Q1 What is the NSW Country Rugby League?

It is a incorporated body to which provides a competition in Rugby League to associated country rugby league incorporated bodies.

Q2 What is the NSW Rugby League?

The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) is the governing body of rugby league in New South Wales and is a member of the Australian Rugby League.

Q3 What is the Australian Rugby League?

The Australian Rugby League (ARL) as the governing body for the sport of Rugby League no longer exists as from February 2012. In stead it was replaced by the ARL Development Council and the ARL Development Board

Q4 What is The Australian Rugby League Commission?

Is an eight-person Commission that is responsible for the governance of Rugby League in Australia. (Note: This includes the National Rugby League.)

Q5 What is a Referees' Association?

Usually an incorporated body (affiliated with the CRLRA) whose members consist of persons holding a Rugby League Referees' Certificate. These bodies usually provide match officials to the local Rugby League competition(s). Note: There can only be ONE Referees' Assoc in any one CRL boundary area.

Q6 What is the Country Referees' Association? (CRLRA)

A non-incorporated body whose main aim is to promote & assist local Referee's Associations. The CRL has a policy that all members of referees associations must be affiliated with this body.

Q7 What is a Rugby League Referees' Certificate?

This is a certificate issued by the NRL which enables holders to referee rugby league throughout Australia. It ranges from Preliminary Level 1 to a Level 4 Certificate. Most persons hold a Level 1 or 2 Certificate.

Q8 How do I get a Referees' Certificate?

1) By completing a E-Learning Course ($25) or an approved course conducted by an NRAS Provider.

2) Spending 4 hours face to face with a NRAS Provider if course is completed through E-Learning. Note: This is not required is course has been completed with NRAS Provider.

3) Being assessed on the field (as a match official) by an accredited National Referees' Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) assessor/provider.

Q9 What types of Referees' Certificate are there?

Preliminary Level 1 ......Level 1........ Level 2 ........Level 3 .......Level 4. Note: These levels are usually associated with Junior Rugby League (Prelim & Level 1), Senior Rugby League (Level 2) , Regional Rugby League (Level 3) , International/NRL Rugby League (Level 4).

Q10 Can the Referee's Certificate be suspended?

YES. If a person holding a Referee's Certificate acts in a manner contrary to the true spirit of Rugby League or brings the game into disrepute. For example criticizing, in public, a fellow match official.

Q11 What is accreditation of a referee?

This is a registration of persons holding a Referees' Certificate indicating that they are competent to referee Rugby League up to the level that their referees' certificate entitles . Accreditation is usually valid for 4 years.

Q12 How do I become accredited?

To continue accreditation (after your initial accreditation has expired) you must contact your local National Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) provider or your Referees' Assoc Secretary . Both have the authority to re-accredit you.
Re-accreditation may/may not consist of an on field assessment and/or interview.

Q 13 How long does accreditation last?

4 years.

Q14 Do I have to complete NRAS Registration each year?

YES, as long as you belong to a Referees' Association. The "form" may merely consist of you signing a document (along with other referees) to indicate your contact details, etc have not changed in the previous 12 months. Alternatively, you may re-register electronically (each year) by clicking HERE
NOTE: If you do not know how to use the electronic reregistration procedure click HERE to contact the NRL Delopment Officer (North) or contact yourAssociation Secretary.

Q14 (a) Can I complete this form electronically via the internet each year or initially after completing E-Learning?


Q15 How do I find who is my local NRAS provider?

Contact the Australian Rugby League or local Referees' Association. For the Group 2 Referees' Association click HERE

Q16 How do I find out if I'm accredited?

Contact your local NRAS Provider (Phone: 0412292425) or the NRL Development Officer (North ) HERE

Q16 (a) What do I do if I have lost my NRAS Identification Number or my old Referees' Certificate folio number?

Contact your NRAS Provider or the NRL Development Officer (North) Mr Tony Hardy to ascertain if you are on their database. (ARL)

Q16 (a) What if they cannot find me on a database?

If you can provide some sort of evidence that you have held a Referees' Certificate you may be able to reactivate/reaccredit yourself after discussions with your NRAS Provider. Otherwise you will have to complete all E-Learning Modules from Level 1.

