SAFE PLAY

SAFEPLAY CODE FOR JUNIOR RUGBY LEAGUE PHISOSOPHY

The SAFEPLAY CODE was developed to emphasise SAFETY and GOOD CONDUCT within the Game of Rugby League.

The Code is designed to provide the best on-the-field environment possible for the ‘junior’ game of Rugby League by actively controlling undesirable actions. It has been introduced for players up to and including the Under 15 years age group. The ARL trusts that players, coaches, parents and supporters will wholeheartedly embrace the Code for the benefit of the platers and the Game.

The code was developed to emphasise and within the Game of Rugby League. The Code is designed to provide the best on-the-field environment possible for the ‘junior’ game of Rugby League by actively controlling undesirable actions. It has been introduced for players up to and including the Under 15 years age group. The ARL trusts that players, coaches, parents and supporters will wholeheartedly embrace the Code for the benefit of the platers and the Game.

IMPORTANT NOTE IT IS MANDATORY THAT A PENALTY KICK   FOLLOW ANY ACT THAT TRANSGRESSES THE CODE OF SAFE PLAY.
ACTION, IN ADDITION TO A PENALTY FOR A BREACH, (I.E. SIN BIN OR REPLACEMENT   IN MINI FOOTY OR MOD LEAGUE), IS DISMISSAL AT THE DISCRETION OF THE REFEREE.
Refer International Laws, Section 13, 1 (a) and Section 15 – Players   Misconduct

THE CODE AND ITS APPLICATION

1. TACKLE ZONE

 

The Code: TACKLES ABOVE THE ARMPTS ARE NOT   PERMITTED.
Application: (a) When a ball-carrier is running   with an upright posture, any tackle in which the defender’s arms makes   contact ABOVE the armpit, constitutes an infringement.
(b) It is an infringement for a defender/tackler to set upon the head or neck   region of a ball-carrier.
(c) A defender, in front of a ball-carrier who is diving or running with a   “burrowing” or “stooped” posture, is permitted to come in contact with the   ball-carrier’s shoulder through a “block” and tack provided the defender’s   arm extends down the shoulder and trunk, i.e. underneath the ball carrier.

 

2. DANGEROUS TACKLES

 

Law Book Reference: Section 15, Law 1 (b), Page 38.
The Code: 2.1
(Use of Legs)
THE TACKLER’S LEGS CANNOT BE USED   TO TRIP OR IN A THROW.
Application: The use of the legs in a tackle is   not permitted. Using the LEGS (even if the defender has a hand hold on the   ball-carrier) to TRIP or in a THROW constitutes an infringement.
Law Book Reference: Section 15, Note to Law 1 (a), Page   38.
The Code: 2.2
(Lifting)
ADOPTING A CROTCH HOLD IS   MISCONDUCT
Application: Adopting a crotch hold i.e. by   placing either hand or arm in the crotch region, is an infringement.
Law Book Reference: Section 15, Law 1 (d), Page 38.
The Code: 2.3
(Lifting)
NO VERTICAL LIFTING IN A TACKLE IS   PERMITTED.
Application: VERTICAL LIFTING in a tackle is an   infringement.
No defenders, during the course of a tackle, are permitted to vertically life   the ball-carrier.
If a vertical lift is anticipated (by the referee) or is obvious, i.e. both   feet of the ball-carrier have left the ground, the referee must immediately   blow his whistle to prevent the tackle from continuing.

 

(This is not to be confused with   tackles that, in the same motion, “knock” players off their feet).
A BALL-CARRIER CANNOT BE LIFTED AND   DRIVEN
Application: A tackle that results in the   ball-carrier being lifted and remaining off the ground while the tackler   takes two (2) or more steps to drive the player, (in any direction and while   the ball-carrier’s feet are off the ground) is an infringement.
Law Book Reference: Section 15, Law 1 (d), Notes 1 (d),   Page 38.

 

3. “SHOULDER CHARGE”

 

The Code: A DEFENDER CANNOT “SHOULDER CHARGE”   A BALL-CARRIER TO EFFECT A TACKLE.
Application: A defender who RUNS at a   ball-carrier and, without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the   ball-carrier, charges to make contact with the shoulder or with the upper arm   (tucked into the side), is guilty of an infringement.
Law Book Reference: Section 15, Considered “Misconduct”   or “Dangerous Play”.

 

4. VICIOUS PALM

 

The Code: AN ATTACKING PLAYER CANNOT “THRUST”   OUT AN ARM TO CONTACT THE DEFENDER ABOVE THE SHOULDER.
Application: Any attacking player who violently   PUNCHES or THRUSTS out an arm or uses an outstretched stiff arm so that a   hand or a fist contacts the neck, face or head of a defender commits an   infringement.
(This section does not state that a player cannot legitimately ‘PALM’ the   head, neck or face).
Law Book Reference: Section 15, Law 1 (a), Page 38.

 

5. SLINGING

 

The Code: THE USE OF THE BALL-CARRIER’S ARM   OR GUERNSEY TO SLING OR SWING THE PLAYER IS PROHIBITED.
Application: A defender who uses the arm or Guernsey   of the ball-carrier to SLING or SWING the player commits an infringement.
Law Book Reference: Section 11, Note to Law 1, Page 23.

