To promote and advance the exciting game of Rugby in Connecticut

Change Team: 




1) Eligibility


1.1.1. “Team” means a group of at least 15 high school players with a coach, organized and registered with Rugby Connecticut, USA Rugby, and in good standing, to participate in the League.

1.1.2. All high school players on a team must be at least 14 years of age at the time of registration, and be enrolled in the 9th through 12th grades.

1.1.3. A High School Rugby Team must be based in a state or nationally-accredited school that issues high school graduation diplomas in Connecticut. A Team must be represented by a roster that is limited to players that are registered students at the high school upon which the team is based, including home schooled students eligible for their town’s school’s athletic activities. Home Schooled students may also be eligible for the club team in their town or a contiguous town. No other students are permitted to be rostered on a high school rugby team or club

1.1.4. A player can only be registered to one team during the competition season.

1.1.5. Each team is strongly encouraged to be a single school team. Only if a single school team is not possible may a team draw from multiple schools.

1.1.6. Once a multi-school team builds a base of players where participation from one town is large enough to sustain a separate team, a new team will be formed as long as there are enough players to sustain the original team.

1.1.7. Player transfers will only be granted in the case of extreme hardship and only after written request is received and approved by the Rugby Connecticut Executive Board.

1.1.8. Teams may carry an unlimited number of players on their roster.

1.1.9. High School rugby teams, High School All-Star teams, and rugby teams made up of high school students or 2 predominantly ‘Under 18’ players are not permitted to play contact rugby against College or Adult teams. This includes contact rugby games, contact practices or scrimmages in sevens, fifteens, or any other denomination of rugby. This is for the safety of the players and is not allowed under any circumstances.


1.2.1. All Connecticut High School Rugby coaches are encouraged to have completed the USA Rugby Level 200 Coaching Certification Program. This program is aligned with the World Rugby Organization and is a combination of online modules and a face-to-face workshop. Coaches are assessed online for understanding and then in the workshop for competency. A Level 200 coach is required to be registered with USA Rugby on the team roster and required to be present at all practices and matches.

1.2.2. All coaches are required to register with USA Rugby. USA Rugby conducts a background check on every youth and high school coach through this registration process. Clubs must register the team, coach, and all players with USA Rugby. Varsity teams must register the team with USA Rugby and send a roster of players and coaches to USA Rugby to satisfy their CIPP requirements and complete registration payment with CT Rugby.



1.3.1. Players are eligible if they have not reached their 19th birthday by September 1st that occurs at the start of the school year containing the competitive season, including the summer following that school year.

1.3.2. Players, except those that have graduated before the season ended, must be attending classes full time, as defined by the High School Registrar.

1.3.3. Players must have certified US High School transcripts either for two consecutive semesters including the semester that falls during the Competition Season, or, for players that have graduated, the final semester prior to graduation  during the current academic year, excluding freshmen entering high school for their first semester.

1.3.4. If the competition season extends beyond the end of the school year, the players may continue to participate in the competition provided that the players were otherwise eligible at the end of the school year.

1.3.5. Players must be within four (4) years of the moment the player first enrolled in ninth grade, regardless of when that player started playing rugby or had the ability to start playing rugby.

1.3.6. Players must not play in a Qualifying Match for any other club or team, including the High School team or club, College Club, or Senior Club competitions, while those players’ High School Qualifying Match season is in progress.

1.3.7. Players must meet and remain in compliance with all applicable amateur standards.

1.3.9. All players must provide a copy of a valid High School Identification Card to the head coach prior to their first practice. Players who are home schooled or enrolled in a GED or equivalent program must provide documentation on official letterhead stating they are currently enrolled in a high school program culminating in a GED or high school diploma.

1.3.10. Any student enrolled in eighth grade or lower is ineligible to be included on a high school roster or play in a high school game, regardless of age.

1.3.11 All players within the league must play for the town they live in, the school they go to or that is within the geographical area agreed on by the club coaches and competition committee prior to the season’s start. No players from a varsity program can play on a Club Team in CT competition.

1.4 Competition Eligibility:

1.4.1 CT Varsity Programs and school funded teams will only roster and allow participation in sanctioned Rugby Connecticut competitions players that are approved through their school administration and that are in good standings with their school board and are permitted to play.

