Section C1: Players
The purpose of these rules shall be:
(a) To ensure the welfare and proper treatment of Players within the appropriate boundaries of applicable laws;
(b) To ensure the integrity and fairness of competitions;
(c)To encourage Clubs to develop, train and educate young Players without unreasonably restraining Players from moving freely between Clubs;
(d) To ensure that Players have security of contract and that Clubs have security of squad available to them to ensure that the competitions can take place in an orderly manner.
These regulations are to be interpreted and applied by reference to and in a manner that advances their purpose as set out above and when an issue arises that is not expressly provided for in these Operational Rules the interpretation and application shall be consistent with the purpose of these Rules.
For the purposes of these Rules the RFL Regional Academies are each considered to be a Club and where a Player is registered to an entity which is not a Club that entity shall be bound by these rules and any other applicable rules as if it were a Club.
REGISTER, REGISTRATION & CONTRACT TYPES
REGISTER OF PLAYERS
The League shall maintain a register of Players and Free Agents ("the Register") and shall designate whether the Players are amateurs or professionals and if the latter whether they are Contract, Conditional Contract or Contract Expired Players (and, where applicable, Dual Registered). The League shall divide the Register into sub-sections which will represent each Club's list of registered Players ("Club Registers") and Free Agents.
PLAYER TO BE REGISTERED WITH ONE CLUB
No Player shall be entitled to be registered with more than one Club or a rugby league club which is affiliated to a member of the RLIF save: (i) in the case of a Player subject to a Dual Registration in accordance with these Operational Rules; or (ii) a Scholarship player or a Terms and Conditions Player who may be registered with a Club and his community club; and (iii) in such circumstances as the Board may direct from time to time.
THIRD PARTY INTERESTS
No Player may enter into an agreement with another party whereby that Player makes or receives a payment to or from, assigns any rights to, or incurs any liability in relation to or otherwise deals with that other party as a result of, or in connection with the proposed or actual registration (whether permanent or temporary), transfer of registration or employment of that Player save for payments permitted under the Operational Rules.
A professional Player is a Player who has reached the appropriate age and who has agreed with a Club to receive monies for playing (other than merely in relation to reasonable travelling and out of pocket expenses). A Professional Player may be a Contract Player (and may be Dual Registered), a Conditional Contract Player or a Contract Expired Player. Players and Clubs shall abide by the Rules for registering Players as set out below.
(a) Contract Player
A Contract Player is a Player who has entered into a Full-time Contract or Part-time Contract with a Club for a specific period.
(b) Conditional Contract Player
A Conditional Contract Player is a Player whose contract with a Club has expired and who has been offered but not accepted a new contract with that Club. Such a Player may agree with the Club to sign a Conditional Contract. Such a contract must be in writing in the form from time to time prescribed by the Board and shall state the terms thereof and all financial benefits that the Player may receive and must be for a period of no less than one month and must not continue beyond 30 November in the year in which it was signed but can be renewed by mutual consent.
During the period of the Conditional Contract, or the renewal thereof, the Player may sign a contract with any other Club in the following circumstances:
by giving the Club with whom he has a Conditional Contract seven days prior written notice before he may be transferred to a new Club, (in which case, compensation may be determined as set out in Operational Rule Section (C1:3:12 to C1:3:22) below if he has not reached or passed his Compensation Expiry Date); or
by agreement between the Player and the Club concerned; or
if the Clubs agree, for a fee (in accordance with the Negotiated Transfer Operational Rules below).
(c) Contract Expired Player
A Contract Expired Player is a Player whose contract with the Club with whom he is registered has expired and who has been offered but has not accepted or signed a new contract with the Club (in accordance with the Compensation System set out below). Such a Player is not entitled to play for the Club with whom he is registered unless he signs a Conditional Contract in which case this must be recorded and notified to the RFL immediately by the Club and the Player completing and submitting the relevant form. Contract Expired Player is free to sign a contract with another Club, in which case compensation shall be paid in accordance with these Operational Rules unless the Player’s Compensation Expiry Date has passed.
PRESCRIBED CONTRACT / TERMINATION
A Full-time Contract shall mean a full-time contract between a Club and a Player in the form from time to time prescribed by the Board.
A Part-time Contract shall mean a part-time contract between a Club and a Player in the form from time to time prescribed by the Board.
C1:1:6 Such Contracts whether full or part time shall record all financial benefits or benefits in kind that the Player may receive including but not limited to image rights agreements whether or not the Player is a beneficiary of such image rights agreements and must be in the form of the RFL's Standard Player Agreement as from time to time specified by the Board. All variations to the contract made during the term must be lodged with the RFL within seven days of the agreement.
C1:1:7 Players’ agreements may be terminated by Club or Player in accordance with the procedures for termination as set out in the Standard Player’s Agreement from time to time and there shall be such rights of appeal as set out in the Standard Player’s Agreement.
Where these Operational Rules require that a prescribed form of contract is to be used then that standard form shall be utilised without deletion or amendment and the only permissible additions thereto shall be one or more clauses published by the Board in the Supplemental Clause Bank from time to time.
C1:1:9 Other than clauses from the Supplemental Clause Bank, no additional clauses may be inserted into a Player’s Full-time or Part-time Contract and no additional agreements may be entered into between a Club and a Player (or any Relative or other associated party of a Player or any Related Party of a Club) with the intention of amending the terms of a Full-time or Part-time Contract or the rights of a Player under a Full-time or Part-time Contract (including the salary payable) or which ultimately have the same effect on the Player.
C1:1:10 Whilst a Club is in discussions regarding a Player entering into a Full-time or Part-time Contract, the Club shall not either directly or indirectly approach or contact the Player (or any Relative or associated party of that Player) regarding the Player or a Relative or associated party entering into any other contract or giving any other commitment to the Club or any Related Party or any charitable foundation associated with the Club.
C1:1:11 Unless a contract with a Part time Player contains guaranteed payments as set out in the table below and whose figures correlate to the compensation figures in C1:3:13(c) then:
- in relation to contracts entered into between 1 December and 31 July, the termination date shall be the immediately following 30 November; and
- in relation to contracts entered into between 1 August and 30 November, the termination date shall be the end of the following Season.
|Player Category||Guaranteed Payment for C1:1:11|
|Super League Player||£3000 p.a.|
|Championship/League 1 Player 18 and over||£2000 p.a.|
|Championship/League 1 Player 18 and under||£1500 p.a.|
C1:1:12 The Contract must contain the Player’s home address and Players are responsible for notifying the Club of any changes immediately and the Club is responsible for informing the RFL of the change immediately.
SUBMISSION OF REGISTRATION DOCUMENTATION AND CONTRACT
A Player who is not currently on a Club's Register shall be registered by the Club and the Player completing in full and submitting to the RFL the official registration form (as prescribed by the Board from time to time) and by the RFL providing an acknowledgement of registration.
C1:1:14 The registration form must be accompanied by such other supporting documents as the Board may require from time to time which in cases of first registration may include the Player's birth certificate, details of the transfer fee (if appropriate), copy of passport or other documents as required under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, and clearance from an RLIF or RLEF member (if appropriate), compensation payment (if appropriate) and in the case of Professional Players, by a Standard Players Contract signed by both Club and Player.
C1:1:15 Within 5 days of signature each registration form (together with all supporting document) and each contract entered into with a Player must be submitted to the RFL.
PLAYERS TO BE REGISTERED TO PLAY OR TRAIN
A Club shall not allow a Player to take part in any Club training or conditioning programme or to play for it in a Match, unless: (a) that Player is on its Club Register or unless the Club is party to a Dual Registration Agreement with the Club with whom the Player is registered and (b) all other applicable tests including, but limited to, any baseline test has been completed. Clubs may apply to the RFL for permission for a Player to take part in Club training or conditioning prior to registration, which may be granted on the terms and conditions set out by the RFL.
EXPIRY DATE OF CONTRACTS
All contracts with Players (and any extensions thereof) shall expire at the end of the contract period which (except in the cases of Conditional Contracts) and subject to Operational Rule C1:1:11(b) above shall be 30 November in any given year.
