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Championship Competition Rules

PREMIERSHIP & CHAMPIONSHIP COMPETITION RULES 2018 – 2019 SEASON

  1. The Army Rugby Union (ARU) Community Leagues shall be played under the Laws of World Rugby and of the Rugby Football Union and shall comply with the Competition Rules and Regulations of the Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) & ARU.

Overview

  1. The ARU Community Leagues are run and facilitated to promote teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship for all. Fixtures should be arranged and agreed upon well in advance and units should honour them. It takes constant monitoring of the unit Forecast of Events (FoE). by Rugby Officers (ROs) to ensure that rugby is played, but there is flexibility in the system. The ARU funds participation and administrates the competition. Playing equipment, medical kit, some travel, fixtures and referees are all provided or organised.
  2. The Competition shall be called the Army Rugby Union (ARU) Premiership (Prem) & Championship (Champ) Competition, hereafter referred to as the ARU Prem & Champ. Participation in the ARU Prem & Champ will be for Regular and Reserve Unit XVs, ARTD establishments and Formation Headquarters. Garrison or multi-unit XVs are not usually entitled to play, however, in the spirit of promoting rugby, some allowances may be made to facilitate participation. The aim of the ARU Prem & Champ is to promote rugby union and to provide a stepping-stone for players to progress into Army representational teams.
  3. The competition is open to units affiliated to the ARU, who are registered on the RFU Game Management System (GMS). Units must pay an annual fee of £50 to the ARU which pays for unit rugby insurance.
  4. To participate, units must agree to be bound by the RFU disciplinary procedures. The Committee shall have the power to impose conditions upon the membership or continued participation of any unit in the competition. Any unit failing to comply with such conditions shall not be entitled to enter the competitions or to continue to participate in them.
  5. The Rules of the ARU Prem & Champ are those published on the ARU web page. They are updated usually at the beginning and end of each season and can be found at: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/competition/

Organising Committee

  1. The Chairman ARU Community Leagues (hereafter known as the Chairman), Maj Marc Wilding and a team of league secretaries administer the ARU Community leagues. The Secretary of the ARU, Mr Chris Fowke, assists them. The Chairman reports to the Director of Community rugby, Col James Cook OBE (hereafter known as the Director).
  2. The Chairman has the power to amend these regulations; subject to endorsement by the Director in writing prior to their introduction. Amended regulations must be published electronically on the ARU web page and all units informed by email.
  3. League secretaries run the individual leagues on behalf of the Chairman. The league secretaries will be responsible for:
  4. Staffing their league fixture list, keeping it up to date and informing the ARU of any changes, results and league tables.
  5. Liaising between ROs and referees to ensure that match officials are content with match administration.
  6. Offering advice and support to ROs on the specifics of ARU laws and rules for the smooth running of the competition.
  7. Maintain their league tables with scores and bonus points, ensuring that results are passed to the Secretary of the ARU and their team at the earliest opportunity.
  8. Keep their ROs up to date on the competition status.
  9. Attend league matches to ensure the laws and rules are being complied with.
  10. Monitor the performance of match officials and liaise with the Chairman if there are any issues.
  11. Act in the best interests of the competition and promote the game of rugby.
  12. League Secretary contact details for season 2018/19 are:
Appointment Name Email
Prem 1 & 2 Capt Abe Mataitini
Champs 1 Maj Jase Lowe
Champs 2 Maj Del Tickner
Champs 3 WO1 Rich Glet

The Structured Season

  1. The ARU Community Leagues take their place within the ARU Structured Season (SS). As such, every week within the SS has a priority for play. The SS will be annotated for UKAF, Army, Army A, Army U23, Corps, Community and Women’s fixtures. On these days, players will know to whom they must play for if selected. It is not within the gift of unit COs or ROs to deny individuals within their command these opportunities. The first POC in all instances must be the league secretary and then the Chairman.
  2. The secretariat of the ARU will staff the SS in June each year. Units may play on any given Wednesday but must understand that players selected for a higher level of play have to be released to play for representative teams on all occasions. Failure to do so will result in a points deduction after review by the Chairman. If units arrange a fixture on a day that clashes with an Army or Corps matches, they are required to inform the Chairman.
  3. There will be two community meetings each season at which all teams must send a representative. Held in February and July they will allow for the smooth running of the competition and act as an opportunity to consider queries and concerns of units. The July meeting will include the league draw and fixture arrangements. It is essential for ROs to confirm provisional dates for fixtures with each other and league secretaries at this point.

