Eligibility

In order to practice and/or compete in any rugby-related competition, the following registration conditions must be met:

  1. The club must have a current, paid registration with USA Rugby for the appropriate gender and level of play. Club registration can be confirmed with the presence of a primary contact on a club’s public roster.
  2. Fifteen players must appear on the public roster prior to participation in fifteen-a-side rugby, twelve prior to participation in seven-a-side rugby. All players must have a current, paid registration with USA Rugby and appear on their club’s online roster as a player for the current registration period. Check your club roster and individual registration status via the membership portal.
  3. Each club must have a USA Rugby certified coach with a current, paid registration affiliated to the club. An ‘active’ coaching status on the public roster conveys certification and only active coaches will appear on the public roster. If you already have a paid registration for the current season but would like to add additional roles and levels, you may complete the multiple role form.
  4. All clubs and individuals must follow all USA Rugby Eligibility Regulations as well as all Local Governing Union regulations and procedures.
  5. Download Eligibility RegulationsTransfer RequestMinor In Club Participation Form

     

    Eligibility FAQs

    I've moved and am now looking to play for a new club. How do I transfer clubs?

    Players seeking to transfer clubs must submit a Transfer Request Form located on our website. If there are eligibility concerns involving your transfer, you will be notified as such by USA Rugby. Otherwise, transfers should be accomplished within seven (7) business days.

    What eligibility concern could affect my transfer request?

    USA Rugby’s Eligibility Regulations do not allow for players to participate with more than one club in qualifying (league/conference and playoff) matches per season. As such, if you’ve played in a league/conference or playoff match with your former club, you are ineligible to participate with your new club. Notably, USA Rugby considers match calendars when reviewing transfer requests. If your former club played league/conference or playoff matches between the date of your registration and the date of your transfer request, you must obtain written proof from your former club and its league/conference or union that you did not participate in qualifying matches.

    I played in qualifying (league/conference and/or playoff) matches with my former club and wish to continue doing so with my new club. What do I need to submit with my eligibility waiver request?

    In addition to your Senior Club Eligibility Waiver Request Form and written statement, you will need to provide a written release from your former club as well as a written release from the union that it belongs to. Release should reference any outstanding disciplinary or financial issues maintained by the player in question.

    I'm transferring clubs for non-rugby reasons, such as moving to a new city for employment. How do I apply for a waiver under these circumstances?

    When a player is transferring for non-rugby reasons, they must provide documentation alongside their eligibility waiver request form that proves their case. For example, if you relocated for new employment, you must attach either an offer letter or an official company statement pertaining to your transfer.

    I don't feel as though my current club is competitive enough and I would like to play up a division; is this allowed?

    The desire to ‘play up’ is not written in the regulations as an allowable reason to transfer clubs for the purpose of participating in qualifying (league/conference and/or playoff) matches. If you desire to transfer to a more competitive team in your area after playing in qualifying matches with one club, you may only participate in training and friendlies with a different club.

    Some clubs field multiple sides, which effectively allows players to move divisions within a single club. In those situations, players may move up divisions but may not move back down after playing at least 50% of the higher level side’s league/conference matches.

    What is the registration or transfer deadline for participation in qualifying matches?

    The registration/transfer deadline for participation in 15s qualifying (league/conference and/or playoff) matches is March 15 at 11:59 PM Mountain Time. If you are not registered with your club by that time, or have not submitted a transfer request to your new club, you are not eligible for qualifying match competition for the remainder of the 15s competitive season. You are, however, still welcome to train and participate in friendlies with your club. For 7s, the registration/transfer deadline for participation in qualifying tournaments and the national championship is July 1 at 11:59 PM Mountain time.

    WPL clubs are subject to an October 1st registration and transfer deadline.

    Please note that transfer requests received by the deadline will be considered to have met the deadline even if the transfer is not processed until later (up to 7 business days).

    My club fields multiple sides. Are there any special regulations I should be aware of?

    Clubs that field multiple sides, i.e. clubs that have teams competing in qualifying (league/conference and playoff) matches across multiple divisions, may not have multiple sides in the same division. Furthermore, players playing for such clubs must participate in at least three (3) qualifying matches prior to the USA Rugby national playoffs.

    For clubs fielding multiple sides, you may not participate in playoffs in a lower division after you have competed in at least 50% of the higher division’s qualifying matches. Furthermore, you may not play in a lower-side match on the same day as a higher side if the lower side plays after the higher side (i.e. DI plays at 2 pm: DII plays at 4 pm). Players may only play for multiple sides in qualifying matches on the same day if the lower side plays first (i.e. DII plays at 2 pm; DI plays at 4 pm). Higher sides are restricted to having no more than 3 players from its lower side also compete for its higher side on the same day. If one of the players playing for both sides is a front-row specialist, the club may use no more than 4 players from its lower side on the same day.