PAYMENT OR BENEFITS IN KIND TO BE RECORDED IN CONTRACT
No Club or Club Official(s) or any Related Party shall loan money or goods or make any payment or provide any benefit in kind to a Player unless they are recorded in the Player's contract. Any breach of this Operational Rule shall be deemed an unlawful payment by the Club (and, if applicable, the Club Official) and shall be treated as Misconduct and may also be a breach of Salary Cap Regulations.
AMATEUR PLAYERS – TRIALIST AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS
For the purposes of these Rules only Players on Trialist registrations or Terms and Conditions registrations are considered Amateur Players.
C1:1:20 A Trialist is a Player who has registered on a temporary basis with a Club on the appropriate paperwork under the conditions of the “Trialists Code of Conduct”. U16 Players may not be registered as Trialists.
C1:1:21 Save as otherwise provided in these Operational Rules, a trial may not exceed 1 calendar month (and a maximum of 4 Matches).
C1:1:22 If a Player on a Trialist registration is injured during the Trial period then the number of scheduled trial games missed in the injured period may be added to the trial period. In such situation the Club shall ensure that a new Trialist form is completed and submitted to the RFL (and must also send a copy to the Player’s community club secretary within 24 hours of the form being completed).
C1:1:23 A Terms and Conditions Player is a Player who has registered to play for a Championship Team in such form and subject to such rules as may be specified by the RFL from time to time which include:
- A Terms and Conditions Player shall only play in the Reserve Competition and not for the avoidance of doubt the first team.
- A Club shall have a maximum of 6 Terms and Conditions Players registered with it any time.
- A Terms and Conditions Player may only be registered with a Club once in any Season. .
- A Terms and Conditions registration may be rescinded at any time by the Club or Player.
- Players still in statutory education may not register as Terms and Conditions Players.
- All Players registered as Terms and Condition Players may also be registered concurrently with a Community Club and be released to play for his Community Club when not required by his professional Club.
TRIALIST – PAYMENT OF EXPENSES
A Trialist Player may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses actually incurred when travelling to and from Matches and training (only) but is entitled to benefit from the Club’s Medical Insurance. The Player shall give the Club a written receipt setting out details of expenses claimed and paid and such receipts shall be retained by the Club and if requested shall be produced to the appropriate RFL official.
A Trialist Player who is injured whilst playing in any RFL competition may be reimbursed the costs of medical attention by his Club and with the permission of the Board such Player may receive the proceeds of a collection or special match arranged by his Club on his behalf.
REVERSION TO COMMUNITY AMATEUR STATUS
The RFL may at its discretion, on receipt of a written request by both Club and Player, permit a Professional Player to revert to the status of a Community Amateur Player provided that (if the Player has a contract with a Club) both Club and Player have agreed to cancel that contract and the Player has not received and does not thereafter receive any payment of whatsoever nature or any other form of consideration from the Club for his services in relation to the period after his change of status (whether such payment arose as a result of his contract or otherwise).
A free agent is a Player whose name has been removed from those sub sections of the Register which represent each Club’s list of Registered Players and whose name has been placed on the sub section of the Register designated for Free Agents. A Free Agent may seek registration with any Club of his choice without compensation being due to his former Club.
REGISTRATION RESTRICTIONS AND DEADLINES & TRANSFER OF PLAYERS
BOARD ENTITLED TO REFUSE OR CANCEL REGISTRATIONS
The purpose of this Rule C1:2:1 is to ensure as far as possible the long-term financial survival of rugby league Clubs and adherence to the Salary Cap rules and to protect the integrity of the competitions and prevent the Game being brought into disrepute.
The Board on behalf of the RFL shall be entitled to refuse registration of a Player or refuse to accept a Contract (and for the purpose of this clauses “Contract” shall include any Contract renewal, variation or extension) or may impose such terms and conditions as it considers appropriate on a registration in any of the following circumstances:
- the Board reasonably believes that the Club concerned owes money to the RFL or a Member or other Club which has not been duly paid; or
- the Board reasonably believes that to accept the registration or Contract may bring the Game into disrepute or may adversely affect the integrity of any competition;
- In exercising its rights under this paragraph (b) the Board shall consider such factors as it considers appropriate which, where relevant, may include (but not be limited to): (a) the severity of any underlying incident(s) / convictions; (b) action taken against any other players who have been involved in similar incident(s) / have similar convictions; (c) any steps taken by the Player to mitigate the underlying incident; (d) any management plan proposed by the Club; (e) the interests of the RFL (including its reputation and need to promote the Game); (f) the interests of other Clubs; (g) the integrity of the RFL’s competitions; (g) the interests of the Club’s Officials, other Players, supporters, shareholders and sponsors.
- the Board reasonably believes that to accept the registration or Contract may adversely affect the ability of the Club concerned to remain within the relevant Salary Cap; or
- the Board reasonably believes that to accept the registration or Contract may adversely affect the solvency of the Club; or
- a Super League or Championship Club fails to provide information to allow the Head of Salary Cap and Registrations (HSCR) to calculate a Salary Cap Value (SCV) or where such SCV is such that the HSCR is not satisfied that the Club can register the Player (or Player’s contract) without exceeding the Finite Cap; or
- the Board reasonably believes that the Club concerned has failed to submit the most recent certification in relation to liabilities to HMRC in accordance with A3:1 of these Rules or the Board reasonably believes, having considered the most recent certification submitted in relation to liabilities to HMRC, that it is not prudent for it to allow the Club to register the Player; or
- the Board reasonably believes that the Club (or Clubs) concerned is entering into the registration or Contract in order to circumvent the Operational Rules; or
- the Board reasonably believes that the Player has been deregistered or had a registration refused for disciplinary reasons or is under a relevant suspension or ban imposed by the RFL or another governing body of any sport in any part of the world; or
- the Board reasonably believes that the Player and/or Club has not complied with the registration rules as set out in this Section C1.
C1:2:2 In addition the Board on behalf of the RFL shall be entitled to cancel the registration of a Player or retrospectively reject a Contract, Contract renewal, variation or extension in any of the following circumstances:
- the Club or Player concerned has submitted misleading or incomplete information as part of the registration process; or
- the Board reasonably believes that to allow the registration or Contract to continue may bring the Game into disrepute or may adversely affect the integrity of any competition; or
- the Player’s immigration status changes or is such that it is illegal for the Player to be registered or to play for a Club; or
- any of the reasons set out in this C1:2:1 above.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS ON REGISTER
The purpose of this rule is to protect the competitiveness of rugby league competitions by avoiding one or more Clubs registering a large number of Players. No Club shall at any time have more than 40 Players on its Club Register, unless it enters a team in the Academy and/or Reserve Competition in which case it may have 65 Players on its Register. For the purposes of this Rule Players who are Scholarship Players or Players who are contracted through the Year 11 Contract and Registration Process are not ineligible for first team duty in the remainder of the season in which they aer contracted and shall not be counted against the number of Players a Club is allowed to register in this time.
Dual registered Players shall count on the number of Players registered for Club holding their registration but not on the number of Players registered with the Club for whom they are dual registered. Loan Players shall count on the register of the receiving Club but not on the register of the loaning Club.
REGISTERING BEFORE MATCHES
For a Player to be eligible to play in any Match, all documentation set out in Operational Rule C1:1:4 must be submitted by a Club:
- For Matches to be played on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday in a week by no later than noon on the Thursday.
- For Matches played on a Monday by noon the Friday before.
- For Matches played on a Tuesday or Wednesday by noon on the day of the Match.
Failure to comply with this Operational Rule will render the relevant Player ineligible for that Match. In any event, a Club must only play Players in respect of which it has received an acknowledgement of registration from the RFL prior to the Match.
END OF SEASON FIRST TEAM REGISTRATION DEADLINES
- If any signing takes place or is authorised by the Board: (i) in the case of Super League and the Championship, after close of business on the Friday prior to the last round in the Regular Season (i.e. Round 23); or (ii) in the case of League 1, after close of business on the Friday prior to Round 16, then the Club shall not be entitled to play that Player in any Matches remaining in that Season.
- However nothing in this Operational Rule shall prohibit a Player who is registered with a Club on an Amateur Registration before that date (Trialist or Terms and Conditions), and subsequently signs for the same Club as a Professional playing for that Club in all or any such Matches provided that the relevant paperwork is submitted to the RFL in the format as required from time to time.
