NRL referees are encouraged to make greater use of the sin bin in 2018.

Referees will be urged to continue the trend of making more use of the sin bin following a meeting of the new-look NRL Competition Committee on Wednesday.

The committee, which comprises some of the leading figures in the game, was told that referees sent 43 players to the sin bin in 2017 – more than double the figure of 17 in 2016.

They agreed today that referees should continue this trend and look at using the sin bin more for breaches such as: 

• Repeated goal line infringements aimed at slowing down the play

• Deliberate and dangerous foul plan incidents

Referees would also be urged to be more vigilant in penalising players for failing to make an attempt to use their foot in the play the ball.

The new look committee includes NRL coaches Paul Green and Ivan Cleary and South Sydney captain Greg Inglis. 

Other members include NRL General Manager of Elite Competitions, Jason King:  Referees boss Tony Archer; former Australian star Darren Lockyer; former Kangaroo and coach John Lang; ARLC Chairman John Grant; NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce.

The committee agreed that action was needed to stop the growing trend of teams giving away deliberate penalties on their own goal line to slow down the play.

In 2017, 18 per cent of penalties were given in the 0-10 metre zone – despite only 10 per cent of play-the-balls being made in this area.

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary said teams would be reluctant to give away penalties on their own goal lines if players knew there was a greater chance of being sent to the sin bin.

"No team wants to be left a player short for 10 minutes so if referees start using the bin teams will be less willing to give away penalties," he said.

Mr Greenberg said the committee's charter was to make the game more free flowing, faster and safer.

The committee was given an overview of the 2017 season, including data on the closeness of the competition, television audiences, participation and attendances.