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NSW Combined High Schools Sports Association Handbook


Amended 2022.

4.16 Rugby League

4.16.1 Rugby League state-wide competition - University Shield (open) and W. G. Buckley Shield (14 years)

NOTE: Both the University Shield and W. G. Buckley Shield have a comprehensive and sports secondary school component.

Refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "state-wide competitions" -

(a) Subcommittee

(i) The University Challenge Shield and W.G. Buckley Challenge Shield competitions are organised and conducted by the NSWCHSSA which is the supreme authority in all matters affecting the conduct of these competitions.

(ii) These competitions shall be organised by the Rugby League subcommittee comprising:

  • state convener and assistant state convener;
  • Two delegates from each association;
  • Active life members of NSWCHSSA Rugby League;
  • Representative of the NSWRL.

(iii) The state convener or the assistant state convener shall preside over all meetings of the subcommittee and shall have both a deliberate and a casting vote.

(b) Competitors

(i) All affiliated NSW secondary schools and central schools shall be eligible to compete.

(ii) Players must be bona fide pupils of the school they represent for a minimum of four (4) consecutive weeks prior to playing unless on official transfer.

(iii) All players must sign official registration slip to be counter-signed by opposing coach prior to the commencement of each round match.

(c) Age limits

(i) The University Challenge Shield:

19 years and under during the year of competition. Players who attain the age of 20 years or over during the year of competition are not eligible to compete in this competition.

(ii) The W.G. Buckley Challenge Shield:

14 years and under during year of competition. Players who attain the age of 15 years or over during the year of competition are not eligible to compete in this competition.

(d) Entries

Completed draws should be sent by the association conveners/association sports coordination officer's to:

  • state convener,
  • NSWCHSSA Office

(e) Association and zones

(i) In order to reduce travel to a reasonable minimum, entries will be divided into 16 groups.

(ii) The winning school from each group will play the winner of the nearest group to determine the 8 quarter finalists, e.g. group 1 v group 2, etc.

(iii) The number of each group in the shield competitions be varied by two each year throughout the top half of each draw; that is, groups 1 and 2 this year become 3 and 4 next year, thence 5 and 6, thence 7 and 8, thence 1 and 2. Similar, groups 9 and 10 this year become 11 and 12 next year, thence 13 and 14, thence 15 and 16, thence 9 and 10.

(iv) The draw and venue for the grand final will be determined at the subcommittee meeting in March.

(f) The draw

(i) The entire draws for both competitions will be made following the NSWCHSSA state-wide competition closing date.

(ii) The draws will be made in accordance with Section 2.8.4 by the University and Buckley Shield association conveners.

(iii) When compiling the draws, the following provisions will apply:

Any school which forfeits a game in the preceding year will not receive a bye in the year of competition, if possible.

Any school which received a bye in the preceding year will not receive a bye in the year of competition, if possible.

(iv) The draws will be available on the in February each year, and include any rule changes as ratified by the New South Wales Rugby Football League.

(g) Determination of home and away games

(i) Home and away games - refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "Determination of Home and Away Games" - .

(ii) Duties of the home school - refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "Fixtures" - 

(iii) Provide a ground manager to handle all details and this person to be made known to the opposing school.

(iv) Provide an up-to-date copy of the University and Buckley Shields rules at the playing venue to assist in settling any disputes that may arise.

(h) Referees/touch judges

(i) It is no longer the province of the home school to arrange the appointment of a referee.

(ii) All fixtures must be controlled by a senior qualified, certificated referee correctly attired.

(iii) The home school shall request the association convener to arrange the appointment of a certificated referee through the district or group referee’s association applicable to the home school for rounds 1-8.

(iv) Association conveners must be given at least 5 school days’ notice of date and venue of fixtures concerned.

(v) In round 9, the subcommittee shall request the NSWRFL Referees Association to make the necessary appointments of referees and touch judges.

(vi) In rounds 1-8, each participant school shall supply one touch judge (qualified and correctly attired).

(vii)Referees/touch judge fees:

Where no admission is charged for spectators, the home school shall be responsible for the payment of referees.

Where a gate charge is made, referees’ expenses will be deducted from gross gate receipts.

In country associations, referees shall also be entitled to claim actual travelling expenses incurred.

As a guide, in rounds 1-8 recommended referees and touch judge fees may be:

University Challenge Shield                     $20.00
W.G. Buckley Challenge Shield   $15.00
Touch judges                                               $ 5.00

Round 9 (Grand Final):

University Challenge Shield
Referees and touch judges are provided by the NSWRL at no cost.