No Club shall place or attempt to place a Player on a Club's Register contrary to the RLIF regulations. Each Club agrees to comply with the RLIF Regulations, in particular, those relating to the transfer of Players. If it fails to do so, it shall be guilty of Misconduct.
REMOVAL FROM CLUB REGISTER
A Player's name shall be immediately removed from a Club's Register and placed on the Register of Free Agents as set out below:
By the RFL on the happening of the first of any of the following events:
- in the case of an Amateur Player:
- on the day following the end of the Player’s Trial period; or
- upon receipt of written notification by the Club holding his registration; or
- upon receipt by the RFL of the documents required to register a Player as set out in Operational Rule C:1:1:14 above from another Club; or
- upon the Club and Player agreeing his release in writing;
- at the end of any fixed term registration.
- in the case of Professional Players who are not under a current, valid contract, on receipt by the RFL of a written request to remove the Player from the Register by the Player or the Club in the following circumstances:
- in the case of a Player whose contract has expired or been terminated and who has not been offered a contract; or
- in the case of a Player whose contract has expired or been terminated and who has been offered (but has rejected) a new contract by his previous Club because the offer is less favourable than the terms of his recently expired (or terminated) contract and such fact has been confirmed and also requested by the Board pursuant to Operational Rule Section C1:3:12 below; or
- a Player whose contract has expired or been terminated who did not receive a Guaranteed Payment (as set out in C1:3:13 below) in such contract; or
- a Player who has reached or passed his Compensation Expiry Date and is not under contract.
- in the case of Professional Players with a current contract registered with a Club:
- by mutual agreement by Club and Player to terminate the contract which has been notified to the RFL which in the case of all Players on a Full Time Contract must be in the form of a compromise agreement; or
- in the case of a Negotiated Transfer, on the receipt by the RFL of the documents set out in Operational Rule Section C1:1:14 above and C1:2:8 below; or
- in the case of a Contract Expired Player where that Player signs for another Club and the RFL receives the documents set out in Operational Rule C1:1:14 above.
Each Club must comply with the following procedure in cases where a Contract Player is to be transferred to another Club:
- The Clubs and the Player must complete the negotiated transfer form prescribed by the Board from time to time and the Clubs must submit such form immediately to the RFL together with any other relevant registration documentation as set out in Operational Rule C1:1:14 above;
- Agree Fee
- The Clubs must agree a fee and set out the details of such fee on the Agreement by Clubs Form (PP3) which must be submitted by the Clubs to the RFL immediately; and
- Payment of Fee
- No Player's transfer shall be authorised by the Board until the fee involved in the transfer (plus VAT) is paid by the buying Club and received by the RFL in cleared funds unless the Clubs concerned have agreed deferred terms as set out in (d) below in which case only the initial 50% payment or the first instalment (plus VAT on the total fee) must have been received by the RFL);
- Deferred Terms
- The only deferred terms permissible in relation to the payment of the fee shall be an initial payment of not less than 50% of the total fee (plus VAT on the total fee) with the remainder to be paid to the RFL within 12 months of the date of the authorisation of the transfer by the RFL and such remainder shall at the time of transfer be lodged with the RFL by electronic transfer into the RFL bank account, or alternatively consecutive monthly payments for a maximum of twelve months, with an initial payment of at least one full instalment and the other instalments to be paid by electronic transfer into the RFL bank account or in the case of Super League Clubs only a signed authorisation to deduct the payment(s) from broadcast distributions or in the case of Championship and League 1 Clubs only a signed authorisation to deduct the payment(s) from central distributions;
- Form of Payment
- Payment must be made by electronic transfer into the RFL account unless the RFL shall specify or agree another form of payment as set out in (d) above and the RFL shall arrange the onward despatching of the fee (or part thereof) to the selling Club by electronic transfer;
- Interest on Late Payment
- The buying Club shall pay to the selling Club interest on all or any part of a transfer fee which is not paid on the date on which the same is due for payment at the rate of 5% per annum above the base rate applied from time to time by the RFL’s bank and which shall accrue from that date until the fee is paid in full.
- Defaulting Clubs
- If a Club is in default of payments due to another Club (whether a Member or not) under a transfer or compensation agreement or under the terms of a loan agreement then an embargo on the registration of Players from any source shall be placed upon such defaulting Club until such time as the agreement is honoured. In addition, the Board shall be entitled to apply any monies due to the defaulting Club from the RFL to that other Club. In the event of such default and in addition to any above penalty, the Club shall be guilty of Misconduct.
- No Transfer to Breach Loan Provisions
- In no event shall a transfer be permitted if it would circumvent or breach the provisions of SectionC1:2 relating to Loans. Accordingly, if the Board reasonably believes that any proposed transfer is an attempt to circumvent or breach such provisions then it shall be entitled to prohibit it.
- Conditions of Transfer
- In no event shall a transfer be permitted where the transferring Club seeks to control the conditions under which the Player may play after the transfer has been completed.
If a transfer fee is conditional (in whole or in part) upon the playing of a number of Matches by the Player then (unless specified otherwise conclusively in the agreement between the Clubs):
- the term "Matches" shall refer to first team Matches for that Club or whilst on loan to a Club in the same League or a higher League; and
- if after a set number of appearances, such appearances have only partially been completed before the Player leaves that Club, then the payment shall be made in part to the original transferring Club pro rata to the number of matches actually completed.
NO RETURN TRANSFER WITHIN 28 DAYS
A Player who was transferred during the previous Season or before the start of a Season may not return to the transferring Club until 28 days of the Season next following has elapsed and any application to register a Player with the transferring Club in such circumstances shall be refused.
LOANS AND DUAL REGISTRATION
LIMIT ON NUMBERS
A Club shall not include in any 19 man Match Squad nor play in any Match:
- more than five Players who are on loan to it and/or dual registered to it (irrespective of which Club they are registered with); and
- More than 4 Players who are dual registered to it
END OF SEASON DEADLINES – LOANS AND DUAL REGISTRATION
A Club may only play a Player who is Dual Registered to it after the following deadlines, if he has played 3 Matches for that Club before the deadline:
- in the case of Championship Clubs, the end of the Regular Season; and
- in the case of League 1 Clubs, after the completion of Round 16.
C1:2:12 Once a Player has played for any Club in any Competition after the deadlines in C1:2:11, whether that be the Club with whom he is registered, the Club he is Dual Registered to or the Club to which he is on Loan, he shall only be able to play for that Club for the remainder of the Season and shall not be entitled to play for any other Club in any Competition.
RULES RELATING TO LOANS
A Club shall not be entitled to either loan a Player or receive a Player on loan unless:
- it ensures that the relevant loan form (correctly completed as prescribed by the Board from time to time) is completed and immediately sent to the Board;
- it receives an acknowledgement of loan registration from the Board;
- the loan is for a minimum period of 28 days save where the loan agreement states that the Player may only play for the Reserve or Academy team in which case the minimum period shall be 48 hours;
- the loan is not (in the opinion of the Board) an attempt to circumvent the negotiated transfer rules set out in Section C1:2:8;
C1:2:14 It shall be permissible to extend a loan which complies with Section C1:2:13 for a period of less than 28 days (provided that such extension is effected before the initial term of the loan expires). The requisite form shall in such circumstances be promptly submitted to the Board.
C1:2:15 Any loan (whatever its original duration) may be terminated after it has subsisted for at least 28 days by: (i) written agreement of the Player and both Clubs; or (ii) in accordance with any agreement set out in the Loan agreement which termination shall be notified to the Board in writing,
C1:2:16 Where a Club does not run an Academy team at the appropriate age group for one or more of its registered Players it may loan the Player(s) to another Club to play in that Club’s Academy side only.
C1:2:17 The Board shall be entitled to use its discretion to allow special arrangements on consideration of written application from the Club(s) concerned
C1:2:18 Payments to Loan (and Dual Registration) Players must be made in accordance with A3:5.
RULES RELATING TO DUAL REGISTRATION
“Dual Registration” is the system whereby a Player continues to be registered to and be eligible to play for his current Club and is also registered to play for another Club.
