Disciplinary Procedures

Scottish Rugby recognises the need for effective disciplinary rules, together with equitable procedures to ensure that those rules are applied fairly. Scottish Rugby reminds all those involved in the game of its core principles of Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, Enjoyment and Respect. Discipline is an integral part of the game, both on and off the field, and this is reflected through adherence to the Laws, the Regulations and Rugby’s core values.

World Rugby Regulations

World Rugby has issued two Regulations covering the disciplinary processes associated with the game. A copy of the World Rugby Regulations can be found at:

Regulation 17: Illegal and/or foul play
Regulation 18: Disciplinary and judicial matters

Scottish Rugby’s Discipline Rules and Standards

Scottish Rugby has adopted the World Rugby Regulations within its own rules on disciplinary matters. These rules are set out in the Scottish Rugby Guide to Disciplinary Procedures (the “Guide”). The purpose of the Guide is to explain the rules and associated procedures. It also supports our objective of ensuring that justice is obtained through our disciplinary proceedings, and that decisions are made in a fair, consistent, independent and expeditious manner.

Guide to Disciplinary Procedures

World Rugby has also issued a Code of Conduct which Scottish Rugby is bound to monitor and enforce. This code of conduct has been incorporated in the Scottish Rugby Code of Conduct:

Find out more about Scottish Rugby's Code of Conduct for the Game of Rugby

All clubs, players and other persons connected to the game are required to comply with the Code of Conduct and the discipline rules set out within the Guide to Disciplinary Procedures.

What’s new for Season 2015/16

Your attention is drawn to the following items in particular:

  1. Referee Abuse: Scottish Rugby’s two year trial of changes to how referee abuse cases are dealt with ended in May 2015. These changes have now been incorporated into the ongoing disciplinary procedures from Season 2015-16;
  2. Young Players: In May 2015 World Rugby introduced optional Disciplinary Guidelines for Underage Players, including an alternative sanctions table for young players. Scottish Rugby has decided not to take up this option, believing that the current ability of the Discipline Committee to mitigate any sanction to reflect a player’s age or inexperience remains sufficient;
  3. Club Citings : The citing process has been amended to make it less onerous on the citing club and help ensure greater consistency in the presentation of cases before the Discipline Committee; and
  4. Misconduct: A new category of misconduct has been introduced relating to a club failing to suspend a person’s membership in circumstances of child protection issues, serious sexual offences or where there is a risk to the welfare or well-being of another club member.

Specific Sanctioning Matters

Enhanced Sanctions

At certain times it is deemed to be in the best interests of the game to provide advice to referees and disciplinary committee members with regard to deterring particular offences. The Scottish Rugby Board has provided such a guidance in respect of the abuse of match officials:

SRU Memorandum on the Abuse of Match Officials

World Rugby has issued similar memoranda in respect of dangerous tackles and contact with the eye:

IRB Memorandum re: Dangerous Tackles (tip tackles)
IRB Memorandum re: Contact with the Eye
IRB Memorandum re: Dangerous Tackles (high tackles)
World Rugby Memorandum re: Dangerous Tackles (high tackles/dangerous grasping)

Sanctions Imposed during the Current Season

The following sanctions have been imposed by the independent Discipline Committee:

List of Disciplinary Committee Sanctions 2015-16 (doc)
List of Disciplinary Committee Sanctions 2014-15 (doc)

Contact details

If you can't find the information you're looking for, have a specific query or wish to report any matter associated with our Disciplinary Rules please contact Scottish Rugby's Discipline Manager, Richard McGhee, at richard.mcghee@sru.org.ukor 0131 346 5029.