1.4.4 CT Club Programs (Multi-School Teams/Co-Op programs) will only roster and allow participation in sanctioned Rugby Connecticut competitions players that are approved and enrolled in schools in their designated and agreed on town list.

1.4.5 Town Alignment - Team representatives will meet with the Competition Committee at an agreed-on time prior to season and review town list for confirmation. No club team shall draw from more than five towns. All remaining town players will be split up evenly and disbursed to other team depending on geographical area and history with the club’s youth program.

1.4.6 Conduct – Coaches/representatives from the teams will honestly and clearly communicate all rules with parents, players and other team and school officials to eliminate confusion and potential loss of play by a student. Club teams will work with all stakeholders to uphold the integrity of the league. Any team that takes a player from another rugby program in CT or from outside of their recruitment area cannot compete in the CT league at any level for the next 2 seasons, even if they are not enrolled in CT competition.

1.4.7 Out of State Players Participating in State Teams -  Players that are not residents of Connecticut or are not enrolled in a school in Connecticut are not permitted to participate in any Rugby Connecticut League Competition.


2) Registration of Teams, Players and Coaches


2.1.1. Teams must register annually with USA Rugby and CT Rugby.

2.1.2. For assistance in registering a new team, contact Rugby Connecticut’s administrator, whose contact information is on the Rugby Connecticut website.


2.2.1. Every roster must have at least one 200 Level coach. All Rugby Connecticut High School Coaches are encouraged to be USA Rugby Level 200 certified and have “active” standing with USA Rugby. Coaches must register with USA Rugby annually and prior to any practice or coaching activity. The USA Rugby registration cycle runs September 1 - August 31.

2.2.2. To be “active” with USA Rugby, a coach must do the following:

1. Register as a coach with USA Rugby.

2. Pass a biennial background screening.

3. Complete the Player Protection Package.

4. Complete a certification course.

5. Annually maintain active status.

Details for completing these requirements can be found at


2.3.1. Teams must have an active registration with USA Rugby by the March 15 prior to the season

3) Practice and Coaching


3.1.1. The competition committee will set the schedule and championship date and will communicate these to all teams.


3.2.1. A certified level 200 coach is required at every match and practice.

3.2.2. If a certified coach is not present, teams may not engage in any contact. In the absence of a certified coach, practices must be limited to passing and other non-contact drills.

3.2.3. Coaches are responsible for conducting safe, positive, and instructive practices. Coaches are required to ensure compliance with four mandatory tackle practices and two live scrum sessions for every player before they play in their first game. The focus on tackle practices is to teach safe tackling techniques and how to be tackled safely. The focus on scrum sessions is to teach preparation, proper technique and safety. Coaches must avoid fast tracking elite athletes.

3.2.4. Coaches are required to have a cell phone at all practices and matches.

3.2.5. Coaches are required to possess parent/legal guardian waivers and authorization forms to consent to treatment for a minor for every athlete at every practice and match. This information includes the following player information: parents’ phone numbers, insurance information, any medical conditions, allergies, drug reactions, previous illnesses, injuries or surgeries relative to the athlete.

4) Protective Equipment and Clothing.


4.1.1. Proper equipment is required for all matches.

4.1.2. Athletes are required to wear a mouthguard during matches.

4.1.3. Rugby boots, soccer, lacrosse and football cleats are permitted as long as they do not contain metal blades, do not contain spikes made up of more than one material and must screw in. Shoes with a molded plastic toe cleat are acceptable. All player clothing must comply with World Rugby Law 4.

4.1.4. Scrum headgear, mitts, and shoulder pads must have the World Rugby approval stamp. Any questionable items used for protection must be approved by the referee assigned to that match.

4.1.5. Jewelry and all piercings must be removed.

4.1.6. Kits must match and be clean with no tears in shirts, shorts, and socks. Short, or cut sleeves must be hemmed and must at least cover the player’s biceps.

4.1.7. Numbers on jerseys are mandatory. All teams must conform to all USA Rugby Kit Requirements.

4.1.8. Teams must have all players in matching kit.

4.1.9. Teams cannot have any reference to alcohol or tobacco related products displayed on any part of their kit. Sponsor logos that are not alcohol or tobacco related are acceptable.


