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Club Rugby

Senior club rugby is an adult competition separated into fifteens and sevens competitive seasons. A competitive season runs annually from the completion of the prior year's National Championship through the completion of the current year's National Championship. Remember that all USA Rugby registrations expire yearly at the conclusion of the membership cycle on August 31st.

Any adult rugby participant may register directly to a senior club. The participation of U19 front row players and 17 year old athletes in any position can be accommodated following achievement of additional requirements. U17 participation in adult rugby is not supported: for more information about participation opportunities available to minor athletes please contact your SRO.

Fifteens Competitive Season

The registration and transfer deadline for the fifteens competitive season is April 1st (October 1st for WPL Competition). All players must register or request transfer prior to the expiration of that deadline to realize postseason eligibility.

Club Requirements

Good Standing & Postseason Qualification

In order to be in good standing with USA Rugby and, therefore, eligible to participate in sanctioned and postseason competition, a club must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be registered as a club for the current membership cycle
  2. Maintain a registered and Level 200 Certified coach on the club roster
  3. Maintain a roster minimum of fifteen players
  4. Enter all league and qualifying matches into the online Competition Management System
  5. Be determined on the basis of competition and not allocation
  6. Fulfill the minimum number of contests stated by USA Rugby or the club's Competitive Region
  7. Be considered in good standing with the local governance to which the club is affiliated

Match Rosters

  • Match rosters may list a maximum of 23 players
  • Match rosters must indicate an appropriate amount of suitably trained and experienced front row players
  • Clubs may travel with an event roster ranging from a minimum of 20 players to a maximum of 28 players
  • Up to five players named to the match roster may be non-resident players, ten may be named to an event roster
  • Only citizens and those in possession of a permanent or conditional resident card are considered resident players - any player unable to document this status will be considered a non-resident for the purposes of eligibility
  • Clubs must maintain appropriate documentation for all U19 front row players and 17 year old participants in any position

Player Eligibility

Registration and Transfer deadline

  • Players must register to a club prior to representing the club in league/qualifying matches
  • All players must be reflected on a club's public roster or have requested transfer on or before April 1st to realize postseason eligibility (October 1st for WPL Competitions)
  • Players may not participate for more than one club in qualifying competition unless approved for transfer and may not participate prior to appearing on a club's public roster
  • The eligibility regulations specify only two circumstances meriting mid-season transfer: December graduation from college and geographic relocation for non-rugby reasons
  • Unless relocation is necessitated by non-rugby circumstances, athletes should not expect to realize transfer following qualifying match participation
  • A missed registration/transfer deadline will not be waived on the basis of early or unexpected return from injury

December Graduation from College or University

The eligibility regulations detail an exemption for Fall term graduates with no remaining collegiate eligibility, who may seek transfer to the concurrent senior club fifteens competitive season. All transfers must be initiated prior to the expiration of the March 15th registration and transfer deadline.

  • Transfers must be sought through the submission of Club Waiver Request Form
  • Proof of graduation is required to accompany the eligibility waiver request, in the form of official transcripts or a Diploma copy
  • No transfer is required to train with compliant senior clubs or to compete with such a club in friendly matches, socials, or non-qualifying tournaments

Non-Resident Athletes

  • Clubs may select a limited number of non-residents for participation in qualifying competition
    • A non-resident player is one who does not possess a U.S. Birth Certificate, a U.S. Passport, or a U.S. Permanent (Green Card) or Conditional Alien Resident Card
    • Five non-resident players may be selected to a club's qualifying match roster
    • Up to ten non-resident players may be selected to a club's traveling event roster
  • Non-resident players must evidence residence in the United States prior to the registration and transfer deadline with a passport stamp conveying physical presence in the United States prior to March 15th (October 1st for WPL Competitions)
  • All non-resident players must receive clearance for international tour from their home union or union of departure prior to participation in USA Rugby competition

