Rugby Union regulations for 2021-22 | Published 20 August

Please note: Regulations are currently under review for the 2021-22 season and so those currently published are subject to change.

RUU i The BUCS Rugby Union Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the World Rugby Laws of the Game.

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

RUU iii In the event that these regulations contradict the World Rugby Laws of the Game, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.


RUU 1 General

RUU 1.1 There shall be separate Team Championships for Men and Women. The programme for each Championships shall include leagues and knockout competitions as per BUCS general regulations, Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’) and Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’).

RUU 1.1.1 In the Men’s Team Championships, for tiers 4 and below, BUCS reserves the right to operate a maximum of four leagues per tier in a Conference (as opposed to the standard two) should entry levels permit. In such an instance, REG 8.3.1.2 is amended so that a Playing Entity will be permitted to have a maximum of three teams in the tier, regardless of playing conference.

RUU 1.1.2 In the Men’s Team Championships, on an annual basis - at the point of team entry - existing teams competing in tiers 4 and below (with the exception of those promoted to Tier 3), and any new teams, shall have the opportunity to request entry either at Tier 4, or below, for the following season. The final decision on league allocations shall sit with the BUCS Executive. The final decision on league allocations shall sit with the BUCS Executive. This is in addition to teams having the ability to request adjusted league placement under REG 8.3.3.1/REG 8.3.8.6.

RUU 1.2 Affiliations All teams of English institutions/Playing Entities must belong to a club which holds membership of the Students’ Rugby Football Union (SRFU) and Rugby Football Union (RFU) as per the requirements in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document by the deadline stated in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document. Failure to do so will lead to sanctions as outlined in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document and possibly further disciplinary action.

RUU 1.3 League points

RUU 1.3.1 Four points will be awarded for a win, two points for a draw and no points for a loss.

RUU 1.3.2 A bonus point will be awarded to a team:

  • On each occasion it scores four or more tries in a match
  • On each occasion it loses a match by seven points or less

RUU 1.3.3 Where a walkover has been awarded/conceded (REG 13), five points shall be given to the non-offending team and five points deducted from the offending team.

RUU 1.3.4 No points will be awarded to either team in the case of a void fixture.

RUU 1.4 Playing surface All matches should be played on grass or World Rugby approved artificial surface as per World Rugby Law 1.1 and World Rugby Regulation 22. It is the responsibility of the first named (home) team when confirming the fixture (note REG 9.5) to advise the opposition team and all match officials of the playing surface and on any footwear restrictions and the type of surface to be used (note REG 9.3.3).

RUU 1.5 Health and safety

RUU 1.5.1 Rules regarding players’ protective clothing, studs etc. shall follow the rules as laid down by the respective Home Union in which the relevant match is played and teams should be aware of the different regulations in place for each of the Home Unions.

RUU 1.5.2 No underwired bras are to be worn for contact rugby.

RUU 1.5.3 All teams are expected to provide their own first aid kit, gloves, water spray bottles and sterile wipes for the treatment of blood injuries. The use of buckets and sponges is discouraged. Current Home Union and World Rugby guidelines for treatment of blood injuries are to be adhered to.

RUU 1.5.4 The first named (home) team should ensure there is access to a telephone at all fixtures for emergencies.

RUU 1.6 Unless specified otherwise, the World Rugby Laws of the Game followed shall be the standard laws and not the under-19 variations.

RUU 1.7 Players must meet the minimum age requirement set out by their institution/Playing Entity’s Home Nation for playing senior rugby, in addition to meeting the minimum age for BUCS competitions outlined in REG 4.1. These are:

  • England: Players must be 18 years of age.
  • Scotland: Players must be 17 years of age*.
  • Wales: Players must be 18 years of age.

*All 17 year old players wishing to play BUCS Rugby Union must get written permission from the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) to participate in BUCS competitions; this is to guarantee all parties are insured. No player should train or play without this consent.

RUU 1.8 Scorecards It is the responsibility of the first named (home) team for each match to complete a BUCS Rugby Union Scorecard in full, ensure it is signed by both captains and the referee, and submit it to their Athletic Union (or equivalent) for retention until the end of the season. Both teams must agree the score and method of scoring (i.e. number of tries, conversions, penalties and drop goals) so that the correct points will be awarded when the result is entered on BUCS Play.

