A Guide to Rugby’s End of Season Kangaroo Court

With rugby clubs across the Northern Hemisphere rapidly approaching their final few games, team captains will be casting one eye towards the end of season Kangaroo Court Session. The end of season Kangaroo Court Session has become a mainstay in clubs identities over the years and is a fitting way to end a hard-fought season.

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For those who may not previously have been acquainted with this ancient tradition, the Kangaroo Court represents an opportunity for teams to dispense their own mob-justice on players for perceived misdemeanour’s committed throughout the normal season. Punishable offences range from minor infractions such as poor time keeping to much more heinous offences such as a prop going on a ‘diet’. The punishments also vary accordingly with minor offences punishable by consumption of drinks whilst more serious offences requite much more creative punishments.

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Rugby’s Kangaroo Court is likely to be arranged by the team captain or coach who will appoint a judge to oversee proceedings whilst the captain will often take on the role of prosecution. The captain will also appoint a (hapless) defence who will attempt (in vain) to provide mitigation for those players called before the court. It is also useful to appoint an enforcer (ideally the biggest player on the team) to ensure that all sentences are carried out to the letter of the ‘law’.

Before the sessions kicks off the captain must make sure that all players are aware of any house rules such as the requirement to wear team colours or to keep all mobile devices in pockets during the court session. It is also essential that the prosecution have a sizeable store of beverages ready for consumption when players in the dock are inevitably sentenced to complete one of the many punishments dreamt up by the team. (The Lions video below gives a pretty good overview of proceedings.)

Now on to the fun bit – the punishments. Whilst most teams will already have a pre-existing list of offences and punishments, we have provided a list of potential options below for those lacking a bit of ‘inspiration’. The offences are split into two categories (minor and major), the severity of the offence will dictate which category players will be tried under. The seriousness of the offence shall be dictated by the judge on the day however, and any players who appeals the decision risks receiving a heftier punishment.

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Examples of minor offences – failure to turn up to training, poor time keeping, being regularly awarded d*** of the day, etc

Examples of major offences – wearing pink boots, acting like a footballer, drinking anything that does not have an amber hue, failure to sing when prompted, etc

Whilst many Kangaroo Court Judges will opt to select the defendants punishment, to make thing more interesting you can opt to allow the accused to reduce (or in most cases increase) their punishment. This is done by letting defendants roll a dice to dictate the exact punishment they will receive. Defendants accused of minor offences roll a single dice, whilst those accused of major crimes must roll two dice. The score of the dice then relate to the below punishments which must be performed in front of the court (and potentially throughout the rest of the days frivolities).

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1 – down 1 pint

2 – down 1 shot of the defendants choosing

3 – down 1 pint and 1 shot

4 – down two pints

5 – down a cocktail of the courts choosing

6 – down a drink from a ‘chalice’ of the courts choosing (e.g old boot)

7 – perform a 60 second (non-stop) dance in complete silence

8 – 60 seconds of acapella karaoke (no music)

9 – wear an outfit of the courts choosing for the evenings festivities

10 – serenade the team captain for 60 seconds

11 – wear today’s smelliest shirt for the rest of the evening

12 – choose any of the fines listed for another member of the team

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For numbers 7 through to 12 all members must also down a pint upon completion of their punishment. By the end of the Kangaroo Court Sessions every member of the team should have been tried for at least some minor offence and dutifully completed their punishment ahead of the nights festivities.

For some inspiration of truly innovative punishments check out this cracker for Simon Zebo from the Lions RAW DVD

Let us know the best stories from your kangaroo court sessions below…

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