The purpose of this Rule is to provide an enhanced Player development pathway for young Players who are not thought to be ready to make the step up to first team for their Club on a permanent basis but for whom first team match experience in a lower league is likely to be beneficial for their development. It is intended to provide additional flexibility for Clubs to make arrangements that suit the Player’s development needs whilst protecting both the playing squad requirements of the Clubs concerned and the integrity of both competitions. The purpose of this Rule will be taken into consideration if an issue arises that is not expressly provided for in these Rules.
- Super League Players can be “Dual Registered” to either Championship or League 1 Clubs. Championship Players can be “Dual Registered” to League 1 Clubs.
- In each Season, each Super League and Championship Club may only Dual Register its registered Players to one Club which is based in West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire or Greater Manchester. In addition each Super League and Championship Club may Dual Register its registered Players to Clubs which are based outside of the areas listed above. Any dispute as to whether a Club is based in the specified areas shall be determined by the RFL.
- Before a Player can play as a Dual Registered player, a Dual Registration agreement must be in place. It shall be for the two Clubs and Player to decide the details of the Dual Registration agreement, however the Player remains contracted to his original Club and as such the original Club will be entitled to decide for which team the Player shall be entitled to play in any particular round.
- Dispensation may be sought to allow a Player to remain on Dual Registration with his original Championship or League 1 Club from which he signs to a Super League or Championship Club even though it may not be the partner Club.
- All Players (post under 18 age group) with the exception of those with an Employer Specific Visa (Tier 2) are eligible to be Dual Registered.
- All Dual Registrations must be approved by the RFL before playing and the request submitted on the required form issued by the RFL from time to time which has been sign by all three parties namely the Player and 2 Clubs concerned.
- The Player is not restricted to playing in one fixture per scheduled round of fixtures in any given week.
C1:2:20 The RFL shall have the right to issue regulations regarding the ‘dual registration’ of players from Tiers One to Three to Tiers Four to Six. All Persons Subject to the Operational Rules shall comply with any such regulations.
COMPENSATION EXPIRY DATE
The Compensation Expiry Date shall mean the 1st of December immediately after a Player has both reached the age of 22 and is also a Contract Expired Player but if on or before 30 November in any year a Player's contract has expired and he has already turned 21 years of age, then his Compensation Expiry Date shall be the date of his 22nd birthday and not 1st December next following.
RIGHT TO SEEK REGISTRATION
Subject to the provision of these Operational Rules, a Player shall be free at the end of his contract to seek registration with any Club of his choice. Save as permitted in these Operational Rules, no Person subject to the Operational Rules shall directly or indirectly induce or attempt to induce by whatever means (including making statements in the media) a Registered Player to leave a Club prior to the expiry of that Player's contract nor shall any Registered Player himself or his Licensed Agent approach any other Club with a view to joining that Club prior to the expiry of his contract with his present Club without the prior written permission of his present Club.
APPROACHES TO/BY PLAYERS
- A Club or Licensed Agent or other person acting on a Club's behalf shall not approach any Full-time Contracted Player directly or indirectly (which shall include statements made to the media) until 1st May prior to the date upon which the Player's contract is due to expire without receiving the prior written consent of the Club to whom the Player is contracted and such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed. Where such consent is withheld the Club wishing to make the approach may appeal to the RFL who shall be the final arbitrator. Both Clubs shall have the opportunity to make submissions to the RFL in the timescale set by the RFL. From 1st May prior to the expiry of his current contract any Club shall be entitled to enter into a contract with such Player subject to the compensation rules set out in these Operational Rules.
- A Full-time Contracted Player or anyone acting on his behalf shall not be entitled to approach another Club (the "Contacted Club") until 1st May prior to the expiry of his current contract and the Contacted Club shall not respond in any way whether directly or indirectly (which shall include statements made to the media) without first receiving the consent of such Player's Club and such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed. For the avoidance of doubt such consent may be sought by the Player, his Agent or the Contacted Club. Where such consent is withheld the Player wishing to make the approach (his Agent or the Contacted Club) may appeal to the RFL who shall be the final arbitrator. All parties shall have the opportunity to make submissions to the RFL in the timescale set by the RFL. From 1st May prior to the expiry of his current contract a Player shall be entitled to enter into a contract with a Club subject to the compensation rules set out in these Operational Rules.
- For Part-time Contracted Players the rules are as above in C1:3:3(a) and (b) save that 1st May is replaced by the 1st September throughout.
OFFERING OF CONTRACTS - NOTIFICATION OF CLUB’S INTENTION
In respect of a Full Time Contract Player whose contract is due to expire on 30 November in any given year, the Club must notify him in writing on or before 30th April in writing whether they:
- intend to offer him terms of re-engagement;
- do not intend to offer him a contract; or
- are yet to determine their position as a Club.
In respect of a Part Time Contract Player whose contract is due to expire on 30 November in any given year, the Club must notify him in writing on or before 31 August whether they:
- intend to offer him terms of re-engagement; or
- do not intend to offer him a contract.
Where a Club intends to offer terms of re-engagement those terms must be detailed in writing.
The Club must also include an invitation to attend a meeting to discuss the matter, which should take place at a reasonable time and location and without unreasonable delay. After the meeting, the Club must notify him in writing of the Club’s decision and the Player’s right of appeal.
OFFER OF RE-ENGAGEMENT – DEADLINE & MEANS OF DELIVERY
If the Club elects to offer the Player terms of re-engagement the Club must make such offer in writing:
- For a Player on a Full Time Contract on or before the 30th April or where the Club has not determined its position as in C1:3:4 (c) above by 31st August;
- For a Player on a Part Time Contract on or before 31st August.
In order to comply with this Rule the Club must either:
- have posted the offer to the Player’s last known address by first class special delivery post or an alternative service which provides for delivery on the next working day and requires a signature on receipt in any case the offer must have been posted at least the day before the deadline for receipt; or
- have handed the offer to the Player in person on or before the deadline for receipt in which case the Player must sign a receipt.
In either case the Club shall retain the special delivery slip or the receipt.
Where a Club’s divisional status for the forthcoming season will not have been decided by 31 August the Club may make two offers of re-engagement one to cover each of the divisions in which the Club may play the following Season and such offers must be made in accordance with the deadlines and means of delivery as detailed above.
DECISION NOT TO OFFER TERMS
If the Club elects not to offer the Player terms of re-engagement the Club must inform the Player and the Board in writing:
- for a Player on a Full Time Contract on or before 30th April or where the Club has not determined its position as in C1:3:4 (c) above by 31st August
- for a Player on a Part Time Contract on or before 31 August.
The Player's name will be circulated to all Clubs in May or September respectively. On receipt of a request by the Player or the Club the RFL will remove the Player's name from the Club's register immediately the Player's contract with the Club expires and place the Player’s name on the register of Free Agents.
COPIES OF FINAL OFFERS
A copy of the final offer of engagement or re-engagement made to a Player whose Salary Cap Value places him, or would have placed him were he to have accepted the offer, in a Club’s top 25 highest paid Players must be sent to the RFL within seven days of service or within seven days of the final date for service as set out in Rule C1:3:5 above (whichever is earlier) and such copy must include details of any Image Rights Agreement or Employees Benefit Trust or Pension Agreement which has been offered . Any relevant further offers to the same Player must be forwarded to the RFL within seven days of service.
ACCEPTANCE OF OFFER
The Player must notify the Club holding his registration in writing whether or not he accepts their offer of re-engagement by 31st May or 31st October respectively. If the Player has not replied in writing to the Club's offer of re-engagement by 31st May or 31st October then the offer shall automatically lapse save that, where relevant, the Club's compensation rights shall not be affected (i.e. the Club shall be entitled to receive a compensation fee in respect of the loss of the Player's registration should he sign for another Club).