RUU 1.9 Discipline

RUU 1.9.1 All matches are played under the auspices of World Rugby. However, the overarching jurisdiction for each game rests with the Home Union in which the relevant match is played and institutions should be aware of the different regulations in place for each of the Home Unions.

RUU 1.9.2 Sending offs A sending off report shall be initiated by the relevant match official in each case where a player is sent off (red card) and this should be forwarded to the Home Union point of contact who will in turn send it, if appropriate to the Union to which the institution/Playing Entity is affiliated. It is for that Union to take action as appropriate.

RUU 1.9.3 Citings All citings should be forwarded to the Home Union in which the match was played and the timescales pertinent in that country are binding to those teams playing. The citing should contain:

  • Details of teams participating.
  • Location and date.
  • Name of player(s).
  • Details of allegation and which law contravened.
  • Witness statements, match footage, injury photographs and medical report and prognosis if applicable.

RUU 2 BUCS Super Rugby (Men’s National league and National Championship knockout competition) specific regulations

RUU 2.1 Minimum Operating Standards Institutions/Playing Entities must conform to the BUCS Super Rugby Minimum Operating Standards (MOS). These are outlined in a separate document and managed by the BUCS Executive directly with institutions/Playing Entities. The MOS document is to be observed in conjunction with the BUCS general regulations and Rugby Union sport specific regulations.

RUU 2.2 Fixture Administration

RUU 2.2.1 Playing colours In an exception to REG 9.4, for televised ‘feature games’, the first named (home) team is permitted to wear their usual ‘home’ colours where a kit clash exists. This must be communicated to the opposition seven days prior to the fixture taking place.

RUU 2.2.2 Final round of league fixtures

RUU 2.2.2.1 The date and time of fixtures in the final round of league competition shall be set by the BUCS Executive in advance of the season commencing and cannot be changed without approval from the BUCS Executive. It is the responsibility of institutions/Playing Entities to ensure an appropriate weather-proof facility is arranged for this match to take place.

RUU 2.2.2.2 No other league fixtures may be scheduled to take place on or after the date of the final round of league competition as set by the BUCS Executive, and in accordance with Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’).

RUU 2.2.3 The BUCS Executive can change the date of a fixture, should the need arise, in order to fulfil media requirements in the Men’s Rugby Union Championship knockout competition.

RUU 2.2.4 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 2.2.5 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 2.2.5.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 2.2.5.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 2.2.5.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 2.2.5.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 2.2.5.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 2.2.5.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 2.2.5.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 2.3 Match Officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 2.3.1 Officials for all BUCS Super Rugby fixtures will be appointed centrally by the RFU (in England) and WRU (in Wales), with the addition of a 4th official being required.

RUU 2.4 Team selection

RUU 2.4.1 Players can be listed on team sheets for up to, and including, 11 National league fixtures and still be eligible to play for a lower ranked team. Once a player has been listed on team sheets for 12 National league fixtures they are locked to that team and no longer eligible to represent lower ranked teams for the remainder of the season in any league or knockout competition. This supersedes the ‘normality’ of more than 50% in REG 11.1.3.

RUU 2.4.2 International commitment exemptions On league weeks when players are not released for BUCS selection due to their international commitments (training or competition), 2nd Team players are able to move up to the 1st Team to cover the absence without it counting towards their ‘normality’ tally (as per REG 11.1.3/RUU 2.4.1) under the following conditions:

RUU 2.4.2.1 The names of the 1st Team player(s) unavailable due to international commitments (training or competition), evidence of their selection, and the name(s) of the 2nd Team players 'playing up' as cover must be submitted via email to [email protected] prior to the start of the relevant fixture to be eligible for normality exemption.

RUU 2.4.2.2 Failure to meet the requirements of RUU 2.4.2.1 in advance will mean that the fixture will count towards ‘normality’ for the 2nd Team player(s) 'playing up'.

RUU 2.4.2.3 This is in addition to, and does not supersede any other elements of, BUCS REG 11.1.

RUU 2.4.3 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 2.4.3.1 For playoff fixtures, players shall only be eligible to move down one team if it can be evidenced that they are covering an injured front row player.

RUU 2.4.4 Contraventions of player movement in accordance with these regulations will result in appropriate disciplinary action, in accordance with REG 5.

