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 Disciplinary Rules. The Disciplinary Rules support 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.

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.

All clubs, players and other persons connected to the game are required to comply with the Code of Conduct and the Disciplinary Rules.

Guide to Disciplinary Hearings

Scottish Rugby has produced a Guide to Disciplinary Hearings to assist those subject to a disciplinary complaint or are otherwise involved in the disciplinary process:

We would particularly recommend that anyone attending a Disciplinary Hearing with a mobility issue or other disability brings this to the attention of the Discipline Manager in advance of the Hearing in order that appropriate adjustments can be considered.

Note: Reading the Guide is not a substitute for reading the Disciplinary Rules. In the event of any conflict / inconsistency between the Guide and the Rules, the Disciplinary Rules will prevail.

Specific Sanctioning Matters

Meaningful Sanctions

It is considered important that any sanction imposed by the independent Disciplinary Committee is "meaningful" in terms of the individual's rugby schedule. The following guidance to Disciplinary Committees has been provided in this regard:

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. In 2013 Scottish Rugby Board provided such a guidance in respect of the abuse of match officials. In 2015 the Board extended this trial indefinitely. The guidance provided is available below with guidance on the Determination of Meaningful Sanctions.

Contact with the Head and Neck

On 8 July 2019 World Rugby confirmed that offences involving contact with the neck will with immediate effect carry an automatic mid-range entry point for sanctioning. Offences involving contact with the head have carried a mid-range entry point since June 2018.

Sanctions Imposed during the Current Season

The following sanctions have been imposed by the independent Disciplinary Committee during the current and previous seasons.

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 [email protected] or 0131 346 5029.

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