Q17 I have held a Referees' Certificate for many years. Can I go and act as a match official in Rugby League if I'm asked to by a local club.

NO! You have to: 1) Be accredited 2) Hold a Referees' Certificate 3) Belong to a Referees' Association (that covers insurance requirements) to be able to referee in any match/competition sanctioned by the CRL.

Q18 Is the CRL an agent for SLE? Is it a reputable insurance company?

YES and YES!

Q18 (a) Am I automatically covered by club, CRL or any other type of insurance if I hold a Referees' Certificate?


Q19 Am I automatically covered by club, CRL or any other type of insurance if I hold a Referees' Certificate and am also accredited?

NO unless the match you are refereeing is sanctioned by the CRL of NSW AND you belong to a Referees' Assoc who has affiliated you with the CRLRA.

Q20 How do I get match officials' insurance?

By belonging to your local Referees' Association.

Q21 I am 18 years of age (or under) and still going to school. Do I need insurance cover to act as a match official?

Yes. This can be obtained FREE by joining a Referees' Association. However, it is NOT automatic on joining and an application should be made, by yourself or your association, to activate this free insurance, to the CRL.

Q21 (a) I'm 17 years of age and hold a level 1 Referee's certificate, accredited and belong to a referees' association. Can I referee a U/18 years match?

NO! You have to be 18 years of age or over. Click HERE to see what your Referee's Cert entitles you to referee.

Q22 I only referee Junior League matches. Do I need insurance?

YES. You MUST join a Referees Association (which provides insurance cover) no matter what age you are or what grades you act in as a match official.

Q22 (a) I am only 14 years of age and don't own any property and/or don't have a great deal of money. What is the sense in me having to have insurance cover?

Even though you cannot be sued their is a strong possibility that your parent/guardian will be. Additionally, the club or league that allowed you to act as a match official (knowing that you were not covered by SLE insurance) are possibly liable as well. There is also nothing to stop a court ruling that you shall have to pay damages once you turn 18 years of age....Is no insurance really worth it? (Insurance is something you don't need ............. until you need it!)

Q22 (a) I do not get paid for acting as a match official. Do I still need insurance cover?


Q22 (b) As a match official who receives no numeration for refereeing why can't I be covered by any Worker's Compensation Policy that clubs may have?

Most incorporated bodies do not have Workers' Compensation insurance as this is not required for volunteers. Additionally, you are not paid a wage or salary as a referee, which is a requirement to receive Workers' Compensation .

Q 22 (c) How old do I have to be before I can get a referees' certificate?

14 years old.

Q23 Can I get my own insurance?

YES, but the cost is prohibitive. ($60/year when insured through an Association & SLE/CRL....many $100s otherwise!!!!!)

Q23 (a) Can I purchase insurance direct from CRL or SLE?

NO!. You must belong to a referees' association to be eligible for SLE/CRL insurance. It is an automatic benefit on joining an association as an active member and in most associations part of your membership fees each year.

Q24 When does any insurance I have through a Referees' Association expire?

The 31st of December each year.

Q25 What does my insurance cover each year?

Public liability (should a player be killed or seriously injured in a match you are controlling) to an amount of $20 000 000.00.
Loss of wages after two weeks to a total amount of $3000.00
The gap in medical expenses between the Medicare amount and the Schedule Fee charged by the medical practitioner up to an amount of $2000.00
You are covered whilst acting as a match official, travelling to and from a ground that you have been appointed to and whilst at official training.

Q25 (a) I act as a match official and have no insurance cover. A claim is made against me by a player or spectator. What will happen?

You will have to meet all personal and legal costs out of your own pocket. This will include any damages or court costs awarded against you. The Referees Association & CRL WILL NOT meet any costs you incur!

Q25(b)Does my CRL insurance cover damage or loss to my personal property whilst at a ground?


Q26 How do I put in a SLE insurance claim?

Through your local Association. They can provide a claim form that MUST be signed by the Association's Secretary BEFORE forwarding to SLE. The Association Secretary will verify that you are a financial member of the Association and you were acting as a match official as claimed. The Association Secretary WILL NOT sign this claim form if you are an unfinancial member of the Association and your insurance claim WILL NOT be accepted by CRL/SLE for payment or your legal representation in court!