RUU 2.5 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 2.6 Replacements, front row requirements and scrummage

RUU 2.6.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 2.6.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with teams limited to 12 interchanges per match. At least five of the nominated squad (irrespective of squad size, but maximum 22) must be able to play in front row positions. Teams will be allowed a 23 player squad if they field an additional front row replacement on the bench to ensure cover of all three front row positions (Loosehead Prop, Hooker and Tighthead Prop) at the first time of asking. This falls in line with World Rugby Law 3.8.

RUU 2.6.3 A team unable to start the match with at least five suitably trained front row players will be deemed to have conceded a walkover. If the above requirements were met pre-match but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall apply, whether a 22 or 23 player squad.

RUU 2.6.4 All matches will be played to full World Rugby scrummage regulations.

RUU 2.6.5 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 2.6.5.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 2.6.5.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 2.6.5.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 2.6.5.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 2.7 BUCS Super Rugby playoffs

RUU 2.7.1 The home team for each of the BUCS Super Rugby playoff matches will be determined by coin toss, undertaken by the BUCS Executive. Institutions/Playing Entities are encouraged to use neutral venues, but this is not mandatory.

RUU 2.7.2 In order to be eligible to compete in each of the BUCS Super Rugby playoff matches players must have been named in at least 33% of league fixtures for the team they wish to represent. The exemptions to this being:

  • Evidenced medical dispensation.
  • A player that has established normality in a lower team, and hence would be eligible to be called up.

RUU 3 Men’s North 1/South 1/North 2/South 2 leagues and National Vase knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 3.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 3.1.1 Facilities should be of an appropriate quality and should comply with National Governing Body (Home Union) regulations for matches of this standard. Pitches should, as a minimum, be roped off to a distance of three metres to prevent spectator encroachment and post protectors must be in place.

RUU 3.1.2 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 3.1.3 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 3.1.3.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 3.1.3.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 3.1.3.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 3.1.3.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 3.1.3.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 3.1.3.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 3.1.3.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 3.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 3.2.1 For Men’s North/South 1/2 league fixtures, the RFU central appointments body or the local appointments body will appoint the referee and where possible touch judges. The first named (home) institution/Playing Entity is responsible for confirming appointments have been made, for contacting the officials concerned with match information, and covering the costs of the appointments.

RUU 3.2.1.1 Where officials (referee and/or touch judges) are not appointed centrally, the host institution shall be responsible for sourcing the necessary officials.

RUU 3.3 Team selection

RUU 3.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 3.3.1.1 For playoff fixtures, players shall only be eligible to move down one team if it can be evidenced that they are covering an injured front row player.

RUU 3.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 3.5 Replacements, front row requirements and scrummage

RUU 3.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 3.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. At least five of the nominated squad (irrespective of squad size, but maximum 22) must be able to play in front row positions.

RUU 3.5.3 A team unable to start the match with at least five suitably trained front row players will be deemed to have conceded a walkover. If the above requirements were met pre-match but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall apply, regardless of squad size.

RUU 3.5.4 All matches will be played to full World Rugby scrummage regulations.

RUU 3.5.5 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 3.5.5.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 3.5.5.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 3.5.5.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 3.5.5.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 3.6 BUCS Super Rugby playoffs

RUU 3.6.1 The home team for each of the BUCS Super Rugby playoff matches will be determined by coin toss, undertaken by the BUCS Executive. Institutions/Playing Entities are encouraged to use neutral venues, but this is not mandatory.

RUU 3.6.2 In order to be eligible to compete in each of the BUCS Super Rugby playoff matches players must have been named in at least 33% of league fixtures for the team they wish to represent. The exemptions to this being:

  • Evidenced medical dispensation.
  • A player that has established normality in a lower team, and hence would be eligible to be called up.

RUU 4 Men’s Tier 1 leagues and National Trophy knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 4.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 4.1.1 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 4.1.2 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 4.1.2.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 4.1.2.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 4.1.2.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 4.1.2.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 4.1.2.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 4.1.2.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 4.1.2.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 4.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 4.3 Team selection

RUU 4.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 4.3.1.1 For playoff fixtures, players shall only be eligible to move down one team if it can be evidenced that they are covering an injured front row player.

