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LordCharles

Where does the amateur game go from here?

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Ps. I've also watched the various threads about the CC develop.

If your recognise the ORs as a legal framework you recognise why the RFL cannot let teams play if they're not subject to that framework. Those clubs from those leagues opposing the OR represent a liability risk to the RFL if permitted to play in a competition run by the RFL. By running the competition, the RFL are a liability holder.

 

Walney Central who have been invited to play in the Challenge Cup play in a league that have not adopted the operational rules - the Cumbria Mens' ARL.

 

And yes as mentioned quite often by so many on this or other threads alike, the RFL are the governing body, so they have a duty to encourage participation at any club not just the proposed PDC but at every club - social or otherwise.

 

In my mind when David Gent quite freely uttered the phrase, "we expect collateral damage" meaning that smaller clubs may fold, you get an idea of where the governing body are coming from.

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They say that 22 changes are incorporated in the "final version". They anticipate problems because the previous Chair said yes, the new chair has said there are objections I'll go away and ask and presumably didn't bother because she didn't attend the October meeting.

I think the BARLA rump is now in a position of just saying no now to the rules without any real comprehension of what's in the rules or why are they needed. The position seems to be that "the RFL's telling us to do something and we won't", no reasoning just no.

The debating has happened and the Community Board seemed to accept there is now a need for action rather than more words that aren't going to change things and that the rest of the game can't be held to ransom.

If Hull, Yorkshire and Pennine decide to go their own way then that's very sad but if another serious injury occurs or God forbid a death of a player then they're on their own if they've not signed up to the OR whatever else they contain.

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They say that 22 changes are incorporated in the "final version". They anticipate problems because the previous Chair said yes, the new chair has said there are objections I'll go away and ask and presumably didn't bother because she didn't attend the October meeting.

I think the BARLA rump is now in a position of just saying no now to the rules without any real comprehension of what's in the rules or why are they needed. The position seems to be that "the RFL's telling us to do something and we won't", no reasoning just no.

The debating has happened and the Community Board seemed to accept there is now a need for action rather than more words that aren't going to change things and that the rest of the game can't be held to ransom.

If Hull, Yorkshire and Pennine decide to go their own way then that's very sad but if another serious injury occurs or God forbid a death of a player then they're on their own if they've not signed up to the OR whatever else they contain.

 

Just to put you in the picture of past events concerning the operational rules; the previous chair chose not to object to the operational rules at the April Community Board despite a mandate from BARLA and several prompts from a colleague at the same meeting. Whether he had the bottle to deliver the BARLA mandate we'll never know.

 

And in my mind the current BARLA chair knew that the rules would be rubber stamped at the October meeting despite any BARLA protestation so she chose not to attend so the RFL could not use the usual phrase uttered after many decisions at a community board meeting which is, "This was passed at the community board meeting which BARLA were part of.

 

Again in my mind by choosing not to attend this crucial meeting shows just how much out of depth the lady is in her current position.

 

And me being the cynic and well used to hearing broken promises from the RFL, would it not be pertinent for the governing body to reveal the present draft of the operational rules with the said 22 changes before anybody signed up to them.

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If Hull, Yorkshire and Pennine decide to go their own way then that's very sad but if another serious injury occurs or God forbid a death of a player then they're on their own if they've not signed up to the OR whatever else they contain.

 

And I've said before on this forum that too much emphasis is put on the sad death of a player for the need of these operational rules and it's pretty callous of the RFL to use this as a spearhead to introduce the operational rules.

 

I know that it's covering old ground, but in a very sizeable document I seem to recall just several paragraphs that covered first aid. Personally I can't see how signing a player on just moments before a game, would have any bearing on preventing a death in the game.

 

BARLA did concede a need for one set of rules with the official quote being to agree in principal to one set of operational rules, but there were many things that BARLA did oblect to and these were circulated to its members.

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It says the final draft incorporating those amendments was presented. You would hope someone round that table read them!

 

If that's the case then, it should be cirulated to the all BARLA members immediately for a swift decision. Not just made privy to the chair's Pennine ARL advisors

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It may let the cat out of the bag if Barla circulate them. Bit like the emperors new clothes they may find there's nothing ado. Suppose the RFL could go over Barlas heads and send it to the clubs themselves but that would be all out warfare.

Perhaps BARLA would prefer the clubs not to know too much detail ?

