Rugby league is about enjoying yourself, developing friendships and having fun competing at whatever level you like. It is not about being discriminated against, harassed, bullied or abused. If this inappropriate behaviour occurs, you have every right to have it stop – either through making an informal or formal complaint. 

Who to make a complaint to?

In the first instance, complaints should be discussed with a Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO). They will provide information on your options and details about the complaints process (see below for details). 

Generally, if a complaint relates to behaviour or an incident that occurred at the State level, then it should be reported to and handled by the relevant state association. Similarly, if the incident(s) involves a Club/ district/group/region level, then it should be reported to and handled by the relevant club. Click here for a handy chart to assist you in working out who to contact at a national, state and local level.  

The complaint process

All complaints should be dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially. See the complaints procedure flowchart below or review the process in more detail in the NRL Member Protection Policy.  

Details on victimisation, mediation and NRL tribunals are outlined in the NRL Member Protection Policy. For further information on complaints processes and instructional videos by Play by the Rules click here

Keep in mind that you can also complain to external organisations under anti-discrimination, child protection and other relevant laws. For a range of contacts in your state/territory click on the Quick Reference Guide here

Disciplinary measures 

Individual clubs are responsible for the conduct of their players, parents, coaches, officials, volunteers and club supporters. If an individual or organisation breaches the NRL Member Protection Policy and Codes of Conduct, sanctions may be imposed which include, but are not limited to: 

  • Suspension of a match, and/or;
  • Termination of a match (including potential forfeiture of competition points), and/or;  
  • Monetary fines, and/or;  
  • Suspension of a participant on a temporary or permanent basis, and/or;
  • Suspension of a club, League or Association on a temporary or permanent basis.  

These penalties are in addition to any penalty which may be imposed by the home league’s judiciary. A comprehensive list of disciplinary measures are outlined in the NRL Member Protection Policy. 

Member support 

Member Protection Information Officers (MPIO) are an important contact point to provide impartial information about the rights, responsibilities and options available to an individual making a complaint or raising a concern. They ensure all required policies (child protection, anti-discrimination and harassment, codes of conduct, member protection) are in place and promoted within your organisation. The MPIO also provides information and advice to sport administrators and complaint handlers in respect of these policies. 

Please note that an MPIO provides support and procedural advice. They do not hear complaints or make a decision or impose a disciplinary measure regarding a complaint – this is the role of the Complaints Officer in your club or association.  

An MPIO may reside in a club, state association or in the NRL. If you need to contact an MPIO you should enquire at your club, association or visit here to locate their relevant details.