Wales Rugby League




2017: A complete overview.



The overall aim of this operations manual is to give an overview and insight into the 2017 Wales Open Age League whilst also being recognised as a practical resource. The content of this document however is by no means excessive and exhaustive and acts only as a guide to the operations of both the league and club structure in our region.


Rationale of the 2017 Wales Ope Age League:


  1. Raise Rugby League participation in Wales.


  1. The Wales Rugby League Open Age League will aspire to offer safe, qualified and competitive environments in which all RL participants can grow and develop as individuals based upon ethics of community, RESPECT and enjoyment.


  1. Wales Rugby League and the region will utilise the Open Age League as a sporting vehicle in which to provide players an opportunity to play a higher level of the game and gain national representative honours via the Dragonhearts team.


  1. The Wales Rugby League Open Age League will be recognised as one of the first steps on the Player Performance Pathway by offering fair and nationally recognised talent identification systems that will allow our most talented of performers to progress as far as their ability, commitment and ultimately talent will allow.


Wales Rugby League Open Age League Contacts:

All club contacts can be found on


The Wales Rugby League Development Team

This team of staff will oversee the League. The Wales Rugby League Development Team will regularly engage with all club representatives. The Development Team will aim to manage and constantly improve Open Age Rugby League in Wales. Looking at the following issues:


  • League applications  Media and promotion
  • Fixture generation     Disciplinary procedures
  • League structure       Child welfare
  • RESPECT                     General league management and development


Your other statutory rights as a WRL and RFL member club are not affected.


The Wales Rugby League website will aid in the development of your club, the players, coaches, volunteers and the way in which you communicate with the region. Here you will find information and resources relating to the following headings:


  • Coaching.
  • Match Officials.
  • Contact details.
  • Playing opportunities.
  • Relevant Links.
  • The regional calendar.


WRL Premier Management Committee

WRL Premier League Manager:

Name:             Rob Davies

Title:                Wales Rugby League Development Manager East

Phone:  07964 296496                    



SW Match Official Manager:

Name:             Ian Curzon

Title:                Chairman, WRL Match Officials

Phone:  07720 889684                      



SW Media Manager:

Name:             Ian Lovell

Title:                SW Media Manager  

Phone:  07725870471



SW Fixture Manager:

Name:             Rob Davies

Title:                SW Fixture Manager

Phone:  07964 296496                       



SW Registration Manager:

Name:             Ian Golden

Title:                SW Registration Manager

Phone:  07830109093



Open Age Club Criteria


For an Open Age Club to play in the Premier League season they must:


  • Have all their players registered using the new online system.
  • Have a child welfare officer (CWO) and that person is to attend all appropriate courses.
  • All volunteers involved with children and young adults (including players aged 16-18 years old) within the club must have a current DBS and attend the Safeguarding & Protecting Children Course(SPC).
  • Have a UKCC / RLEF level 1 coach for each team or an individual working towards achieving the level 1 (registered for the next available course).
  • Have at least 1 qualified RL referee per team or an individual working towards achieving RFL / RLEF Officials award.
  • Home match reports and scores must be sent to and  within 24 hours of completing a fixture.
  • The club must have received a recent Community Chest Grant or applied for the grant by the end of the season.
  • All fixtures must be completed and teamsheets collated and sent to the WRL.


All the above criteria will be used in determining a Junior Club’s application for any future league development in 2018.



Open Age League Format 

  • League Points System
  • 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss.
  • Fixtures will be produced but clubs are free to arrange to play these fixtures before this date, but the fixture must be played by that given Sunday.
  • Any rearranged fixture must be reported to or / and 48 hours before the date.
  • Any team cancelling games after a Thursday prior to the fixture will forfeit the points.
  • Clubs must have played a minimum of 5 games to qualify for play-offs.


Game Day Logistics


Age Groups:

  • Open Age (16 years old or above on the date of the game)



  • 40 minutes each way

Ball size:

  • Size 5


Squad playing numbers:

All games will be played under the international 13 A-side laws of the game. Teams may have up to 17 players only named for a match.


