College Management Council approves new eligibility regulations

College Management Council approves new eligibility regulations

BOULDER, Colo. – The USA Rugby College Management Council ratified the eligibility rules for collegiate players Wednesday, to be instituted immediately.

The new eligibility rules will allow for student-athletes to participate for up to five years in a seven-year time period from high school graduation with no exceptions, as opposed to the five-year window put in place prior to the 2012-13 season.

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Click here to read College Eligibility FAQ >>

“This change in eligibility regulations is a result of the standard annual review of the regulations as well as a number of requests from college representatives and the D1A member teams to examine the rules in light of a number of issues related to fairness, equity, returning veterans to school, and a myriad of other situations,” USA Rugby Collegiate Director Rich Cortez said. “The College Management Council has determined the new rules can be applied equitably and uniformly and they take into account a person’s life choices and balanced that with the opportunity to play college rugby.”

The College Eligibility Committee annually reviews the rules for collegiate eligibility based on the number of waiver requests received and makes recommendations to the College Management Council.

The new regulations will allow for greater participation from collegiate student-athletes, including those who served time in the military, and were agreed upon based on the ensuring of fairness and player welfare in the evolving game of American collegiate rugby.

Graduate students will still only be allowed to play for the first year of graduate school for the institution from which the student received his or her undergraduate degree.

For more information regarding the eligibility regulations, please contact Rich Cortez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Comments (9)

  • Guest - Daniel

    I am not sure how this helps people who signed up for a 6 year contract in the military. So they get out and if timing is perfect they get to play 1 year? What about the fact that usually there is a little wait before shipping into the military and then a wait after getting out of the military for the semester to start. For instance say someone has a dep date 6 months after graduation and they do 6 years in the military(alot of military contracts are 6 years). Now what? Why can't they use NCAA eligibility rules that work for other college sports like football. Has anyone given a logical reason why they can't?

  • Guest - Saranna Thornton

    In reply to: Guest - Daniel

    Unlike football, people can play rugby into their 50s and beyond. A military veteran isn't denied the opportunity to play rugby because he/she served for 7 or more years. The vet can still play on a senior men's or women's club team (and the socials are a lot more fun at the senior club level because you are dealing with college alcohol policies).

  • Guest - Saranna Thornton

    In reply to: Guest - Saranna Thornton

    are *not* dealing with college alcohol policies...

  • Guest - DevilLord

    The graduate school restriction is terrible. Only first year from the institution where you got your undergrad degree... how many hundreds of liberal arts colleges have rugby, but no graduate programs. Stupid! I am not saying I had a ton of time in graduate school for rugby, but it should be a set number of years for eligibility.

  • Guest - GI Jerk

    Let's face it this rule is going to only keep a very small number of people out of elite collegiate rugby programs. 99% or more of collegiate rugby clubs are just that clubs holding to university rules. My experience has been that college clubs with ex-military members run the highest chance of getting in trouble with university administrators. They are older and push the envelope with regards to off campus houses/parties, alcohol access, access to rented cars/vans, etc. Ex-military players should just man-up and play at the local men's club.

    Also, let's stop the NCAA comparisons. Rugby is a recreational sport on nearly all collegiate campuses. NCAA athletes are hand picked based on ability. Some have the potential to become full time professional athletes. Apples and oranges folks.

  • Guest - Marc

    We'll be stuck as a niche sport until the NCAA gets M and W rugby as a varsity DIV I program.

  • Guest - John

    In reply to: Guest - Marc


    That pretty much sums it up.....

  • Guest - Guest

    In reply to: Guest - Marc

    And not getting in line with NCAA rules keeps you in the niche, follow the rules and you'll get traction ...

  • Guest - just an opinion

    we all know playing for your university is a unique experience you cant match with club rugby. what this does is penalize folks who needed to take a different path to fund their college education-GI bill much? Now here we are, the Rodney Dangerfields of collegiate sports (we get no respect, i tell ya!) lookin for ways to exclude people from participating. Meanwhile, the Wenkies of the world can get drafted to a MLB team, fester in the minors for a few years, then decide, maybe give that college football a try at 27; and no one blinks an eye. Would like to type more, but Im baking brownies for our club's bake sale tomorrow-our fall travel schedule is going to be a grind!