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Enhanced sanctions for proven instances of Match Official Abuse

Enhanced sanctions for proven instances of Match Official Abuse

Kevin Price4 Jan - 19:03
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See below and attached re enhanced sanctions for proven instances of Match Official Abuse

With just under 20% of all discipline cases in the game being related to MOA and survey data from Match Officials showing that c50% of officials have been abused in the last season, the RFU Head of the Judiciary has today, the 1st January 2024, issued guidance to all discipline panels that all sanctions for proven instances of MOA must be aggravated by an additional number of weeks/ matches. This will be applied to all levels of the game.

The full details and reasoning for this guidance are attached to this email, however, in summary, any offence contrary to RFU Rule 9.28 will be aggravated in accordance with RFU Regulation 19.11.13(b) as follows:

Low-end, by 2 weeks,

Mid-range, by 3 weeks, and

Top-end (whatever starting point is determined), by 4 weeks.

For the avoidance of doubt, this aggravation will also be applied to any misconduct or rule 5.12 cases.

With levels of MOA having a significant impact on the recruitment and retention of Match Officials, without whom there would be no game, these additional sanctions should be a further deterrent to those players, coaches and spectators who abuse or disrespect match officials.

For further guidance on how match officials or disciplinary Panels will determine what is abuse or disrespect of a match official, please see this document - ( )

Please ensure that this is communicated within the Club as it will be applied to all instances of MOA from today.

If you have any questions on this guidance or the discipline process, please see the discipline pages on the RFU website that can be found HERE or email


RFU Head of Judiciary Guidance Note on sanctions

Further reading