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Australian Rugby has strengthened its commitment to the safety and inclusion of all participants in rugby with a nationwide roll-out of new and updated policies and procedures for the 2017 community rugby season.
The updates are the results of years of research and consultation with the rugby community. The new national policies and procedures will ensure that whenever anyone plays, watches or is involved with rugby in this country, they will encounter consistent standards that promote safety, inclusion and fairness above all else.
Andrew Larratt, ARU General Manager of Community Rugby & Strategy said: “All of these changes are designed to maximise safety, participation and inclusion in rugby, so we’re delighted that these policies and procedures will be implemented nationwide for the 2017 season. While many clubs and competitions have already been using similar policies, this new national framework will strengthen our national approach to safety and inclusion in rugby.
“The Member Unions and Schools Rugby bodies have collaborated with us throughout the process of drafting and updating these policies and procedures, and we are very grateful for their valuable input.
“So far, the response from around the country has been extremely positive; it shows the collective will within the Australian Rugby community to ensure all players have the best possible experience when they take the field by always playing in a safe, inclusive and fair environment.”
The 2017 club and school rugby competitions that are currently underway are already using the new and updated policies and procedures.
The updates and changes for the 2017 Community Rugby season (clubs and schools) are listed below:
NEW: SAFETY & PARTICIPATION POLICIES
These overarching policies have been created to ensure rugby is safe, inclusive and fair.
UPDATED: CODE OF CONDUCT
There are now comprehensive reporting and complaint procedures, and a separate Code a Conduct for each participant group in rugby (players, officials, administrators, fans, parents, etc).
NEW: AGE DISPENSATION PROCEDURE
There is now a standardised national approach to moving players above and below their eligible age grades, prioritising player safety and experience.
UPDATED: MIXED GENDER DISPENSATION PROCEDURE
The ARU has adopted World Rugby’s guidelines regarding when girls aged 12-15 may play contact rugby with boys.
UPDATED: SENIOR RUGBY DISPENSATION PROCEDURE
Changes have been made to simplify the approval process required for U18s players to play senior rugby.
UPDATED: CONCUSSION GUIDANCE PROCEDURE
There is now a national step-by-step process for how concussion is recognised, recorded and how players return to play.
UPDATED: JUDICIAL RULES
Updates have been made to ensure consistency in the way disciplinary procedures are used.
Insured players, clubs and rugby bodies will receive enhanced coverage and benefits in 2017.