shall be required to follow the procedure set out on the NRL Leaguenet online clearance system and must obtain a clearance before he is allowed to play Rugby League with a new club.

A time frame of 10 working days must be allowed for a clearance to proceed through the system and be approved or denied.

A clearance may be withheld for a variety of reasons which are in the discretion of the Chief Executive of the NSWRL.

A clearance must not be refused unless it is covered by any of the above matters above.

In the event of a dispute of a player clearing across State Leagues the dispute would be escalated to the NRL General Manager of Game Development and League Integration or an appointed delegate.

Any clearance impasse within the NSWRL for players between clubs that play in any of the NSWRL competitions or within Junior Leagues under the control of the NSWRL then the player may appeal to the NSWRL Chief Executive Officer who will make a determination on the matter. 

Any club failing to issue a clearance not covered by any of the variety of reasons above or has had the matter dealt with and determined by the NSWRL Chief Executive Officer and has not issued the clearance could be subject to a breach notice being issued.


Every club and every person bound by the Code must do all things necessary to endure that members of the public in attendance at a match are properly behaved at all times.

Each club must take positive steps to control the behaviour of members of the public in attendance at a match including:

  • The engagement of adequate security personnel, including Police if needed 
  • The expulsion of any member of the public who fails to behave in an appropriate manner from membership of the club and/or the revocation of his or her entitlement to attend matches participated in by the club.


A player is not able to play in a competition match with a club in the NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield without a signed contract in a form acceptable to NSWRL with the club he wishes to participate with.  

All clubs are not able to play a player in either the NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup or Sydney Shield competition unless the contract has been lodged with the NSWRL (or the NRL for a player on an NRL contract) and been approved for acceptance      


All players participating in the SG Ball and Harold Matthews competition must have either a playing contract lodged and approved by either the NRL or the NSWRL or a registration form duly completed and lodged.      


All players must make themselves available for selection in any NSWRL representative team that they may be eligible for selection in, and once selected must make themselves available to play in the representative team that they have been selected in.

Players may be excused from the representative team that they have been selected to play in if ruled out by the representative team Doctor or excused by the team management 

All players who refuse to participate in training and or to play in the representative team that they have been selected in maybe subject to receiving a breach notice from the NSWRL.



At any time the Chief Executive Officer of the NSWRL may:

1.      Investigate a player, match official or club official for a breach of a provision of the Code;

2.      Appoint a person or persons to investigate a player, club, team, match official or official for a breach of a provision of this Code;

3.      Form a panel to consider the findings of any investigation and, in turn, receive recommendations from that panel regarding the matter; and

4.      If the Chief Executive Officer, in his absolute discretion, considers, it appropriate, he may act on the recommendations from the panel regarding a player, club, team, match official or club official regarding any suspected breach of a provision of this Code.  

5.      If the Chief Executive Officer, in his absolute discretion considers it appropriate he may refer the matter to the Board of the NSWRL for their determination on the suspected breach.     


Where the breach of a provision of this Code involves a player, club, team or official has occurred, and the conduct constituting that breach is the subject of a police investigation or criminal proceeding, the NSWRL Chief Executive Officer shall not proceed against that player, club, team or official until after the conclusion of that investigation or proceeding, as the case maybe unless the Chief Executive Officer forms the view, in his absolute discretion, that it is appropriate to do so.     


The NSWRL expects that individuals covered by this Code and undertaking activities with the NSWRL shall at all times where there is alcohol usage:

1.      Behave in a dignified and professional manner that promotes and upholds standards of integrity, dignity and professionalism;

2.      Act as role models for their club/team and Rugby League;

3.      Not put themselves, club/team mates nor the general public at risk of serious physical and social harm;

4.      Accept that they are responsible and accountable for the choices they make and the consequences of these choices;

5.      Assist their club/team mates and others covered by the Code of Conduct if they have had too much to drink; and

6.      Take reasonable action to both prevent alcohol problems and address any alcohol-related issues as they emerge.


The Chief Executive Officer and the Board of the NSWRL may issue breach notices for any breaches of the Code and may impose any of the following on players, officials, office bearers, volunteers, clubs or teams.

If a breach notice is issued by the Chief Executive officer or the Board of the NSWRL the breach notice may contain any or all of the following:

1.      Caution.

2.      Fine.

3.      Suspension.  

4.      Suspended sentence.  

5.      Or any other action that may be deemed appropriate for the breach of the Code.   

All breach notices will contain a date for lodgement of a response to the breach notice (and the lodgement of the response must allow at least 7 days from the receiving of the breach notice), once the response to the breach notice has been received and the Chief Executive Officer or the Board of the NSWRL has made a determination of the response the action to be followed will be relayed to the breach holder. 

After receiving the notification of the final findings the breach notice recipient may seek leave to appeal to the Chairman of the NSWRL Judiciary Panel (who must be a person who has served, or is qualified for appointment, as a judge of the Supreme Court or District Court of any State or Territory of Australia or the Federal Court of Australia or the High Court of Australia) 

After the Chairman of the NSWRL Judiciary Panel (as described in the clause above) has made his determination on the appeal and if the appeal is allowed then the Judiciary Chairman shall appoint a three person panel to hear the appeal.  

The panel (three persons) will not include any person that has been involved in any part of the breach notice findings and will not include the Chairman of the Judiciary but the Chairman of the Judiciary will act as the Chairman of the appeals panel.