RNRL Constitution

RNRL Constitution


1. The Association shall be known as the Royal Navy Rugby League (RNRL)

Context and C2

2. The RNRL is one of 39 Naval Service Sports Associations and as a synopsis (Cat1) sport receives financial support from both public and non-public funds. It is a MOD body within the Navy (Pers) chain of command under Capt PFCS and PD and is an enabler for the Naval Service Physical Development Strategy The 2* Naval Service Sports Board provides strategic direction for Naval Service Sport.


2. The object of the RNRL shall be the development and organisation of Rugby League within the Naval Service. This includes arranging fixtures for representative teams, organising internal competitions, conducting the administration of the sport, encouraging and supporting RL throughout the Royal Navy at all ability levels. The said organisation and control will be undertaken by a committee.

3. The Rugby Football League (RFL) having delegated, through Great Britain Armed Forces Rugby League (GBAFRL) certain functions to the RNRL, all questions relating to Rugby League in the Naval Service shall in the first instance be addressed to the RNRL.

4. The RNRL is responsible to the Naval Service Sports Board through Capt PFCS and PD for the proper application of the Service regulations relating to the administration of sport as they affect rugby league within the Naval Service.

5. The RNRL is comprised of all RN and RM teams, which include representative sides at Senior, Academy, Women, Royal Marines, Area Command, Shore Establishment and Frontline Unit level.


6. The following classes of membership exist:

a. Full Membership. All officers, ratings and other ranks of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines are, ipso facto, members of the association.

b. Life Membership. The Committee may at their discretion, as a mark of esteem for services rendered to RN Rugby League, elect limited Life Members. Life membership will be limited to 10 years from the date of retirement; will not include voting powers in the affairs of the RNRL, but life members may be co-opted by the committee to assist in its business.

c. Associate Membership. Is open to all dependents of full and life members, retired members of the Naval Service and civilian employees of the MOD (Royal Navy).


7. The Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the RNRL. All members of the Executive Committee will normally be serving on the active or MR list of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The Executive Committee is specifically charged with:

a. maintaining financial control of RNRL funds and assets;

b. exercising those disciplinary powers delegated to the RNRL by the RFL and ensuring that RL in the Naval Service complies with the rules of its NGB.;

c. transacting normal day-to-day business to do with the administration of playing rugby league within the Naval Service.

d. as risk holder for RL organised by the RNRL, ensuring that the matches are ALARP to meet the requirements of MOD H&S.

8. The Executive Committee comprises:
Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Financial Director, Treasurer, Director of Rugby, Public Relations Officer, Head Coach, Chairman Royal Marines Rugby League.

9. The Executive Committee may co-opt other members as and when required. Co-opted members of the Executive Committee shall be full members of the Executive for all voting purposes.

10. If a vacancy on the RNRL Executive Committee exists it can be filled temporarily at the discretion of the Executive Committee until the next Annual General Meeting, where a vote will take place to approve a permanent replacement.

11. The Executive Committee shall meet formally at least 4 times per season, the dates and venues being promulgated as required. A quorum for a meeting is the Chairman or Vice Chairman plus four other members. The meeting agenda will be promulgated 2 weeks before any meeting. Members who are unable to attend may nominate a representative to attend, and if necessary, vote on their behalf.

12. The Committee shall manage the affairs of the RNRL and have full power of authority over the use, disposition and investment of all funds, subject to any caveats determined by those bodies making grants to the Association (NSSB, NSSC, RNRM Sports Lottery, Sponsors etc). Each member of the Committee shall be entitled to one vote, with the Chairman holding the casting vote.

13. Extra-ordinary meetings of the Committee may be convened as required on the request of more than half of the committee, who are to submit their request in writing to the Secretary.

14. Members attending Executive Committee meetings may claim travel Expenses from public funds, chargeable to local budgets.


15. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held each year, not later than December. A minimum notice of 8 weeks will be given for the date of an AGM. All Teams may send as many representatives as they wish to an AGM but each team shall only be entitled to one vote on any issue. A quorum for an AGM is at least five members of the Executive Committee (including the Chairman). The President shall normally chair the AGM but may delegate this function to the Chairman.

16. The AGM shall:

a. Appoint a President for the following season and elect members of the Executive Committee;

b. Receive reports from the members of the Executive Committee relating to the previous season;

c. Endorse the financial strategy for the next season;

d. Ratify recommendations for appointment to the Executive Committee;

e. Debate and vote on any motions relating to the administration of the RNRL.

17. Nominations for appointments to the Executive Committee must be forwarded to the Secretary RNRL no later than 6 weeks before an AGM. Those nominations will be considered by the Executive Committee and at the AGM. Where there is more than one nomination for any post, the Executive Committee shall elect one of candidate by secret ballot. The selection will be endorsed at the AGM. If the AGM (by a majority vote) wish to challenge the Executive Committee nomination, a Special General Meeting will be called within the time scale specified below to vote on any nominations. The Executive Committee must then endorse the person elected by the SGM.

18. Motions proposing changes to the RNRL byelaws shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the RNRL no later than 8 weeks before the date of the AGM. Such proposals must have the support of 2 teams and will be passed at the AGM provided that there is a two-thirds majority in favour.


19. The RNRL’s income will ordinarily be generated from interest on investments (if any), gate monies and ticket receipts from representative matches, sponsorship, grants from the RFL and Naval Service public and non-public funds, from the marketing of the RNRL and from any other available source. Any surplus each financial yearshall be applied only in furthering the objects of the RNRL.

