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British universities & Colleges Sport

Rugby Union (Sevens)

RUS i The BUCS Rugby Sevens Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the World Rugby (WR) Laws of the Game, subject to the WR Sevens variations. Further event specific requirements, rules, and regulations will be contained within the entry and pre-event information for each Championship.

RUS ii In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

RUS iii In the event that these regulations contradict those of the World Rugby (WR) Laws of the Game, subject to the WR Sevens variations, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.


RUS 1 Championships BUCS will host annually a Rugby Sevens Championships. The programme shall include the events listed in Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’), subject to entry numbers. All competition specific event information will be available in the event entry information and pre-event information.

RUS 2 Competition rules

RUS 2.1 Time keeping Teams must report to the pitch that they are due to play on and be ready to play two minutes before the match starts. Failure to comply will result in the team conceding a walkover for this match. It is the responsibility of the team captain to be aware of the time and place of the matches in which their team is to participate.

RUS 2.2 Touch judge All teams must provide their own competent touch judge.

RUS 2.3 Length of matches All matches, including the finals, will be 7 minutes each way, with a 2 minute break for half-time.

RUS 2.4 Squad size Each squad will consist of a maximum of 12 players which includes the 7 playing on the pitch and 5 replacements. The minimum size of a squad is 8 players. Teams must register their players prior to the competition, by declaring them to the BUCS office using the team sheet provided before the deadline which shall be listed in the pre-event information. Student IDs will be checked on the day at registration. Players are not permitted to be listed for both the Trophy and Championship competitions.

RUS 2.5 Squad selection If institutions have teams in the Trophy and Championship, the strongest Sevens team must be fielded in the Championship. Players are not permitted to play in both the Trophy and Championship competitions.

RUS 2.6 Replacements and substitutes There is no limit on the number of substitutions which can be made in a match. Only players previously designated at registration time may be used as replacements. The new player entering the field of play can only join when the player leaving the field of play has crossed the touch line.

RUS 2.7 Clothing and equipment All teams must wear matching rugby shirts (t-shirts and polo shirts are not allowed). No player will be allowed to play if they are not wearing the team shirt. All clothing and equipment must conform to World Rugby regulations.

RUS 2.8 Clash of colours Each team must provide 2 kits. If there is a clash of colours the first named team will change kit.

RUS 2.9 Try conversions Conversions will be by drop kick, in line with the place of the score, within 40 seconds of the try being signalled. At the discretion of the referee, and where possible, the drop kick should be taken from behind the posts.

RUS 2.10 Scrums Players must bind with the hooker’s arms ‘over’ the props’ shoulders and not under for quick release. This is in the interests of player safety.

RUS 2.11 Referee’s decision The referee’s decision will be final and no person, player or supporter can challenge the referee, touch judges or event organisers following the decision.

RUS 2.12 Red/Yellow cards When a player has been temporarily suspended (yellow card), the player's period of suspension will be for a period of 2 minutes. When a player has been permanently suspended (red card) the player may not play for the remainder of the competition period.

RUS 2.13 Field of play Only players, the referee, touch judges and medically trained persons (in order to tend to an injured player) may enter the playing area. During the interval coaches and water-carriers may enter the playing area. Coaches and water-carriers must leave the playing area before the resumption of play and must not delay the punctual resumption of play.

RUS 3 Playing regulations Please note that the event appeal panel reserves the right to amend any of the below regulations before, or during, the competition. Their decision shall be final in all matters.

RUS 3.1 Group matches

RUS 3.1.1 No extra time will be played in group matches. Points will be awarded on the following basis:
- Win: 4 points
- Draw: 2 points
- Loss: 0 points

RUS 3.1.2 A team will receive a bonus point if they score 4 or more tries and/or they lose by less than 7 points.

RUS 3.1.3 If a team cannot fulfil their first fixture, and any subsequent fixtures, then the opposition for any such match will be awarded 5 points and a 20-0 winning margin, and the team will receive minus 1 point as a penalty. If the penalised team progresses to knockout stages, any BUCS Points they would have been eligible to have received will be halved. A fine of £100 per fixture missed will be charged.

RUS 3.1.4 If a team cannot fulfil a group fixture and/or wilfully refuses to play, after the first fixture has been played, or wilfully abandons a match in progress, without the prior consent of the referee, then subject to confirmation by the event appeal panel, the team will be expelled from the competition. The opposition for that match will be awarded 5 points and a 20-0 winning margin.