(i) Fixtures

(i) Refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "Fixtures" - .

(ii) No extension of time shall be granted except for flood conditions (as determined by the appropriate convener, e.g. if the grounds in an area are closed by the local Council because of excessively heavy rain, then the term "flood conditions" applies).

(iii) The appropriate convener should try to ensure that where a school Shield team has a player (or players) with NSWCHSSA  representative rugby league commitments, that school should not be disadvantaged by being forced to play a Shield fixture while the player is absent.

(iv) Where two schools decide by mutual agreement to play a Shield fixture in rounds 1-8 on a neutral ground, they should be permitted to do so with no change to the subsequent determination of home game status in ensuing rounds.

(j) Results

(i) Results must be forwarded by telephone or e mail to the assistant state convener immediately after the match by the coach of the winning team and sent to the appropriate association convener.

(ii) Results must be confirmed by also forwarding a result slip direct to the assistant state convener and the appropriate association convener.

(iii) Results should also be forwarded to the NSWCHSSA rugby league publicity officer and AAP for publication.

(iv) Results will be placed on the NSWCHSSA Website

(k) Publicity

(i) Press, radio and television coverage prior, during and after the game is essential. Radio, television interviews and press coverage are desirable. Maximum promotion and publicity is essential.

(ii) Make your home games a BIG FIXTURE for NSWCHSSA.

(iii) See that your games are efficiently and attractively presented:

Games should be played on weekends for maximum promotion.
Grounds must be correctly marked and flagged.
Have effective cheer squads, streamers, school flag.
See that both teams are 100% correctly attired.
Suitable programs could be printed and sold.
Guessing competitions may be conducted.
Enclosed grounds should be used where possible and a gate charged.

(iv) Invitations should be sent to:

District Superintendents.
Principals of both schools.
Teachers of both and surrounding schools.
Local Rugby League club secretaries, presidents, star players, etc.
NSWCHSSA conveners, etc.
Sporting editors, press, radio and television.
Departmental officials.
Other dignitaries – Mayor, etc.

(v) Result slips for each game should forward to the assistant state convener and contain –

  • Result including point scorers
  • Best and fairest points winners
  • Action and team photos if available
  • Additional special interest details such as dual sport expertise etc.

(l) Disputes and protests

Refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "Disputes and protests" -

(m) Players sent off

(i) All players sent from the field by the referee for breaches of the rules, foul or dangerous play, or for other reasons, must be reported to the association convener for rounds 1-5. For rounds 6-9 reports should be sent to the appropriate assistant state convener within 48 hours. (see below 4.16.1 (m) (iii))

(ii) Failure to notify the association convener or assistant state convener within 48 hours, could lead to the offending school being disqualified from the competition.

(iii) The report to the association convener on players sent off, must be made by the winning team and must include the referee’s report (signed) as well as the signature of the coach of the dismissed player. Copies are to be faxed / emailed to (i) the association convener, (ii) the assistant state convener and (iii) state convener within 48 hours of completion of the match.

(iv) All dismissed players will appear before a NSWCHSSA judiciary (see Section 2.12). Where long distances are a problem, a teleconference will be organised by the local sports coordination officer and the principal of the dismissed player. If information regarding the dismissed player does not reach the association convener/ the assistant state convener/state convener (where applicable) in the time required, the judiciary shall proceed on the evidence as contained in the referee’s report. The judiciary committee will comprise-

In rounds 1 – 5:

Local sports coordination officer (or their designated representative)
association convener
The principal of the school involved.(or designated representative)
NSW Rugby League representative (D.O) and/or
Referees coordinator (or a designated representative)

In rounds 6 – 9:

State convener
Assistant state convener
NSWCHSSA Executive representative
The principal of the school involved (or designated representative)
Nominee of NSW Rugby League (State D.O.)

(n) Suspensions

Any player suspensions will hold for the all Rugby League (schoolboys, junior, CRL and NSWRL) whilst the suspension is in force.

(o) Duration of play

(i) University Challenge Shield – 30 minutes each way with an interval of 10 minutes with time off for injuries or stoppages as indicated by the referee.

(ii) W.G. Buckley Challenge Shield – 25 minutes each way with an interval of 10 minutes with time off for injuries or stoppages as indicated by the referee.

(p) Assistant State Convener

The assistant state convener in charge of state-wide competitions is responsible for all inter-association matters including the conduct of rounds 6-9 and disputes in rounds 6-9 (see rule 6.15.1 (l).

(q) Conveners

(i) The association conveners will be elected by the Rugby League sub-committee at the March conference.