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It may let the cat out of the bag if Barla circulate them. Bit like the emperors new clothes they may find there's nothing ado. Suppose the RFL could go over Barlas heads and send it to the clubs themselves but that would be all out warfare.

Perhaps BARLA would prefer the clubs not to know too much detail ?

 

I disagree there TFOU as there were quite a few issues that were highlighted and without referring to them I can't quote exactly.

 

The Cumbrians were almost there with the rules although they did take issue on a handful of them so BARLA need to circulate the latest draft for all members to make a decision.

 

The RFL in their role as governing body already contact the clubs directly so there is no reason for them not to distribute the latest draft to the clubs or would this be detrimental to the RFL.

 

Despite my allegiance with the BARLA ethos, I have been comfortable with the RFL as governing body for some years, but it's the under handedness that they use periodically that should cause concern. 

 

I still believe that BARLA does have a role to play but not under the present leadership which seems to be stumbling in the wrong direction. People tend to ignore the recent BARLA inspired Tops4Teams initiative which rewarded amateur teams with around £100,000 in free playing kits and in the months leading up to the elections in June, more support initiaves were being placed in the wings ready to implement with the new board, disappointingly the new chair chose not look favourably on these. 

 

In my mind the present board are just dressing up as Kings and Queens and pretending to themselves that they are they governing body for the amateur game.

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And I've said before on this forum that too much emphasis is put on the sad death of a player for the need of these operational rules and it's pretty callous of the RFL to use this as a spearhead to introduce the operational rules.

I know that it's covering old ground, but in a very sizeable document I seem to recall just several paragraphs that covered first aid. Personally I can't see how signing a player on just moments before a game, would have any bearing on preventing a death in the game.

s.

Please take this constructively but your missing the point with regard serious injury. The Coroners criticism as I understand it was nothing to do with what happened after the player was injured (first aid etc.) but was about who was liable for him becoming injured in the first place.

I don't know the ins and outs of that case but a lawyer explained one (admittedly extreme) example to me when I asked. Say an away team player is tackled close to a touch line - a 'spectator' enters the field and kicks him in the head causing serious injury. Who is responsible for that incident?

Criminally, it's the spectator but shouldn't the home team have taken measures to prevent that person entering the field of play? Should the away side have actually allowed their players onto the field knowing that spectators would be able to enter the field of play? Should the referee have done something to prevent it? Shouldn't the competition administrator have set rules that prevented such an incident?

The coroners verdict basically said that currently, our sport is in legal limbo without a framework to manage a scenario such as this or any other scenario you can think of. Hence the level of detail necessary in the ORs.

And that really does matter to any individual who is an administrator in the sport because let's say the player injured decides he wants to sue anyone and everyone he thinks he can...he sues the home CLUB for not ensuring spectators didn't enter the field of play (and its not too far a stretch to imagine a judge saying well yes, I agree, a home club should bare responsibilities for preventing spectators entering the field of play), he sues his own CLUB for playing the game knowing spectators can enter the field of play, and he sues the competition (the League) for not having a set of rules that determines roles and responsibilities that determine what is/is not a reasonable set of precautions to take. In the current set up, if this all happens in a league NOT affiliated to the RFL then the RFL are off free and every other ###### in the process is up in court. And remember, in the eyes of a court it's the management committee members of a club who are responsible for its running - so if the club is sued it's US as individuals that are in real trouble!

That's why the ORs are important. It allows US to know what our responsibilities are to PREVENT us ever being in a position where some ###### might decide to sue us.

It's also why the RFL have to bring them in. If they're to govern the sport, or provide the insurance to clubs to cover their liability, then they need to be the people leading the development of those rules a) because no one else is going to do it and B) because the coroner in the original incident put that responsibility onto the RFL.

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Please take this constructively but your missing the point with regard serious injury. The Coroners criticism as I understand it was nothing to do with what happened after the player was injured (first aid etc.) but was about who was liable for him becoming injured in the first place.

 

Not quite.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7291059/Coroner-criticises-lack-of-first-aid-at-rugby-games.html

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Please take this constructively but your missing the point with regard serious injury. The Coroners criticism as I understand it was nothing to do with what happened after the player was injured (first aid etc.) but was about who was liable for him becoming injured in the first place.