The League Structure

  1. The Community Leagues will be split into five levels of play. The most senior league is Premiership 1, the best 6 unit sides in the British Army. It has a subservient league, Premiership 2 with 6 teams. Below the Premiership leagues are three further levels of play in Championship 1, 2 & 3. The distribution of leagues at Champ 1, 2 & 3 may not be equal, but instead reflects the regional laydown of Army units. Teams based in NI, and Germany take their place in the respective leagues. The more senior the league the more national it becomes, while the junior leagues are relatively regional.
  2. Any team that is committed to operations or extensive training may take a sabbatical season and maintain their position for the following season. Where teams miss a second season, they may be placed at the lowest tier of rugby, at the discretion of the Chairman. Individual appeals to avoid relegation should be submitted by Commanding Officers to the Director.
  3. At the end of the round robin stages if table points are equal, position shall be determined by: total wins, then bonus points, then point’s difference, then winner of the match between those two teams, then most tries scored.
  4. For Prem 1 & 2, the top 4 teams will progress into the semi-final. Team 1 will play team 4, team 2 will play team 3. Semi-finals will be played at neutral locations. The final will be played at the Army Rugby Union Stadium in Aldershot. The winners will compete for the Army Cup. Prem 2 teams will compete for the Army Shield.
  5. For Champ 1, 2 & 3 the top team in each league plus the best placed 2nd team will compete in the top competition. The remaining 2nd placed teams and best two placed 3rd teams will compete for the second-tier competitions. The precise draw will be based on geography to minimise travel while using neutral locations.
  6. The hierarchy of competitions will be Army Cup, Army Shield, Army Champ Plate, Army Champ Bowl, Army Champ Vase, Army Champ Tankard & Army Champ Quaich.
  7. In the knock out stages of the competition there is a need to gain a result on the day and the following provisions should be followed. After regular time there will be a 5min gap. Teams will swap ends. Teams will play a further 2 x 10 mins each way, swapping ends at half time. The team with the highest score at the end of 20mins will be the winner. The complete 20mins will be played. If the scores remain tied, there will be a further gap of 5 mins as teams swap ends again. Teams will now play a 10 min sudden death period. If either team score in any way, they will be declared the winners immediately and the contest will stop at that point. If after this 10mins a winner is not found there will be a drop kick penalty shoot-out. Teams will nominate 5 kickers, who must have been playing in the last session. They will all attempt a drop kick at goal from anywhere behind the 22m line. The team with the most successful kicks wins. If the scores remain equal, extra kickers will be drafted in, one at a time until a winner is found. Only those on the pitch for the last 10 mins may kick at goal.
  8. Promotion and relegation will take place in Prem 1, 2 and Championship 1. The top team in each league will automatically promote. The bottom team will automatically relegate. To balance the leagues, sometimes more than one team will promote or relegate as decided by the Chairman and endorsed by the Director.
  9. Promotion and relegation for Champs 2 and below will be decided on a case by case basis. This will be carried out in consultation with Chairman, League Secretaries and appropriate ROs.
  10. Every effort must be made to honour fixtures. If matches are cancelled and are not rescheduled, then the non-cancelling team will be awarded a 20-0 win without bonus point. If a fixture cannot be played due to non-availability of both sides, both teams will be awarded 2 points, and 10 points for and against. When cancelling or changing any fixtures, ROs are to ensure that match officials and league secretaries are informed at the earliest opportunity.
  11. League matches will be scored thus; Win – 4 points, Lose – 1 point, Draw – 2 points, Lose by 7 points or less – 1 point, Score 4 tries or more – 1 point.
  12. If a unit withdraws from the competition, all results pertaining to that team will be cancelled from all opposition.
  13. Matches are, where possible, to be played on the prescribed Wednesday with a KO of 1400 hrs. Matches may be played under floodlights at 1930 hrs but these arrangements must obey the same conditions as arranging the fixture, i.e. must be made in advance. Where teams play matches outside of these stated times, ROs are to inform their league secretaries for the correct timings to be published on the ARU website.

