The RFL Community Board (including BARLA) recently approved a game wide set of draft Operational Rules to service the whole of the Community Game.
The Board unanimously approved a consultation period and wants all Leagues to approve the adoption of these Rules so that they can come into force in March 2014 for “summer” based leagues and September 2014 for “winter” based leagues.
The background to the creation of these Rules comes from the Coroner’s decision in the unfortunate case of Christopher James Brown deceased in May 2010. In that case the Coroner was highly critical of the fact that there did not appear to be a clear single set of rules that dealt with minimum standards of care, roles and responsibilities and operational matters within the Community Game.
As a result of that finding, the RFL through the Community Board (and including BARLA) concluded that it was not only the right thing to do but that it was imperative to protect Community Game players that one set of rules governing all operational matters setting out roles, responsibilities and minimum standards of levels of care was required. The Board appointed a group of people with skills and experience from across the Community Game to produce the Rules and it is these Rules that form the consultation copy sent out.
A formal consultation period will now run from the June 16 until 5pm on the September 16 2013. The purpose of the consultation is to ensure:
- Each community/amateur league understands the role and purpose of the rules and why they are needed
- Determine if any alterations are needed to be made to the operational rules to meet the requirements of the league, and;
- Obtain the in principle approval of the league to the operational rules.
Assuming that there is general agreement across the leagues to the Operational Rules then the Community Board at its October 16 2013 meeting will approve the one set of Operational Rules for the Community Game as a whole and the rules will take effect from March 2014 for all community and amateur leagues.
These Operational Rules are designed to clarify the wider issues of the Community Game and it is envisaged that each Competition will have its own specific Competition Rules that sit underneath the Operational Rules in order to allow Competitions to run as normal and maintain their integrity.