RUS 3.1.5 If a team has been expelled from the competition for whatever reason the team shall be deemed to have been awarded no group competition points and to have scored no tries or points in the group matches. Dependent on the situation, BUCS may take further disciplinary action.

RUS 3.1.6 Where a group match has been abandoned with the decision being made by the referee and/or event team, either at half-time or at any time in the second half, the result and any points and tries scored by each team in the match shall stand.

RUS 3.1.7 Where a group match has been abandoned with the decision being made by the referee and/or event team, during the first half, the result shall be declared a draw. In this instance where a match has been declared a draw each team will be awarded 2 match points and any points and tries scored will count towards the total points and tries scored by each team in all their group matches.

RUS 3.1.8 If at the conclusion of the group stage 2 teams are equal on competition points for any position in the group, their position in the group competition table will be determined on the result of the match between the 2 equal teams. The team that won the match shall be deemed to have finished higher in the group competition table. If the match between the 2 teams equal on competition points at the end of the group stage was a draw, then the following process shall be used to determine the placings:

RUS 3.1.8.1 The margin of points scored for and against a team in all group matches shall be considered. The team with the highest positive margin of points shall be ranked higher in the group competition table. If the tie remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.8.2 The margin of tries scored for and against a team in all group matches shall be considered. The team with the highest positive margin of tries shall be ranked higher in the group competition table. If the tie remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.8.3 The team that has scored the highest number of points in the group matches shall be ranked higher in the group competition table. If the tie still remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.8.4 The team that has scored the highest number of tries in the group matches shall be ranked higher in the group competition table. If the tie still remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.8.5 The tie will be resolved by the toss of a coin between the team captains concerned.

RUS 3.1.9 If at the end of the group stage more than 2 teams are equal on competition points for any position in the group, the following process shall be used to determine the placings:

RUS 3.1.9.1 The margin of points scored for and against a team in all group matches will be considered. The team with the highest positive margin of points shall be ranked highest in the group competition table. If the tie remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.9.2 The margin of tries scored for and against a team in all group matches will be considered. The team with the highest positive margin of tries shall be ranked higher in the group competition table. If the tie remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.9.3 The teams concerned shall be ranked by reference to the number of points scored in all group matches. The team with the highest number of points scored in the group matches shall be ranked higher in the group competition table. If the tie remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.9.4 The teams concerned shall be ranked by reference to the number of tries scored in all group matches. The team with the highest number of tries scored in the group matches shall be ranked higher in the group competition table. If the tie remains unresolved;

RUS 3.1.9.5 The tie will be resolved by the toss of a coin between the team captains concerned.

RUS 3.1.10 If there are uneven numbers of teams in groups and knockout progression needs to be determined by ‘best performing’ 2nd/3rd/4th/5th place team, progress will be determined by % of available points won. For example, if a team has won 10 points from an available 20, they have won 50% of the available points, if another team has won 8 points from an available 15, they have won 53% of the available points and that team would progress. In a case of the percentage being equal then it will move to best points scored per game, followed by best points conceded per game and finally tries per game.

RUS 3.2 Knockout matches

RUS 3.2.1 During the knockout stages, in the event of a match being drawn at the end of normal time, extra-time will be played until a winner is determined. Extra-time will be in periods of 5 minutes. After each period the teams will change ends without interval. In extra-time the team which scores first will immediately be declared the winner without further play. The team that first kicked off will do so again in the first period of extra-time, and subsequent kick-offs will alternate between the 2 sides.

RUS 3.2.2 Apart from the wilful abandonment of a match and subsequent expulsion in the event of a match having to be stopped after its commencement under the provisions of the Laws of the Game, then, subject to confirmation by the event appeal panel, the following procedure shall apply:

RUS 3.2.2.1 Where a match has been abandoned either at half time or at any time in the second half the result shall stand. If both teams are tied then the team having scored the most competition points shall be declared the winner. If this does not produce a winner then the event appeal panel shall determine a winner.

RUS 3.2.2.1.1 However, if one of the teams participated in a group where a team was expelled, for whatever reason, then the matter will be referred to the event appeal panel which shall decide the most appropriate method for determining the winner of the tied knockout match.

RUS 3.2.2.2 If a match has been abandoned during the first half the result shall be declared a draw. However, if one of the teams participated in a group where a team was expelled, for whatever reason, then the matter will be referred to the event appeal panel which shall decide the most appropriate method for determining the winner of the tied knockout match.

RUS 4 Disputes at events In line with REG 4.6.3, should a dispute occur at an event, the event appeal panel for Rugby Sevens shall comprise of the Tournament Director and at least 1 BUCS staff member.

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