 

6. SANDBAGGING (Flopping)

 

The Code: A DEFENDER CANNOT DROP OR FALL ON A   PRONE PLAYER.

 

Application: It is an infringement for a   defender to drop, dive or fall on a player in possession of the ball who is   prone or stationary on the ground and not attempting to play-on.
(A simple hand-on completes the tackle).
Law Book Reference: Section 15, Law 1 (e) & (i),   Page 38.

 

7. SURRENDER (in the tackle) RULE

 

The Code: BALL-CARRIERS MAY SURRENDER IN THE   TACKLE. WHEN SMALL AND/OR INEXPERIENCED PLAYERS ARE INVOLVED IN A   “SURRENDER”, DEFENDERS MUST NOT COMPLETE THE TACKLE.
Application: This rule is designed to protect   beginners and small players by minimising risk and eliminating excessively   robust play.
The referee, NOT the player, calls ‘held’. Players who are at an obvious   disadvantage because of low levels of ability/experience , are of small   stature of show a lack of skill are to be protected when in possession of the   ball and being tackled.
A halt to play is to be called (BY THE REFEREE) when these players submit to   the tackle or are held, subdued or their progress is halted by bigger or more   experienced players.
Failure by a tackler to respond to the referee’s call is an infringement.
Law Book Reference: Section 11, Law 2 (c), Note to 2   (c), Page 23.

 

8. VERBAL ABUSE / FOUL LANGUAGE

 

The Code: THE USE OF OBSCENE AND FOUL   LANGUAGE, THREATENING OR DENIGRATING WORDS IS NOT PERMITTED.
Application: Verbal abuse, obscene language and   sledging – inclusive of comments or words that THREATEN or DENIGRATE an   opponent, referee or supporter is an infringement.
(If the individual cannot be identified, then the team through the captain,   should be cautioned).
Law Book Reference: Section 15, Law 1 (f), Page 38.

 

9. SCRUMS

 

The Code: NO PUSHING OR PULLING OR ROTATING   IN A SCRUM IS PERMITTED.
Application: All scrums are to be DE-POWERED.
Scrums will form as per the following instruction –

 

“FORM, ENGAGE & HOLD”.
A team that deliberately pushes, pulls or rotates in a scrum is guilty of an   infringement.
Once the ball has been fed into the scrum, only hookers may strike for the   ball.
Second row players can LIFT a foot to rake the ball out of the scrum BUT   cannot step forward over the ball to cause the ball to come out of the scrum.
Law Book Reference: Section 12, Law 4, Page 30.

 

It should be noted that every   penalty under the Code should be accompanied by a caution and instruction to   the player responsible for the infringement.

 

ADVANTAGE PLAY & THE CODEA penalty kick must follow any infringement.
1. IF NO ADVANTAGE OCCURS the penalty is to be awarded immediately.
2. IF AN ADVANTAGE OCCURS the penalty is awarded either at the breakdown in   play immediately after the misconduct occurred (unless a try is imminent) or   where the act of misconduct occurred, whichever is the greater advantage to   the non-offending team.
3. WHEN A TRY HAS BEEN SCORED in the same play in which the act of misconduct   occurred OR in the immediate play thereafter (the imminent factor), the   penalty kick, additional to the conversion, will be awarded in front of the   goal posts. A kick at goal must be taken from the penalty kick (place or   drop) and play restarted from the centre on the half-way line irrespective of   the outcome of the kick.

 

A NOTE FROM THE LAWS OF MODIFIED   GAMES

The ‘Sin Bin’ does not apply in the Mini Footy or Mod League games. Should a   player be guilty of such conduct that “merits” suspension from the field for   a time, then the referee is to advise the player’s team captain of the   problem and direct that the player be replaced for the remainder of that   period of play during which the misconduct occurred.
A player’s captain may be directed to replace the player for the remainder of   the gam should that player’s misconduct warrant such an action. In this case   the offending player cannot take any further part in the match.
A player replaced for a period (Mini) or a half (Mod League 11 and 12 years)   who resumed playing in a later period/half AND is guilty of further   misconduct MUST be dismissed without replacement (International Laws apply   here).

 

IMPLEMENTING THE SAFEPLAY CODE


Advertising the Code
All parents, players, coaches and referees should familiarise themselves with the “Safeplay Code” before the commencement of the season and subsequent matches.
A copy of the “Code” should be available to all present at match venues and training sessions.

Referees
Referees are the key to successful application of the “Safeplay Code”.
Referees must be fully briefed on the detailed workings of the “Safeplay Code”.
The most suitable personnel to do this are State-appointed Coaching and Development staff or Referees’ Co-ordinators/Providers.

Coaches
Coaches are the other vital factor in ensuring that the Code is applied successfully.
All coaches must ensure that their players are aware of, and fully understand, the “Safeplay Code”.

Initial Matches
To ensure that all parties fully understand the Safeplay Code, a pre-match meeting should be held between the match referee and coaches and, where possible, team captains (for International Law games).

It may take a few matches for referees and players to become accustomed to the Code. During this period there may well be a little “under enforcement”. However, the right balance will soon be achieved as long as all concerned work together and realise that the Code will benefit all platers and the Game.

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