21. Annually the Treasurer is to prepare a 5 year plan and submit it with the annual bid to SO1 NS for NSSC operating costs grant. The 5 year plan is to include Overseas Tours and Training Camps and supporting RNRM Sports Lottery bids.

20. The Treasurer shall prepare a budget for the RNRL to be approved by the Executive Committee at its AGM. The Treasurer is then authorised to meet all normal running expenses of the RNRL in accordance with that budget and the delegations within and to bring to the attention of the Executive Committee any requests that are out with the approved budget. The Treasurer shall prepare a financial statement for each Executive Committee meeting.

21. The accounts of the RNRL shall be made up to 31 October in each year and shall be signed by the Chairman, the Treasurer and at least one other member of the Executive Committee. The Independent Examiner (Service Fund Examiner, paid for by the RNRM Sports Lottery) shall examine them and a printed copy of the signed financial statement, together with the examiner’s report, shall be presented to the AGM.


22. The dress for the Naval Service Senior, Academy and Women’s teams shall be decided by the Executive Committee.

23. The RNRL shall provide kit of jerseys, stockings and shorts for all representative matches. Players will provide their own body protection and boots. Colours shall be given to each player who represents the Royal Navy against the Army or the Royal Air Force on the first occasion of playing. Players who win the Inter Service Championship, at any level, will receive a Cap.


24. The RNRL exists to promote Rugby League throughout the Naval Service and to encourage, and if possible assist, players to reach their full playing potential.

25. The RNRL has established links with the Rugby Football League (RFL) with the aim of assisting and developing the sport of Rugby League in the Naval Service to the mutual benefit of all.

26. The motto of the RNRL is “A GAME FOR ALL”


27. The disciplinary policy for the RNRL addresses those areas where existing regulations (Laws of the Game, RFL Handbook etc.) are inappropriate because of the bespoke nature of Service discipline or Service life. It also covers the GBAFRL in order to ensure that military players, of whatever Service, are treated equally when disciplinary powers are exercised.

Off the Field of Play

28. Services Rugby League, at all levels, is representative. Club officials should normally deal with behaviour off the field of play that brings a Service into disrepute summarily, unless the infringement is minor enough to warrant admonishment.

Examples being:

Failure to turn up. Individuals who have been notified properly of their selection, but wilfully fail to meet with the rest of the team at the appointed hour, without mitigating circumstances, have failed to attend and should normally be dealt with summarily.

Failure to turn up for coaching. The RFL take their duty of care responsibilities seriously by mandating qualified, in-date, coaches. Wilful failure to attend coaching sessions can negate this and non-selection should be considered.

On the Field of Play

29. The RFL publish a “tariff” for offences that merit sending off the field of play. The tariff is normally suspension for a number of games. As Services Rugby League is representative, a season of a fixed number of games is rarely achieved. The RNRL has a disciplinary procedure which can apply suspensions for a fixed period of time, based on the RFL tariffs, with a game for a week being the norm, moderated by local conditions (see Annex A).

30. The field of play also includes those other areas within the jurisdiction of the match official(s). These include the technical areas and the muster area for any team coaches, trainers or reserve players. All of these areas therefore carry an equal disciplinary levy to those held on the field of play.

31. The field of play should be considered to include the changing areas for both the teams and the match officials and any path that leads to them. Any transgressions in discipline in these areas should be dealt with as equally as serious as on the field of play.

Management and Constraints

32. The RNRL will administer discipline to military players, regardless of Service, participating in a match organised by the association or at representational level regardless of the nature of the opposing side. This could mean administering discipline for members of another Service whom are on the strength of a joint unit, unless local arrangements to the contrary have been made beforehand. For Inter-Services and GBAFRL fixtures, administration of the discipline process is the responsibility of the GBAFRL.

33. Suspension of an individual by the RNRL extends to playing the game under any aegis. Similarly, military players suspended by civilian leagues are barred from playing Service Rugby League until the completion of their suspension.

34. A player may appeal against a sending off decision.
35. A Disciplinary Committee is to be convened as soon as practically possible after an incident has occurred. The Disciplinary Committee is to comprise of 3 members. The committee chairman is to be either the Chairman or Vice Chairman of RNRL, or someone nominated by the Chairman. The other 2 places are to be filled by members of the Executive Committee.

36. If there is an appeal, the panel is to consist of 2 members of the Executive Committee who were not present at the original hearing and a neutral member from outside the RNRL.

Annex A to
RNRL Constitution


Offence Recommended Punishment Notes
High Tackle – Reckless 2 week ban
High Tackle – Careless 2 week ban
High Tackle – Accidental Sending Off Sufficient
High Tackle – Deliberate 4 week ban Deliberately aiming for the head (such as stationary held player)
Tripping – Accidental Sending Off Sufficient
Tripping – Deliberate 1 match ban
Fighting 2 week ban
Abusive Language towards another player Sending Off Sufficient
Head butt 3 week ban
Punching 2 week ban
Stamping 5 week ban
Kicking 2 week ban
Elbowing 4 week ban
Leading with Forearm 2 week ban
Spear Tackle 3 week ban
Illegal Tackle on kicker 2 week ban
Persistent Offender Sending Off Sufficient
Obstruction Sending Off Sufficient
Drops Knees on opponent 5 week ban
Gouging 10 weeks ban/CO
Verbally Abusing Official 1 year ban/CO
Racism Sine Die/CO
Physically Abusing Official Sine Die/CO

All bans to begin at player’s next available fixture, be this Service or civilian.