Squad Composition, Player Eligibility and Affiliated Players

  1. Teams may have a maximum match day squad of 23 and all 8 substitutes may be used. Championship sides may roll subs on and off throughout the match.
  2. There are specific front row rules for each level of the competitions aimed to ensure safety and fair competition but also to allow teams the opportunity to develop front row capability.
  3. Each team playing in the Prem 1 must have at least two front row substitutes, aged at least eighteen years, to play at hooker, tight head prop and loose head prop. They must be suitably trained and experienced to ensure that on the first and second occasions (whether due to injury or consequent to a player(s) being ordered off) that a replacement can continue to play safely with contested scrums.
  4. Each team playing in Prem 2 must have at least one front row substitute. They must be suitably trained and experienced to ensure that on the first and second occasions (whether due to injury or consequent to a player(s) being ordered off) that a replacement can continue to play safely with contested scrums.
  5. If a unit cannot field a qualified front row in either the Prem or Champ 1 & 2 the team may still play the fixture, (uncontested scrums) but the side with a front row will be awarded a 20-0 win with bonus point regardless of the final score. The team without a front row will still be awarded a point for playing, they will also be awarded a bonus point if they score 4 tries or lose by 7 points or less
  6. In Champ 1 & 2 leagues there is no need to have replacement front row. A team must start with a qualified and competitive front row but if injury prevents competitive scrums the game moves to uncontested scrums but with 15 players remaining on the pitch.
  7. In Champ 3 matches may take place without fully qualified front rows. In this instance the game will be played with uncontested scrums and 15 players remaining on the pitch.
  8. Teams may only play or select as a replacement, players who are on the unit establishment and occupy a JPA Position ID (PiD). There is to be a clear 7 (seven) days gap between a player arriving in a unit and being eligible to play. Players attached to a unit on War Establishment for operations are not eligible to play for the new unit but may continue playing for their old unit. Playing an ineligible player will result in the unit being disqualified from the competition.
  9. Units in Prem 1 and 2 may register one player per season to play for their team who are not on a unit JPA PiD. This is only to be done if these players have a strong and tangible connection with the unit and have no other opportunity of playing league rugby. For example, a Royal Welsh staff officer within a Bde HQ may elect to play for his home Bn if the Bde HQ does not play rugby. Or, a medical officer attached to a NHS hospital may elect to play for any proximal unit that is both willing and able to support their participation. This rule is not to be used to “fish” for talent and affiliate players. There must be a strong link to the home unit. All applications are to be made by email to the Chairman at least seven days before they are required.
  10. Units in Championship 1 & 2 may register up to two players per season to play for their team who are not on a unit JPA PiD if these players have a strong and tangible connection with the unit and have no other opportunity of playing league rugby
  11. Units in the Championship 3 may register up to three players per season to play for their team who are not on a unit JPA PiD if these players have a strong and tangible connection with the unit and have no other opportunity of playing league rugby.
  12. Reservists, including FTRS, are entitled to play if they are on the establishment of the unit. Reservists within reserve units who do not have a team entered, may play for their “paired” regular unit. There is no limit on how many can play.
  13. If a reserve unit enters the competition then there is no limit on regular or reserve players on the pitch at any one time.
  14. M.O.D. civilians, civilian physiotherapists, and other non-military individuals are not usually entitled to play in the competition. Cases should be made in writing to the Chairman.
  15. If a player is posted from one team to another during the season they will be eligible to play for the new team as soon as their posting order date is reached. If the new unit isn’t in the ARU community leagues, then the individual can request to continue playing for his previous unit. Any queries should be addressed to the Chairman as soon as possible.
  16. Units that have an individual attached to them on Ex LONG LOOK may play the individual. This must be clarified with the Chairman beforehand.

Postponed, and Abandoned Matches

  1. The decision to not start a match, when teams have travelled, due to adverse weather, is that of the ROs and match referee. If the referee is content to proceed the only way the match will not start is if both team captains disagree with the referee. If only one team captain is not content, then the match will be played. This law does not prevent law 38 being enforced if conditions deteriorate sufficiently during the match.
  2. If a match is abandoned within 60 minutes of playing time due to adverse weather conditions or due to an injury that prevents the match continuing, the match shall be rescheduled under the same arrangements on a date agreed by the relevant teams. If the match is abandoned after 60 minutes play, then the score at the time of abandonment shall be deemed the final score. The decision as to the time elapsed and the necessity to abandon shall be that of the referee alone.
  3. In the event of an abandoned match, the RO of the home team shall provide to their league secretary and Chairman an e-mail containing the time of abandonment, the existing score, and the reason for abandonment.
  4. In the event of unplayable pitches due to snow, frost or other conditions or if a unit runs out of available Wednesdays the Chairman reserves the right to adopt a Pools Prediction format to resolve un-played fixtures. In the first instance, every opportunity must be given to get the matches played. However, if fixture congestion prevents this, the Chairman will seek guidance from the Director. Matches whose results seems obvious will be awarded a 10 – 0 win without bonus point. Matches that are too close to call will be awarded a 10 – 10 draw without bonus point.
  5. If a team arrives late for a match, for any reason, they can demand a delay to KO by 30 mins without negotiation, if they inform the referee immediately upon arrival. If this is still not enough time to prepare, then any further extension is to be negotiated between both ROs and the referee. A team that arrives after 90 mins from KO will forfeit the fixture 10-0 if the home team deem that there is insufficient playing time remaining. The home team and referee also have the option of playing a match of only 60 mins duration, i.e. 30 mins each way, after which the result will stand.

