Training & Education
The coaching pathway is for individuals interested in becoming a Rugby Coach. This pathway highlights all the courses and material related to becoming a certified USA Rugby coach. To see a listing of available courses, visit the USA Rugby Course Calendar, and register via the USA Rugby Learning Center.
In order to be a ‘compliant’ coach, each rugby coach in any capacity must meet the following requirements of the USOPC and USA Rugby:
- Be a registered member in a Coach role in the current season.
- SafeSport completion (annual, over 18yo only). If you are not current, this appears as an option in Rugby Xplorer once you have registered to a club in a role that requires a SafeSport completion.
- Background Check (every two years, over 18 yo only). If you are not current, this appears as an option in Rugby Xplorer once you have registered to a club in a role that requires a Background Check. Note: A standard case takes about 2 weeks to get results (longer if you have lived internationally) so please submit these well before your season gets underway.
- Rugby's Safety Basics. See below for instructions on how to complete this.
- A current Rugby Coaching Accreditation. At least one from the listing of Rugby Coaching Accreditations below, as relevant.
(Note: USA Rugby also has a requirement that every club playing tackle rugby have, at minimum, one Level 1 Qualified Coach in order to be a 'compliant' club. This does not imply that any other coaches at the club do not need the above.)
Who it's for: This is for all coaches and referees, regardless of level. It is the basic underlying safety education from World Rugby.
What it is: Consists of two (2) online courses taken through World Rugby's Passport website – ‘Rugby Ready’ and ‘Concussion Management for the General Public’. You complete these courses on World Rugby’s Passport website and then upload your certificates into the USA Rugby Learning Center (we are not able to directly query World Rugby's database due to European data laws). This is a one-off requirement with the introduction of Rugby Xplorer to ensure our entire community is up to date. Everyone is required to upload current certificates for the initial upload, but we do not anticipate requiring subsequent recertification of these accreditations.
How to take it: Login to Rugby Xplorer. On your My Profile page, click 'Learning Center' from the left-hand menu and then click on your name. Once you are loaded into the USA Rugby Learning Center, click 'Course Catalog' and select and enroll in 'Rugby’s Safety Basics'. Follow the instructions provided for each course.
Many of you will have done these certifications previously on World Rugby Passport. If you did these courses in 2021 or earlier, you will need to click 'Reset' on each course’s page on the World Rugby Passport website to allow you to take the course again and obtain a current certificate.
Who it's for: This is for individuals who specifically want to become coaches, or are considering becoming a coach. Minimum age 17. This course allows a member to act as Assistant Coach only under the direct supervision of a Level 1 Coach for a period of 12 months (after this you need to graduate to Level 1).
What it is: These 2.5 hr courses are Zoom sessions with content presented live, involving interaction between participants and the presenters.
How to take it: The course costs $20. USA Rugby is not currently running these courses on a regular basis, but can run the course on-demand for a Union or region or club. Contact your rugby organization and ask them to consider requesting to host a course here.
Who it's for: This is for individuals who are coaching only non-contact forms of rugby, i.e. those that do not involve tackling (rookie, tag, touch, flag, etc).
What it is: Consists of four (4) online courses taken through World Rugby's Passport website. The user downloads each of the 4 certificates they receive from World Rugby and uploads these into the USA Rugby Learning Center.
How to take it: Ensure that you have a USA Rugby Learning Center account. (Login to Rugby Xplorer, then from the left-hand menu click "Learning Center", and then click on your name. One you are loaded into the USA Rugby Learning Center, you can be sure you have an account.) To ensure that coaches coaching tackle rugby don't accidentally take this course, individuals can only be enrolled directly by USA Rugby. Contact your club, and ask them to email firstname.lastname@example.org to enroll you in the course. You will receive an email once registered, and the required courses will appear on your account in the USA Rugby Learning Center.
Who it's for: This is for individuals who are coaching, in any capacity, forms of rugby that involve tackling. Minimum age 17. Clubs must have at least one coach qualified at this level to be considered a 'compliant' club.
(Note: Some coaches in some regions have been acting in an assistant capacity with only a legacy L100 qualification. Given L100 no longer exists in our coaching pathway, USA Rugby expired all these qualifications as of June 30, 2022. USA Rugby will honor this qualification for insurance purposes during this crossover season while coaches are transitioning to Rugby Xplorer. From Sept 1, 2023, all coaches of tackle rugby must have Level 1.)
What it is: An eight (8) hour in-person course, which focuses on player welfare and the technical skills to play safely, and requires coaches to demonstrate effective coaching techniques, taught in the course. These techniques include teaching through games, technical skill development through progressions, and collaborative coaching. In addition to attendance, the course requires completion of several online courses taken through World Rugby's Passport website, ideally before the course. The resulting PDF certificates must uploaded to USA Rugby's Learning Center before certification will be granted.
How to take it: The course costs $125. Register through the USA Rugby Learning Center. Available courses and locations are listed on the USA Rugby Course Calendar. If there is not a course in your area, then clubs, schools and facilities can apply to host an upcoming course. Given the different local requirements of our Unions, USA Rugby does not centrally choose where and when to run courses, we rely on rugby organizations to request courses that we then facilitate.
Who it's for: This is for individuals who are have been Level 1 Coaches for a year or more, who wish to move to the next stage of coaching accreditation. It is most applicable to coaches who are coaching adult players aged 18 or older. Minimum age 18.
What it is: A two-day, 16 hour in-person course, which progresses towards advanced coaching skills used in athlete development and program building. This course is much more involved than the Level 1 with respect to pre-coursework, the in-person clinic, and post-coursework. It often takes coaches a year or more to complete this course.
(Note: This course has previously been delivered via virtual classroom on Zoom, across several multiple-hour sessions. This is no longer our preferred delivery model, as it requires in-person assessment subsequent to the course, but we can potentially make this happen for interested organizations.)
How to take it: The course costs $350. Register through the USA Rugby Learning Center. Available courses and locations are listed on the USA Rugby Course Calendar. If there is not a course in your area, then clubs, schools and facilities can apply to host an upcoming course. Given the different local requirements of our Unions, USA Rugby does not centrally choose where and when to run courses, we rely on rugby organizations to request courses that we then facilitate.
Who it's for: This is for individuals who are, or are seeking to be, employed as professional rugby coaches.
What it is: A year-long course, featuring multiple online sessions, an in-person three-day camp, and an in-person assessment.
How to take it: The course is by application, with applications opening in the summer and an annual intake beginning in August.
The Rugby Site
The Rugby Site has been delivering rugby education content to USA Rugby coaches and players for over 10 years and currently has over 650 online rugby education videos from over 50 of the world’s leading coaches and players. Including Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Graham Henry, England coach Eddie Jones, British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland, former Ireland and now All Black coach Joe Schimdt plus All Black legends Richie McCaw and Dan Carter and local USA coaches. Special subscription plan discounts are now available to USA Rugby registered coaches and players.