RUU 4.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 4.5 Replacements, front row requirements and scrummage

RUU 4.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 4.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. At least five of the nominated squad (irrespective of squad size, but maximum 22) must be able to play in front row positions.

RUU 4.5.3 A team unable to start the match with at least five suitably trained front row players will be deemed to have conceded a walkover. If the above requirements were met pre-match but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall apply, regardless of squad size.

RUU 4.5.4 All matches will be played to full World Rugby scrummage regulations.

RUU 4.5.5 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 4.5.5.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 4.5.5.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 4.5.5.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 4.5.5.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 5 Men’s Tier 2–Tier 4 leagues and Conference Cup/Trophy knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 5.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 5.1.1 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of no less than five minutes, with 10 minutes being the preferred duration. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 5.1.2 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 5.1.2.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 5.1.2.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 5.1.2.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 5.1.2.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 5.1.2.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 5.1.2.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 5.1.2.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 5.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 5.3 Team selection

RUU 5.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 5.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 5.5 Replacements, front row requirements and scrummage

RUU 5.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 5.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. The number of suitably trained and experienced front row players of the nominated squad (maximum 22 players) must conform to the following:

Number of Suitably Trained and Experienced Front Row Players

Number of Players in Squad

Three players who can play in the front row

15 or less

Four players who can play in the front row

16, 17 or 18

Five players who can play in the front row

19, (20, 21 or 22)

When 19, 20, 21 or 22 players are nominated in a team there must be five players who can play in the front row to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement hooker is required and, on the first occasion that a replacement prop forward is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums. If at the second time of asking there is no suitably trained front row replacement then the World Rugby Laws will be followed, even if with a 22 player squad.

RUU 5.5.3 A team unable to start the match with at least three suitably trained front row players will be deemed to have conceded a walkover. If the above requirements were met pre-match but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall apply, regardless of squad size.

RUU 5.5.4 Matches in England and Wales will be played to full World Rugby scrummage regulations. Matches in Scotland will be played to World Rugby U19 scrummage regulations.

RUU 5.5.5 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 5.5.5.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 5.5.5.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 5.5.5.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 5.5.5.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 6 Men’s Tier 5 and below leagues and Conference Shield knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 6.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 6.1.1 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of no less than five minutes, with 10 minutes being the preferred duration. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 6.1.2 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 6.1.2.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 6.1.2.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 6.1.2.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 6.1.2.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 6.1.2.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 6.1.2.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 6.1.2.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 6.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 6.3 Team selection

RUU 6.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 6.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 6.5 Replacements, front row requirements, scrummage and player matching

RUU 6.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 6.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. Teams are permitted to field up to a full squad of 22 players without a qualified front row and in the event of a team being unable to field a suitably trained front row at the start of a match resulting in uncontested scrums being played, the result shall stand.

RUU 6.5.3 Priority must be given to the highest ranked team from an institution/Playing Entity downwards. Therefore, a higher ranked team may not start a match with uncontested scrums whilst any lower teams are starting matches on the same day with contested scrums.

RUU 6.5.4 If a match starts with contested scrums but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall not apply, therefore a player whose departure has caused the referee to order uncontested scrums can be replaced.

RUU 6.5.5 Matches in England and Wales will be played to full World Rugby scrummage regulations. Matches in Scotland will be played to World Rugby U19 scrummage regulations.

RUU 6.5.6 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 6.5.6.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 6.5.6.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 6.5.6.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 6.5.6.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 6.5.7 Player matching

RUU 6.5.7.1 If a team informs their opposition in writing, at least 24 hours in advance of the advertised kick-off time, that they will be fielding less than 15 players (but at least a minimum of ten in accordance with RUU 6.4) then their opposition shall be obliged to only field the same number of starting players, however they may still bring as many replacements as they wish up to a maximum squad size of 22. The team requiring player matching shall not be permitted to have any replacements - all players must start. Both teams must also inform the referee before the start of the match of the player matching arrangements.

RUU 6.5.7.2 Where at least 24 hours' notice in advance of the advertised kick-off time is not given, if a team is fielding less than 15 players (but at least a minimum of ten in accordance with RUU 6.4), then their opposition is not obliged to only field the same number of starting players, but they may still agree to do so, and this is encouraged. In this circumstance, the opposition team may name those players who will no longer be starting as additional replacements up to a maximum squad size of 22. The team requiring player matching shall not be permitted to have any replacements - all players must start. Both teams must also inform the referee before the start of the match of the player matching arrangements.