4.2.1. Chest padding is allowed for women, but not men. Headscarves and cotton one-seam tights are allowed for women for purposes of religious modesty. Best practice is when the headscarf is worn under a scrum cap.

4.2.2. Male and Females may wear undergarment leggings and long sleeve shirts while playing on artificial turf.

4.2.3. If you have any questions, contact USA Rugby for a clarification. The easiest overarching guideline to know if something is permitted, is anything with plastic or metal of any kind is not allowed.

5) Safety Policies


5.1.1. Each team must have an emergency plan that is communicated to the away team, referee, and athletic trainer before every match.

5.1.2. Emergency plans shall be available for every field used. The plan must include; address of venue, quickest route to and from the nearest hospital or Emergency Room with the hospital/ emergency room address and contact information.

5.1.3. Teams that do not have an emergency plan available will not be eligible for home games.


5.2.1. Severe Storm: If a severe storm approaches the playing area, the safety of the players is the number one priority of coaches and referees and may require that the game be suspended while shelter is sought. In the event the game is suspended due to a severe storm All participants must clear the field immediately and move into a permanent shelter.

5.2.2. Lightning: If lightning is within 5 miles, the game(s) should be suspended and shelter sought. A lightning detector can identify the distance accurately but may not be available. A rough guideline is to measure the time between the lightning flash and hearing the corresponding thunder. If it is 30 seconds or less, seek shelter. It may not be possible to determine which lightning strike generated which roll of thunder. A simple rule: If you can hear it, clear it. Games should not be restarted for at least 30 minutes after the last roll of thunder is heard.

5.2.3. Home Coaches should provide directions to a suitable public facility in which teams can seek shelter.


5.3.1. There must be a certified athletic trainer or trained emergency medical person present before a game can kick off. This person must identify themselves to both teams and the referee before the game. 

5.3.2. Referees will not begin a match without confirming medical coverage is in place for that match.


5.4.1. In case of an injury the procedure will be: If injury occurs during warm ups or outside of a scheduled game the athlete should report to the Athletic Trainer for assistance. Injuries occurring during the game are the responsibility of the Athletic Trainer with the assistance of the Coach.

5.4.2. Athletic Trainers have full authority to remove any player from the game for any medical reason. The Athletic Trainer may conduct a primary on-field assessment. The Athletic Trainer will inspect the athlete and determine if the ambulance is needed for transport to the hospital.

5.4.3. The Athletic Trainer or Coach will assist in organizing hospital transport for the athlete by private vehicle (with family or friend) if an ambulance ride is declined.

5.4.4. Rugby Connecticut does not recognize head injury assessments. If a player is suspected to have a head injury, they should be removed from play and not allowed to return until they are evaluated by a healthcare professional. If a player is removed for a head, they may not reenter the game.


5.5.1. If a player shows symptoms of a concussion before, during or after a match, that players must be removed from play immediately, not to return during that match. Connecticut Rugby does not recognize head injury assessments.

5.5.2. The player needs to be evaluated by appropriate medical staff. Best practice would be an evaluation by a medical physician who has training in concussion evaluation and management. A player must do this before returning to play rugby in any form.

5.5.3. If a concussion is diagnosed, that player must sit out of activity until cleared by a medical professional

5.5.4. Once a player is cleared by a physician, they should be closely monitored for any lingering symptoms by coaches, parents, teammates and medical staff and be removed from play immediately if symptoms occur.  

6) Match Guidelines 6.1.


6.1.1. Emergency plans must be available and distributed to all coaches, referees, and medical professionals before  every match..

6.1.2. Home Team Coaches are responsible for finding a referee and trainer; home team coaches must also confirm their attendance before all matches.

6.1.3. Every match must be officiated by a USA Rugby certified referee.

6.1.4. Every match must be attended by a Certified Athletic Trainer or Emergency medical person. If  this requirement is not met, the game may not start. Home Teams are responsible for having ice on the sidelines for Trainers use during matches.

6.1.5. Coaches and referees must check the athletic grounds for hazards (rocks, holes, water, etc.). They must also consider current and potential weather conditions (e.g. lightning).

