Rugby League regulations for 2019 - 20 | Published 1 September

RUL i The BUCS Rugby League Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the RFL Laws of the Game.

RUL ii In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

RUL iii In the event that these regulations contradict those of the RFL Laws of the Game, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.


RUL 1 There shall be a Team Championships for Men. The programme shall include leagues and knockout competitions as per BUCS general regulations, Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’) and Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’).

RUL 1.1 BUCS and the RFL reserve the right to decide on the final structures of the Premier Tier leagues and associated playoff format/fixtures based on the geographical location and suitability of those teams eligible to compete at that level.

RUL 1.2 All BUCS leagues sit within Tier 5 of the RFL competition structure.

RUL 2 Each institution/Playing Entity participating in BUCS Rugby League agrees to observe the Community Game Operational Rules which includes the RFL’s Anti-Doping Rules, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Rules, Safeguarding Policy, Diversity and Anti-Racism Policies, Respect Policy and any other rules and policies that may from time to time be adopted by the RFL through the RFL Board and shall ensure that each of their members, employees, officials, volunteers, spectators and similar shall observe such rules and policies and shall make it a condition of employment or engagement or of participation in any rugby league competition that each such members, employees, officials, volunteers, spectators or similar shall observe such rules and policies.

RUL 3 Membership, affiliations, player registrations and personnel

RUL 3.1 All institutions/Playing Entities must be an associated member of the RFL. Any institution/Playing Entity which applies for membership to participate in the BUCS Rugby League Championships must follow the BUCS New Member Institution Guidelines. The RFL reserve the right upon written request to review an application submitted for special case participation.

RUL 3.2 All teams must affiliate to the RFL as per the requirements of the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document by the deadline stated in the BUCS Sport Specific Document. Failure to do so will lead to sanctions as outlined in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document and possibly further disciplinary action.

RUL 3.3 All players must be registered with the RFL prior to playing in any BUCS Rugby League fixture, as per the requirements of the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document. Failure to do so will lead to sanctions as outlined in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document and possibly further disciplinary action.

RUL 3.3.1 Teams may register new players on the actual match day provided that the registration form is duly completed in accordance with standardised regulations and is initialled by the appointed Match Official and together with post match documentation released immediately after the match to the RFL Competitions Officer.

RUL 3.4 At the start of each season teams must register the following personnel with the RFL Competitions Officer (competitions@rfl.uk.com).

RUL 3.4.1 Essential:

  • Central point of contact
  • Designated Match day contact
  • Committee Details
  • Head Coach (RFL UKCC Level 2 or the Teaching Equivalent)

RUL 3.4.2 Recommended:

  • Assistant Coach (RFL UKCC Level 2 or the Teaching Equivalent)
  • Accredited first aider
  • RFL Accredited Touchline Manager

RUL 4 Fixture Administration

RUL 4.1 All matches shall, unless there is mutual agreement between competing teams to the contrary, be organised and staged on Wednesday afternoons with a kick-off time scheduled for 14.00.

RUL 4.2 Any amendments to the originally scheduled fixtures must be reported immediately to the RFL Competitions Officer by the home team. Fixture amendments must be agreed in accordance with BUCS general regulations.

RUL 4.3 Any team desiring to arrange a friendly must seek permission from the RFL Competitions Officer. No friendly fixtures shall be arranged on a league fixture date without prior approval of the RFL Competition Officer.

RUL 5 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUL 5.1 It is the responsibility of the home team the Monday prior to a Wednesday fixture, to liaise with both its opponents and Match Official regarding team colours, kick-off times and ground directions. In the event of the Match Official not receiving communication the home team will be deemed to have forfeited the match.

RUL 5.2 The home team is responsible for ensuring payment is made directly to the Match Official within 30 minutes of the final whistle being blown.

RUL 5.3 Unqualified Touch Judges are only to indicate touch/touch in goal, and kicks at goal from penalties/conversion attempts.

RUL 5.4 Unqualified Touch Judges cannot indicate knock-ons and forward passes; have no jurisdiction over foul play; cannot enter the field of play, other than to judge goal kicks; are at all times subject to the authority of the referee who may overrule and may also dispense with their services if he/she considers they are acting in a partisan manner.

RUL 5.5 If a club provides a qualified Touch Judge, bearing accreditation, that Touch Judge has full Touch Judge powers and responsibility, i.e. they will be used as a qualified official. This applies even if there is only one qualified Touch Judge present.

RUL 6 Match day operations

RUL 6.1 Each team is responsible for the behaviour of its players, committee and spectators. Notices should be displayed warning everyone regarding the use of foul and abusive language and/or abusive behaviour. The warning notices should indicate that fines will be imposed.

RUL 6.2 Each team should appoint a Touchline/Match Day Manager whose responsibility lies in the control and monitoring of spectators for the smooth running of the day and to ensure that Match Officials are escorted to and from their dressing rooms.

RUL 7 Match balls In compliance with the RFL Laws of the Game, size 5 balls must be used in all matches and shall be submitted to and approved by the Match Official before the commencement of the match.

RUL 8 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUL 8.1 Ties in knockout competition matches The “Golden Point” ruling will come into play, and so the first team to score points of any kind will be declared the winners. Teams are to toss a coin at the start of the “Golden Point” extra time period to determine who kicks-off and who receives.

RUL 9 RFL Team sheets

RUL 9.1 Official RFL team sheets must be completed correctly before the commencement of matches and shall be signed by a recognised official from each team and the Match Official.