RUU 6.5.7.3 Once a match has begun, should the number of players a team can field be reduced, their opposition shall not be obliged to match numbers, however they may agree to do so, and this is encouraged. In this circumstance, any player removed in order to match numbers shall become an additional replacement.

RUU 6.5.7.4 In the event that a team drops below 10 players the match may continue unless the referee deems the match to be unsafe. In this instance the match must stop and the matter shall be referred to the BUCS Executive. A decision will then be made on whether to take the result as it stands or award a walkover to the non-offending team.

RUU 6.6 Game On Principles The following ‘Game On Principles’ may be applied, subject to the agreement of both teams and notification to the referee prior to kick-off:

RUU 6.6.1 Duration of play A match can be a minimum of 40 minutes in duration.

RUU 6.6.2 Half Game rule Teams are encouraged to apply the half game rule to ensure each player in every match day squad plays at least half of the match.

RUU 6.6.3 Line outs Team may agree not to contest or lift in the line out.

RUU 7 Women’s National league and National Championship knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 7.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 7.1.1 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 7.1.2 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 7.1.2.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 7.1.2.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 7.1.2.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 7.1.2.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 7.1.2.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 7.1.2.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 7.1.2.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 7.1.3 Representative commitments When five or more players are selected for a National Governing Body senior side (Full, A, U21, Students, Universities or Women’s Elite, Academy or Under 20s), necessitating their presence at a competition or preparation camp associated with a competition, the institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be able to postpone any affected league fixtures.

RUU 7.1.3.1 The institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be responsible for informing the opposition institution/Playing Entity of the requirement to postpone the fixture no later than 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) after the announcement of the squad for the representative team, and no later than five working days prior to the original fixture date. Upon notification of the postponement, institutions must follow REG 14.3 to rearrange the fixture.

RUU 7.1.3.2 Knockout competition fixtures are not covered by RUU 7.1.3.

RUU 7.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 7.3 Team selection

RUU 7.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 7.3.1.1 For playoff fixtures, players shall only be eligible to move down one team if it can be evidenced that they are covering an injured front row player.

RUU 7.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 7.5 Replacements, front row requirements and scrummage

RUU 7.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 7.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions is used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. At least five of the nominated squad (irrespective of squad size, but maximum 22) must be able to play in front row positions. Teams will be allowed a 23 player squad if they field an additional front row replacement on the bench to ensure cover of all three front row positions (Loosehead Prop, Hooker and Tighthead Prop) at the first time of asking. This falls in line with World Rugby Law 3.8.

RUU 7.5.3 A team unable to start the match with at least five suitably trained front row players will be deemed to have conceded a walkover. If the above requirements were met pre-match but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall apply, whether a 22 or 23 player squad.

RUU 7.5.4 All matches will be played to full World Rugby scrummage regulations.

RUU 7.5.5 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 7.5.5.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 7.5.5.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 7.5.5.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 7.5.5.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 7.6 Women’s National League playoffs

RUU 7.6.1 The home team for each of the National League playoff matches will be determined by coin toss, undertaken by the BUCS Executive. Institutions/Playing Entities are encouraged to use neutral venues, but this is not mandatory.

RUU 7.6.2 In order to be eligible to compete in each of the National League playoff matches players must have been named in at least 33% of league fixtures for the team they wish to represent. The exemptions to this being:

  • Evidenced medical dispensation.
  • A player that has established normality in a lower team, and hence would be eligible to be called up.

RUU 8 Women’s North/South leagues and National Vase knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 8.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 8.1.1 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 8.1.2 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 8.1.2.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 8.1.2.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 8.1.2.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 8.1.2.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 8.1.2.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 8.1.2.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 8.1.2.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 8.1.3 Representative commitments When five or more players are selected for a National Governing Body senior side (Full, A, U21, Students, Universities or Women’s Elite, Academy or Under 20s), necessitating their presence at a competition or preparation camp associated with a competition, the institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be able to postpone any affected league fixtures.