The responsibilities of the home club:

  • Your fixtures secretary must contact your opponent by Thursday 8:00pm to provide;
    • Directions to the home ground
    • Times of kick off
    • Any circumstances that may affect the running order of the day. For example, clashes in club colours, parking at the facility etc.
  • You must provide safe and suitable changing areas for all participants.
  • Technical areas must be provided for all players, coaches and managers.
  • All clubs must have a minimum qualified RLEF / UKCC L1 coach per team or be registered for the next available course. RLEF / UKCC L2 is the desired qualification to coach in the Open Age League.
  • Every team must have a qualified 1st aid adult present at every game.


The responsibility of the away club:

  • Your club must operate within the rules of the home club and act accordingly.
  • You must notify the home club of any circumstances that may affect the running order of the day.


Match Officials:

  • Match Officials will be appointed where possible, and emailed to the home team.
  • The home team must confirm their match official on the Thursday prior to the fixture.
  • All clubs are encouraged to recruit/train their own match officials.
  • In the event of NO match official being appointed it will the responsibility of the home team to provide a suitable person to officiate to allow the game to be played.


Team sheet completion and reporting:

  • Both clubs must complete the respective team sheet.
  • The coaches of each team must be responsible for only fielding REGISTERED players.
  • The coaches of each side must sign the team sheet.
  • The team sheet is then given to the referee until the contest has been completed.
  • After the contest has been completed the referee completes all relevant sections and hands the team sheet back to the home side.
  • After both clubs and the referee have checked and signed the form and all the necessary sections completed, the form is then scanned or photographed and emailed to Idris Evans ( within 48 hours of the fixture being complete. It is the responsibility of the home club to ensure this is completed.



In the event of a serious injury the home referee and home club will fill out the ‘Serious injury sustained during play’ section of the allocated team sheet. Along with this the home club will also fill out an ‘RFL serious injury notification form’ following all instructions.


League points:

  • The winning team of each competitive fixture will be awarded 2 league points.
  • In the event of a tie each team will receive 1 competition point.
  • A team cancelling games after a Thursday prior to the fixture will forfeit the points.
  • In the event that team A cannot provide a squad of 13 or more registered players for a fixture where team B can provide 13 or more registered players, the competition points will automatically be awarded to team B. A result of 24-0 will be recorded.
  • The fixture however may continue in the form of an equal sided game. I.e. If team A has only 11 players then the game may be played at 11 a-side with the points automatically being awarded to team B. Team B may have the discretion to ‘loan’ players to team A in order to promote a 13 a-side game, the points for that contest however will still be awarded to team B.



The results of each fixture must be reported to the SW Media Manager (Ian Lovell) by email before the weekend is over. This is to ensure all league tables and results can be processed as early as possible to aid with club’s preparations for the following week’s fixtures.



Mobile: 07725870471



Under the unfortunate circumstances that a club cannot compete in a registered fixture, they must adhere to the following procedure:


  • Alert the opposing team within sufficient time to enable
    • This fixture to be re-arranged on a future date
    • The opposing club having a suitable amount of time to arrange a fixture with another club
  • If no fixture can be re-arranged, then the side who originally cancelled the fixture will lose the competition points. A result of 24-0 being recorded against the offending club.
  • A team that cancels may incur costs, i.e. the cost of food etc.
  • Any issues surrounding cancellations that can’t be agreed between the 2 teams will be decided by the Development Team.


Player Registration

Registering players: The procedure for registering players will be brand new for 2017, an exciting new online system. The process can be completed via the following procedure:

  • The club will receive an email asking them to register a club.
  • Once te club complete this, WRL will approve the club application, please contact Idris Evans to approve once registered.
  • Clubs will them create different teams that fall under their club, e.g. under 13s, 15s, 17s and open age.
  • WRL will then approve these teams, please contact Idris Evans to approve once registered.
  • The club will then send the link to the players for them to complete the online registration process.
  • For junior players, a parent email address is also required for online verification and consent to play.  This is completed as part of the online application.
  • All players will need to submit a passport style photograph as part of the registration process, this can be done as a JPEG file.  PLEASE NOTE, candid shots are not acceptable, photos must be head shots only and must be recognisable of that individual.