    In order to meet the minimum match requirement for your level, you must play in at least three (3) matches at your level or lower. For example:

    • To play in the Division III playoffs, you must play in at least three (3) qualifying matches at the Division III level.
    • To play in the Division II playoffs, you must play in at least three (3) qualifying matches at the Division II or Division III level.
    • To play in the Division I playoffs, you must play in at least three (3) qualifying matches at the Division I, Division II, or Division III level.

    For more inofrmation on clubs fielding multiple sides, please consult section 3.3 of the USA Rugby Eligibility Regulations.

    What is the minimum match requirement for playoff participation? What if I am unable to meet the minimum match requirements for playoffs?

    Players must play in at least three (3) qualifying matches, or %25 of the club’s total qualifying matches (whichever is fewer) prior to participation in the USA Rugby national playoffs. If a player plays for a club fielding multiple sides, they must play in at least three (3) matches [see “My club fields multiple sides…”].

    Leagues/conferences and unions are within their rights to furthermore set a minimum match requirement prior to league/conference and/or union playoff matches. For example, Union A could require that players participate in at least two (2) qualifying matches prior to Union A playoffs. USA Rugby only requires that the minimum match requirement be met prior to the USA Rugby national playoffs.

    If you are unable to meet the minimum match requirement due to various circumstances (injury, relocation, etc.), you must submit a Senior Club Eligibility Waiver Request Form along with the appropriate documentation that details why you were unable to meet the requirement. It is important to note that in order to have your waiver request considered for such circumstances, you still must have registered or submitted a transfer request by the required deadline.

    I graduated from college in the middle of the competitive year. Can I play senior club?

    With an eligibility waiver, players may transfer to a senior club after completing their collegiate education. In order to be considered for such a waiver, you must fill out the Senior Club Eligibility Waiver Request Form and attach proof of graduation alongside your written statement.

    What is the eligibility waiver request process?

    For senior club waiver requests, players must fill out the Senior Club Player Eligibility Waiver Request Form and submit it alongside a written statement and any additional documentation required to support the case. Once the player has submitted all proper paperwork to USA Rugby, the case will be forwarded to the Club Eligibility Committee, who approves or denies the request for a waiver.

    My transfer has been held up due to the dates my club plays league matches. What paperwork do I need to complete my transfer request?

    If your former club played league/conference or playoff matches between the date of your registration and the date of your transfer request, you must obtain written proof from your former club and its league/conference or union that you did not participate in qualifying matches.

    I'm a youth player who wants to also play senior club. What regulations do I need to be aware of?

    The International Rugby Board medical guidelines state that U18 players should not normally play adult rugby. At this time, USA Rugby will not approve any U17 players to participate in adult rugby. Players that have reached their 17th birthday who hope to affiliate and participate with a senior club are charged with requesting and receiving a waiver of eligibility. This standard also applies to U19 players hoping to participate in the front row for adult rugby clubs.

    A unique waiver request for this exemption is available on the Eligibility webpage. Notably, it requires that a physician perform a physical evaluation and consent that the player will not be subject to increased risk when participating against fully developed adults. Should minors require physicals for participation in athletics or return to school, the physical evaluation may be performed at that time. Again, a physician’s signature is a requirement and all U18 participation in adult rugby waiver requests must be fully complete to be considered.

    I've been injured during the competitive season and have been unable to meet the minimum match requirement. How do I apply for a waiver under these circumstances?

    In order to receive an eligibility waiver, you must demonstrate that you have been unable to play rugby during your club’s league/conference schedule and/or the playoffs. Documentation should be attached to your eligibility waiver request form showing your date of injury as well as your date of clearance to resume playing rugby.

    It is important to note that in order to have your waiver request considered for such circumstances, you still must have registered or submitted a transfer request by the required deadline.

    My waiver request was denied. What now?

    Players who believe their due process was violated my file an appeal within seven (7) days of receiving their denial. Appellate cases are not a retrial of your case; they are a review of the process by which your case was handled. You may not introduce new evidence and/or new arguments during the appeals process unless it relates to your right to due process. To make an appeal, you must submit your appeal case and $50.00. If you win your appeal, the $50.00 will be returned to you.

    How do I contact USA Rugby?

    You may contact USA Rugby by e-mailing the National Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by dialing 720-508-8011. Please note that call and message volume fluctuates.