Match Minimum Requirement

  • All players must meet the match minimum requirement, which is dependent on the number of qualifying matches preceding the USA Rugby Championship (National Quarterfinals through the National Championship)
  • A player may use any qualifying match in which they actually take the pitch (as a starter, reserve, or blood substitution) to build towards their achievement of the match minimum requirement
  • No more than five players from a given club may receive an exemption from the match minimum requirement
  • The match minimum requirement for a player returning form injury may be waived if medical records substantiate a complete eligibility waiver request
    • Medical documentation in a case seeking exemption must detail the date of the injury, the date of clearance to return to rugby, and establish the player's inability to compete as a result of injury or illness
  • Eight or fewer qualifying matches scheduled at the onset of a competitive season results in a two (2) match minimum requirement, unless the club fields multiple sides
  • Ten or more qualifying matches scheduled at the onset of a competitive season results in a three (3) match minimum requirement, unless the club fields multiple sides

Multiple Sides

Movement of lower division players to upper division sides in qualifying matches held on the same day may only take place when the lower division match is played first.

  • Three lower division players may be named as reserves for the upper division match and may not start for the upper division
  • The three reserve-player allowance may be increased to four reserve players if at least one of the players is suitably trained and experienced in front row participation
  • Any player that has participated in a USA Rugby Championship Event is not eligible to play for any other division for the remainder of the Championship Event, and movement between divisions is not allowed during a Championship Event Weekend
  • Eligibility with multiple sides is a player-specific standard
    • Participation is determined based upon the total number of qualifying matches played by the player
  • WPL athletes may not realize qualifying match or championship eligibility in any other division after starting in two or playing in three WPL matches
  • Athletes realizing exemption from the match minimum requirement may only participate with the upper divisional side

Sevens Competitive Season

The registration and transfer deadline for the sevens competitive season is July 1st. All players must register or request transfer prior to the expiration of that deadline to realize postseason eligibility. All clubs must achieve compliance by June 15th.

Club Requirements

Good Standing

In order to be in good standing with USA Rugby and, therefore, eligible to participate in sanctioned and postseason competition, a club must meet the following compliance criteria by June 15th

  1. Be registered as a club for the current membership cycle
  2. Maintain a registered and Level 200 Certified coach on the club roster
  3. Maintain a roster minimum of nine players
  4. Be considered in good standing with the local governance to which the club is affiliated

Roster

Sevens Roster Template
  • Clubs may select a maximum roster of twelve players per event
  • Clubs must roster a minimum of nine players per event
  • Each match roster may include a maximum of two players who do not meet National Team eligibility criteria, detailed below
  • Was born a United States Citizen, or
  • Has one parent or grandparent who was born a United States Citizen, or
  • Has completed thirty six of continuous residency in the United States immediately preceding the participatory event (athletes must be physically present in the country for at least ten months of any qualifying year of residency)
  • Clubs may only qualify more than one side if each team is registered as a separate entity and compliant by the expiration of the June 15th compliance deadline
  • Athletes may only compete in qualifying competition with a single team and must be registered to the team which they represent in competition, even if a club fields multiple qualifying sides
  • These separate entities are considered individual clubs and held to all USA Rugby compliance and eligibility criteria

Player Eligibility

Proof of National Team Eligibility (Sevens Competitive Season)

All players that evidence proof of citizenship are considered eligible for the National Team. National Team eligibility for non-residents may be evidenced with a physical passport confirming residency for the 36 month period preceding the event in question.

  • Passport stamps must convey physical presence in the United States for at least ten months of any qualifying year of the residency period
  • Each match roster may include a maximum of two players who do not meet National Team eligibility criteria

Registration and Transfer Deadline

The registration and transfer deadline for the sevens competitive season is July 1st. All players must be registered, either by virtue of initial enrollment or transfer, and appear on the public roster of the club they represent in qualifying competition prior to the earlier of participation in any rugby activity or the expiration of the July 1st deadline.

  • Players may not participate in qualifying competition with clubs to which they are not registered
  • Players yet to participate in qualifying competition may seek transfer via electronic transfer request
    • All transfers require release from the club from which the player is departing

Event Minimum Requirement

All players must participate in at least two seven tournaments, qualifying or otherwise, recognized by the CR in which the competition is held and prior to the USA Rugby Championship. Events must include at least four club in order to be considered a tournament. Match rosters must be verified by the event host and forwarded to the CR Chair in order for a tournament to build towards a player's achievement of the minimum requirement.