WOMEN’S Rugby League is set to expand to more parts of Papua New Guinea with 22 leagues having endorsed an all-‐females competition to run in conjunction with their 2014 season.
PNG Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka said that the inclusion of women’s rugby league was part of their plan to make rugby league a “family sport”.
However, under this vision women’s rugby league must be run under properly structured programs instead of the past where centres ran competitions on adhoc basis, he said.
“We will try as best as possible to include women’s rugby league in our already existing programs or any new ones which are been introduced as we try to spread the game to as many parts of Papua New Guinea,” Tsaka said.
Already 22 leagues in PNG have included women in their competitions.
They include Port Moresby, Pom Suburban, Lae, Goroka, Kundiawa, Banz, Minj, Fatima, Baning, Nondugl, Kondopina, Kondol, Anglimb, Mt Hagen, Porgera, Wabag, Tari, Imbonggu, Mendi, ENB, Kavieng and the ABG.
As part of having women’s rugby league run in a properly structured program, it is a prerequisite that all players, officials both match and technical officials are properly registered under the PNG Rugby Football League banner, Tsaka said.
The necessary things like medical checks that the male are required to fulfill before they are allowed to participate in any women’s competitions are requirements that all programs must adhere to.
All competitions run will be sanctioned by PNGRFL to ensure there is uniformity in the game of rugby league in PNG whether it involves men, women or children, he said.
Any competitions not run under the auspices of PNGRFL must adhere to the regulations set in the constitution of PNGRFL. Deadline for league affiliations is May 2, this week with the registrations for players and officials to close on June 30.
Tsaka stressed that the corporate sector, governments, donor agencies and even individual politicians should also try to discourage unsanctioned rugby league competitions by providing financial support.
He said that rugby league is a contact sport and people must realise that when they funded unsanctioned competitions they would be liable for any serious injuries or even death if they occurred.
“Luckily for us we haven’t had many incidents of accidents or even deaths but such risks are increased greatly when competitions are allowed to be run without following the proper processes to minimize or remove these risk factors.”
Additional information is available on their Facebook page: PNG Women Rugby League.