The coroners verdict basically said that currently, our sport is in legal limbo without a framework to manage a scenario such as this or any other scenario you can think of. Hence the level of detail necessary in the ORs.

And that really does matter to any individual who is an administrator in the sport because let's say the player injured decides he wants to sue anyone and everyone he thinks he can...he sues the home CLUB for not ensuring spectators didn't enter the field of play (and its not too far a stretch to imagine a judge saying well yes, I agree, a home club should bare responsibilities for preventing spectators entering the field of play), he sues his own CLUB for playing the game knowing spectators can enter the field of play, and he sues the competition (the League) for not having a set of rules that determines roles and responsibilities that determine what is/is not a reasonable set of precautions to take. In the current set up, if this all happens in a league NOT affiliated to the RFL then the RFL are off free and every other ###### in the process is up in court. And remember, in the eyes of a court it's the management committee members of a club who are responsible for its running - so if the club is sued it's US as individuals that are in real trouble!

 

 

Ok MMP I take on board your very constructive points in your latest offering, but show me in the operational rules in their current form the section that would prevent your above scenario.

 

For the record the player in question suffered a head injury in a tackle which resulted in him leaving the field only to return against advice from the touchline.

 

And to pour a bit of oil on your smouldering points what about the recent scenes at Post Office Road during the BARLA under 18's Yorkshire Cup Final. This game was held at a professional ground and surely measures would have been in the operational rules which would stop the players and spectators fighting which caused the game to be abandoned.

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Ok MMP I take on board your very constructive points in your latest offering, but show me in the operational rules in their current form the section that would prevent your above scenario.

 

For the record the player in question suffered a head injury in a tackle which resulted in him leaving the field only to return against advice from the touchline.

 

And to pour a bit of oil on your smouldering points what about the recent scenes at Post Office Road during the BARLA under 18's Yorkshire Cup Final. This game was held at a professional ground and surely measures would have been in the operational rules which would stop the players and spectators fighting which caused the game to be abandoned.

Depends on who had responsibility for staging the match surely. BARLA hire stadium and provide stewarding etc; then it is all down to them. If they paid a fee to Fev to host the event then you may have a point.

 

Legally, I suspect that clubs/referee should make decisions on behalf of players with head injuries rather than allowing them to ignore medical advice by the way. Like a boxer with concussion having the fight stopped .

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Depends on who had responsibility for staging the match surely. BARLA hire stadium and provide stewarding etc; then it is all down to them. If they paid a fee to Fev to host the event then you may have a point.

 

Legally, I suspect that clubs/referee should make decisions on behalf of players with head injuries rather than allowing them to ignore medical advice by the way. Like a boxer with concussion having the fight stopped .

 

BARLA hire the venue and are advised on the level and cost of stewarding, medical care etc. this is agreed by both parties then implemented by the venue. On most occasions, games are not allowed to take place until the professional club are satisfied that these levels are sufficient. 

 

As for the referees' role in head injuries, is this covered in the operational rules?

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Ok MMP I take on board your very constructive points in your latest offering, but show me in the operational rules in their current form the section that would prevent your above scenario.

For the record the player in question suffered a head injury in a tackle which resulted in him leaving the field only to return against advice from the touchline.

And to pour a bit of oil on your smouldering points what about the recent scenes at Post Office Road during the BARLA under 18's Yorkshire Cup Final. This game was held at a professional ground and surely measures would have been in the operational rules which would stop the players and spectators fighting which caused the game to be abandoned.

A first point is that 'rules' can't prevent things happening. It's against the law to speed when driving but a pretty hefty chunk of us do it almost every day! What the rules do is define roles and responsibilities and set a framework for who does what, when, where and who is responsible in given circumstances. If I speed and I get caught by a camera, it's my fault but no great loss. If I'm speeding and kill someone, it's my fault with far far far worse consequences. In both cases however, if following the rules, I'm in a far better position to defend any risk or liability on me.

There is a section in the ORs setting out roles a responsibilities of a club, on a match day, with regard to spectators entering the field. That's why the lawyer used it as an example. In the version I have a hard copy of (I moved house last week so things are all over the place) section D1:6:1 expects clubs to make "best endeavours to take precautions to ensure players......spectators and all persons purporting to be spectators present at its ground do not act unlawfully" and so on and so on (its a long para and I'm not going to type it all) including lines on 'invading the pitch'.

