National Clubs Association Regulations
Regulations and Administrative Instructions
The National Clubs Association (NCA) issues these regulations and administrative instructions pursuant to the powers granted to it by the Rugby Football Union in RFU Regulation 13 the regulations for the English Clubs Rugby Union Championships (the Principal Regulations) in its delegated role as the Organising Committee for National Leagues One, Two North and South (NCA Leagues).
These regulations and procedures are binding on the Clubs playing in the NCA Leagues (the Clubs) who by commencing their first match in NCA Leagues confirm their agreement to them. Please note that the NCA Secretary has the delegated authority to act on behalf of the NCA Executive Committee in all matters pursuant to these Regulations except where the powers are expressly stated to be a matter for the NCA Executive Committee.
The Principal Regulations in so far as they affect and are applicable to the Clubs govern the NCA Leagues save for the amendments set out at A and B hereunder and the instructions that follow
A Club Positions
(a) The position of a Club in the League shall be established by awarding four League points for a win and two points for a draw. In addition, one bonus point will be awarded to a team
i) on each occasion it scores four or more tries in a League game
ii) on each occasion it loses a League game by seven points or less.
If two or more Clubs have the same number of League points at the end of the season the final league positions shall be determined firstly by the number of wins achieved and then on the basis of match points scored. A Club with a larger number of wins in the League shall be placed higher than a Club with the same number of League points but fewer wins. If Clubs have equal League points and an equal number of wins in the League then a Club with a larger difference between match points “for” and match points “against” shall be placed higher in the League than a Club with a smaller difference between match points “for” and match points “against”. Should two Clubs have the same number of League points and an equal number of wins and the same match points difference, a Club having scored more match points “for” shall be placed higher in the League than a Club having the lesser number of match points “for”. If this still does not establish the positions then the Clubs involved shall be ranked according to the number of matches won, excluding the first League match of the season.
If necessary this process shall be extended to exclude the second match, third match and so on until the final positions are established.
B. Kick Offs – RFU Regulation 13.6
RFU Regulation 13.6.4 (a) & (b) of the Principal Regulations shall be deemed to be deleted and there will be substituted the following:
All matches must be played on the Saturday of a scheduled weekend unless some other date is specified by the committee or agreed by both Clubs and approved by the Committee
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this Regulation, the Home Club shall fix the time of kick-off of its League match as follows:
i) between 2.00p.m and 3.00 p.m. in each case for a League match played on a Saturday or Sunday of a scheduled weekend
ii) between 12.00 noon and 3.00 pm for a League match played on a Bank or other public holiday or between 12.00 noon and 4.00 pm when a game is scheduled on the same day as an England home International .
iii) between 7.00 pm and 8.00 pm for a match played on a Friday.
(b) All matches shall be played on the weekends scheduled in the fixture list approved prior to the start of the season (and shown on the NCA Website with Kick Off Times provided to the Secretary prior to the start of the season) unless postponed in accordance with paragraphs 1.1 – 1.8 below, or such other day as agreed between the clubs and approved by the Organising Committee
(c) Any variations to the timings referred to in paragraph (a) of this Regulation shall only be made by the Home Club with the prior approval of the NCA Secretary. In the event of a variation in the time fixed for the kick-off of a League match, the Home Club shall forthwith notify the Visiting Club in writing of such variation.
(d All league games of each season originally scheduled to be played on the last full Saturday of the season shall only be played on that Saturday and any postponed games played after that date shall all have a kick off time of not later than 3.00 p.m.
C MEDICAL COVER
Each Club must provide an appropriately qualified medical practitioner or an appropriately qualified physiotherapist, sports therapist, or sports rehabilitator throughout the Match to attend to their respective Players and also, if necessary, to the Referee and the Assistant Referees.
1. Postponement of Fixtures due to weather
The following procedures must be followed.
