Notes For Guidance On Disciplinary Matters


Discipline matters will be conducted in compliance with the revised procedures which were issued to Clubs shortly before their implementation in 1996. Please refer to the current Rugby Football Union handbook for precise details. Clubs are reminded that they should have their own Discipline Sub-Committee to deal with all discipline matters but especially in cases involving players under 18 years of age at the time of the offence as those cases will initially be referred to Clubs by the County. For older players, any action taken by a Club will be taken into account by the Devon RFU Discipline Sub-Committee when deciding upon a penalty. Club Secretaries MUST REPORT WITHIN 48 HOURS of the match to the Secretary of the Discipline Sub- Committee, details of any player sent off which must include name and address. This also applies to players under the age of 18.

Please note that where a player wishes to contest the referees report, he may be called upon to pay their expenses to attend any hearing. Paperwork relating to any hearing must be returned promptly, accompanied by the administration fee of £40.00 (cheques made payable to the Devon RFU Ltd). In the case of a citing, different procedures apply and Clubs must send a cheque for £125.00 with their notice of citing.

Clubs must ensure that any suspension is observed, as failure to do so will result in severe sanctions. Please ensure that you obtain details of a players discipline record before he joins your Club. Please ensure every playing member of your Club is aware of his responsibility to himself, his Club and his opponent. DO NOT SELECT PLAYERS who are frequently or persistently involved in acts of foul play, whether these players are sent off or not! Finally, make sure your players are aware of the 5 point plan below and remind them of it regularly during the season.

The 5 point plan for players - HOW NOT TO GET SENT OFF

  1. DON’T DO IT. Whatever the reason, don’t do it. Keep your hands in your pockets, your feet planted on the ground, your temper and your tongue firmly under control. That way you will never be sent off.

  2. Be especially cautious during the second half of a match and particularly in the last quarter. Statistics show that most players are sent off at these stages of a game.

  3. Most players are sent off during a 1st XV match. 1st XV players beware!

  4. If a referee has given a general warning, be careful. A significant proportion of sending off occur after a general warning has been given – sometimes for relatively minor offences.

  5. NEVER retaliate. The overwhelming majority of players sent off claim provocation and state that they were retaliating to an act of violence committed against them. Remember the referee often will not, and indeed on occasions, cannot see the first offence but almost always will see the second. Retaliation is no defence.


Where Players or members (or persons with a “non-member relationship) of a Club appear before a Disciplinary Panel on more than five separate occasions in any one Season, that Club may be charged by the RFU Head of Discipline or Constituent Body Disciplinary Secretary and summoned to attend a discipline hearing on the basis that it has a bad disciplinary record. When dealing with a Club under this provision, the Discipline Panel may impose any appropriate sanction, including (but not limited to) a reprimand, a financial penalty or a deduction of league points or relegation, exclusion or disqualification from any competition, or a combination of the above. Sanctions may also be suspended if considered appropriate      

Constituent Body Discipline Secretary; 

Treve Mitchel

5 Speakers Road



Tel:01752 894676