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NRL Judiciary Report

Player Tim Brown
Club Wests Tigers
Time Minute of Match 50th
Charge/Incident Dangerous Throw
Charge Grade 2
Base Penalty for Charge 325
7 Year Incident free for discount? No
Penalty Points Early Plea - 292 Guilty - 390
Prior Similar Offences in last 2 years (50% loading) 0
Prior Non-similar Offences in last 2 years (20% loading) 1
Carry over points to be added 70

To ensure consistency and fairness in penalties awarded by the NRL Judiciary, penalties are awarded according to a pre-determined points system. Each 100 points received by a player will result in a one match suspension. For example, a penalty of 275 points will result in a player receiving a two-match suspension, with the remaining 75 points staying on the player's record for 12 calendar months as 'carry-over points'.

Following the end of each round, clubs and media are advised of details of charges laid by the Match Review Committee. Clubs have until noon on the following day to enter a plea on charges.

If the club and player plead guilty, no judiciary hearing is necessary. If the player and his club plead not guilty or ask that the 'grading' of the charge be downgraded, he will be required to put his case to the judiciary.

Above is an example of the standard judiciary report sheet that best explains the points system. Notes below:

1. Charge/Incident

Category of the offence. i.e. High Tackle - intentional, reckless or careless.

2. Charge/Grade

Charges are graded 1 to 5 with one being the lightest grading and five the most serious. The charge and grading determine the base penalty a player may receive. On rare occasions, the Match Review Committee will not recommend a grading because of the seriousness of an incident. In such instances the charge will be automatically referred to the Judiciary.

3. Base penalty

The scheduled points for this charge not taking into account the time of plea or the player's record (see main table).

4. Seven years incident free

If a player has played grade football for seven years or more and has not been convicted of an offence in the seven years preceding the charge, the player is entitled to a reduction equivalent to 25 per cent of the base penalty.

No loading accompanies the first grade 1 offence subsequent to an incident free period of 7 years

No loading accompanies an offence older than 12 months subsequent to an incident free period of 7 years

5. Demerit points

The points the player will face taking into account his playing record but excluding carry-over points.

Early plea

If the player enters an early plea to the offence and accepts the grading, the player is entitled to a reduction of 25 per cent of the base penalty and also a similar reduction in any increases due to other previous offences. A player can enter an early plea up until midday on the day following the charge.

Alternatively, the player may prefer to have the charge heard by the panel by either entering a not guilty plea or a guilty plea but dispute the grading. If found guilty at the subsequent hearing, the player receives no reduction unless the panel reduces the grading. If the player pleads guilty but disputes the grading and the panel does reduce the grading, the player also receives the benefit of the early plea discount.

Guilty

The points normally awarded should the player be found guilty by the judiciary panel.

6a. Prior similar offences

If the player has been convicted of the same or similar offence in the two-year period immediately preceding the incident, the player is liable to an increase equivalent to 50 per cent of the base penalty for each previous offence.  The exception to this rule is Grade 1 offences where the player will only carry the loading for a 12-month period.

6b. Prior non-similar offences

Further, if the player has been previously convicted of an offence other than the same offence in the two-year period immediately preceding the incident, the player is liable to an increase equivalent to 20 per cent of the base penalty for each previous offence. For the offence of a Careless High Tackle Grade 1, players only carry this loading for a 12-month period.

7. Carry-over points

Note when reading the charge sheet, the carry-over points are always added to the penalty points to determine the penalty to be served. i.e. John White's early plea result would be 286 + 62 = 348. A player's carryover points will be progressively reduced by five points for each match he competes in without further charge.

8. Send Off

In the event a player is sent from the field for misconduct, the player will receive a discount from any resulting charge for that incident. The player will have one point deducted from the charge for each whole minute of the match he misses due to the send-off.

Offence Demerit points
Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
Tripping 75 175 275 375 475
Kicking 200 300 400 500 600
Striking 125 225 325 425 525
Intentional High Tackle 550 650 750 850 950
Reckless High Tackle 300 350 400 450 500
Careless High Tackle 75 125 175 225 275
Dropping Knees 200 300 400 500 600
Dangerous Throw 125 325 525 725 925
Law Breaking 75 100 125 150 175
Offensive Language 75 100 125 150 175
Disputing Decision 75 125 175 225 275
Re-entering Play 75 125 175 225 275
Contrary Conduct 125 225 325 4 25 525
Obstructing 75 125 175 225 275
Detrimental Conduct 125 225 325 425 525
Dangerous Conduct 100 250 400 550 700
Shoulder Charge 200 350 500 650 800