REJECTION OF OFFER – PLAYERS THAT HAVE NOT REACHED COMPENSATION EXPIRY DATE
If the Player (having not reached or passed his Compensation Expiry Date) refuses the Club's offer of re-engagement and/or indicates that he wishes to leave the Club holding his registration in circumstances where the Club has offered terms of re-engagement which are not less favourable than his current contract with that Club and where his registration has not been transferred to another Club before the date of expiry of his contract then the Club holding his registration, if it wishes to retain its right to a compensation fee, may after such expiry date either:
- Enter into a Contract
- enter into a Contract with the Player in accordance with these Operational Rules providing that the Player may be transferred to another Club at any time during the currency of such contract for a fee, which shall be determined by the Operational Rules Tribunal if the Clubs involved are unable to agree a fee.
- Enter into Conditional Contract
- enter into a Conditional Contract with the Player in accordance with these Operational Rules providing that the Player may terminate such contract by providing 7 days’ written notice to the Club. The Player will, in these circumstances, be subject to Club Rules and discipline and to the performance and other relevant clauses of the Standard Players Agreement and to these Operational Rules; or
- Continue to Pay the Player
- where the Player has been contracted to the Club continue to pay the Player the basic monthly payment payable under the contract which shall have expired. In such event the Player shall not be eligible to play for the Club holding his registration, and shall not be eligible to train for any other Club. The Club holding the Players registration shall be entitled to a compensation fee from any other Club wishing to obtain the registration of the Player. On application of the Club made on or after the first day of the Season, the Board may rule that because the Player has without good reason refused offers of employment with another Club or other Clubs or because there are other relevant and legitimate circumstances the Club may retain its entitlement to a compensation fee without being obliged to continue to pay the Player the basic monthly payment; or
- Give Two Weeks’ Notice
- by giving two weeks’ notice cease to pay the Player the basic monthly wage as detailed in paragraph (c) above in which case the Player shall be free to negotiate with and sign and be registered for any other Club at any time without payment by such Club of any compensation fee.
CIRCULATION OF NAMES OF CONTRACT EXPIRED PLAYERS
No later than 7th December in each year each Club shall notify the Board of the names of its Contract Expired Players. The Board shall circulate the names of all Contract Expired Players to all Clubs.
For the avoidance of doubt the above Compensation System process shall be repeated annually in accordance with the above procedures in respect of Contract Expired Players if a Club wishes to continue to retain the Player's registration or its right to compensation in respect of any Player until that Player's Compensation Expiry Date.
COMPENSATION – RIGHT TO FEE OR TO RETAIN REGISTRATION
NO COMPENSATION FOR PLAYERS OVER COMPENSATION EXPIRY DATE
A Player's previous Club shall not have any right to a compensation fee in relation to any Player who has reached or passed his Compensation Expiry Date.
QUALIFICATION FOR COMPENSATION FOR PLAYERS UNDER COMPENSATION EXPIRY DATE
Subject to the terms of this Operational Rule C1:3:13 and C1:3:9 any Club which makes an offer of re-engagement to a Player who has not reached or passed his Compensation Expiry Date which, in the opinion of the Board meets the criteria set out below, shall be entitled to retain the Player’s registration until such time as the Player signs a contract for the Club or for another Club in which case the Club shall be entitled to receive compensation fee in respect of the loss of the Player's registration. The compensation fee shall be decided as set out in C1:3:17 below.
- the Club must have made an offer or re-engagement to the Player which is in the opinion of the Board not less favourable than the most favourable year's terms in the Player's previous contract with that Club and must be as favourable overall except that a signing on fee included as a one off payment in the previous contract need not be repeated; and
- the offer must have been made in accordance with the deadline and means of delivery as set out in C1:3:5 above; and
- the Player must have received a Guaranteed Payment under his most recent contract with the previous Club. For the purposes of this Operational Rule Guaranteed Payment is defined as a payment which is not dependent on selection or performance and is of at least the level shown below (in each case a Player is classified by the status of the Club that holds his registration (at the time the most recent contract with his previous Club was entered into):
|Super League Player||£3000 p.a.|
|Championship / League 1 Player 18 and over||£2000 p.a.|
|Championship / League 1 Player 18 and under||£1500 p.a.|
For the avoidance of doubt where a Club fails to make an offer or makes an offer which does not meet the criteria set out below the Player shall be entitled to request, in writing to the RFL, that his name be removed from the Club Register and be placed on the Register of Free Agents.
DISPUTES ON QUALIFICATION FOR COMPENSATION
Any dispute as to whether or not a Club has complied with Operational Rules C1:3:13 (and C1:3:5) which cannot be resolved between the relevant Player and Clubs shall be referred to an Operational Rules Tribunal.
The Operational Rules Tribunal shall reach its decision and conduct its proceedings in accordance with such procedures and rules as it may determine from time to time. In any event, the Player and the Club will be entitled to attend and/or make written representations. They will both be entitled to receive 72 hours’ notice of the date of the hearing and shall also be entitled to legal representation at the hearing The Operational Rules Tribunal will notify the parties involved of its decision promptly. Its decision shall be binding and there shall be no right of appeal.
If the Operational Rules Tribunal decides that no compensation is due the Player shall be automatically deemed to be a Free Agent.
TRANSFER TO CLUB(S) WHO ARE NOT MEMBERS
When a Player, at the end of his contract period, elects to seek registration with a professional sporting club which is not a Member, then the Club which holds that Player's RFL registration may elect to retain such registration until that Player's Compensation Expiry Date. The Club may only elect to retain such registration if it has offered the Player in question a new contract (as per the Compensation System set out above), and renews such offer at the end of each 12 month period.
In such cases, should the Player subsequently return to play for another Club prior to the Player's Compensation Expiry Date, then his former Club shall be entitled to claim compensation from his new Club. Should the two Clubs be unable to agree a compensation fee then either Club or the Player shall give notice to the Board to convene the Operational Rules Tribunal to determine the level of compensation (if any) to be paid.
The Operational Rules Tribunal shall take into account (without limiting its power or discretion in any way whatsoever) those matters set out in Operational Rule Section C1:3:17 below. The Operational Rules Tribunal shall endeavour to convene within 28 days of receipt of the above notification and shall follow the procedures set out in Operational Rules Section C1:3:20 below. Its decision shall be binding and there shall be no right of appeal.
PROCESS FOR DECIDING COMPENSATION FEE
OFFER OF COMPENSATION
Should a Professional Player who has not reached or passed his Compensation Expiry Date fail to enter into a contract with a Club who wishes to retain his services ("the Former Club") and who has offered the Player new terms in accordance with the Compensation System set out in C1:3:13 above and the Player instead enters into a contract with another Club then that Club shall within 7 days offer compensation in writing to the Former Club. Such offer shall state the amount of the proposed compensation and the proposed manner and date of payment thereof and shall promptly forward a copy to the RFL. Clubs shall be free to decide a level of compensation fee however if they do not then the scale of payments set out in the Compensation Formula below shall be applied. Where Clubs agree a fee, it shall be paid in accordance with Operational Rule C1:2:8 above.
Where a transfer is to take place pursuant to Operational Rule C1:3:16 above and the two Clubs are unable to reach agreement then the following scale of payments shall apply:
- Player moving from Championship (that does not run an RFL Endorsed Academy) or League 1 to Super League
- A sum equivalent to the sum of £70 per week of training and education invested in the Player and a further lump sum of £5,000 if the Player attains a salary of £25,000 per annum or more with the new Club.
- Player moving from Super League (or from a Championship Club running an RFL Endorsed Academy) to Super League
- A sum equivalent to the sum of £115 per week of training and education invested in the Player and a further lump sum of £5,000 if the Player attains a salary of £25,000 per annum or more with the new Club.
- Player moving from Championship or League 1 to Championship or League 1 (regardless of whether either Club runs an Endorsed Academy and where the Guaranteed Payment under the Player’s contract with the new Club is at least 50% higher than the Guaranteed Payment under his most recent contract with his previous Club) a fee will be paid which is equivalent to a sum of £60 per week of training and education invested in the Player
- Player moving from Super League to Championship or League 1
- A fee will be paid which is equivalent to a sum of £70 per week of training and education invested in the Player
In all cases training and education is deemed to start from the date on which the Player signs a professional contract with the Club and end on 30 November after the Player reaches the age of 21 and to last for 52 weeks each year. Payments which fall due when a Player reaches a salary of £25,000 per annum or more are not payable if the Player achieves that salary with a Club other than the one who paid the initial payment under the formula (other than if the Player is on loan at the time he achieves that salary).