1.1. If a fixture is in doubt due to the pitch being unplayable because of bad weather or the forecast of bad weather, the visiting team must be informed as soon as practicable. A suitably accredited RFU Referee (not a person, whether a Referee or not, who regularly acts as a Clubs’ 4th Official or who is a member of the home club) must confirm the postponement after an inspection of the match pitch. Such a pitch inspection by an independent Referee must take place before the time the visiting team intend to travel to fulfil the fixture.
1.2 If the inspecting Referee deems the pitch unplayable and/or likely to be unplayable the home club must act on that judgement and immediately postpone the fixture. If the inspecting Referee deems the pitch playable and/or likely to be playable the home club must act on that judgement and notify the visiting team and NCA Secretary accordingly.
1.3 If this procedure is not followed and the fixture is postponed, because the pitch is unplayable, after the visiting team have travelled to fulfil the fixture the home club will be responsible for the costs of travel and accommodation incurred by the visiting team. Such costs will be payable by the home club within 28 days from receipt of the relevant invoice and supporting copy invoices from the visiting team.
1.4 When a late decision (i.e. within 3 hours of kick-off) as to the fitness of the pitch for playing a match is necessary, the decision shall be made by the captains of the teams involved. If the captains are not able to agree, the decision as to the fitness of the pitch should be made by the appointed Referee in accordance with Clause 13.6.6 (b) (iv) of the Principal Regulations. If the match is postponed the home club must notify the NCA Secretary immediately or as soon as possible of the decision to postpone. If the Referee declines or fails to make a decision, and the captains disagree about the fitness of the pitch, the match shall be immediately postponed and the circumstances notified to the NCA Secretary immediately or as soon as possible of the decision to postpone. Any club failing to comply with this regulation will be subject to a sanction. These sanctions will include a financial penalty of £50.00 on the first occasion and £100.00 for each occasion thereafter during that season.
1.5 When the decision to postpone is made at any time on the day preceding the match, the home Club must immediately inform the, the NCA Secretary and the match officials as well as the visiting team. If after 5pm on the day preceding the match, the home Club must immediately notify the visiting team, the NCA Secretary and the match officials.
1.6 A postponed match must be re-arranged for the next available weekend (as the same is defined in the Principal Regulations). The NCA Secretary will notify each club of the date on which the match is to be played.
1.7 If the game is postponed for any reason other than the weather, the home Club must follow the procedure outlined in 1.5 and 1.7 above. If a Club postpones any match, for any reason other than the weather, without prior approval by NCA it will be deducted such number of League points as the NCA deems appropriate (subject to the appeals procedure set out in the Principal Regulations and summarised in Paragraph 8 below) and any other sanction which NCA deems appropriate. In addition at the NCA’s discretion the match will be re-arranged in accordance with 1.6 above.
Clubs are advised to keep in touch with their opposition to keep them informed of the general ground conditions. Home clubs cannot postpone matches until the pitch has been inspected by an accredited referee which should not be until 12 noon on the Friday before the game. To avoid unnecessary travel costs the home club should find out what time their opposition intend to travel and if appropriate have an inspection before this, in order that clubs can cancel their transport without incurring costs
2. Match Result Sheet
2.1 The fully completed Match Result Sheet as supplied by the NCA either electronically or from the NCA website MUST be faxed or emailed within 60 minutes of the final whistle to the : –
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax 0870 266 833
email: email@example.com or Fax 0208 831 7613
If the fully completed result sheet cannot be sent to the RFU by fax or email within the time this must be sent by hard copy so that it is received by the RFU within 72 hours of the final whistle.
Failure to comply with this requirement will give rise to a fine of £50.00 on the first occasion a second or subsequent failure to submit a result sheet within the prescribed time may give rise to further sanctions including point’s deductions as decided by the NCA.