  • Junior players will also need to submit a photograph of proof of age (birth certificate, passport), again in the form of a JPEG file.
  • Please note, an email address can only be used to register ONE player.  If registering more than one player, different email addresses will be required.
  • For parental consent, the same email can be used more than once.          


Remember: No registration = no play!


Safeguarding and Child Protection

The welfare of children within Rugby League is paramount. WRL and the RFL are committed to ensuring the correct policies are adhered to within the game. The WRL Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy (published in 2016 and available to download at contains the principles which must be adhered to by all clubs in the game to ensure that young people in the game can be healthy and happy, and allow them to enjoy and develop in the game of Rugby League.

Safety of players as well as coaches is paramount, in order to ensure safety of coaches, Wales Rugby League suggest a coaching ratio of 1:16 coach to player ratio with a minimum of two coaches in attendance at any time.


There are a number of ways in which the Wales Rugby League Open Age League will ensure that all our participants will be able to perform in a safe and qualified environment. The following will give an overview into the ways in which Wales RL adheres to the codes of conduct of the RFL:


Disclosure & Barring Service(DBS) check:

DBS checks assist the RFL to assess who may be unsuitable to work with children within Rugby League by looking at previous criminal convictions. CRB checking plays a significant role in contributing to the safe and effective recruitment of volunteers and also plays an important role in Safeguarding children. The check is completed by the applicant, and then gives them the opportunity to declare any convictions they may have had. It is therefore essential that clubs store this information sensitively before sending on to the RFL. Self Declarations can be used in conjunction with CRB checks - they are not an alternative.


NB: All volunteers and coaches within the OPEN AGE LEAGUE must apply for clearance and undertake a DBS check prior to their club involvement.


To obtain DBS Application details please email


Club Welfare Officers (CWO):

The CWO of each club is principally responsible for the implementation and adherence to the RFL’s Child Protection Policy and its resulting guidelines by the club and its member. Key responsibilities include:

  • To act as a source of advice and support on child protection issues.
  • To support the process of player registration.
  • To support the up skilling of those in contact with children.
  • To be the first point of contact for anyone at the club who has a concern about a child and about poor practice abuse.


Applying to be a CWO:

The CWO application form can be found at the end of this manual. The application forms need to be completed and returned to Rugby League Services:

A potential CWO however, cannot apply without first having a DBS check.




Further training to ensure Child Protection:


Wales Rugby League aims to ensure that all relevant individuals within the game, including, but not limited to, Coaches, Players, Match Officials and Club Welfare Officers, have confidence in their ability to protect and safeguard the welfare of every child and young person within Rugby League. There is also a need to assist adults within the game to recognise poor practice or intent and know how to report their concerns. Whilst also creating a generation of players who are confident to report poor practice or intent.


The League also aims to empower Rugby League Clubs to be competent and confident that they are contributing positively to children’s lives and achieve a greater level of awareness of Safeguarding and Protecting Children issues throughout the game. To promote these aims there are several courses that all members a Junior League club may enroll upon:

Safeguarding & Protecting Children Courses (Level 1): It is vitally important that individuals at clubs have the necessary skills, confidence and knowledge to enable them to feel confident to safeguard and protect children under their supervision. In order to facilitate this, the RFL have organised some Safeguarding and Protecting Children courses at clubs throughout the country. This course is recommended for all involved with coaching children and is a foundation course for CWOs.

The RFL organise some courses. These are publicised by email distribution and are displayed on the RFL Website. For further information or to book a place contact  

Time to Listen (Level 2): This is a course primarily for Club Welfare Officers and goes into more detail regarding policies and procedures than the SPC course. Candidates must have completed SPC prior to attending TTL.

Club Education: You may wish to deliver some education within your club to coaches, volunteers and parents. Wales Rugby League can support your club by providing resources. Please visit the Downloads section at 


Misconduct, penalties and sanctions


The player:

In line with the RFL’s laws of the game, a player is guilty of misconduct if he / she:


(a)   trips, kicks or strikes another player.