Match Management and Medical

  1. Each unit may only train and play matches if they have a RFU / ARU qualified coach. If the unit does not have the required coaches, this must be articulated in the risk assessment and signed by the unit CO. Support to units for all coaching matters should be sent to the Army Rugby Union RDO,.
  2. The home team is responsible for correctly and clearly marking its pitch. Proper provision must be made to ensure that, apart from the touch judges, all spectators, replacements and officials are kept at a reasonable distance (2m) from the field of play, behind permanent or a temporary barrier such as stakes and rope.
  3. Each unit shall make provision for two technical areas, one for each team competing in a match (each of which shall not exceed 10 sq. metres) and which will be at least one metre from the touchline of the pitch. The technical areas when occupied must not in any way impede the touch judges or fourth official undertaking his responsibilities).
  4. Any player, suspended during a match must remain in the technical area or leave the playing enclosure and be clearly and readily identifiable to the referee or other officials.
  5. The home team should make provision for the feeding of a visiting team at suitable PAYD facilities. There is no subsidy for feeding.
  6. All teams hosting units flying to their location are responsible for their collection and transport from the APOD to the unit lines and back.
  7. Units are to fund their own travel for all matches within England, Scotland, and Wales. For matches in Germany, Cyprus or Northern Ireland the ARU may subsidise air travel by up to £1,000 per team. Flights should be booked by units and invoices submitted to the Sec ARU for payment of the £1,000. The ARU cannot subsidise coach or minibus travel as this is funded by the public purse. A receiving unit in NI, Cyprus or Germany is to collect the opposition from the airport and return them in a suitable vehicle. ARU funding will be for no more than 26 pax, 23 players and 3 officials. The ASCB shall fund the travel of all teams in semi-finals and finals through POT 16.
  1. In the event of units having similar or clashing colours the home unit will be responsible for changing its colours, subject to the satisfaction of the appointed referee.
  2. Regimental mascots and other such paraphernalia are encouraged by the ARU. However, their inclusion must not convey advantage to either side or unnecessarily delay proceedings. Any pre-match parade of any sort will be coordinated by the senior ARURS official.
  3. The home team must ensure that a medical plan is in place. This is articulated in the risk assessment for rugby union, which is signed by the Commanding Officer. In its simplest form, each unit must have a plan for the speedy dispatch of a civilian ambulance to the pitch via 999. VCPs must be informed and personnel dispatched to direct the vehicle. The pitch must be accessible for a vehicle. An individual that is not playing must be nominated to hold a mobile phone that is able to call 999 if needed.
  4. The home unit must also supply a casualty pack for serious injury. This includes blankets and a waterproof cover if an injured player is immobile and needs to wait in place for an ambulance.
  5. The simplest medical policy remains to call 999 for all serious injuries. Do not move the player if you believe that there may be further risk of injury. Keep the player still, stop the match, give reassurance, keep the player warm, dry and calm. If possible, the match should be reconvened on another pitch once the injured player has been dealt with. Finally, the player’s CoC should be informed.

Publication of Match Results

  1. After the match, the home RO is to inform their league secretary and the ARU Prem & Champ Facebook page of the result. This is to be carried out within 24 hrs of the final whistle.
  2. ROs are encouraged to provide a short match report to be published on the ARU Premiership & Championship Facebook page.

Referees and Assistant Referees

  1. For Prem 1 & 2 matches the League Secretary will liaise with the Army Senior Appointer to plan for matches. Home team rugby officers must engage with their referee NLT 48 hours prior to the fixture and confirm: pitch location, changing room location, KO time, playing strip colour. For Prem 1 matches, it is the aspiration to appoint a Team of Three (ToT). For all other levels a referee will be appointed, with a ToT if available.
  2. For Champ matches, ROs are to liaise with their Area Appointer. This should be done at the beginning of the season as a warning order and then confirmed each month, at the earliest opportunity.  Home team ROs must engage with their referee NLT 48 hours prior to the fixture and confirm: pitch location, changing room location, KO time, playing strip colour.
  3. For Semi Finals and Finals, officials will be requested by the Chairman and participating teams will be informed accordingly.
  4. To book a referee, units should use the following link: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-info/working-with-us/book-a-ref/
  5. Referee allocations are found at: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-referees/referee-appointments/
  6. Referee feedback should be left at this link: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-referees/referee-feedback/
  7. ARU Referee courses can be found at this link: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-referees/arurs-training/
  8. Any home team not contacting the referee by 1400 hrs on the Thursday preceding the match will be deducted a league point. If the home team doesn’t contact the official by 1400 hrs on the Monday the team will be deducted two points and if no contact is made before 24 hrs of ko then it will be a three point deduction.