Non-payment of fines within 14 days or a second or subsequent failure to submit a results sheet within the prescribed time may give rise to further sanctions including point’s deductions as per Regulation 18
2.2 The match sheets will be supplied to all clubs by the NCA in electronic form.
2.3 The Home Club must ensure that the sheet is completed in accordance with RFU Game Regulations.
2.4 Both clubs must ensure that the information is accurate and legible. The sheet should be completed in upper case, as should the names of the signatories. Any discrepancies caused by lack of clarity or incorrect information may be regarded as a breach of the regulations, as will non-completion by both Clubs. This will also apply in the event of ‘frivolous’ entries. Either or both Clubs may be sanctioned in such cases. These sanctions will include a financial penalty of £50.00 on the first occasion and £100.00 for each occasion thereafter during that season.
2.5 In accordance with RFU instructions, the home club must pass to the referee a completed match sheet (signed by both Clubs) and the appropriate RFU Computerised Player Registration lists to the referee at least 15 minutes before kick off. The Sheets cannot be altered after passing them to the referee without a valid and unavoidable reason (e.g., injury during warm up). A change of mind or late arrival of a player is not “exceptional”.
2.6 After the match, the referee will return the sheet, signed by him and containing the match result, to the home club, which is then responsible for returning the sheet to the RFU as per 2.1 above and passing a copy to the visiting team.
2.7 In the event that due to exceptional circumstances it is not possible to fax the results Sheets immediately after the match as per 2.1 the sheet must be received by the RFU within 72 hours of the end of the match. If sent by post, the onus for proof of posting lies with the home club. If it is not received on time, the offending Club will be fined £50.00 on the first occasion in a season and £100.00 for each occasion thereafter during that season. It is recommended that each club photocopy the match sheet before posting to the RFU in order that a further copy can be submitted in the event of loss.
2.8 The timely receipt of the Sheets will enable the RFU to check player eligibility prior to the next League or Cup match. (See Section 2.1 above).
3. Player Eligibility
3.1 All Match Sheets will be checked against the current RFU Player Register. Any irregularity will be notified by the RFU to the NCA
3.2. In the event of any irregularity the NCA Secretary will inform the Club as soon as possible. If any club is found to have been guilty of fielding an ineligible player, then points deductions will apply for that/those match/matches.
3.3. In the event of a proven transgression, either the deduction of League points or Cup sanctions will be applied in accordance with the Principal Regulations. In either event the NCA Secretary will inform the Club in writing. The Club will then have the right of Appeal. NOTE: It is the practice of the NCA to ensure no club gains any benefits (Championship Points) from any proven breach of either the RFU or NCA regulations.
4.1 The half-time interval shall normally be ten minutes and both teams may leave the field of play during this interval if they wish to do so.
4.2 With the agreement of the captain of each team the referee may reduce or increase the half-time interval in exceptional circumstances but in this case the interval shall not be less than five minutes or more than 15 minutes.
5. 4th Official
Each home Club must provide a nominated 4th Official for each match. The 4th Official will:
5.1. Ensure that he/she is introduced to the Referee.
5.2. Be responsible for the administration of ALL substitutions and replacements (blood or otherwise). He/She should have boards carrying the player’s numbers, and these should be displayed on each occasion a substitution takes place, indicating clearly the player leaving the pitch and the player joining the match.
5.3 Be responsible for logging all such movements, noting the names, reason and time of substitution on the Match Result Sheet. He/She is also responsible for ensuring the correct nomination of front row replacements, and informing the referee of their identities at least 15 minutes prior to kick-off.
5.4 Be responsible in conjunction with the referee and an official of the visiting team for accurately completing the match result sheet and obtaining the necessary signatures. Copies of the match result sheets should be retained by the home Clubs until the end of the season to which they apply in case reference is needed in the future.
5.5 Be responsible for monitoring the time penalty for a player sent to the sin-bin. He/She will ensure that the suspended player remains in the designated area, separate from the replacements bench, until the full time penalty has elapsed. The 4thOfficial will then notify the referee via a touch-judge that the player can re-join the game.
5.6 At all times during the match be readily available at the pitch side. He/She must not sit in the stand nor leave the pitch-side during the match.
6.1 A substitution card will be used for the management of replacements on and off the pitch. These cards will be supplied to all NCA Clubs electronically this will enable clubs to print as many substitutions card as necessary.