6.1.6. The Referee will inspect players for proper equipment and removal of jewelry before the game.

6.1.7. The Referee will inspect the technical zones to be sure that technical zone guidelines are met.

6.1.8. Parents, players and coaches must agree to abide by the values of good sportsmanship.


6.2.1. The Technical Zone is the area specified for teams and coaches to be around the field during a rugby match. Using these zones is a requirement for organization of the field and safety of players, coaches, referees, and spectators. The Technical Zone (TZ) is a space for coaches and players to be staged near the field. It is defined as space adjacent to the field between the 10m line and 22m line. The technical zone can be marked by cones. Technical zone starts 2m from the touch line to give room for assistant referees & touch judges. Coaches and players may not cross into the other team’s TZ or leave their own TZ. Teams should reside on the same side as their opposition, fans should stay on the opposite side of the field..

6.2.2. Rules Applicable to Coaches Teams may decide how many coaches they have in their technical zone Coaches should not stand in as medical staff; only medical professionals should be allowed to be assigned to a match as a medical professional. Coaches should conduct themselves in a dignified manner relating to emotions, language, attitude and actions and act at all times to protect the principles of fun, safety and development of all athletes. Coaches should also demonstrate respect for the ability of opponents as well as for the judgment of referees, officials and opposing coaches and display control and professionalism at all times under any circumstance.

6.2.3. Rules Applicable to Players and Teams Team benches should be between the 10m line and 22m line and behind the technical zone. Teams should not warm up within 5m of the field of play.

6.2.4. Rules Applicable to Fourth Official/Stat keeper #4 (Fourth Official) or Match Manager (data tracker) occupies the space between the 10m lines (Administrative Area). Chairs may be set up in the Administrative Area for disciplinary purposes. No coach or player is allowed in the Administrative Area except when requesting a substitution.

6.2.5. Rules Applicable to Medical Staff Teams may have  medical personnel in the playing enclosure, in front of any barriers and able to enter the field if needed. Medical personnel may roam either sideline and are not confined to the TZ. Medical personnel should always introduce themselves to the match official(s) before the match begins to properly identify them as medical. Coaches should not stand as medical staff; only medical professionals should be allowed to be assigned to a match as a medical professional.

6.2.6. Rules Applicable to Water Carriers Water carriers must stay outside the field of play unless the match official signals that they may enter the playing field. Water carriers should wear pinnies or a distinguishing shirt that clashes with both team’s players on the field. Coaches may serve as water carriers. Water carriers should be in the TZ when not bringing water to the players on the field.

6.2.7. Rules Applicable to Spectators Spectators should be on the opposite sideline from the teams unless a second rope or structure is present to prevent mixing of spectators with players/staff/administrators. Spectators are never allowed in the field of play for any reason. Spectators should not be behind the in goal  unless stands or stadium seating is provided with proper restraints.

6.2.8. Referees or Match officials may remove any coach, player, or spectator from the playing enclosure at any time for negative behavior. This may require stopping the match until the person has left the playing and spectating enclosure.


6.3.1. Each team is required to have a minimum of 2 certified touch judges.

6.3.2. A person is a certified touch judge after either (1) completing an online course by USA rugby or (2) completing a USA Rugby referee course.

6.3.3. One of the certified touch judges must be in attendance and able to run touch at each game other than the State Tournament.

6.3.4. Level one referee certification supersedes touch judge and AR certifications.


6.4.1. All regular season games are 35 minute halves with a 5 minute half time. No overtime is played during regular season matches.

6.4.2. During playoffs, games are 35 minute halves with a 5 minute half time. Overtime will be two 5-minute halves with a 5 minute half time. If the game is still tied after the first overtime period, there will be a 10 minute sudden victory. If the game is still tied,  the winner will be determined by a kick-off from the 22 meter line.

6.4.3 During a championship game, games are 35 minute halves with a 5 minute half time. Overtime will be two 5-minute halves. If there is still a tie, there will be a 10 minute sudden victory. If there is still a tie, there will be co-champions.

6.4.3. The minimum field dimensions are 53 meters wide by 100 meters long.


6.5.1. Rosters will be comprised of a maximum of 23 players.

6.5.2. Once a player is substituted, they cannot return to play. Substitution must comply with World Rugby Law 3 - Team


6.6.1. Home teams are encouraged to provide a basic meal or snack for both teams.


6.7.1. Defaults occur if a team has less than thirteen players fifteen minutes after the scheduled start time.

6.7.2. For all defaults, the score is entered as 20-0 and 5 competition points are awarded to the non-defaulting team.

6.7.3. Teams are not permitted to lend players until the match is officially declared a default.


6.8.1. A No Show occurs when a team does not show without having given notice to the opposing team.

6.8.2. A No Show results in an automatic disqualification from the state playoffs. A No Show during any post season playoff, will result in an automatic disqualification from playoffs in the following season and payment of the referee fees for the games missed.

