140611: Capitol City Cobra's

© Kevin Scott (2014)

Laws of the Game

Awesome you want to learn more about Rugby League! To have a better understanding of the game, you can best visit our trainings, and to check out matches from the Super League or NRL Championships. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there, and the NRL even has a livestream available (although it may be geoblocked in your territory).

In the Netherlands, we follow the RFL Laws of the Game. Although there are some minor differences with the Laws of the Game being used in Australia as such, game play is the same. A full overview of the Laws can be found here, but to give you a basic impression:

* The simple aim of Rugby League is to score more points than your opponents

* A Rugby League match lasts for 80 minutes (two 40 minute halves). Timekeepers monitor this and sound a siren or hooter as a signal to the ref when the game is over.

* You score tries (worth four points) by touching the ball down over your opponent’s try line. You can convert that to six by kicking a goal. The other means of scoring are a penalty goal (also worth two points) and a drop goal (worth one point).

* There are two teams of 13 players with four reserves on the interchange bench. Each team can make a maximum of 12 changes involving any combination of players.  Rugby League players have to be multi-skilled but some players do focus on roles within their teams including carrying the ball into the opposition line (forwards), attacking on the fringes (backs) and distributing the ball (hooker and half backs). All players work together in their team’s defensive formation.

* The ball has to be passed backwards. It can be passed as many times as you like until a player is tackled in possession.

* Each team has the ball for six plays (or tackles). After a tackle, the ball carrier plays the ball back along the ground to a receiver standing behind directly behind them. After the six plays are completed the team in possession must handover the ball to the opposition. Most teams elect to kick at this point in order to gain as much ground as possible.

* Six players form a Rugby League scrum. They are a means of re-starting the game and create a good opportunity to attack. Scrums are awarded for knock-ons (losing the ball forward) or forward passes.

* You are offside in Rugby League if you are within the gap maintained between the attacking and defensive sides by the referee or if you interfere with play after being in front of a team mate when they have kicked the ball in open play.

* A 40-20 kick is when a player kicks the ball behind his own 40 metre line and it bounces into touch within the opposition’s 20 metre line. If this happens the side that kicked the ball get the advantage of putting the ball into the resulting scrum. A goal line drop out is taken from under your own posts if you have been forced to touch the ball down in your own in-goal area or put the ball out of play in this area.

Source: (2016)

General regulations and behaviour

The Amsterdam Cobras are registered as a Sports Association with Full Legal Capacity with the Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam. We are members of the Dutch Rugby League Association NRLB (Nederlandse Rugby League Bond), who is in turn an associate member of the European Rugby League Federation (RLEF). This means as a Rugby League entity, we must obey specific rules and regulations as set by the NRLB and RLEF.

We cannot stress this enough: on and off the pitch, we expect all members to behave and act properly. As such, all of our members are required to respect the RLEF Laws of the Game and the RLEF Operational Rules (Code of Conduct). In short, it is considered an offence when a player, or allied person who acts on behalf of the Amsterdam Cobras, to be guilty of (a) inducements (match fixing), (b) related betting, (c) match official criticism, (d) intolerant behaviour, which includes discrimination in any form, (e) making obscene gestures to spectators, (f) using foul language to any official or any member or spectator, (g) unruly behaviour, which includes any form of harassment, (h) behave prejudicial to the interests of the RLEF or Rugby League, and (i) to jeopardise or fail to comply with safety regulations.

In addition to the Amsterdam Cobras’ Statutory Regulations, legally deposited February 11th 2015, and valid from August 6th 2014 onwards, the NRLB operational rules, Code of conduct and the RLEF operational rules apply to all NRLB and Amsterdam Cobras related activities, regardless of the membership status, and also includes supporters. These are mentioned in the Amsterdam Cobras’ Statutory Regulations, articles 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 9.7b, 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3. Based on these articles, the Amsterdam Cobras have the right to suspend members and affiliates, as well as refuse admission to activities, in case of breach(es) of the aforementioned regulations.

The full regulations can be found on (under NRLB/Documents).