6.2 Procedure during match.
6.2.1 On match day, the team’s nominated person will be situated during the match in the Technical Area The team’s nominated person will have at his disposal as many replacement cards as he/she requires.
6.2.2 When it is decided that a player must be replaced, he/she then completes the details on the card, giving all the requested details (names, numbers, reasons, times etc).
6.2.3 Once this form is completed, it is handed to the 4th Official instructing him of the replacement at the next opportunity.
6.2.4 In the event of substitutions taking place all replaced players must leave the field of play before the substitute is allowed on the pitch.
6.3 In their match squads, sides must have at least two players capable of playing hooker and three players capable of playing prop.
6.3.1 On the first instance where a hooker has to be replaced and the first instance where a prop has to be replaced, the side concerned must provide a capable replacement so that the game can continue with contested scrums. If they do not do so, the following apply
The game continues with uncontested scrums until the end of the match or, if the need for replacement is caused by an injury or yellow card, the player returns
a. The result stands
b. Sanctions will be imposed by NCA on the offending side
c. The player leaving the pitch cannot be replaced. If the need for replacement is caused by an injury or yellow card, the player can only return if he resumes his position such that scrums can be contested
6.3.2 In the above situation, if the player is a tight head prop and his team decline to replace him because the available replacements are all loose heads and not capable of safely playing tight head, the team will be considered to be in breach of the regulations and the consequences above will apply. The same applies if the player to be replaced is a loose head and his team declare all the available replacements to be tight heads
6.3.3 On the second occasion a hooker and on the second occasion a prop has to be replaced and the side concerned does not have a capable replacement, the following apply:
d. The game continues with uncontested scrums until the end of the match or the
injured or yellow carded player returns
e. The result stands
f. Unless he has a blood injury, the player leaving the pitch cannot be replaced. If the player to be replaced has a blood injury, he may be replaced. However, if he does not return within 15 elapsed minutes and resume his position such that contested scrums may continue safely, the referee will instruct the offending team to remove a player from the pitch for the remainder of the match
g. No sanctions will be applied by NCA
6.3.4 The responsibility for ensuring that replacement props and hookers are competent lies with their clubs
6.3.5 All front row players must be at least eighteen years old (unless they are a player falling within RFU Regulation 188.8.131.52), who are suitably trained and experienced to be capable of playing in the front row.
7. Appeals Procedure
In the event of the application of any sanction (points deduction, the imposition of fines or the application of any other sanction) the following procedure will apply:
7.1. The NCA Secretary will inform the offending Club in writing.
7.2. If the Club wishes to appeal against the NCA Secretary’s decision, the Club will have fourteen days, in which to lodge a written appeal to the NCA Appeals panel, such appeal must be accompanied by a payment of £75.00. this will be forfeited in the event of an unsuccessful appeal. In addition the NCA Appeal Panel may impose further financial penalties by way of costs as specified in 7.5.
7.3 If the club wishes to appeal against the NCA Appeals panel decision, the club will have fourteen days or whatever period the RFU have in force at the time, in which to lodge an appeal directly to the RFU in writing. The RFU Appeals Panel decision will be final.
7.4 No sanction will be applied until the appeals procedure has ended.
7.5 Clubs must be aware that the imposed sanction(s) may be increased as well as decreased on appeal. (This may also apply to an appeal, which is deemed to be frivolous.) All costs (including travel, hire of ancillary equipment etc.) of an appeal regardless of the outcome will be at the discretion of the panel hearing the appeal. Costs will not be invoiced until the appeals process has ended.
7.6 Appeals not lodged within the prescribed period will adjudged to be ‘out of time’.
8. Persons within the Perimeter Fencing and Sin Bins.
8.1 RFU Regulation 13.7 of the Principal Regulations should be noted carefully and must be strictly observed. The referees have the power to report non-compliance to the NCA and RFU. For clarification purposes water carriers and medical staff shall remain within the technical area unless allowed onto the field of play by the match Referee. They and members of the coaching teams are not allowed to walk around the area of play unless they are outside the perimeter barrier. The following pitch lay out shall be followed as far as possible.
