ERC - Driving European Club Rugby Competition

Amlin Challenge Cup
Heineken Cup
Cardiff 2014


Laws of the Game

The ERC Tournaments are played in accordance with the IRB's Laws of the Game of Rugby Union (as amended from time to time), as varied or supplemented by ERC.

Key Areas of the ERC Disciplinary Process

(i) Red Cards

a) The case of any player sent off in Heineken Cup or Amlin Challenge Cup games shall be adjudicated by an independent Judicial Officer as soon as is practicable.

b) Until the hearing the player is ineligible to play in any tournament.

(ii) Citing Commissioner

a) Citing Commissioners are appointed by ERC for all Heineken Cup and all televised Amlin Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner's opinion warranted a red card.

b) For such matches, clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 26 hours of the start of the match.

c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the match to make a citing. In certain circumstances this deadline can be extended.

d) The ERC Disciplinary Officer may forward the submitted citing to a Citing Officer to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the citing to progress.

e) The Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.

(iii) Disciplinary Hearing

a) The independent Judicial Officer is chosen by the chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.

b) ERC's Disciplinary Officer presents the case against the player.

c) If a citing complaint is upheld, the independent Judicial Officer will be required to consider the appropriate sanction. Under the IRB's sanctioning regime, which ERC is obliged to follow, the Judicial Officer will first assess the seriousness of the player's actions and determine which of the three stipulated entry points (lower end, mid range and top end) is the most appropriate.

d) The Judicial Officer will determine the appropriate entry point based on his/her assessment of a number of particular characteristics of the player's actions, including whether or not they were intentional, whether or not they caused any injuries and whether or not they had any effect on the relevant match.

e) After deciding the entry point, the Judicial Officer will then consider whether the suspension should be increased from the entry point to take account of certain specified aggravating factors, such as a poor disciplinary record or the need for deterrence, and/or decreased from the entry point to take account of certain specified mitigating actions, such as a guilty plea, a good disciplinary record, the player's conduct at the hearing and expressions of remorse.

f) A suspension is a blanket ban from playing rugby union anywhere in the world.

g) Both parties to the hearing (ERC and the player) have the right to appeal decisions of the independent Disciplinary Hearing. Appeals must be lodged within three (3) working days of receiving the full written decision of the Judicial Officer.

h) The full written decision of the Judicial Officer will be available on when the disciplinary process is complete

i) For IRB Sanctions for Foul Play, found at Appendix 1 to IRB Regulation 17, visit

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