Q27 I am accredited and hold a ARL Referees' Certificate. Am I covered by any insurance?

NO. Your cover starts when you join and become a financial member of a Referees' Association .

Q28 Am I covered by the Rugby League Club's Public Liability Insurance when refereeing at their ground?

NO! You must have personal CRL/SLE insurance cover.

Q28 (a) I wish to temporarily act as a match official in another Group within country NSW. Am I covered by CRL/SLE insurance?

YES, provided the match(es) you are refereeing/touch judging are CRL sanctioned or it is a CRL controlled competition. (Also see Q67 & Q68)

Q29 Can I get an unqualified, unaccredited or uninsured player or some other person to assist me as a touch judge in an emergency?

NO! (You MUST run the match without touch judges.)

Q30 Can I get a person who holds a referees' certificate AND IS NOT ACCREDITED to assist me as a touch judge?

NO! (Unless a person is accredited, holds a Referees' Certificate and belongs to a Referees' Association they are not covered by any type of insurance.)

Q30 (a) I have been asked by a school to act as a referee at a match they are playing against another school (or in a rugby league schoolboys' carnival.) Am I covered by insurance?

NO, unless the match or carnival has been sanctioned by the CRL. (It would be advisable to get the match or carnival organiser to contact the CRL to get these matches sanctioned.)

Q30 (b) How do I know that a match I have been asked to act as a match official has been sanctioned by the NSWCRL?

Contact the CRL for confirmation BEFORE the date of the match.

Q 30 (c) I have been asked to act as a match official at an Aboriginal Carnival which is conducted on an annual basis. Am I covered by CRL insurance?

NO! The carnival must be sanctioned by the CRL.
As of 1/3/12 the only Aboriginal Carnival that is sanctioned by the CRL is that held at Bathurst.
Do not take an organiser's word that you are covered. Ask for details of the policy such as the insurance company it was taken out with, the policy number, etc.
Many popular carnival organisers do take out separate insurance cover for match officials.
It is in your own interest to make sure you are covered by insurance at matches/carnivals not sanctioned by the CRL.
You are responsible for all aspects of acting as a match official at unsanctioned carnivals or matches.!

Q 30 (d) I have been asked to referee at a rugby league carnival in Queensland that has been sanctioned by the QLD Rugby League. (Interstate) Am I covered by NSW CRL insurance?

NO, not unless the carnival has been sanctioned by the NSW CRL.

Q31 Am I liable for any decision(s) made if I allow an unaccredited or unqualified person to act as a match official whilst I am refereeing?


Q32 What should I do if a club insists they are going to use an unaccredited or unqualified match official(s) and I am present?

LEAVE THE GROUND IMMEDIATELY and report the matter to your local League and Referees' Association. DO NOT stop to watch the match!

Q33 I am insured. (I have my own insurance.) I am accredited but do not belong to a Referees' Association. Can I act as a match official in games/competitions under the sanctioned by the CRL?

NO. It is CRL policy that all match officials under competitions that are sanctioned by the CRL shall belong to a Referees' Association.

Q33 (a) I hold a Level 1 Referees' Certificate. I have been appointed by an Appointment's Board to act as a referee in a Reserve Grade fixture because the Group/League is short in number of referees. Am I insured whilst refereeing this match?

NO! Your Level 1 Referees' Cert. only allows you to referee matches up to and including U/18s.
You are NOT QUALIFIED to referee a Reserve Grade match and as such are not covered by the terms of your insurance policy!

Q33 (b) I hold a Level 1 Referees' Certificate. I am 16 years of age. I have been appointed by an Appointment's Board to act as a referee in the U/18 Grade fixture as I have been told that my Level 1 Referee's Cert entitles me to referee U/18 matches. Am I insured whilst refereeing this match?

NO! You must be at least 18 years of age to referee this match. That is there are age restrictions on what your referee's certificate entitles you to referee AS WELL as match restrictions. Click HERE for details!

Q34 Can I get a Referees' Certificate without joining a Referees' Association?

YES, but you cannot be accredited without joining an association as accreditation involves on field assessment which involves insurance cover.