PLAYER MAY REQUEST COMPENSATION VALUATION FROM CLUB
A Player who has refused the terms of contract offered to him by his former Club in accordance with the Compensation System, but who has not passed his Compensation Expiry Date and who has not entered into a contract with another Club, may request the former Club to state what amount of compensation it would request from any other Club wishing to engage the Player and how that Club has calculated the compensation under the formula.
C1:3:19 The request by the Player must be made in writing addressed to the former Club at its normal place of business and upon receipt of such request the former Club must within 7 days thereafter give its written valuation of the compensation to the Player. The Club should either give its valuation in accordance with the compensation formula. If the compensation so notified by the former Club exceeds the sum of £1,000 the Player may, if he believes that the valuation has not been calculated correctly in accordance with the formula, request that the RFL refer his case to the Operational Rules Tribunal to give an estimate of the amount of compensation payable (Estimated Compensation).
OPERATIONAL RULES TRIBUNAL DETERMINATION OF COMPENSATION
The Operational Rules Tribunal shall be entitled to determine compensation for Contract Expired Players in line with the procedures set out in C1:3:23 below in the following circumstances:
- Where a Club has signed a Player and either Club believes it can show good cause why the Compensation Formula results in a level of compensation which is substantially too high in the circumstances in which case the determination is binding;
- Where a Club wishes to sign a Player and believes it can show good cause why the Compensation Formula results in a level of compensations which is substantially too high and wishes to request a Conditional Compensation hearing in which case the Club wishing to sign the Player can decide whether to accept the determination;
- Where a Player in receipt of a Compensation Valuation believes he can show good cause why the valuation of Compensation made by his former Club is substantially too high in which case the determination is estimated and not binding.
Where two Clubs are unable to reach agreement as set out in C1:3:16 and where the Former Club provides a Statement of Case showing why it does not believe the Compensation Formula applies or the New Club believes that the formula would give too high a level of compensation in the circumstances then the Club wishing to sign a Player instead apply to the RFL to request that the Operational Rules Tribunal determines Conditional Compensation.
The Operational Rules Tribunal shall conduct its proceedings as set out below.
- Clubs wishing to apply for the assessment of conditional compensation shall not sign a contract with the Player. However, the Player and the Club must have agreed conditional terms (which shall be produced to the Panel) and the Club must at all times make it clear to the Player and the other Club that the offer is conditional; and
- At the hearing, the buying Club must be represented by a Club Official with power to decide as to whether or not to accept the Operational Rules Tribunal's decision. If the fee is not acceptable to the buying Club, then the Player will remain with his old Club. If it is acceptable, it must be accepted by the buying Club at the hearing and the contract must be signed there and then.
APPLICATION FOR OPERATIONAL RULES TRIBUNAL HEARING
Notwithstanding the above formula where a Club or Player believes that it can show good reason why the compensation formula set out above is not appropriate to the particular circumstances it/he may apply for a Operational Rules Tribunal to convene as set out in C1:3:23 below.
ASSESSMENT OF COMPENSATION
OPERATIONAL RULES TRIBUNAL PROCEDURES WHEN DECIDING COMPENSATION
In assessing the level of compensation, the Operational Rules Tribunal shall conduct its proceedings in accordance with the following provisions and shall adhere to such additional or alternative procedures as the Board may specify from time to time:
- the Operational Rules Tribunal shall convene within 28 days or as soon thereafter as practicable when instructed by the Board to determine the amount of compensation payable in the circumstances described in C1:3:17 above and shall also determine the manner and date of payment of such compensation fee;
- the Parties to an application must provide such written statements of case as the Operational Rules Tribunal shall request or such statements as the Board shall decide from time to time. Such statements shall at a minimum state why one of the Clubs or the Player believes the formula results in a level of compensation that is substantially too high in the circumstances or should not apply or why it has been incorrectly calculated;
- the Operational Rules Tribunal shall be entitled to decide whether the case merits a hearing or whether the formula shall apply and if it considers the formula shall apply may make a ruling as to the correct calculation of the formula in that case. (d) the parties to an application to the Operational Rules Tribunal shall be the two Clubs and the Player (save when deciding on Estimated Compensation when the parties shall be the Player and the Former Club only) each of whom shall be notified immediately of the date of the hearing and they shall be entitled to introduce such oral or written evidence as they think fit. The parties shall be entitled to legal representation if they so wish. The Operational Rules Tribunal shall be entitled to insist on any or all of the parties appearing before it;
- the Operational Rules Tribunal is hereby charged with the duties hereinafter set out and shall have a quorum of two including a Chairman, who shall be an Independent Person;
- the Operational Rules Tribunal will take into account (without limiting its power or discretion in any way whatsoever) those matters set out in Operational Rule Section C1:3:23 (i) below and may in its absolute discretion call for the production of any document and/or for any Person Subject to the Rules to appear before it;
- a Player or Club refusing to appear or produce such documents as requested shall be guilty of Misconduct and shall be referred to the Compliance Commissioner as set out in Section D1 of these Operational Rules;
- for the avoidance of doubt it is hereby provided that in considering compensation following a referral pursuant to notice given by a Club under Operational Rule Section C1:3:16 and C1:3:17 Estimated Compensation, the Operational Rules Tribunal shall not be fettered in the exercise of its powers by any earlier decision that may have been made pursuant to Operational Rule Section C1:3:16 and C1:3:17;
- in assessing the level of compensation, the Operational Rules Tribunal shall take into account:
- the compensation formula;
- the age, experience (including Representative experience), reputation and potential of the Player;
- any costs incurred by the selling Club in training or developing the Player;
- the fee originally paid for the Player (if any);
- the value of contracts offered by the selling Club to its other current Players and the length of time during which the Player was with the selling Club;
- all and any other relevant criteria which the Operational Rules Tribunal in its absolute discretion may think fit.
- The decision of the Operational Rules Tribunal shall be binding upon all parties and shall be made public and communicated by the Board to all parties within 48 hours.
- There shall be no right of appeal from the decision of the Operational Rules Tribunal when deciding on compensation.
The Operational Rules Tribunal shall be empowered to make such orders in relation to all and any costs incurred by the parties themselves or by the RFL consequent upon or concerning any application before it as it shall in its absolute discretion think fit having regard to the merits and all the circumstances of the case.
FALSE OR MISLEADING INFORMATION
Any person who knowingly or recklessly provides false or misleading information to the Board or the Operational Rules Tribunal in connection with the matters referred to in Section C1:3 (inclusive) above shall be guilty of Misconduct.
DEFINITION OF OVERSEAS PLAYER
An “overseas Player” is one who cannot produce satisfactory evidence to the RFL that he is a Professional Player in accordance with the EU Rules guaranteeing the free movement of workers and that either:
- he is an EU National; or
- he is entitled to be lawfully employed in EU as a professional rugby league Player pursuant to a valid work permit and is a National of a country which is party to either an Association Agreement, Europe Agreement or the Cotonou Agreement with the EU; or
- that he is a National of a country which is a current Full or Associate Member of the RLEF and has been resident in that country for four years and is a bona fide registered Player who has played a minimum of five domestic league or cup games in a domestic competition in that Full or Associate Member’s country.
For the avoidance of doubt a National is defined as a person who holds a current passport for an EU member state or a country party to an Association Agreement, Europe Agreement or the Cotonou Agreement as appropriate. Where a person claims to be a National of a country which does not issue its own passports the RFL will review such a claim on a case by case basis but has no obligation to decide whether a person is a National of such a country.
In order to provide satisfactory evidence for C1:4:1(iii) above the individual must hold and produce a relevant and current passport, the RLEF member must provide records and testimony as to the Player’s competition record and the RLEF must certify that the information provided is correct and bona fide. The purpose of C1:4:1(iii) above is to provide a performance pathway for talented Players from the domestic competitions in RLEF Full or Associate Member countries and in all matters of interpretation or judgement of this rule the RFL will make decisions which are consistent with that purpose.