TABLE MISSING HERE
9. Clash of colours
9.1 In the event of clubs having similar or clashing colours the away Club shall be responsible for changing its colours for the match between the clubs where a clash of colours would otherwise occur.
9.2 The away Club shall be responsible for checking for a potential colour clash at least one week prior to a match and shall notify the colours its team will wear to the home club in time for programme printing.
9.3 In the event of the away club failing to comply with this guideline it must be reported to the NCA Secretary by match 4th Official there will be a financial penalty of £50.00 on the first occasion in a season and £100.00 for each occasion thereafter during that season.
10. Match Videos or DVD’s
Regulation 21 shall be deleted and there will be substituted the following:
The home club is responsible for supplying an un-edited copy of the match video or DVD to the visiting team at each match between two NCA clubs and also to the RFU Referees department. The visiting team and RFU Referees department should receive the copy within 72 hours of the final whistle or as otherwise agreed by the two clubs. If it is agreed that the Video or DVD should be sent by mail it must be posted by recorded next day delivery on the first working day following the match. Failure by the home club to provide the Video or DVD within the agreed time-limits will incur disciplinary sanctions. The receiving club will be responsible for the cost of production of the Video or DVD. The failure of the home club to provide a match Video or DVD within the time limits will result in the home team suffering a financial penalty on the first occasion of £50.00 and £100.00 for each occasion thereafter.
11. Citing for violent conduct.
The club citing must inform the League Secretary, in writing, within the RFU stipulated time frame. All details must be sent directly to the RFU.
12. Assistant Referees
The home club is responsible for ensuring that a suitably trained and kitted out person is available at each home match to take over as an Assistant Referee should one of the appointed officials have to be replaced for any reason. His duties will be determined by the match referee but will not normally extend beyond indicating when the ball or a player carrying the ball is in touch and indicating a successful or unsuccessful kick at goal.
13. Club Accounts
The NCA has been delegated by the RFU to submit audited club accounts annually for its entire Member Clubs. Each Club must submit its audited accounts to the NCA Treasurer by the 31st October of each year. In the event of a club failing to comply with this requirement for whatever reason, a financial penalty of £100.00 or a deduction of five (5) championship points. The RFU may impose other sanctions.
Any club with the facility of and which plays matches under floodlights at any time of the rugby season is required to provide lights of sufficient lux value so as to ensure the playing of the match is safe. Illumination levels should be checked by a suitably qualified electrical engineer and recorded against the levels of light required for the standard of play and shall be not less than 200 lux for competitive matches and 100 lux for training. Clubs who use floodlights for competitive matches are required to have them turned on at the start of the match or later if agreed by the visiting team or at the request of the Match Referee.
Each member club of the NCA which has a website is required to place a link on their website to the NCA website www.ncarugby.org.
16. Value added Tax
The NCA is registered for VAT and VAT at the standard rate will be added to any invoice issued under these regulations.
Each Club participating in NCA Leagues shall pay an annual management fee to the NCA to cover the administrative operating expenses of the Leagues. Such sum to be determined at the Annual General Meeting of the NCA.
18. Non-payment of financial penalties
In the event of failure to pay any or each of the financial penalties or charges imposed under these guidelines within 14 days of notification (subject to any appeal), non-payment of fines will be subject to deduction of up to 18 league points (subject to any appeal) as per RFU Regulations.
19. Definitive Regulations
The Principal Regulations shall apply to NCA Clubs save where they are excluded or modified by these regulations in which case these regulations shall prevail.
ALL CLUBS WILL RECEIVE THE PRINCIPAL REGULATIONS PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SEASON AND, IN THE EVENT OF ANY BREACH, IGNORANCE OF THE REGULATIONS WILL NOT BE DEEMED TO BE AN EXCUSE.