RUU 8.1.3.1 The institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be responsible for informing the opposition institution/Playing Entity of the requirement to postpone the fixture no later than 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) after the announcement of the squad for the representative team, and no later than five working days prior to the original fixture date. Upon notification of the postponement, institutions must follow REG 14.3 to rearrange the fixture.

RUU 8.1.3.2 Knockout competition fixtures are not covered by RUU 8.1.3.

RUU 8.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 8.3 Team selection

RUU 8.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 8.3.1.1 For playoff fixtures, players shall only be eligible to move down one team if it can be evidenced that they are covering an injured front row player.

RUU 8.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 8.5 Replacements, front row requirements and scrummage

RUU 8.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 8.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. The number of suitably trained and experienced front row players of the nominated squad (maximum 22 players) must conform to the following:

Number of Suitably Trained and Experienced Front Row Players

Number of Players in Squad

Three players who can play in the front row

15 or less

Four players who can play in the front row

16, 17 or 18

Five players who can play in the front row

19, (20, 21 or 22)

When 19, 20, 21 or 22 players are nominated in a team there must be five players who can play in the front row to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement hooker is required and, on the first occasion that a replacement prop forward is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums. If at the second time of asking there is no suitably trained front row replacement then the World Rugby Laws will be followed, even if with a 22 player squad.

RUU 8.5.3 Teams unable to start the match with at least three suitably trained front row players may play with uncontested scrums without forfeit. For this to be the case, the team without a front row must inform their opposition that they are unable to provide a front row 24 hours in advance of the advertised kick-off time. However, teams that play more than three matches with uncontested scrums will be deducted three league points and face possible further disciplinary action. As per RUU 8.5.1 all front row players should be indicated on team sheets. Non-offending teams should report offending teams here. Failure to provide 24 hours’ notice will entitle the non-offending team to claim a walkover. Should 24 hours’ notice not be given and the non-offending team agrees to play with uncontested scrums then they are not entitled to claim a walkover retrospectively.

RUU 8.5.4 If the above requirements were met pre-match but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall apply, regardless of squad size.

RUU 8.5.5 All matches will be played according to full World Rugby scrummage regulations.

RUU 8.5.5.1 Teams can opt to play their matches using World Rugby U19 scrummage regulations. This must be agreed in writing and signed by each team’s captain and the match referee. No penalty will apply, there will be no option to submit a ‘Playing Under Protest’ form, and the result will stand.

RUU 8.5.6 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 8.5.6.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 8.5.6.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 8.5.6.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 8.5.6.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 8.6 Women’s National League playoffs

RUU 8.6.1 The home team for each of the National League playoff matches will be determined by coin toss, undertaken by the BUCS Executive. Institutions/Playing Entities are encouraged to use neutral venues, but this is not mandatory.

RUU 8.6.2 In order to be eligible to compete in each of the National League playoff matches players must have been named in at least 33% of league fixtures for the team they wish to represent. The exemptions to this being:

  • Evidenced medical dispensation.
  • A player that has established normality in a lower team, and hence would be eligible to be called up.

RUU 9 Women’s Tier 1 leagues and National Trophy knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 9.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 9.1.1 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 9.1.2 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 9.1.2.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 9.1.2.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 9.1.2.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 9.1.2.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 9.1.2.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 9.1.2.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 9.1.2.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 9.1.3 Representative commitments When five or more players are selected for a National Governing Body senior side (Full, A, U21, Students, Universities or Women’s Elite, Academy or Under 20s), necessitating their presence at a competition or preparation camp associated with a competition, the institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be able to postpone any affected league fixtures.

RUU 9.1.3.1 The institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be responsible for informing the opposition institution/Playing Entity of the requirement to postpone the fixture no later than 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) after the announcement of the squad for the representative team, and no later than five working days prior to the original fixture date. Upon notification of the postponement, institutions must follow REG 14.3 to rearrange the fixture.

RUU 9.1.3.2 Knockout competition fixtures are not covered by RUU 9.1.3.

RUU 9.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 9.3 Team selection

RUU 9.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 9.3.1.1 For playoff fixtures, players shall only be eligible to move down one team if it can be evidenced that they are covering an injured front row player.

