The Management Committee of the Kingstone Press Cider National Conference League hopes to introduce a `Dual Registration’ system whereby players who at any time may be surplus to requirements with professional clubs outside Super League may turn out for their original amateur outfit.
In an email to member teams, Administrator Alan Smith stated: “The Kingstone Press National Conference League is delighted to announce that through considerable dialogue with the representatives of the RFL Championship and League 1 clubs, that we feel we have developed a mutually acceptable process that will encourage more players to return to the ranks of the amateur game when their time with a semi-professional club has been completed.
“In essence we are set to undertake a `Dual Registration Agreement’ whereby any Kingstone Press NCL club can have a total of up to six of their former players who are on semi-professional contracts dual registered (at either open-age or Under 18s level) on their club register, of which only a maximum of three can be included in a 17-man selection for game-day matches at any one time.
“There will be two rigidly enforced windows of opportunity to sign these `Dual Registered’ players, the first before the commencement of the NCL season, and the second in June. During this time, a club can de-register any or all of its first set of `Dual Registered’ players and replace them with newly registered players, again up to a total maximum of six.
“Likewise a Championship or League 1 Club will only be permitted to have six players on Dual Registration to NCL clubs at any one time.”
Smith continued: “`Dual Registration’ will only take part with the agreement of the player, the professional club and the Community Club and will be ratified by the NCL and the RFL with regard to a player and club’s eligibility to enter into such an arrangement.
“The reason for this is to enable clubs to review the success of the arrangement, and if players – due to injury or Championship first team selection – become unavailable, then they can be replaced by players who will bring a benefit to the NCL club.
“`Dual Registered’ players will always be available for their Community Club of origin in the first instance, but should that club’s quota be complete, or that Origin club decide they do not want to take up the Dual Registration option with that player, then he will be eligible to play for another NCL club who has room on the quota for him.
“There will be no dual registration signings outside of the two ‘signing’ windows.”
Smith added: “In this way it is envisaged that we can offer almost 300 players the opportunity to be part of their original Community Club who might otherwise not be able to get a game.
“Of course the selection of these players is entirely at the discretion of the Community Clubs and their coaches, but it is hoped that in this way, it will encourage players to retain their links with their Community coaches, and if they should be scratched off the Professional Clubs’ registers, then they will have a ready pathway back to the game.
“This is obviously a very radical way of thinking, but the NCL feel it is imperative that we open as many ways back into the Community game for as many players as it is possible to do.”
“No other sport differentiates between players’ selection suitability like Rugby League,” Smith concluded. “But we feel that in this way all players will be Rugby League players, and the opportunity to play their sport will encourage more and more to remain within the game even after they have ended their Championship involvement.
“All clubs are invited to send their comments to Alan Smith on the attached agreement document, for the Management Group to consider, but it is the intention to bring in this arrangement for the 2016 NCL season.
“Obviously we want to make it work for the players and their clubs, but we also realize there could be some initial teething problems, which we will deal with as and if they arise in a fair and equitable manner.”