(ii) The association convener is in charge of all association matters including compilation of and changes to the draw and conduct of rounds 1-5. The association convener's decision in these matters shall be final.

(r) Drawn games

(i) 5 minutes each half extra time shall be played with no interval in between. The team scoring the first shall be the winner (golden Point).

(ii) If the score at the end of extra time is still equal, then the result be determined over the entire match in the following way:

  • Most tries.
  • If tries equal – first try scorer
  • No tries – first scorer
  • Nil all draw will be determined by penalties in extra time only.

(s) Admission charges

(i) In rounds 1-8, competing schools are encouraged to organise admission charges for spectators.

(ii) Suggested Charges are:

Rounds 1-6:               Adults $2.00             Children $1.00
Rounds 7- 8:                         Adults $3.00             Children $1.00

(iii) All gate money from fixtures in rounds 1-8 is to be retained by the home school.

(t) Round 9 (Grand Finals)

(i) An organising committee appointed by the sub-committee will organise Round 9 and compromise:

  • Sub-committee delegate
  • Association / Zone conveners
  • Other appropriate local school / community officials

Admission charges Round 9 shall be:    Adults:            $5.00 Children: $2.00

(ii) All net proceeds shall be put into the NSWCHSSA Rugby League accounts with the appropriate reconciliation.

(iii) All proceeds from sale of programs, guessing competitions, etc. shall be included in gross proceeds.

(iv) Representative fixtures involving touring interstate and international teams shall be included in the programs where possible.

(v) The subcommittee will be responsible for organising:

  • Supporting fixtures
  • Programs
  • Posters
  • Invitations
  • Presentations
  • After match functions

(u) Rules

(i) Fixtures shall be played according to the rules of the NSWRFL so that any new rules adopted by the NSWRFL will automatically apply to these competitions. However, any change in NSWRFL rules after the commencement of the competition will not become effective during the current year’s competition.

(ii) The subcommittee shall have power to introduce variations of NSWRFL rules on an experimental basis, if considered to be in the best interest of the code.

(iii) Alterations or amendments to the rules of these competitions shall only be made at the October Conference and a two thirds majority will be required to amend or alter these rules.

(iv) The "Blood Bin" applies in these competitions.

(v) Each team may use up to seven (7) replacements with unlimited interchange in both state-wide competitions.

(v) Travel allowance

(i) Travel claims may be made to the state convener prior to the match. Claims must be approved prior to the match to allow NSWCHSSA to make payment to the school. Schools will be able to take the refund into account and pass the saving onto the students.

(ii) The following claims can be made:

University Challenge Shield – 30 cents for each kilometre when travel exceeds 800 kilometres.
Buckley Challenge Shield – 30 cents for each kilometre when travel exceeds 800 kilometres.

(iii) Refunds will be forwarded to the schools at the completion of the Finals Day.

(iv) Final Series Travel Claims

All claims for refunds must be made on the official claim form and must be forwarded to the state convener no later than two weeks after the conclusion of the grand final.

(w) Accommodation – visiting teams

(i) Under no circumstances shall the home school or the subcommittee accept liability for costs of accommodation of visiting teams at motels or hotels.

(ii) Schools unwilling to accept billets provided by the home school or accommodation provided by the subcommittee must accept full responsibility for alternate accommodation costs.

(x) Awards

(i) University Challenge Shield (Comprehensive High School/Sports High School)

The Premier School shall receive a set of 22 winners’ shirts

The Second School shall receive a set of 22 runner-up shirts

(ii) W.G. Buckley Challenge Shield

The Premier School shall receive a set of 22 winners’ shirts

The Second School shall receive a set of 22 runner-up shirts

(iii) University and Buckley Shields Competition Medal:

A plaque/trophy will be awarded to the best and fairest player of the University and Buckley Shield competitions. A perpetual trophy will also be presented to the best and fairest players, to be held by those players for one year. The players will be picked by the referee of each game and his points put in the space provided on the result sheet. The result sheet and best and fairest points will be sent to the assistant state convener.

Note: In determining the medal winner, each player's points will be divided by the number of games his team has participated in, with a minimum of five matches required.

(y) Coach of teams

The nominated coach must be a staff member of the respective school.

(z) Situations not covered by these rules

Should any situation or matter arise, not covered in these rules, the matter shall be referred to the subcommittee (comprising the state convener, assistant state convener in charge of state-wide, and the conveners of the association concerned) for decision which will be final.

6.15.2 Rugby League state trials

(a) Event

The trials will be conducted annually.