6.8.3. There is an appeals process through the Competition Committee.


6.9.1. If the match is not played due to team issues (e.g. not enough players, travel problems etc.), the team that is unable to play forfeits.

6.9.2. If the match is not played due to field issues (e.g. field owner will not allow play due to rain/snow, owner schedule conflict, unsafe to play, etc.), then the match should be moved to an away team facility and held on the same day and at the same time. If that is not feasible, the match should be rescheduled. If the match is not rescheduled, then both teams are awarded a loss.

6.9.3. If the match is not played due to a Rugby Connecticut issue, then the match should be rescheduled. If it cannot be rescheduled, both teams will receive a loss. If one team makes a genuine effort to reschedule and the other does not, the match may be ruled a forfeit.


6.10.1. Unanticipated weather/light issues, weather, lightning, darkness (unanticipated does not include scheduling a late start on an unlighted field), facility issue (lights go out) etc. The match official determines whether such an issue has occurred. 3/4 or 45 minutes is full time, final score at the time match is called is treated as a final score for all purposes.

6.10.2. If less than 3/4 or 45 minutes, the match should be rescheduled to restart at the point of interruption at the same location.

6.10.3. If the match cannot be rescheduled, the coaches can agree that the match has been sufficiently completed. If they cannot decide or if they cannot agree, the match official rules. This includes any and all reasons the match cannot be continued, keeping the safety and welfare of the players, coaches and fans, including fighting or civil disturbance. Appeal must be filed within 24 hours.

6.10.4. Disputes: coaches for both teams will submit an email to the head of the Competition Committee within 24 hours stating the nature of the issue and proposed solution. The Chairman of the Competition Committee will forward the written appeals to the Committee which will vote on appropriate resolution via conference call within 48 hours. Any member of the Competition Committee affiliated with one of the teams involved will not be allowed to participate in the discussion or vote.

7) Rosters and Match Reporting


7.3.1. Scoring System: Win = 4pts, Tie = 2pts, Loss by 7 or less = 1pt, Scoring more than 4 tries = 1pt  Loss by more than 7 = 0.

7.3.2. The winning team shall submit all scores within 24 hours of the game.

8) Discipline


8.1.1. While the referee is responsible for calling the match, Rugby Connecticut coaches are responsible for the behavior of spectators and team members. Referees, athletic trainers and team members should not be subjected to negative comments from anyone. Rugby Connecticut insists all participants treat coaches, referees, athletic trainers and team members are treated with respect.


8.2.1. Verbal abuse by team coaches, team staff or team substitutes directed at match officials or players should not be tolerated and the following process should be followed: The referee will ask the identified person to refrain from their behavior. On the second occasion the referee will EJECT the person from the grounds. Zero tolerance approach should be applied and if the person refuses to leave, the referee should request that team’s captain to assist. Failing compliance, the referee may abandon the match.

8.2.2. NOTE: The referee must restart the game according to the latest stoppage and must NOT award a penalty due to the sideline behavior.


8.3.1. The issuance of a Red Card to a player will result in immediate removal from play. The player is suspended from games pending the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee decision. This does not prohibit the player from participating in practice. It is hoped that by going to practice the player will receive corrective action from their coaches.

8.3.2. The issuance of a second Red Card in the course of a season will result in the requirements of the above (1), and that the player and his coach are contacted with sanctions by the Discipline Committee. There will be no appeal.

8.3.3. The issuance of a third Red Card in the course of a season to an individual will be cause for immediate suspension of eligibility in the League for the remainder of the season. Upon receiving notice of the third infraction the DC will notify the player and their coach in writing of the suspension of eligibility. The player’s coach may appeal in writing to the Board for a review of the case. After review of the relevant Match Reports, and any other relevant material, it is within the Board’s sole discretion as to reinstatement and any follow-on requirements made of the player or the coach. The player’s coach will be required to petition the board for reinstatement of eligibility of an underclassman player for eligibility for any following season.

