Summary of Significant Changes to the USA Rugby Eligibility Rules for 2018-2019 Competitive Cycle

Dear Red River Rugby Conference Clubs:

The following is a summary of the major changes to the USA Rugby Eligibility Rules for the 2018-19 Competitive Cycle.  This summary does not cover all the changes in the Eligibility Rules.  A 2018-19 Regulations Redline v. 2017-18, and a 2018-19 Regulations.Aug.2018 – CLEAN, accompany this summary.  Please review the Rules in their entirety.

All participants in Texas Rugby Union (“TRU’) clubs must CIPP.  However, the Eligibility Rules related to competitions apply to the Men’s Division 1, 2 and 3, competitions, and the Women’s Division 1 and 2 competitions, only.  The Men’s Division 4, and Women’s Division 3 competitions are under the jurisdiction of the TRU, which establishes the competition rules and schedule for those divisions.  This summary applies to 15s.  USA Rugby has created additional, and sometimes conflicting, rules applicable to 7s.

THIS DOCUMENT IS ONLY A SUMMARY.  IF THERE ARE CONFLICTS BETWEEN THIS SUMMARY AND THE ATTACHED 2018-19 ELIGIBILITY RULES, THE ELIGIBILITY RULES WILL CONTROL.

Here is a summary of the changes major changes for this 15s season:

  1. CMS DATA ENTRY: Scores and substitutions must be input into CMS by the Monday following each league match or friendly that appears in CMS.  See Definition 13 (“Competition Management System”); Rule 3.3(a)(iv).  CMS will be locked after this deadline, and a $25 fee will be required to re-open CMS for data entry.  http://texasrugbyunion.com/2017/01/26/unlock-cms-policy/
  1. CIPP REQUIREMENT: Rule 2.5(a) clarifies that players must be CIPP’d before engaging in training or any other “rugby activity of a physical nature”.  You cannot wait until a player’s first league match to have them CIPP.  You will not be assigned Referees by TRRA until your Club is in good standing with USA Rugby.  “Good Standing” requires your club to be: (1) registered with USA Rugby; (2) have 15 registered players CIPP’d; and (3) have a Level 200 Coach CIPP’d.
  1. ANTI-DOPING RULES: Rule 2.5 also now requires players to certify that they are familiar with the World Rugby Anti-Doping Policy and the list of prohibited substances.  Links to both appear in the Rules. See also Rule 13.6.4 (Anti-Doping).
  1. PLAYER MATCH MINIMUMS FOR NCS ROUNDS: Rules 3.4(d) & (f) now clarify that regional playoffs (the Red River Championship matches) count toward a player’s minimum number of matches played to be eligible to play in the USA Rugby National Championship Series (“NCS”) rounds, should his or her team advance.  This is consistent with the Red River practice from prior years.
  1. PLAYER MATCH MINIMUMS FOR RED RIVER PLAYOFF ROUNDS: Under Rule 3.5(e), in order to play in the Red River Regional Playoff rounds, each player must be capable of meeting the match minimums for participating in the NCS rounds by playing in the Red River Regional Playoffs.   For example, if a player has to play in 3 league matches under Rule 3.4 to qualify to play in the NCS rounds, and your club has a maximum of two matches in the Red River Regional Playoffs, each player on your Red River Regional Playoff roster must have played at least one league match for your club prior to the Red River Regional Playoff weekend.  NOTE:  The Red River considers the new Men’s Division 3 Wild Card playoff matches as regular season league matches for purposes of this rule.  However, the MD3 Festival on Nov. 17, 2018 does not count for eligibility purposes; it is effectively a friendly tournament.
  1. CHANGES TO THE PLAYER MOVEMENT RULES FOR MULTI-SIDE CLUBS: The “50% Rule” in what is now Rule 3.5(f) has been replaced with fixed caps on the number of “Upper Division” matches a player can participate in and still maintain his/her eligibility to play in “Lower Division” matches.   Note that the “50% Rule” applicable to individual players and their participation in the NCS rounds has not changed.  See Rule 3.5(h).  If you are part of a multi-side club, please review the entirety of Rule 3.5 carefully.
  1. PROFESSIONAL RUGBY PILOT PROGRAM: New Rule 3.8 regulates the movement of players between Professional Rugby (see definitions 38 & 31) and club rugby.  Rule 3.8(1) allows an exception to the prohibition on CIPP transfers for rugby-related purposes, if the player is transferring to play Professional Rugby and can meet the documentation requirements of the Rule.  See also Rule 13.5.2(d).  This rule also caps the number of such “Professional Transfer” players that can be on any Division 2 and 3 match roster.  Similarly, Rule 3.8(2) prohibits players from continuing to play club rugby once they have played in a certain number of Professional Rugby regular season matches.  The number of Professional Matches a player can play before being prohibited from playing in further club matches depends on the division of the club match.
  1. “CLEAN SLATE” RULE FOR IN-SEASON TRANSFERS: The new language in Rule 3.9 requires players who are granted transfers to your club from a different club during the season to meet the player eligibility requirements for playoffs with your club.  The league matches they have played with the club they are transferring from are “wiped clean,” and will not count for purposes of meeting the match minimums.  In the Red River, we will also apply this “clean slate” rule for purposes of determining eligibility under Rules 3.5(e) and (f) (the Upper Division to Lower Division player movement rules), as that has been the practice of USA Rugby’s Eligibility Department in past Competitive Cycles.  Note, however, under a new provision in Rule 13.5.2(b), the USA Rugby Eligibility Department may restrict a player who has played in 5 or more “Upper Division” matches from playing in any “Lower Division” matches post transfer.
  1. WAIVER AND TRANSFER REQUESTS, AND APPEALS: The timing and method of transmitting waiver requests, transfer requests, and appeals to USA Rugby have changed.  Please review Rules 13.5 & 13.6 for more information.

Should you have any questions regarding eligibility, we recommend that you contact the USA Rugby Eligibility Department directly at Phone: 303.539.0300; Email: eligibility@usarugby.org.

2018-19 Regulations.Aug.2018 – CLEAN

2018-19 Regulations Redline v. 2017-18