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Rugby Unions recently took part in the World Rugby consultation on its disciplinary process and sanctions table.
The RFU, including representatives of the professional and semi-professional leagues and the Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels contributed to the consultation and as a result a revised sanctions table will come into force in the game globally from 3 January 2017.
The revised sanctions table is available for download below, key changes are:
· Incidents of foul play involving contact with the head shall be at least a mid-range entry point
· Increased entry points for striking with the elbow, stamping and spitting
· Various entry points altered and expressed in an even number of weeks
· Sanctions for ‘tip tackles’ at all levels have been increased by 2 weeks
· An extension of the description under Law 10.4.M relating to ‘testicle grabbing or twisting or squeezing’ to incorporate other acts of foul play against both male and female players.
· Sanctions for verbal abuse of players, match officials, spectators, coaches or support staff based on religion, race, colour or national ethnic origin, sexual orientation or otherwise has been increased and the definition expanded
In addition, the following changes have also been implemented:
A new offence of ‘Incidental Physical Contact with a Match Official’ has been included.
The entry points for this new offence are as follows:-

Entry Point Weeks
Low End 6 Weeks
Mid-Range 12 Weeks
Top End 18+ Weeks

World Rugby recognise that there will, on occasion, be instances of ‘reckless contact with a match official that occurs in a dynamic situation where no injury is caused’ and it was felt that the previous sanctions did not adequately cater for this category of foul play.
An amendment has also been made to Law 10.4.M Contact with the eye(s)/eye area. This has now been split in to two separate charges with two defined entry points.
The entry points for charges brought under Law 10.4.M ‘Contact with the Eye(s)’ are as follows:

Entry Point Weeks
Low End 12 Weeks
Mid-Range 18 Weeks
Top End 24+ Weeks

The entry points for the new Law 10.4.M ‘Contact with the Eye area’ will be as follows:-

Entry Point Weeks
Low End 4 Weeks
Mid-Range 8 Weeks
Top End 12+ Weeks

· World Rugby have also confirmed that all acts of foul play that involve contact to the head of an opponent (including striking, stamping, kicking and dangerous tackling) shall result in at least a mid-range entry point (top-end in the case of stamping and kicking).


regulation 19 appendix 2 – updated 03 01 17
regulation 19 appendix 6 – updated 03 01 17
decision law application guideline – Contact to the head
Decision law application guideline – “Contact to the head”