Discipline

  1. Players will be disciplined in the normal manner by the awarding of red and yellow cards, and any subsequent hearings. However, spectators will also be subject to discipline powers of the match official. The Director reserves the right to penalise a team by deducting points to their league score in the event of serious incidents.
  2. In all matches, any decision taken by the appointed match officials or their replacements shall be final and binding insofar as the Laws of the Game are concerned.
  3. Any player that has been suspended from playing civilian rugby; and is currently banned or not allowed to play civilian rugby must not participate in the competition; failure to comply with this regulation will result in disqualification from the competition.
  4. Any player that has received a red card and is yet to attend a disciplinary hearing is suspended from playing rugby until they have had an appropriate sanction placed upon them. This is equally applicable to players who have been sent off playing civilian rugby. Imposed sanctions are applicable to both civilian and military rugby.
  5. If for any reason a unit or player disagrees with any decision made by the organising committee it is to email the Chairman and Director, stating their case within 5 days of any decision. The Director will then have a further 5 days to make a binding decision.

Sponsorship

  1. Veolia sponsors the ARU Prem, whilst the Royal British Legion (RBL) sponsors the ARU Champ. The ARU is sponsored and supported for all playing equipment and clothing by an exclusive ‘Gift of Kit’ contract with Samurai Sportswear.
  2. Each year a financial contribution, in the form of the ‘Gift of Kit’, is made by Samurai to support the community teams. The Chairman ARU decides in which form this will take. Most seasons it will be in the subsidy of playing strip, in some it will be pitch equipment. By taking the Samurai equipment the unit commits itself to only purchasing rugby kit, clothing and peripherals from Samurai Sportswear. If a unit is seen to have taken the Samurai Sports subsidy and then spent public or private money with another manufacturer that season they will be in breach and disqualified from the league competition that season.
  3. The Gift of Kit is not guaranteed; however, all applications will be considered by the Chairman and where possible will be met.
  4. Samurai also offer 30% discount on all products for those accepting the scheme. Their web page is at: http://www.samurai-sports.com/

Contacts

  1. The Army Rugby Union web page is found at: www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk
  2. The Facebook page is found at: https://www.facebook.com/ArmyRugbyUnionPremiership?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark

Summary

  1. Playing rugby should be fun, competitive and team building. The ARU will facilitate and encourage participation; however, it is down to unit reps and players to make the most of the opportunity afforded to them.
  1. For Prem 1 & 2 matches the League Secretary will liaise with the Army Senior Appointer to plan for matches. Home team rugby officers must engage with their referee NLT 48 hours prior to the fixture and confirm: pitch location, changing room location, KO time, playing strip colour. For Prem 1 matches, it is the aspiration to appoint a Team of Three (ToT). For all other levels of rugby a referee will be appointed, with a ToT if available.
  2. For Champ matches, rugby officers are to liaise with their Area Appointer. This should be done at the beginning of the season as a warning order and then confirmed each month, at the earliest opportunity.  Home team rugby officers must engage with their referee NLT 48 hours prior to the fixture and confirm: pitch location, changing room location, KO time, playing strip colour.
  3. To book a referee, units should use the following link: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-info/working-with-us/book-a-ref/
  4. Referee allocations are found at: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-referees/referee-appointments/
  5. Referee feedback should be left at this link: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-referees/referee-feedback/
  6. ARU Referee courses can be found at this link: https://www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk/aru-referees/arurs-training/
Chairman ARU Community Leagues Marc Wilding
Secretary Premiership 1 and 2 Abel Mataitini
Secretary Championship 1 Jase Lowe
Secretary Championship 2 Del Tickner
Secretary Championship 3 Rich Glet
Chairman ARU Community Leagues Marc Wilding
Secretary Premiership 1 and 2 Abel Mataitini
Secretary Championship 1 Jase Lowe
Secretary Championship 2 Del Tickner
Secretary Championship 3 Rich Glet