Q35 Can I join a Referees' Association without a Referees' Certificate?

NO, but you can join as an in-active member if you hold any of Referees' Certificate issued by the ARL.

Q36 I have been asked (as a match official) by the local league, carnival organiser or club to implement a "local rule" they have adopted. Should I do this?

NO! Laws of the Game have been set by the controlling bodies. (Group 2s is the CRL.) Should you use non-approved modified Laws of the Game and a player is injured your insurance is void!

Q37 I was unaware of what restrictions were placed on me by the CRL/SLE Insurance Policy and acted in good faith as a match official having never seen a copy of the policy? Am I still covered by that policy if litigation is commenced against me for negligence as a referee or touch judge?

NO! Ignorance of the policies contents is no excuse in the eyes of the law or the insurance company!
You are responsible for making yourself aware of its contents. (A copy of the policy can be requested from the CRL. ATT: Robert Lowery)

Q38 I decide that I do not wish to take out CRL Insurance and am fully aware of the consequences of my action should a player instigate legal proceedings against me. Can I still act as a match official in Rugby League?

NO! The CRL has a policy that all persons who act as match officials in games under its control shall be insured.
Additionally, part of you Assoc Fees each year is your insurance premium. Insurance then becomes automatic when you join the Association.

Q36 Do I have the right, as a referee, to call a match off?

YES! This can be done usually because of weather conditions, ground conditions, player's or spectators' behaviour.

Q37 Can I charge a spectator or club official who continual abuses me with harassment.

YES! Get the spectator's name and address and contact your local association who will commence proceedings and have the spectator charged by police for harassment.
If the person is a club official or a registered player then both the police and local league will be notified by the association for action.

Q38 Do I have to verify that players, whose names appear on Players' Sheets, are indeed those players who have participated in the match?

NO! The only reason you are required to sign the Players/Team Sheets is to verify the SCORES ON THE SHEET ARE CORRECT!

Q39 I believe that the ground is unsafe to play on (not due to weather) but the club insists that it is. What should I do, as an appointed match official?

Make certain that the club has conducted a thorough inspection of the ground (playing area) as per CRL Occupational Health & Safety and Duty Of Care Policies. Get the club official to state on the Team Sheet BEFORE the commencement of the match as to the safety of the ground.
This provides you, as a match official, with some protection against litigation.
The ultimate decision rests with you, as the referee, if a game should proceed.... If in doubt refuse to referee and LEAVE THE GROUND.
Note your decision on the team sheet! ( The CRL, as a registered training authority, must have these policies in place by law. Clubs MUST abide by these policies under the CRL competition rules.)

Q40 Do I have the sole responsibility to safely commencing a game considering ground condition owing to weather?

YES! If in doubt call the game off and LEAVE THE GROUND.
Note your decision on the team sheet & the reasons why you refused to act as a match official.
Clubs may, independently, call games off due to weather conditions if they believe the safety of players, spectators and match officials is a concern.

Q41 Do I have control, as a referee, of all the area encompassed by the boundary fence(s)?

YES! This includes both teams players' benches, match officials, club officials and ancillary persons such as First Aid Officers, water carriers, etc.

Q41 (a) Can I stop a match if, as a match official, spectators enter the area inside the boundary fence?


Q41 (b) Can I dismiss a player for Misconduct (e.g. verbal abuse) whilst they are on the bench?

YES! However, once a player leaves the field of play (outside the boundary fence) he must be REPORTED to the controlling constituted league.

Q41 (c) Can I cite/report a player or club official for Misconduct when he is outside the boundary fence? (This includes in public places after the match.)

YES! In a citing/reporting the match official MUST give a written report to the relevant League within 72 hours of the incident.
He DOES NOT have to provide a monetary deposit to the league in regard to a citing/report.)

Q42 Do I (as a match official) have control over persons entering the playing area?

YES. This includes water carriers, First Aid Officer (FAOs) and tee carriers.

Q43 I notice that the playing area does not have a boundary fence or rope to prevent spectators encroaching on the field. Should I commence the game?

NO! If the club refuses to provide a rope note the fact on the team sheet and leave the ground.
A line drawn on the ground several metres from the touch line is not satisfactory.