8.3.4. Any coach knowingly allowing the participation of an ineligible player in a game, will cause a Team forfeit of the game, and the immediate dismissal of the coach from the CT Rugby.


8.4.1. First Yellow Card will receive no follow up or post game sanctions issued.

8.4.2. Second Yellow Card during the same game will result in the issuance of a Red Card (as this is showing a pattern of behavior), immediate removal from play, and sanctions from the Disciplinary Committee.

8.4.3. The issuance of a second Yellow Card in the course of the season will require notification to the Chair of the DC. After review of the relevant Match Reports it is within the DC’s discretion as to any follow up  requirements made to the player and/or the coach. There will be no appeal.

8.4.4. The issuance of a Third yellow card, in the course of a season results in a one game suspension of the player's eligibility for participation in the player’s team's next immediate game, and will require the player and coach to appear in front of the DC. There is no appeal.

8.4.5. A player receiving a Fourth yellow card in the course of a season will be immediately suspended from eligibility, and the player will be required to appear, with his or her coach, before the DC before the player can play again. If the DC upholds further suspension, the player’s coach may appeal in writing to the Rugby CT President for a review of the case. After review of the relevant Match Reports it is within the CT Rugby Board’s sole discretion as to reinstatement and any further requirements made of the player or the coach. The player’s coach will be required to petition the Rugby CT President for reinstatement of eligibility of an under-classman player for eligibility for the following season.


8.5.1. The DC is selected by the Rugby CT Board. The Board consists of three members. Members of the DC are seated in January for the spring season and serve for a term of one year. The panel members select a chairperson who organizes and runs DC meetings.

8.5.2. The three standing panel members review individual cases and vote for further sanctions. Alternates are brought into review cases when one or more panel members are not available (e.g. A panel member is not available within a one-week time period notification of a sanction card, or, when a panel member must recuse themself.)

8.5.3. A panel member should recuse themself only when there is a direct conflict, such as when the sanction card involves a player or coach in the panel member's team, or involves an opposing team or member of a team in a game with the panel member's team. Past or future events should not be taken into consideration in decisions regarding recusal.


8.6.1. Incidents occurring outside a sanctioned game shall be brought before the DC for resolution when two teams are from the same conference, under the presumption that the conference has the ability to regulate all conduct by its member teams. This includes incidents arising at a scrimmage or non-sanctioned tournament. In such a situation, a written complaint shall be filed with the Conference Commissioner. Should the Conference Commissioner find cause, they then forward the complaint to the DC to be processed. Should there be an incident involving a team, player or coach that is not directly game related, the local authorities should be involved where appropriate and a written complaint sent to the Competition Committee. The Competition Committee Chair then decides the severity of the incident and if warranted submits the complaint to the CT Rugby Board for the standard disciplinary action process; the Board reviews written evidence and recommends sanctions to Conference Commissioner.

8.6.2. If an incident occurs during a non-league sanctioned tournament involving one or more CT Rugby teams, not from the same Conference, a written complaint should be sent to the Chair of the CT Rugby Disciplinary Committee (DC). The incident is then brought before a quorum of the DC committee members; if deemed appropriate, the DC makes recommendations that are then presented to the Rugby CT President for enacted sanctions. If the offending individual(s) are CT Rugby teams/ players/coach, the Rugby CT President notifies the appropriate Competition Committee of the sanctions to be levied. If the incident involves a non-league entity, the Rugby CT President shall contact the governing body of the offending team/player/coach informing them of the incident and the recommended sanctions. Individual(s) receiving sanctions directly from the DC would have recourse to submit an appeal to the Rugby CT President, only as allowed and indicated in the Rules & Procedures. The Rugby CT President then decides if the appeal has merit and if it should be heard by the DC. It was recommended that the threshold should/would be very high for something to pass through this process and be accepted by the Chairman for DC to review. If the Chair indicates, “No”, the issue is done. If accepted by the Rugby CT President, the appeal goes to the full Board for further resolution. The BOC 'finding' is handed down to the appropriate Conference Commissioner of the sanctions to be levied. There would be no further Appeal process.

 Passed by the Connecticut Rugby Board on January 27, 2020