RUU 9.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 9.5 Replacements, front row requirements and scrummage

RUU 9.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 9.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. The number of suitably trained and experienced front row players of the nominated squad (maximum 22 players) must conform to the following:

Number of Suitably Trained and Experienced Front Row Players

Number of Players in Squad

Three players who can play in the front row

15 or less

Four players who can play in the front row

16, 17 or 18

Five players who can play in the front row

19, (20, 21 or 22)

When 19, 20, 21 or 22 players are nominated in a team there must be five players who can play in the front row to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement hooker is required and, on the first occasion that a replacement prop forward is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums. If at the second time of asking there is no suitably trained front row replacement then the World Rugby Laws will be followed, even if with a 22 player squad.

RUU 9.5.3 Teams unable to start the match with at least three suitably trained front row players may play with uncontested scrums without forfeit. For this to be the case, the team without a front row must inform their opposition that they are unable to provide a front row 24 hours in advance of the advertised kick-off time. However, teams that play 50% of matches or more with uncontested scrums will not be eligible for promotion. As per RUU 9.5.1 all front row players should be indicated on team sheets. Teams will be required to validate their eligibility for promotion by submitting their team sheets to the BUCS Executive at the end of the season. Non-offending teams should report offending teams here. Failure to provide 24 hours’ notice will entitle the non-offending team to claim a walkover. Should 24 hours’ notice not be given and the non-offending team agrees to play with uncontested scrums then they are not entitled to claim a walkover retrospectively.

RUU 9.5.4 If the above requirements were met pre-match but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall apply, regardless of squad size.

RUU 9.5.5 All matches will be played according to the under-19 variations of the World Rugby Scrum Laws.

RUU 9.5.5.1 Teams can opt to play their matches using the standard World Rugby Scrum Laws. This must be agreed in writing and signed by each team’s captain and the match referee. There will be no option to submit a ‘Playing Under Protest’ form, and the result will stand.

RUU 9.5.6 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 9.5.6.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 9.5.6.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 9.5.6.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 9.5.6.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 10 Women’s Tier 2 and below leagues and Conference Cup knockout competition specific regulations

RUU 10.1 Fixture Administration

RUU 10.1.1 Duration of play All matches shall consist of two periods of 40 minutes and a half-time interval of no less than five minutes, with 10 minutes being the preferred duration. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

RUU 10.1.2 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after normal time, the outcome of the match shall be determined as follows:

RUU 10.1.2.1 There shall be a five minute break. After this break, the teams will change ends and there shall be a period of extra time between the teams of 10 minutes each way, with a one minute interval. If the scores are then still equal;

RUU 10.1.2.2 The team that has scored most tries shall be declared the winners. If this does not produce a result;

RUU 10.1.2.3 The team that has scored the most goals from tries shall be declared the winners. If no result is achieved at this point, the result shall be decided as follows;

RUU 10.1.2.3.1 Each team shall nominate one player from its number on the field of play at the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition;

RUU 10.1.2.3.2 Starting with the kicker from the team that had the initial match kick-off, each kicker in turn shall attempt a place kick from the pre-determined positions indicated in RUU 6.3.4 until such time as, after an equal number of attempts, one kicker has kicked more goals than the other;

RUU 10.1.2.3.3 These attempts will be made towards the goal posts nearest the players’ entrance tunnel to the pitch or in the event of both sets of goal posts being of equal distance from the players’ entrance tunnel the goal posts to the left of the said tunnel when emerging from it;

RUU 10.1.2.3.4 The attempts will be taken from the following positions in turn, repeating the sequence until a winner is decided:

  • The centre of the 22-metre line;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing;
  • The intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

RUU 10.1.3 Representative commitments When five or more players are selected for a National Governing Body senior side (Full, A, U21, Students, Universities or Women’s Elite, Academy or Under 20s), necessitating their presence at a competition or preparation camp associated with a competition, the institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be able to postpone any affected league fixtures.

RUU 10.1.3.1 The institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be responsible for informing the opposition institution/Playing Entity of the requirement to postpone the fixture no later than 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) after the announcement of the squad for the representative team, and no later than five working days prior to the original fixture date. Upon notification of the postponement, institutions must follow REG 14.3 to rearrange the fixture.

RUU 10.1.3.2 Knockout competition fixtures are not covered by RUU 10.1.3.

