About our Association

In October 2010, George Tonna, Paralympian for ‘7-a-side’ Football, had the idea of setting up a modified form of Rugby League for people with all types of physical disability. Within a short period, the concept had attracted enough attention to form a registered Association, affiliated with NSW Rugby League.

The Association’s current main focus is to increase its players base so that they can form a permanent and robust competition comprising of teams from the North, South, East and West of Sydney. Once this has been achieved the Association would like to see the game expand and have fully formed clubs fall under its banner. 

Currently the Association runs its own teams in the way a club would do, however it is hoped that individual clubs will eventually emerge and govern themselves under the guidance and infrastructure created by NSWPDRLA.

One of the main aims of the Association is to conduct, encourage, promote, advance and administer Physical Disability Rugby League throughout New South Wales.

In the longer term, the Association looks forward to:

  • Moving into a national forum by becoming Australian Physical Disability Rugby League (APDRL)
  • Expanding into other states to establish our national status
  • Attracting a major sponsor after whom the entire competition would be named
  • Making Physical Disability Rugby League a World Cup sport in which Australia will be a major force.


Modified Rules

Games are played under the rules of ‘The Australian Rugby League Laws of the Game 2010’ but are modified to suit the abilities of the individuals and to maintain their safety.

The game is made up of two halves, each of twenty minutes and with a ten minute interval. As per NRL rules a Try will be worth 4 points and a Goal 2 points.

There will be no scrums in the modified game. An accidental knock on or drop ball is called as a tackle and at the completion of six tackles a change-over applies.

Players wear either Black or Red shorts, with players wearing Red shorts playing touch football rules when attempting to “tackle” or be “tackled”. It is compulsory for players who are under the age of 18 years of age to wear red shorts. Players wearing black shorts will play the standard NRL tackle rules.

Able-bodied players can play PDRL, but not more than two per team are allowed on the field at any time. Able-bodied players cannot score tries, kick goals or kick in general play. A tackle is effected on an able-bodied player by a touch only, as per red shorts players.

NSWPDRLA encourages participation by female players, however for safety reasons the rules require female players to wear red shorts.