So, at my club we ALWAYs put up a touch line barrier. We've therefore taken reasonable action to prevent a spectator entering the pitch and have met our obligation and critically, managed our risk. If a spectator crosses the barrier we can at least show we had taken steps to prevent it and our risk of being liable is reduced. Of course, if someone REALLY wants to enter a pitch there's not much that can be done - people get onto the field in Premiership football grounds with all the resources they have - but the point is that as an administrator of a club you need to show you made a reasonable effort to prevent it.

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The only other point I'd add on all this is at some point those involved in the game have to TRUST in one another more.

I've read the ORs over and over again and trust them to be what's necessary. I could hire a lawyer to give me a formal legal opinion on them but it'd cost a mini fortune that could be better spent on something else. So, having looked at them, taken an informal view of a lawyer as a favour, I'm more than happy torun with them.

What seems to be driving a lot of the stuff said on these forums is an inherent distrust of everyone else! Everything becomes a 'takeover' or a conspiracy. It's madness.

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The only other point I'd add on all this is at some point those involved in the game have to TRUST in one another more.

I've read the ORs over and over again and trust them to be what's necessary. I could hire a lawyer to give me a formal legal opinion on them but it'd cost a mini fortune that could be better spent on something else. So, having looked at them, taken an informal view of a lawyer as a favour, I'm more than happy torun with them.

What seems to be driving a lot of the stuff said on these forums is an inherent distrust of everyone else! Everything becomes a 'takeover' or a conspiracy. It's madness.

 

I agree on the conspiracy/takeover theory and all the distrust within the so called administrators of the game. Amateur rugby league is strictly parochial at all levels and it's going to take something radical to change people's minds on who and who not to trust.

 

Yes the operational rules is a massive document with most of it bearing no relevance over preventing tragedies within the game being repeated. So for the RFL to use a specific incident to roll these rules in will set the theorists minds working overtime. And why were leagues not consulted in the first place before this document was produced.

 

Ok so we get over the rules thing which however are certain to be implemented firstly in March and then in the second instance in September. But how is this going to prevent the favouring of certain clubs (PDC) to produce the talent which in many cases has been nurted for several years by a group of volunteers at a less fashionable, smaller amateur club. That's what gets people crying foul.

 

And the runaway pursuit of talent is going to be responsible for the folding of many of the smaller clubs/pub teams etc which would see the game cotract further. In the RFL's eyes collateral damage.

 

It's widely known that the RFL are aiming to model the game on the Australian methods where you have thousands of worker bees just serving one queen - Super league club in rugby league's case. As stated before, as the governing body the RFL should be encouraging everyone to play where and when they choose to.

 

Why can't the RFL and BARLA work together in a similar way to the football association and the football league. Let BARLA get on with the cup competitions, running parallel to the league competitions and find a time in the year where it would suit all.

 

BARLA have a massive history in International rugby, their name is famous worldwide for this. So why not let BARLA administer the International tours both incoming and outgoing.  

 

Yes then the RFL would be able to concentrate on the pursuit of talent and their ultimate goal which is to beat the Aussies

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A first point is that 'rules' can't prevent things happening. It's against the law to speed when driving but a pretty hefty chunk of us do it almost every day! What the rules do is define roles and responsibilities and set a framework for who does what, when, where and who is responsible in given circumstances.

That's exactly it. The OR are not a cure for all. They are a back stop and a starting point. They will not prevent trouble but protect the club as far as possible if they've used there best endeavours.

People may blame all this on "the lawyers" but remember unless people went looking for someone to blame and seeking redress they wouldn't exist!

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Just examples of a few things that were asked to be re-worded and why I think BARLA and the local leagues asked for changes to be made, they will lose control of the game at a local and amateur level. As has been said numerous times, there needs to be rules, but they can be changed at any time by the RFL we do already follow most of the rules, out of I think 28 odd pages think there are 4 medical paragraph's and a few you could say are health and safety

"Operational Rules"

means these Operational Rules as amended from time to time; (so can be changed at any time)

“Operational Rules Tribunal”

means the panel of persons appointed by the RFL from time to time to comprise the Operational Rules Tribunal in accordance with these Operational Rules. (All people on the committees are appointed by the RFL and if BARLA do not go to the meetings what chance do we have)

A1:4 ​DELEGATION OF RESPONSIBILITIES TO MANAGEMENT GROUPS

A1:4:1 ​The day to day running of the Relevant Competitions will be delegated to the relevant Management Groups. The Management Group will have the power to make decisions consistent with these Operational Rules. In the event of an issue falling outside of these rules the decision will be referred to the RFL Community Board.

