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.
“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.