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NRL confirm enhancements to judiciary and MRC

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has approved enhancements to the Judiciary and Match Review Committee aimed at making the processes simpler to understand and more consistent for participants.

Judiciary

The pool of available Judiciary panel members will be expanded with former coaches and former referees now eligible to be members along with former players on two-member judiciary panels.

The Judiciary Chairman will now observe the judiciary panel’s deliberations and will provide the casting vote where the verdict is not unanimous.

Once the verdict is announced, the Judiciary Chairman will now provide a summary which explains the reasons for the panel’s decision. This will better inform clubs, players and the public of the reasons behind a decision.

Match Review Committee (MRC)

The pool of available Match Review Committee Members will also be expanded with former coaches and former referees joining former players as members.

The MRC Manager will have the casting vote on whether a charge is issued, if there is a deadlock. Former Player Luke Patten has been appointed the MRC Manager.  The match review will remain independent, with the NRL CEO and ARL Commission having the ability to refer matters for the MRC to review an incident for charging not already captured by the Match Review Committee.

Charges and Penalties

The existing points system, including carryover points, has been retired and made simpler with players issued with fines or a suspension.

Every player will begin 2022 with a clean slate with player records reset on a rolling 12-month period since their last offence. Players serving suspensions from last season will be required to complete their existing suspensions.

All Grade 1 Offences will carry a fine except for a reckless high tackles, which is effectively treated as starting at an equivalent of a Grade 4, following on from careless high tackles. 

The number of offences will be streamlined into 8 categories. Players who enter an early guilty plea will be eligible to have their suspensions reduced by one week. Additional guidance and video libraries of examples of each category and grading will be made available.

The changes will add more diverse experience to the decision making panels, simplify sanctions and reduce anomalies where players received significantly different penalties for similar offences because of carry over points. In particular, to ensure consistency, a decision tree with video examples will be used for each type of offence by the Match Review Committee. The process will be easier to understand and more transparent.

The changes will be effective from Round 1 of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership.

Revised Indicative Table with Amalgamated Penalties

OFFENCE GRADE 1ST OFFENCE
(Early plea in brackets)
2ND OFFENCE
(Early plea in brackets)
3RD OFFENCE
(Early plea in brackets)
High Tackle - Careless 1 $1500 ($1000) $2500 ($1800) 2 matches ($3000)
  2 2 matches (1) 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3)
  3 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4)
High Tackle - Reckless  4 (1) # 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4) 6 matches (5)
  5 (2)  5 matches (4) 6 matches (5) 7 matches (6)
  6 (3) 6 matches (5) 7 matches (6) 8 matches (7)
Dangerous Contact 1 $1500 ($1000) $2500 ($1800) 2 matches ($3000)
  2 2 matches (1) 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3)
  3 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4)
Dangerous Throw 1 $1500 ($1000) 2 matches ($2500) 3 matches (2)
  2 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4)
  3 5 matches (4) 6 matches (5) 7 matches (6)
Striking 1 $2000 ($1500) 2 matches ($3000) 4 matches (3)
  2 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4)
  3 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4) 6 matches (5)
Crusher Tackle 1 $2000 ($1500) 2 matches ($3000) 4 matches (3)
  2 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4)
  3 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4) 6 matches (5)
Contrary Conduct 1 $1500 ($1000) $2500 ($1800) 2 matches ($3000)
  2 2 matches (1) 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3)
  3 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4)
Shoulder Charge 1 $2000 ($1500) 2 matches ($3000) 4 matches (3)
  2 3 matches (2) 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4)
  3 4 matches (3) 5 matches (4) 6 matches (5)

# High Tackle Reckless is effectively treated as a grade up from High Tackle Careless.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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