A1:4:2 ​At all times the RFL will retain ultimate jurisdiction over the running of any Relevant Competition and shall maintain the right to impose sanction upon any Club or person subject to the Operational Rules at its own discretion.

“Community Game Regulatory Group”

means a committee drawn from representatives of the Management Groups to review and develop these Operational Rules;

A1:6:1​Any amendments to these Operational Rules shall be proposed and discussed by the Community Game Regulatory Group. The Community Board will have the overall control to approve any changes before being presented to the RFL Board.

A3:2​It is mandatory for all Clubs to take out public liability and personal accident insurance through a group insurance policy negotiated by the RFL or approved by the RFL Community Board. This provides cover for the Club, Players, Volunteers and Coaches. The policy will run for a 12 month period and the RFL will invoice each Club at the start of the Season for this, on payment terms to be specified on the invoice. (They can charge what they want as there will be no competition)

A3:3 ​Where applicable, under the terms of their annual entry criteria, Clubs will need to provide accounts or suitable financial records to the RFL in the format specified.

B1:2​START AND END OF SEASON

B1:2:1​ The RFL will determine the date of commencement of the Season and the date on which it shall cease. Any application to play outside of these dates must be approved by the respective Management Group.

B1:2:2 The Management Groups will have responsibility for determining the programme of fixtures.

B3:2:1​League Matches will take precedence over cup ties, unless the Management Group decides otherwise.

D1:3:1​The RFL Appeal Tribunal shall be selected by the RFL and will consist of independent persons. One such person shall be appointed as the chair and he shall sit with 2 other members at any one time. However, in exceptional circumstances 2 members of the panel will be classified as a quorum.

D1:30​The decision of the RFL Appeal Tribunal shall be final and shall be communicated to all parties affected by its decision within 48 hours. There shall be no further right of appeal.

Jan 2013​1

e) Criticism of Officials

No Person Subject to the Operational Rules shall publish or cause to be published (or give any interview to the media by whatsoever medium) which contains criticism of the character of a Match Official or criticism of the manner in which a Match Official has officiated at a game in which the Club or Player has taken part, or of any other game under the control of the RFL.

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Just examples of a few things that were asked to be re-worded and why I think BARLA and the local leagues asked for changes to be made, they will lose control of the game at a local and amateur level.

There's you problem there. Control, or rather lack of it. But who do they think will take over? Do they not understand the words delegated?

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Control?

Regional leagues are run via democratic protocol as outlined within their own constitution, consequently the member clubs govern or control themselves and their own destiny.

Under the RFL's operational rules, democracy within regional leagues will become a distant memory.

A1:6:1​Any amendments to these Operational Rules shall be proposed and discussed by the Community Game Regulatory Group. The Community Board will have the overall control to approve any changes before being presented to the RFL Board.

No democracy there at regional league level.............just the potential for a dictatorship from above!

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LC you are completely right

The other worry is who are they going to have on all these committee's, as there will still be leagues playing under the OR who will still have their own agenda's cannot see many of the current members wanting to get involved or will it be run from HQ

As we have said before if they made a few changes and explained why they could not alter the others I am sure most leagues would sign them, there seems to be no give or take

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We are all going to get ****** with our pants up by a bunch of elitist nincompoops who see "Collateral Damage" as a necessary evil within the sport at grass roots level!

Piece by piece they are dismantling the game at Youth and Junior level in order to create what they believe will be the answer to all their problems.......an elite program from the ages of 14 onwards that effectively will cost them little or nothing to fund and it will be managed almost entirely by volunteers (amateur clubs) and the pro clubs.

They (RFL) have to deliver on performance above and beyond anything else if they want to secure significant long term funding in the years ahead.

Unfortunately IMHO they are going about that in the wrong way and potentially gambling with the sports future at grass roots level.

I have said it before.............

Participation figures etc can be manipulated...........Performance based criteria cannot!!!!

Whilst sections within the Operational rules may be a legal requirement, factually a considerable proportion have no legal relevance and are not required unless you have another agenda.............a perfect example being Player Development Clubs!!!!

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