Q44 I have noticed that there are no pads on the goal posts. Should I commence the game?

NO! Do not start the game until the posts are padded.
You as a referee are responsible under duty of care for the player's safety.

Q45 I notice that there are no corner posts and/or the ground is poorly marked. Should I commence the game?

YES, you can so long as these omissions (in your opinion) do not effect the safety of the players.

Q46 Are clubs responsible for providing a safe environment on and off the field for match officials?

YES! This includes protection from physical violence by spectators, verbal abuse of match officials and an area where match officials can safely change.

Q47 Do all persons entering the field of play need to have a League Safe or First Aid Certificate? (Excludes match officials!)

YES! This includes Tee and Water Carriers.

Q48 How does a person get a League Safe or First Aid Officer's certificate? (FAO's cert.)

Courses are run by CRL. Contact their office.
(Water/Tee carriers must be 14 years of age to obtain their league safe certificate.)

Q49 Are match officials responsible for ensuring that all persons entering the field of play hold the appropriate certificate? e.g. League Safe, etc.


Q50 Do I have to complete a Judiciary Dismissal form if I dismiss a player for Misconduct in Official and Unofficial Trial Matches?


Q51 Do I have to complete a Judiciary Form if I dismiss a player for Misconduct in Junior League?


Q51 (a) Do I have to complete a Judiciary Form if I have dismissed a player for Misconduct in a schoolboy's fixture?

NO! The matter will be dealt with by the school concerned.

Q51 (b) Do I have to fill a Judiciary Form if I dismiss a player for Misconduct in a schoolboy's fixture that is sanctioned by the CRL?

YES! The matter should be referred to the Judiciary Board on the ground in the first instance. If none exists contact your local CRL Regional Area Manager (RAM). Contact details are HERE.
The Board will then send its findings to the school of the player concerned.

Q52 Do I have to attend a Judiciary Hearing if I dismiss a player for Misconduct?

YES, if required to by the Judiciary Board.

Q52 (a) What if I refuse?

You can be suspended or fined by the local league.

Q52 (a) Do I have to attend a hearing by the league if requested?

YES! If you are facing disciplinary action as a match official you may have a representative (legal or otherwise) as your representative.

Q52 (a) What if I refuse?

You can be suspended or fined by the local league.

Q53 Do I have to pay tax on moneys I earn whilst acting as a match official?

NO. This Association has it in writing from the Taxation Office your refereeing is only a "hobby".
As a result you cannot claim expenses that you incurred whilst acting as a match official.

Q54 What does it cost to join the Group 2 Referees Association?

In Group 2 the Association Fees are: Active Senior Members. (Act as match officials in Senior League: $80.00) Active Junior League Referees (regardless of age: $5.00.) Social Members: $20.00.

Q55 What is meant by "a clearance" for a match official? (Referee.)

This is required when a referee moves from one referees' association to join another.
The clearance indicates that he/she has no commitments to the association he/she is leaving and usually also contains his/her ARL identification number and a short resume of his/her activities with his last association.

Q56 Do I need a clearance to join an association if I have not belonged to a referees' association before?


Q57 Am I, as a match official, compelled to act within the boundaries of policies of the ARL Board , NSWRL and CRL?


Q58 Does the home club have to provide a Ground Manager/Security Guard that is highly visible at grounds within Group 2?

YES! This is CRL policy. To see what Club Job Descriptions entail per CRL Policies click HERE

Q59 I could not find the Ground Manager/Security Guard or the home club does not have one, should I proceed with the match?

Yes, if you believe the safety of the match officials and/or players is not in jeopardy.
Details of the matter should be placed in writing on the team sheets and the Association Secretary notified.
NOTE:In Group 2 and the NRRRL Associations we have a policy that no competition match shall commence until the Ground Manager has made himself known to the match officials before each match. These Associations also insist that it is the Ground Managers prime roles to supervise the "bench" areas and police outside the referees' room at the conclusion of matches.

Q60 I have discovered through the media that the ARL BOARD has changed a section of the Laws Of The Game. Can I implement this new law immediately?

NO! You must wait for advice from the CRL that they have adopted this new law. (This is particular important at the beginning of each Rugby League season!)