RUL 9.2 Completed team sheets should include the full forename and surname (no initials) in capital letters, of all participants and must be sent by the Match Official to the RFL Competitions Officer.

RUL 9.3 It is the responsibility of the Match Official to ensure that the completed team sheet is submitted to the RFL Competitions Officer within 24 hours following the completion of the game.

RUL 10 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be nine.

RUL 11 Replacements In all Premier Tier/Championship fixtures the amount of replacements per team is four. In all Tier 1 and below league fixtures, Trophy and Conference Cup knockout competition fixtures, teams may use as many substitutes as they wish providing both teams are in agreement 24 hours in advance. If teams are in dispute, then they should revert to four substitutes. All substitutes are rolling, with an unlimited number of interchanges.

RUL 12 Reporting results to the RFL

RUL 12.1 The home team, in consultation with the Match Official and designated officer from the opposition, must agree the result immediately on completion of the game and report it to the RFL Competitions Officer no later than 10:00 on the first working day following the fixture.

RUL 12.2 All postponements must be notified to the RFL Competitions Officer.

RUL 13 Discipline, suspensions and fines

RUL 13.1 In addition to the BUCS disciplinary regulations and processes the RFL is responsible for all on-field disciplinary issues and reserves the right to enforce sanctions in line with the RFL Sanctioning Guidelines.

RUL 13.2 Disciplinary process

RUL 13.2.1 A RFL disciplinary panel is in place to deal with all discipline matters arising. The disciplinary panel shall have the full power to expel, suspend and/or fine any team, player, official or other person found guilty of misconduct and/or breach of the rules and to order them to meet any costs incurred.

RUL 13.2.2 A written report of a Match Official on the misconduct of any team, player or official must be sent via email to the RFL Competitions Officer with a copy to the offending team for receipt inside three days from the conclusion of the game – intervening Bank Holidays excluded.

RUL 13.2.3 Reports of brawling, defined as three or more players involved, should via email be sent by the Match Official, for receipt within three days of a match’s conclusion, to the RFL Competitions Officer. Separate copies of the report must be lodged by the Match Official with the teams concerned.

RUL 13.2.4 Any team which does not receive from the Match Official within three days a report outlining a dismissal or brawl having occurred should contact the RFL Competitions Officer immediately. The failure of a team to receive a written report will not prevent action being dealt by the relevant discipline committee.

RUL 13.2.5 A reported team, player, official or any other person may, to defend an allegation of misconduct, send a letter for receipt by the RFL Competitions Officer within 10 days of the date of the match. The team or such persons may in their own defence request a personal appearance and/or bring witnesses to the hearing, provided that they notify the RFL Competitions Officer within 10 days of the alleged offence and send with it a deposit of £20.00 payable to the “RFL” The deposit shall be refunded at the hearing, provided that the appellant or their designated representative attends in person.

RUL 13.2.6 Video evidence shall be an accepted method through which to defend the alleged actions that have been reported to the committee by a Match Official. Video evidence must be submitted within 10 days of the match. These must be unedited and show the game from start to finish.

RUL 13.2.7 Team secretaries or their deputies, pursuant to the hearing having not received a verdict after five days, should contact the RFL Competitions Officer regarding the result.

RUL 13.2.8 Should a case of alleged assault by a player, team official or spectator be lodged it will be reported to the RFL Competitions Officer by a Match Official. The Match Official will then be instructed to be available to the disciplinary committee, for the purposes of interview, due notice of which shall be given in writing. A Match Official shall in such circumstances be entitled to claim reasonable travel expenses.

RUL 13.2.9 A player’s suspension shall begin on the first Wednesday following communication of the decision by the discipline panel unless it is a six match ban in which case the suspension becomes operational with immediate effect.

RUL 13.2.10 All RFL organised competition games, provided that they were arranged prior to the player’s offence may be counted towards his list of suspended games.

RUL 13.2.11 A suspended player is not permitted to play in any other game of rugby league until his suspension is served. Any player or team violating this rule will be fined not less than £100 and the offending player shall be suspended for a further six matches. In the event of a game having being won by a team fielding a player under suspension then the competition points gained shall be forfeited automatically. The Management Group, should it deem appropriate, reserves the right to apply other sanctions which may include a team’s suspension or expulsion from the competition.

RUL 13.2.12 If a player has been deemed ineligible to play in any RFL competitions by the National Governing Body, this would include BUCS competitions.

RUL 13.2.13 All fines, payable to the RFL must be settled within 28 days and must be forwarded to the RFL Competitions Officer. Failure to meet this obligation shall result in the fine being doubled automatically. If a further seven days elapse without receipt of payment then the team’s fixtures will be suspended.

RUL 13.3 Appeals

RUL 13.3.1 All appeals against disciplinary sanctions imposed by the UCRL are to be dealt with by an independent RFL appointed panel.

RUL 13.3.2 Teams who have the right to appeal may do so within 14 days of a decision being made. A £40 fee, payable to the “RFL”, should be submitted together with an accompanying letter outlining the reason why the appeal is sought. This must be forwarded to the RFL Competitions Officer.

RUL 13.3.3 An appeal by a team may be based solely on the following grounds: a) the finding of guilt, or b) the severity of sentence imposed.

RUL 13.3.4 No member of the Management Group actively involved in a decision taken at the initial hearing other than the RFL Competitions Officer, who has no voting rights, shall be permitted to adjudicate on matters which will be the subject of appeal.

RUL 13.3.5 Adjudication by the Appeals Panel precludes the right of individual players or their teams towards seeking a further representation.
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