The trial is to select a NSWCHSSA team in the 15 years and under age group and the 18 years and under age group.

(b) Entries

Entries will come from combined association teams including:

(i) North West and Western – Western

(ii) North Coast and Hunter – Northern

(iii) South Coast and Riverina – Southern

(iv) Sydney West and Sydney South West – Sydney Gold

(v) Sydney North and Sydney East – Sydney Red

(vi) President’s team – chosen from players who are not selected in their greater association teams and are nominated by their respective Schools Sports Association.

(c) Teams

Teams will consist of two officials and 18 players. (Due to the fact that this is a trial, a player who is injured and is unable to compete in the subsequent days play, can be replaced with another player to ensure contests remain as even as possible.)

(d) Uniform

(i) Players will be provided with their uniform. (except for their playing shorts)

(ii) Players must wear the relevant uniform as instructed by the trials convener.

(iii) Players must wear the same numbered jersey at all times, unless damage occurs to the jersey. Selectors must then be informed if a different number is to be worn by the player.

(e) Officials

(i) The two team officials will represent their associations and be nominees from each constituent association. The president’s team officials will be elected at the October subcommittee meeting in the year prior to the trials.

(ii) Team officials should have a minimum qualification of Club Coach (Level 1) Rugby League Coach.

(f) Eligibility

All players vying for selection in the NSWCHSSA Rugby League teams must:

(i) Be a current student of a NSW affiliated secondary school

(ii) Have the endorsement of the principal of their school

(iii) The president’s team will then be selected from the players nominated by greater association who fail to gain selection in the greater association teams.

(g) NSWCHSSA Rugby League representative pathway

(i) Players must show commitment to NSWCHSSA Rugby League by making themselves available for all stages of selection trials.

(ii) If injured at any stage (zone, association, and greater association) through the selection process and unable to trial, the player must be considered by the selection panel at that level for selection, in the team to be chosen from those trials. Only if a satisfactory medical certificate is supplied. Note: Injured players should only be given consideration if they provide medical evidence and present it to selectors at the trials. If considered good enough on reputation and/or past performance to be better than those players who have trialled on the day then that player is to be included in the team for the next level of trials. If not, he will then be ineligible for consideration for the president’s team.

(iii) The president's team is to be selected from those nominations that have played in the greater association trials and subsequently failed to gain selection in their greater association team. Nominations for president's teams must be endorsed by the relevant local s sports coordination officer.

(iv) In the event of a player withdrawing from a greater association team, the associations will have first call on any player from that association who had been selected for the president’s team. Note; This is to cover the situation which arose in 2010 when a player refused to play for the greater association side after a withdrawal preferring to remain in the president’s team.

A panel consisting of the state convener, the relevant Association Sports Co-ordination Officer and an association convener can investigate any exceptional cases that may arise during the selection process.

(h) Selection panels

(i) Greater association teams

Selection of the players up to the state trials stage will be undertaken by the relevant greater association areas.

(ii) President's team

The selection panel will consist of:

State convener
An elected representative from each of the greater associations

(iii) NSWCHSSA team

The selection panel for the NSWCHSSA team will consist of:

A chairperson of the selection panel to conduct selection meetings, this person does not have a vote.

The NSWCHSSA coach of the relevant age group will have 1 vote.

Four officials who are selected at the October Rugby League subcommittee meeting, these are four officials from any association, they have 1 vote each.

(i) Matches

(i) Matches will be undertaken under the relevant ARL rules.
(ii) Matches will be conducted in a round robin format over three days.
(iii) Matches will consist of 2 halves of 25 minutes.

(j) Disputes

Disputes must be presented, in writing, to the state convener.

These will be investigated by a panel which will include:

State convener.
Competition manager
Two officials from teams which are not involved.

(k) Judiciary

If a player is dismissed from the field of play, a judiciary which will consist of:

State convener
Trials convener
The chairman of selectors or a representative of the NSWRL

If a player is sent off or reported the judiciary will decide if there is a case to answer. If so, the player will then enter his plea to the charge.

Players found guilty by the judiciary are ineligible to be selected in the NSWCHSSA Rugby League team(s).

(l) Referees

Referees will be provided by the state convener and the trials convener through consultation with relevant NSWRL representatives.

(m) Announcement of team

The 15 years and 18 Years NSWCHSSA teams will be announced shortly after the completion of the final match of the trials.

(n) Situations not covered by these rules

Should any situation or matter arise, not covered in these rules, the matter shall be referred to the subcommittee (comprising the state convener, a NSWCHSSA Executive committee member and the assistant state  convener trials) for a decision which will be final.
















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