QUOTA OF OVERSEAS PLAYERS
Each Club shall be entitled to register only the Quota of "overseas Players" in all squads set out below in each season save for those Clubs which are granted an exemption in such form as the Board shall decide:
Maximum Number of Overseas Players
Super League Clubs – 5
Championship Clubs – 5
League 1 Clubs – 2
For the avoidance of doubt, if any Club exceeds the Quota at any time, it shall not be entitled to replace any "overseas Player" whose contract has expired or who ceases to play for the Club for any other reason, until it complies with the relevant Quota, and it shall be guilty of Misconduct. The Board shall be entitled to remove the Player from the Register as set out above.
Clubs may apply for dispensation to register an "overseas Player" on its Register as part of an international exchange scholarship without such Player counting against the Club’s Quota. Such dispensation shall be subject to such conditions as the Board thinks fit which will usually include a prohibition from playing first team football.
The RFL will not at any time accept a registration application for an "overseas Player", nor register the Player until it has received a copy of the Player's visa showing that the Player is entitled to work in the country in which the Club is based or satisfactory evidence that such a permit is not necessary in which case the Club must provide a copy of the relevant immigration documentation. In cases of dispute relating to visas or the right to work, the RFL will consult the UK Border Agency and the Board shall take their comments or advice as the determining factor.
No Club shall register a Player who has previously been registered with a member of the RLIF until such time as the RFL has received a clearance from that member.
RIGHT TO REMOVE FROM REGISTER
The RFL may remove from the register an "overseas Player" if the terms upon which the registration was granted have not been complied with or if the Club is in breach of the Quota and in addition the RFL may take such other action against the Club as it deems to be appropriate in the circumstances. Any Player so removed shall not be entitled to play for the Club concerned in Matches.
RE-REGISTRATION OF AN OVERSEAS PLAYER
An "overseas Player" who is removed from a Club Register during the Season cannot then be placed back on that Club's Register in that same Season save with the permission of the Board.
GENERAL RULES RELATING TO PLAYERS
COMMUNITY GAME COMPENSATION
The Council shall from time to time agree to pay the Community Game any compensation that may become payable as set out below. The Community Board shall order the distribution of payments within the Community Game. The current levels of these compensation payments are as set out below (any changes shall be notified to the Clubs in writing). League status of a Club shall be the League it is in at the time of the relevant Milestone:
- By Clubs in Super League:
- On first signing registration documents £100 per Player; and
- On first team debut £350 per Player (including playing substitute); and
- On completion of ten Super League first team matches £350 per Player (including playing substitute)
- By Clubs in the Championship:
- On first signing registration documents £100 per Player
- By Clubs in League 1:
- On first signing registration documents £100 per Player
and each of the stages set out above is referred to below as a "Milestone"
Each Club agrees to make the payments set out above promptly when the Milestone concerned has been reached for a Player. If any Club fails to comply with the above provisions, the Board may place an embargo on any registration of Players for such Club from any source for such period as it thinks fit. In respect of Milestones (a) (i) and (b) (i) and c(i) payments shall be made upon registration of the Player and in respect of Milestones (a) (ii) and (iii) above at the end of each season the RFL will provide each Club with details of any payments which have fallen due during that season and such payments shall be settled promptly.
If compensation is at any time paid in respect of any Player achieving a given Milestone, then no further compensation is due if the said Player is again registered with either the same or another Club in respect of the attainment of the same Milestone. If a change of Club should occur before a Milestone is reached then the assessment of the Milestone concerned shall be made pro rata ie where a Player makes three Super League first team appearances at a Super League Club before moving to another Super League Club the first Club shall pay 30% of Milestone (a) (iii) and the second Club shall pay any other further payments which are incurred.
Where a Player initially signs for a League 1 or Championship Club and then later joins a Super League Club Milestones (a) (ii) and (iii) shall still fall due with the Super League Club.
LOSS OF PLAYER BENEFITS
If a Player is suspended by the Disciplinary Committee he shall not be entitled to any benefits under his agreement in lieu of match fees lost.
The Board's permission shall be required before a Player is granted a testimonial and before a testimonial fund is established. In deciding whether to grant permission the Board shall take into account the Player’s character & behaviour on and off the field, his service to the Community, his length of service with the Club and the number of first team games the Player has played in including representative matches.
Any testimonial fund shall be closed within 12 months from the start of the testimonial. The testimonial may (unless the Board otherwise directs) start at any time after permission is given by the Board.
Notwithstanding any approval of a testimonial under Operational Rule Section C1:5:3 the Board's permission shall be required for each testimonial match. Approval may be withheld or may be given subject to such conditions as Board thinks fit.
EMBARGO ON FURTHER SIGNINGS
If the Club is found to be in default of any payment due under a Player's contract the Board may place an embargo on any registration of Players from any source by such Club until payment in full is made.
EMPLOYMENT OF PLAYERS IN OTHER CAPACITIES
No Club shall employ in any capacity (whether as a Director or Club Official or otherwise howsoever) a Player who is on the register of another Club without that Club's written permission, which permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.
INJURED PLAYERS SEEKING RE-REGISTRATION
Where a Player's contract has been validly terminated by a Club on the grounds of Disability (as set out in the RFL's Insurance Scheme) or if he is declared to be permanently disabled by an independent medical practitioner, then he must receive the written consent of his old Club before he can be placed on the register of another Club and such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed. In cases of dispute, the Player or the Club must notify the Board who shall refer the matter to the Operational Rules Tribunal. The Operational Rules Tribunal shall convene within 14 days of receipt of such notification and shall conduct their proceedings in accordance with these Operational Rules and such directions as the Board may give from time to time.
DISPUTES BETWEEN CLUBS AND PLAYERS
Whilst the jurisdiction of the court and tribunals are not excluded, all matters of dispute between a professional Player and his Club should ordinarily be submitted (by the Player, Club or the Board) to the Independent Tribunal and any appeal should ordinarily be submitted to the Independent Appeals Tribunal, members of each of which are drawn from the Operational Rules Tribunal. The Independent Tribunal and the Independent Appeals Tribunal shall conduct their proceedings in accordance with the procedures and practices under the Player’s contract, the Regulations and/or as set by the Board from time to time and shall be entitled to award compensation and costs.
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME REGISTRATIONS
All Clubs and Players acknowledge and agree that the Player Development Programme is currently under review and that there is likely to be significant changes to the Operational Rules relating to the Player Development Programme for the 2016 Season.
A Player who is in Year 11 or below (which for the purposes of this Rule extends until 30 November after the end of his compulsory schooling) may only be registered as a Player with a Club that has a current Academy Endorsement.
C1:6:2 For a Player to be eligible to play in any Player Development Programme Match, all documentation set out in Operational Rule C1:1:4 must be submitted by the Club in accordance with Operational Rule C1:2:4. Failure to comply with this Operational Rule will render the relevant Player ineligible for that Match. In any event, a Club must only play Players in respect of which it has received an acknowledgement of registration from the RFL prior to the Match.
C1:6:3 There are no geographical boundaries for recruitment.
C1:6:4 Each Club agrees that a Player who is of statutory school age shall not train or play or be selected to play in any Match if as a result of him playing his commitment to school academic studies, is likely to be adversely affected.
MINIMUM CONTRACT VALUE (MCV)
For Clubs to receive Endorsement for the forthcoming season’s U19s Super League Academy competition it must register with the RFL, by 31st October in the preceding year, twenty contracts which meet the MCV for Players who are age qualified for the forthcoming season.
- From 1st December 2012 the MCV is £3,000 p.a. The contract must not have an expiry date earlier than 30 November in the season for which it applies.
- The start date for the twenty MCV contracts is to be negotiated by Club and Player to reflect the date the Player will become active at the Club but should be no later than 1 December prior to the season for which it applies.
ACADEMY UNDER 19 REGISTRATIONS
C1:6:6 Players must be under the age of 19 as at the 31st August prior to the start of the season.
C1:6:7 Players must be registered as Contract (Full or Part Time) or Trialist. For the avoidance of doubt all the rules set out in section C1:1 apply to Under 19 Academy Players.
C1:6:8 Clubs must comply with the Year 11 Contract and Registration process.