RUU 10.2 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

RUU 10.3 Team selection

RUU 10.3.1 Front row players, except for full internationals, can move up or down one team from their starting selection to play in a front row position only. For example, a 2nd Team prop may play for the 1st Team, or the 3rd Team, in a front row position only. However, teams should be aware that REG 11.1.4 still applies.

RUU 10.4 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be 10.

RUU 10.5 Replacements, front row requirements, scrummage and player matching

RUU 10.5.1 For all matches, all starting front row players AND replacements must be ticked as Front Row on the BUCS Play scorecard (or if hard copy team sheets are being used denoted by having '(FR)' written next to their names) as part of the team sheet completion and verification processes of REG 11.2. They must also be identified to the referee before that start of play.

RUU 10.5.2 A maximum of seven replacements per team may be named and used. Rolling substitutions are used in these competitions, with unlimited interchanges allowed per match. Teams are permitted to field up to a full squad of 22 players without a qualified front row. However, the below penalties of RUU 10.5.4 will apply.

RUU 10.5.3 Priority must be given to the highest placed team from an institution/Playing Entity downwards. Therefore, a higher placed team may not start a match with uncontested scrums whilst any lower teams are starting matches on the same day with contested scrums.

RUU 10.5.4 In the event of a team being unable to field a suitably trained front row at the start of a match resulting in uncontested scrums being played, the result shall stand. However, teams that play 50% of matches or more with uncontested scrums will not be eligible for promotion. As per RUU 10.5.1 all front row players should be indicated on team sheets. Teams will be required to validate their eligibility for promotion by submitting their team sheets to the BUCS Executive at the end of the season. Non-offending teams should report offending teams here.

RUU 10.5.5 If a match starts with contested scrums but during the match a team reaches a point where a front row cannot be replaced, then the match shall continue with uncontested scrums. World Rugby Law 3.17 shall not apply, therefore a player whose departure has caused the referee to order uncontested scrums can be replaced.

RUU 10.5.6 All matches will be played according to World Rugby U19 scrummage regulations.

RUU 10.5.7 Uncontested scrums An uncontested scrum is defined as the same as for normal scrummages except that:

RUU 10.5.7.1 There is no contest for the ball.

RUU 10.5.7.2 The team putting the ball in must win it.

RUU 10.5.7.3 Neither team is permitted to push.

RUU 10.5.7.4 Normal rules regarding offside and binding still apply.

RUU 10.5.8 Player matching

RUU 10.5.8.1 If a team informs their opposition in writing, at least 24 hours in advance of the advertised kick-off time, that they will be fielding less than 15 players (but at least a minimum of ten in accordance with RUU 10.4) then their opposition shall be obliged to only field the same number of starting players, however they may still bring as many replacements as they wish up to a maximum squad size of 22. The team requiring player matching shall not be permitted to have any replacements - all players must start. Both teams must also inform the referee before the start of the match of the player matching arrangements.

RUU 10.5.8.2 Where at least 24 hours' notice in advance of the advertised kick-off time is not given, if a team is fielding less than 15 players (but at least a minimum of ten in accordance with RUU 10.4), then their opposition is not obliged to only field the same number of starting players, but they may still agree to do so, and this is encouraged. In this circumstance, the opposition team may name those players who will no longer be starting as additional replacements up to a maximum squad size of 22. The team requiring player matching shall not be permitted to have any replacements - all players must start. Both teams must also inform the referee before the start of the match of the player matching arrangements.

RUU 10.5.8.3 Once a match has begun, should the number of players a team can field be reduced, their opposition shall not be obliged to match numbers, however they may agree to do so, and this is encouraged. In this circumstance, any player removed in order to match numbers shall become an additional replacement.

RUU 10.5.8.4 In the event that a team drops below 10 players the match may continue unless the referee deems the match to be unsafe. In this instance the match must stop and the matter shall be referred to the BUCS Executive. A decision will then be made on whether to take the result as it stands or award a walkover to the non-offending team.

RUU 10.6 Game On Principles The following ‘Game On Principles’ may be applied, subject to the agreement of both teams and notification to the referee prior to kick-off:

RUU 10.6.1 Duration of play A match can be a minimum of 40 minutes in duration.

RUU 10.6.2 Half Game rule Teams are encouraged to apply the half game rule to ensure each player in every match day squad plays at least half of the match.

RUU 10.6.3 Line outs Team may agree not to contest or lift in the line out.

 

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