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RRRC Playoffs & USAR National Championship Eligibility Questions

We’re receiving lots of eligibility questions ahead of the RRRC playoffs so we’ve put together a quick guide around this topic.

Key Eligibility Regulations

The USA Rugby Club Eligibility Committee put together a helpful Key Regulations that we’d recommend reviewing. In particular, regulations 3.2, 3.4 and 3.5 are the most prudent. Regulations 3.5.d and 3.5.g seem to be what most club’s are asking about.

In summary, Red River playoff matches count as league matches and apply towards the 2 match minimum qualifying matches for super regional and beyond. Players who have not played at all this season, if timely registered by April 1, 2022, could play in both the RRRC championship matches, and then meet the regular season 2-match minimum to be eligible to play in the Superregional (Round of 8) and beyond, should their Club advance.

Players on clubs fielding teams in more than one division may use Red River playoff matches for lower division eligibility as well so long as the player did not meet the 66% games played at the upper division (see Regulation 3.5-(d) and (e)). Red River playoff matches may be used to meet the ‘more than 50%’ of games played in the lower division standard (Regulation 3.5-(g)). But if the Red River playoff matches will not make the player meet divisional eligibility for the lower division, the player may only compete at the upper division level (Regulation 3.5-(f)). Players may only compete in divisions for which they will be eligible to play in the USA Rugby play-offs (Super Regionals and beyond).

Note each player *must* meet the minimum matches ‘played’ as required for the Superregional. Play is defined as actually stepping onto the field either as a starter, reserve, or blood substitution for any length of time.

The national Eligibility Committee will generally only grant waivers for documented major injuries, illness, military service, etc. Waivers generally are not granted for players who did not manage to play in two matches during the competitive season – which includes the local playoffs.

The Eligibility Committee gets numerous waiver requests at this time of year, so if you intend to file such a request, fully document it and do not wait until the last minute. A waiver request form should be completed and can be sent to seniorclubeligibility@usa.rugby.

Senior Club Waivers

There are four basic categories of waivers:

  • transfer: geographic relocation for non-rugby reasons (typically employment, military, education related).
  • missed match participation for medical reasons or personal hardship.
  • transfer: geographic relocation for rugby-related reason (professional rugby).
    other.

How to Apply for a Waiver

  1. Complete and return the Waiver Request form (Senior Club Waiver Request Form).
  2. Attach a concise but detailed Personal Statement (more than one-two sentences).
  3. Attach other supportive materials as specified on the Waiver Request Form (outlined below).
  4. Submit all to the Senior Club Eligibility Committee (seniorclubeligibility@usa.rugby).

Waiver Requests: Required supportive materials include:

  • For geographic relocation for non-rugby reasons (sensitive information such as salary, benefits may be redacted):
    • copy of dated job offer that lists start date, and if not obvious by the letterhead, location of new employment.
    • copy of change within place of employment (location, region, hours), start date.
    • copy of military orders.
    • copy of acceptance letter, with initial term of enrollment, from an educational institution/program.
    • confirmation of no financial or disciplinary issues with the home/original club is required.
    • confirmation of no financial or disciplinary issues with the home local Union is required.
  • For missed participation due to medical or personal hardship:
    • contemporaneous or other medical documentation from a medical professional, which confirms injury, illness, pregnancy.
    • statement, which includes the date, that the player has been or will be cleared for full participation, signed by a Professional Medical Practitioner.
    • any additional medical records or documents which substantiate the request;.
    • contemporaneous or other appropriate documentation which establishes the player’s inability to compete as a result of a personal hardship.

Note: The eligibility committee will issue conditional Waivers for medical hardships that become full Waivers on that player providing the eligibility committee with a letter confirming clearance to resume playing rugby signed by a professional medical expert.

  • For geographic relocation for rugby reasons (Professional Rugby):
    • copy of professional rugby team/Academy contract (sensitive information redacted) that shows a start or report date in the new location.
    • confirmation of no financial or disciplinary issues with the home/original club is required.
    • confirmation of no financial or disciplinary issues with the home local Union is required.
  • For ‘other’ category of Waiver request:
    • detailed and complete personal statement with any supportive documents/materials deemed appropriate.

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