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Southern League Rules

Revised: 2 September 2010


1. IRB web site at: www.irb.com/lawregulations
2. The RFU Handbook – Game Regulations, Section A General Game Regulations and Appendix 2, League Competitions (Level 2 and below) www.rfu.com/regulations
3. The ARU website www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk
4. The ARU handbook
5. 2008DIN10-034

Southern League Rules (pdf 82kb)
Certified Team Sheet (doc 775kb)
Certified Team Sheet (pdf 50kb)


1. The Army Rugby Southern League Competition will be organised and played on an annual basis during the regular rugby season (1 Sep to 31 May). Eligible teams shall be unit teams (ARU Premiership 2nd teams or Community Cup teams only), station sides, and training establishments, in addition the ARU actively encourages entries from composite or amalgamated ‘non rugby playing’ or minor unit teams who could not normally play full XV- a-side rugby without the support of other similar units.

2. The Competition will follow the format of a league competition where teams shall play each other once per season.

3. A Trophy will be awarded to the winners of the competition which may be kept by the unit for one year and then returned to the ARU. It is the winners responsibility to make sure the trophy is engraved before it’s return to the ARU

4. An appropriate memento such as a commemorative medal will be presented to players (15), replacements (4), coach and manager of the winning team (2) (total 21). Winners and runners up will also receive ARU ‘stash’ as prizes. In addition competing units will receive 2 training balls.

Laws, Rules and Regulations

5. The competitions will be played under the Laws of Rugby Union as promulgated by the International Rugby Board (IRB). These can be found at Reference A.

6. The rules of the Competition follow the RFU regulations detailed in Reference B. The ARU reserve the right to amend the regulations to take account of the services environment, culture and ethos. Teams are to note and adhere strictly to the regulations regarding replacements.

7. The Director of Community Rugby (with the organising committee) under whose auspices the competition is organised will adjudicate on any matter that falls outside of these regulations, or where a breach of the regulations has alleged to have occurred, his decision will be binding.

8. Units may enter the competitions by confirmation in writing (email, fax or letter) to the ARU Secretary prior to the start of the season.

The Playing of Matches

9. The ARU Southern League is designed as an informal competition allowing Units large flexibility on when and whom they play. It is the responsibility of Unit Rugby Officers (Found at Annex A) to arrange fixtures against opposition that suit the Unit diary. Each Unit is expected to play 5 home and 5 away fixtures. Fixture ‘play by’ dates as indicated in Annex B will wherever possible conform to the ARU Structured season, the fixture dates will not be ‘set in stone’ and teams may play outside of the structured season framework if agreed but must understand that they will not have first call over players who belong to their unit and whom are required to play for a representative team be that at Corps or Army level.

10. Units are reminded that it is feasible to play matches outside of the window of the normal Wednesday ‘sports afternoon’ and if convenient games may be played throughout the week and in the evenings when floodlights are available. The ARU will allow competing teams a degree of flexibility in the playing of all matches to take into account the demands placed on units by their chain of command. The ARU reserve the right to ‘award’ points against teams who are unable to play upon or before a date specified or otherwise rearranged and agreed by opponents and the ARU. Teams who have difficulty in meeting a fixture deadline are in the first instance contact the ARU office.

11. Points will be awarded to teams for each match as follows

  • Winning Team – 3 Points
  • Team Scoring 4 or more tries – 1 Bonus Point
  • Score at full time of losing team is within 7 points of winners – 1 Bonus Point
  • Drawn matches – 2 Pts per team
  • Losing team 1 Point


12. Teams are to consist of predominantly service personnel who are on strength within the participating unit (or units where amalgamated), station or training establishment, in addition teams are permitted to field no more than 3 players who do not meet these criteria. These additional players shall be known as ‘guest players’ and ordinarily should have a connection with the unit, be they ex members of the unit, ex service personnel, a dependant or ‘other’, such as but not restricted to, MGS, MPGS, or civilian catering personnel resident at that unit. Organising Officers are however to note that steps should be taken to ensure that personnel within the unit who wish to play are allowed to do so in preference to ‘guest’ players. Organising Officers are to ensure that their team is affiliated to the ARU and therefore covered by the RFU insurance scheme.

13. Dispensation is given for units competing in the ARU Premiership competition, to enter a genuine 2nd Team to compete in the league, where this dispensation is given, the team must only include 2nd team players who have not played or intend to regularly play in the Premiership Competition during the season, however where a lack of players may prevent a fixture from taking place, permission may be given by the ARU for up to 2 first team players to play ‘down’ but any such player must not have represented the Army at any level unless over 35 years of age on 1 Sept of the season in which the match is being played.

Notification of Results

14. Notification of the result of each match detailing tries scored, is to be sent to the Secretary Army Rugby Union (ARU) preferably by email within 24 hours of the end of the match. The Secretary will collate the results and produce updated tables, these will be posted on the ARU web-site.

Referees and Touch Judges

15. The home team is responsible for ensuring that they have a referee for their match, a referee may be booked through the Appointments Secretary relevant to the area where the match is being played. A full list of appointment secretaries can be found at both References C & D. The home team shall inform their Referees Area Appointment Secretary a minimum of 7 days prior to the scheduled Kick off date.

16. Each team will supply a competent touch judge to assist the Referee who will provide a brief prior to kick off; they will not normally be required to assist the referee on matters of Law whilst the ball is in play. The touch judge may be a match replacement but must himself be replaced if he is called onto the field of play. For matches that are deemed to be of sufficient importance (i.e. a top of the table decider) the CSRR Appointments Secretary will appoint all of the officials.


17. The Director of Community Rugby shall have the power to recommend to the ARU Management Board the expulsion of any Unit from the competition or impose such other penalty as is considered appropriate.

18. All units should be aware of the ARU’s zero tolerance towards abuse of match officials. It is the responsibility of all personnel and particularly the organising Officer at the match that all spectators, players and team staff are made aware that abuse of officials will not be tolerated whatsoever.

Complaints and Appeals

19. Any complaint shall be notified to the Secretary ARU 48 hrs and thereafter submitted in writing under the signatures of the Chairman of the complaining Unit. The complaining unit must also inform the unit against who the complaint is being made at this point.

20. Any official complaint will be reviewed by the Director of Community Rugby (in conjunction with the Organising Committee) and a ruling will be made. This ruling will be binding. Units may appeal to the ARU Management Board who can,

  • Uphold the Director of Rugby’s Decision.
  • Call a hearing of selected members under the auspices of the ARU Chairman of Discipline to discuss and provide a ruling on the case. Both the complaining and complained against units will be required to make presentations to the hearing. Any decision reached at this hearing will be final and no further appeals will be permitted


21. Teams and Officials are permitted to travel at public expense to all matches. Journeys should be charged to the Unit Travel Budget. The Representational Sports Travel Budget (RSTB) may not currently be used for this competition. Further information regarding travel for sport at public expense can be found at Reference E.

Southern League Rules (pdf 82kb)
Certified Team Sheet (doc 775kb)
Certified Team Sheet (pdf 50kb)