C1:6:9 Players contracted through the Year 11 Contract and Registration process:
- are not eligible to play at Under 19 level (or for the first team) in the remainder of the Season in which they are initially contracted (unless otherwise agreed by the RFL); and
- must be Contracted (Full or Part Time) in line with the Minimum Contract Value for a Junior Player in operation at the time. The contract must extend to the end of their eligibility to play at Under 18 Academy level (27 months).
C1:6:10 In addition to the provisions relating to Trialists in Section C1:1, the following Rules shall apply to trialist Players at Under 19 Academy level.
- a trial of a Under 19 Player may be for up to 3 calendar months (provided that this is a maximum of 8 matches) and provided that at the time the Trialist registration is submitted to the RFL the Club already has 20 players on MCV. At the end of any 3 month trial, if the Player does not enter into a contract with the Club, the Club must file an end of trial report (with a copy going to both the player and community club).
- Each club is permitted a maximum of six U19 Trialists per Season however in exceptional circumstances Clubs can apply for further trialists which shall be determined by the RFL at its absolute discretion.
SCHOLARSHIP UNDER 16 REGISTRATIONS
C1:6:11 Registration is restricted to Players from Academic Year Groups 10 (Under 15) and 11 (Under 16) and is for a one or two year period. The maximum registrations per Club across the Under 15 and 16 age groups at any one time is 40 registrations.
C1:6:12 Registrations must be completed in accordance with the procedures and timetable as set out in C1:7 and C1:8 below. For the avoidance of doubt all the rules set out in section C1:1 relating to Players apply to Under 16 Scholarship Players.
C1:6:13 A Player in Academic Year Groups 10 or 11 may only play for his professional Club in matches appropriate to his age organised as part of an Academy Under 16 Programme.
C1:6:14 No payment shall be made to any Scholarship Player save that a reasonable amount of goodwill may be provided by means of club apparel, training kit, match passes at no cost to the player or his family. No financial payment shall be made to a Player’s parents, guardians or representative or other related party or person in relation to the Player’s registration with a Club.
C1:6:15 A Player may withdraw from a Club’s Academy Under 16 by written request to the Club, copy to the RFL, in which case he may not register with another Club at Under 16 level save with the written approval of the RFL. Where a Player has withdrawn from his Under 16 registration and his withdrawal has been accepted by the RFL, he will no longer count against the numbers in C1:6:11 above and the Club will be allowed to replace the Player.
C1:6:16 Where a Player suffers a long term injury that will prevent him playing in the remainder of the Season’s games, the Club may seek dispensation to replace him with another player whilst retaining the registration of the injured Player. For the avoidance of doubt the Club must provide written medical evidence and agreement from the injured Player and his parents-guardians that the Player will not take part in the remainder of the Season’s games before seeking his replacement. In these circumstances the injured Player will not count towards the maximum registrations as set out in C1:6:11 above.
C1:6:17 Providing the Club has not filled all of its registration places, then from the 1st November a Player may be registered on a “Temporary Registration” for a maximum period of six weeks. Players registered on Temporary Registrations are not permitted to play in any Matches for the Club and may only train with the Club. Players may only register on a Temporary Registration once in any Academic Year for any particular Club. Clubs may have as many Temporary Registration as they have places available but no Temporary Registrations may be entered into after the 1st April.
C1:6:18 Players must be registered as Contract (Full or Part Time), Trialists or -Terms and Conditions Players. For the avoidance of doubt all the rules set out in section C1:1 apply to Championships Player Development Programme Players.
ACADEMY AND SCHOLARSHIP REGISTRATION PROCEDURE & TIMETABLE
The RFL operates the processes set out in this Section C1:7 to facilitate the movement and recruitment of Academy and Scholarship players. The purpose is to protect the welfare of young players in the game who have been identified as being talented, and to ensure that their treatment is in line with the RFL Safeguarding Policy. The intention is to operate an open and transparent process with the player being aware of the opportunities available to him.
Clubs must treat all players with integrity and honesty and ensure that any player not being made an offer is informed in an appropriate manner which will, as far as possible, protect the player’s welfare.
C1:7:2 Clubs must comply with the Registration Procedures and Timetables set out in these rules.
C1:7:3 Any breach of rules or allegation of breach will be referred to the Compliance Manager as set out in the Operational Rules and the player’s registration with that club may not be sanctioned. The club may also be subject to a fine and/or suspension whilst the investigation takes place and could result in the removal of their Academy Endorsement.
A Club may not approach (either directly or indirectly) a Player who is registered with another Club until the 1st Monday in July in the year his current registration expires. For the avoidance of doubt this means that where a Player is on a two year registration he may not be approached at all in the first year of the registration.
A Club may not approach (either directly or indirectly) a player who it wishes to recruit for the following Academic Year, (this includes current Year 09 (Under 14) players) until the 1st Monday in July.
The following timetable will apply:
- 1 On and after 1st Monday of July (6th July 2015) - Clubs may contact the parents/guardians of an unregistered player who is currently a Year 9 (Under 14) or Year 10 (Under 15) player and/or may also contact the parents/guardians of a Year 10 (Under 15) player whose current registration with a club expires on the 31st August of that year to discuss the opportunity of a Scholarship place (a Declaration of Registration) with them. All contact must be through the player’s parent/guardian.
- 2 By the Penultimate Tuesday of July (21st July 2015) - Clubs to inform the RFL in writing of the names of the individuals that are to be made a formal offer of a Scholarship position with their club (Formal Offers List).
- 3 On 1st Tuesday of August (4th August 2015) - The RFL will sanction or reject each club’s Formal Offers List
- At the same time the RFL will send all Players who receive an offer an Information Letter and Registration Form care of their parent/guardian.
- 4 Clubs are responsible for informing players who are already registered with their Club whether or not they are being made an offer.
- 5 Clubs may continue to inform the RFL in writing of further names of individuals that they wish to make a formal offer of a Scholarship position to after the date specified in paragraph 2. If the Player is already the subject of an offer from another Club the offer will not be sanctioned.
- 6 By 1st September - Start of new Academic Year - All registration forms must be returned to the RFL prior to commencement of the club’s Academy Scholarship programme. A player is not allowed to take part in any Club training until his registration has been acknowledged by the RFL.
- 7 Mid-September - A list of registered Scholarship Players will be provided to Clubs. Any individual not registered may be approached in line with above.
- 8 From 1st November – Clubs may offer temporary registration to players for a maximum period of six weeks.
ACADEMY - PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION YEAR 11 (UNDER 16)
Clubs are not permitted to enter into professional contracts with any Player until the end of his final year of statutory education Year 11 (Under 16).
Players should not be invited or requested to attend any form of training session other than those arranged by their Academy Scholarship Club.
- 1 The Window of Opportunity for “Declaring an Offer of Contract” in a Player who is Scholarship registered with another Club (or who is not registered with any Club in which case the Club must provide the RFL with the relevant information about the player) opens on the first Monday of June (1st June 2015) and closes at close of business on the following Friday (Friday 5th June 2015).
- 2 The RFL will collate all the Declarations to Offer of Contract and all players that have received a “Declaration to Offer a Contract from a Club other than the one they are Scholarship registered with will be sent notification no later than Friday 12th June 2015. A Pre-Registration Agreement specific to the player is included with the letter.
- 3 Clubs will be informed by e-mail on Friday 12th June 2015 of any “Declarations” made by another Club or Clubs for their registered players.
- 4 From 13th June 2015 Clubs may speak to any Player that they have “Declared an Interest” in and may also speak to Players on their Club’s Scholarship Register. Players approached from other Clubs are not allowed to participate with the Club in any physical activity or training.
- 5 When the player has decided which club he wishes to sign for he should give that club his Pre-Registration Agreement. The club will submit that to the RFL so that it can obtain the registration and contract documents for that player.
- 6 All registration and contract documents must be submitted to the RFL by the last Friday in July (Friday 31st July 2015).
- 7 Clubs are responsible for informing players who are Academy Scholarship registered with their club whether or not they are receiving an offer and must do so by the last Friday in July and submit registration and contract documents to the RFL for the appropriate players by that date.
- 8 The RFL will circulate a list of all players who have been registered under the process on 7 August and from 8 August 2015 Clubs are free to speak to and enter into contracts with any players who do not appear on this list.