Q 61 I have noticed that the National Rugby League (NRL) has a "dominant tackle" and "grapple tackle" law. Can I penalise these when I referee?

NO! The NRL have a separate set of Laws Of The Game they operate under to that of the ARL and CRL.

Q62 Can I bet on the local Rugby League as an active match official?


Q63 Can I bet on the NRL competition if I am an active match official?

Yes so long as you don't act as a match official for the NRL.

Q64 I have been asked as an active match official to write a column for the local newspaper. Is this permitted?

NO! The local association would not give you permission .
The reason being, Rugby League must be always portrayed in a positive light and comments cannot be made publicly about clubs, players, officials or fellow referees.

Q65 As an active referee I have been asked to comment, by the local media, on a player, judiciary board finding, fellow referee, etc. Is this permitted?

NO! (See answer to Q64.)

Q66 Can I temporarily join another referees' Association?


Q67 I have been asked to act as a match official in another Referees Association's area. Can I do this?

YES, provided you have previous permission from the Association you belong to and the Association whose area in which you will be refereeing.
(This usually happens when one association is short of referees or an exchange of referees takes place between associations. You cannot merely ask to referee in another association's area because you wishto do so!)

Q68 Can I live in another Association's area and referee within the boundary of another ?

YES, provided you belong to ONE ASSOCIATION ONLY!


Click HERE

Q70 Does the CRL/ARL have set policies in regard to Occupational Health and Safety, Child Protection, etc?

YES! Most of how their Policies are to be implemented by clubs can be found HERE

Q71 Do I have to pay tax on payments received as a casual match official?

NO! This Association has it in writing from the Taxation Office that as your refereeing is classed as a hobby no tax is payable on moneys received for acting as a casual match official.

Q72 Can I claim expenses on my tax return for refereeing?

NO! As you don't pay tax on moneys earnt for acting as a match official no deductions can be claimed.

Q1 Can I act as a match official in a schoolboys' game of Rugby League if asked?

YES! Provided you are duly qualified and accredited by the ARL. You must be accredited for Mini/Mod if you are to act as a match official in those type of games.

Q2 Am I covered by CRL/SLE insurance whilst refereeing this game?

NO! Not unless the game is sanctioned by the CRL and you belong to a Referees' Assoc.

Q3 Am I covered by any insurance from the NSW Dept Of Education and Training.


Q5 Do all of the above questions and answers in other sections of this FAQ page apply to shoolboy fixtures?


Q6 What are the Judiciary Procedures involved should I dismiss a player for Misconduct in a schoolboys'fixture?

If the match has been sanctioned by CRL the organising school should have a Judiciary Board in place on the ground. This may consist of the two coaches + a teacher, etc. The minimum number on the Judiciary Panel shall be 3 and the maximum 5. If for some reason no Judiciary panel can be convened on the day any Judiciary Matter shall be referred to the CRL Regional Manager.
If the match has not been sanctioned by the CRL then any dismissal becomes a matter for the NSW DET through the schools that are participating. Usually for Secondary matches The Secondary Schools Sport Assoc and for Primary Schools the Primary Schools Sport Assoc. DET will not accept any liability except for its staff and pupils and payment for referees fees (if required & you are not a member of a Referees' Assoc) will be negotiated between the match official and the school(s) involved. Private schools MAY have some insurance cover for match officials. Check in writing with the school concerned.
Our advice is if the match has not been sanctioned by the CRL DO NOT participate in any way as a match official!

Q7 How are persons appointed to schoolboy fixtures?

This is usually done by the school concerned contacting the Referees Association to provide a match official(s). The Assoc will then contact a suitably qualified person to control the match. Due to work commitments, etc. it might not be possible for the Assoc to appoint a person as requested by the school.

Q8 I'm approached directly by a school or other organisation to act as a match official. Can I act in this capacity?

The ultimate decision is yours! Look very carefully through the full range of Questions & Answers on this page before making a decision!

Q9 I'm a young inexperienced referee. Can I ask for a mentor to be present on the day if I wish to referee.

YES! Provided you belong to a Referees' Association. Contact your local Association for help and mentoring if required.