(b)   when effecting or attempting to effect a tackle

makes contact with the head or neck of an

opponent intentionally, recklessly or carelessly.

(c)    drops knees first on to an opponent who is on the


(d)   uses any dangerous throw when effecting a


(e)   deliberately and continuously breaks the Laws of

the Game.

(f)     uses offensive or obscene language.

(g)   disputes a decision of the Referee or Touch


(h)   re-enters the field of play without the permission

of the Referee or a Touch Judge having

previously temporarily retired from the game.

(i)     behaves in any way contrary to the true spirit of

the game.

(j)     deliberately obstructs an opponent who is not in possession.


Codes of conduct for all other active members of the game:

All clubs are responsible for the conduct of their members. This includes players, parents / carers of players, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators. The code of conduct for your club’s members can be found on the Sanctions Page of the RESPECT brochure.


Penalty Guidelines:

If in the event of a complaint being lodged against an offending player / club member and or club by a given member of the rugby league community [i.e. Match Official, Coach, opposing player, spectator etc.] their complaint will be directed to Idris Evans. In line with the RFL’s disciplinary procedure a disciplinary player committee will be formed composing of:


  • The entire South Wales Management Team (unless there is a conflict of interest for an individual member of the group)
  • A member from the Wales Rugby League Match Officials Society.









Grievance, Discipline and Appeals within the Sport


Wales Rugby League wish to ensure that all players, parents, spectators, match officials and club officials enjoy the game.


Should any individual have a grievance relation to the sport, an individual or club, the first point of contact will be Idris Evans (  The grievance will then be managed by WRL and the South Wales Management Board in order to investigate the grievance, discipline the individual / club and ensure feedback is received by the complainant.


The Process:


  1. The party to which the grievance was related will be contacted by Wales Rugby League
  2. An investigation will follow by the South Wales Management Board (SWMB)
  3. A decision will be made as to the seriousness of the grievance and length of sanction
  4. The individual / club will be contacted in order to plead guilty or not guilty
  5. The plea:
  6. If guilty, the SWMB will sanction accordingly (move to point 6)
  7. If not guilty, a face to face hearing will be organised within 10 days in order for the circumstances / incident to be explained
  8. The hearing will be conducted and an opportunity for the individual to plead their case to the SWMB
  9. The SWMB will decide upon the information given and sanction if appropriate or clear the individual / club if not found guilty (move to point 6)
  10. Feedback will be provided to the complainant following the decision.





In line with the RFL’s RESPECT campaign, Wales Rugby League reserves the right to impose penalties on those individuals and or clubs who are deemed to deliberately contravene the sanctions outlined in the RESPECT brochure.




The RFL RESPECT Campaign is recognised nationally as a ‘Code’ for our sport. The chief aim revolves around maintaining and enhancing the environment in which the game is played at all levels. The strategies objectives are geared towards the safeguarding of our Match Officials, Players, Coaches and Volunteers and include: No touchline abuse at your club.

  • Improve recruitment and retention of participants.
  • Promote RL’s values.
  • Ensure that everyone enjoys their Rugby League experience at your club.
  • Ensures that your club has a good reputation.

The RESPECT Campaign also encourages clubs to remember to be:

Responsible Encouraging Sporting Positive Enjoyable Considerate Tolerant.

So what does the RESPECT mean?

  • To never use unsporting language, question match official’s decisions or promote violent or illegal acts.
  • Encourage all players, coaches and M.O’s to enjoy their game.
  • Support all players, coaches and the officials. They are here for fun TOO!
  • Take pride in the reputation of your club and our game.

What can your club do?

  • Make sure that you have read and understood the Code of Conduct.
  • Make sure that you encourage players, coaches and officials to abide by the Code of Conduct.
  • Challenge others who break the Code of Conduct.
  • Report incidents to the Game Day Manager and the South Wales Management Board.
  • Always show true RESPECT.
  • Most importantly: be responsible for your own behaviour.