9 Jul 2020

A phased return to contact Community Rugby League

A phased return to contact Community Rugby League

The Government announcement this afternoon focused on the restart of team sports, including the phased return of Community Rugby League once a Government-approved Action Plan and related guidance on playing safely are in place.

Marc Lovering, Director Participation and Development; “The announcement was entirely as expected and the implications for Rugby League had already been briefed in the series of community game webinars in recent weeks. As per all Government announcements, further detail will follow, and we will share that with all clubs and volunteers who are working hard on what is a phased return for our sport.” 

  • Community Rugby League will have a phased return over several months (in accordance with information already shared with clubs and leagues). The return of sports is phased depending on the level of contact and risk in each sport (i.e. why low-contact cricket returns ahead of a sport like Rugby League). Phasing also applies to the formats within each sport where applicable. 
  • The RFL’s detailed ‘Action Plan’ (as briefed to the community game) will be completed and sign off sought from the RFL’s Clinical Advisory Group (CAG), Sport England and Government by the end of July
  • This Action Plan, together with detailed guidance, will then be shared in full across the sport. 
  • The approval of Sport England and Government is required by all sports as the guidance for each sport will outline the mitigations which will allow social distancing to be breached in the narrow circumstances required for each sport during the activity. i.e. social distancing in every other respect remains – clubhouses, side lines, changing rooms etc. 
  • The Action Plan outlines a return of full-contact Community Rugby League no earlier than September – and subject to the full range of approvals from CAG and Government. 
  • The Action Plan outlines a return of non and limited contact Rugby League in August – subject to the approvals. 
  • Indoor facilities including gyms may reopen from 25 July subject to comprehensive range of hygiene protocols, social distancing, and other mitigations. 
  • Community club activity at this time remains socially distanced outdoor activity in groups of x6.

The RFL Participation and Development team work closely with Sport England, DCMS and other contact sports to inform the work on the detailed Action Plan and guidance for the safe return of all formats of the sport including Touch, Tag RL, Wheelchair RL, LDRL and PDRL as well as 13-a-side youth, junior and Open Age Rugby League.  

The Government statement can be found here.