Tough Love

Tough Love In League

ARL introduces the new "Tough Love in League" Programme to curb violence in our great game.

More details can be found below.

In season 2012, NSW Junior & Senior Leagues will crackdown on violence in the grassroots game from 13 years to U/18 years.

CRL has agreed to adopt the new “Tough Love in League” regulations in the Under 13-Under 18 age groups.

The “Tough Love In League” (TLIL) program was designed with four key objectives in mind:

1. To reduce the amount of violence in the grassroots game.
2. To take pressure off young and experienced referees and match officials
3. To make Junior League experience safe, fair and fun for all
4. To encourage increased participation in the game.

Desired Program Outcomes Include

• Reduced on field violence
• Elimination of unsavoury behaviour towards referees
• Stop “all in” melees
• Remove repeat offenders from the game (both individuals and teams)
• Reduce the number of matches being abandoned because of poor behaviour
• Stop spectators from entering the field
• Educate players at a young age that violence in our game won’t be tolerated

Zero Tolerance of Fighting On The Field

Any player who throws a punch or “Strikes another player during a match will automatically be sent from the field. If that player is subsequently found guilty at the Judiciary, the minimum penalty will be a one week suspension.
• Any player found guilty of breaching for the third time in a season will incur an automatic 12 month suspension from the game.
• A “Time Out’ system will be introduced when a “melee” occurs. A melee is considered to be misconduct involving more than 2 players in the game at any time. The referee will signal a time out period and call for the ground manager to bring both coaches onto the field. Teams are to be taken to opposite ends of the field and spoken to by the coaches. The referee will then dismiss from the field the offending players. The ground manager and referees will decide when play resumes. A repeat melee will result in the match being abandoned. In such a situation, the respective coaches will face a code of conduct hearing.
• Any team that has had more than 2 abandoned matches in a season will automatically be disqualified from that competition for the remainder of the season.
• Any player who runs onto the field of play from the team bench will automatically be sent from the field and incur a minimum 6 week suspension if found guilty.

Match Official Abuse

• Any spectator who enters the playing area with intent, will automatically be banned from attending any Junior League or U/18 fixtures for a minimum period of 12 months and will be liable to pay a fine under the ARL Code of Conduct
• If a spectator does breach (as per the above point), the team and or club that the person is associated with will be liable for a penalty under the ARL Code of Conduct.

Trainers, Coaches and Managers

• If a trainer, coach or manager touches an opposition player during a melee, an automatic 6 week suspension will apply if that person is found guilty of such an offence.


It has been announced, by the CRL, that “Tough Love in Rugby League” for all JUNIOR & SENIOR U/18 LEAGUE COMPETITIONS was agreed to at a General Committee Meeting of the CRL in 2011.

Therefore, it is to be implemented, in 2012 until further notice by all Associations and Junior League Match Officials.