18 Month Registration Policy

To further enhance the Rugby League experience for participants born in the second half of the calendar year, the game is excited to be offering the 18-Month Registration Window. The rationale behind the concept is attempting to promote a more enjoyable environment for younger players who may feel overly challenged in their calendar group and to minimise the impact of the Relative Age Effect in Rugby League. Note, this provision has not been introduced to allow for a player to play back and dominate an age group or division.

By providing an opportunity for players who are born between July and December to register in the year level immediately below their calendar grouping, Rugby League is seeking to promote a players ongoing participation and personal development. If you feel like this is going to enhance your child’s Rugby League experience, please continue reading and if eligible, complete the application form.



In each Football Year (the period commencing on 1 October in any given year and concluding on 30 September of the subsequent year), players will be classified as Junior players or Senior players. Unless otherwise determined a Junior player covers six (6) years to eighteen (18) years inclusive. A Senior player covers nineteen (19) years and above.

All Junior players that are born in the second half of the calendar year (July 1 – 31 December) are eligible to apply for the 18-Month Registration Window. Only Senior players who attain the age of nineteen (19) years during a Football Year and are born in the second half of the calendar year (July 1 – 31 December) shall be eligible to apply for the 18-Month Registration Window.

Junior Representative players shall not be eligible to apply for the 18-Month Registration Window for a period of two (2) Football Years after which they were selected as a Junior Representative player. A Junior Representative player as defined in these rules is a player who has played in any Development Squad, Local League or School District representative Rugby League.

Please note, this policy is aimed at improving the Rugby League experience for players who fit the following criteria. Please carefully consider your child’s circumstances before applying to play under this policy.   

Successful applicants of the 18-Month Registration provision will forfeit the following:

  • Consideration for Junior Representative teams outside their calendar group
  • Eligibility for ‘portability’ clearance to transfer to another competition
  • Eligibility in a Restricted Weight Division outside their calendar group
  • The right to participate in their calendar group unless under special circumstances (e.g. a team would forfeit without their involvement) 

Considerations when identifying players eligible to apply for 18-month registration include, but are not limited to:

  • Weight and/or height of participants and those who are deemed above the 85th percentile for their calendar grouping may be ineligible to apply for this policy.
  • Differences in physical, mental or emotional maturity relative to remainder of calendar group
  • Feeling overly challenged in their calendar age group
  • Unavailability of the applicant’s calendar group
  • New participant to the game of Rugby League
  • Additional provisions may be provided in extenuating circumstances (including but not limited to medical reasons)

A comprehensive list of all successful applicants will be sent to all participating clubs prior to the commencement of the season and is subject for review until the completion of Round 4.

Should any situation or matter arise, not covered by these rules, the matter shall be referred to the Local League, State League or NRL for decision, which will be final.


Qualifications Committee/Handling Complaints

Prior to the commencement of regular season fixtures, all clubs will be provided with a list of players playing under the 18 Month Registration policy.

An appeal process will be available for Clubs wishing to request a review of a player participating under the policy. Each League will nominate an appropriate committee for the review of disputes of initially successful 18-Month Registration players. Local League staff may also act as representatives.

The Committee will be responsible for the collection of supporting information to assist in the decision-making process as to whether the player who was previously admitted the 18-Month Registration provision shall remain in their respective age group. Supporting information includes, but is not limited to:

  1. a)            The players weight, to assist in determining which percentile they fall in on the weight-for-age percentile scale
  2. b)            Interviewing/gathering feedback from opposing coaches to the player in question
  3. c)            Previous scorecards

The Committees determination of which age group the player should continue in shall be final.

18MRP Return

18 Month Registration return

Find out more about the 18 month registration window.