USA Rugby Policies
Effective December 18, 2023
Any club/team wishing to gain proof of accident/liability insurance, or gain international tour approval, must be a 'compliant' club within Rugby Xplorer. The club must exist in Rugby Xplorer (see under Club Approval).
Club compliance consists of:
- The club registration fee must be paid in Rugby Xplorer for the current membership year. This fee includes both the USA Rugby club fee and/or other club fees payable to parent Unions of the club.
- There must be at least 8+ players registered to the club in Rugby Xplorer for the current membership year, regardless of whether the club/team is playing 15s or 7s.
- There must be at least one appropriately compliant coach registered to the club in Rugby Xplorer for the current membership year. (Please note: only one compliant coach is required for the purposes of a club being considered 'compliant'. This does not imply other coaches at that club do not also need accreditation. For example, any coach coaching tackle rugby must be World Rugby Level 1 compliant.)
Certificates of insurance will only be issued to clubs that are 'compliant'. Before completing the processing of an individual's accident insurance claim, USA Rugby will ordinarily check to ensure that the player's club is 'compliant'. A club's compliance status is public, and can be found here: https://usa.rugby/play-rugby-today
Clubs/teams participating in Leagues, Academy teams, Travel teams, Select Sides, All-Star teams and similar teams regardless of exact naming convention, must exist in Rugby Xplorer, and must be 'compliant' (per above). A club's compliance status is public, and can be found here: https://usa.rugby/play-rugby-today
In addition, all players on both teams in any game must have a current active registration with USA Rugby to that team in Rugby Xplorer. (Where players are selected in representative, travel, select, or all-star teams – those players should be asked to register to that specific team in Rugby Xplorer.)
Rugby Xplorer has functionality to allow for combined teams made up of players from two or more clubs for regular League play.
USA Rugby strongly encourages its member Unions, competitions and tournaments to utilize the competition management functionality in Rugby Xplorer and require clubs/teams to submit their rosters electronically for all matches regardless of match status – league match, friendly, B-side, etc. This ensures that both clubs/teams can be sure that every player taking the field is appropriately registered.
The use of paper rosters and the listing of what used to be called "CIPP numbers" is both outdated terminology and discouraged practice as this does not indicate whether a player is, in fact, appropriately registered.
Motley teams wishing to participate on a one-off basis in a sanctioned event utilizing Rugby Xplorer's Rugby Events functionality must have all of their participating players register to that team in that event in Rugby Xplorer. No clearance/transfer is required. The club/team does not need to pay a club registration fee, nor does it require a coach.
USA Rugby will currently also clear motley teams to participate on a one-off basis in a sanctioned event that is not utilizing Rugby Xplorer's Rugby Events functionality. Such teams must provide a copy of their roster in spreadsheet format (not PDF) in a timely manner to ensure the registration status of all players can be verified before the tournament.
Clubs/teams participating in Leagues, Academy teams, Travel teams, All-Star teams and similar teams regardless of exact naming convention, must have the approval of their relevant parent Union in order to exist and operate in good standing. USA Rugby will not create a club/team in Rugby Xplorer without the approval of the relevant parent Union.
All Youth, High School and clubs/teams or organizations that work with youth or high school children must be affiliated to and be in good standing with the residing state's State Youth Rugby Organization (SYRO), as determined by USA Youth and High School Rugby. Where players are selected in representative, travel, select, or all-star teams – those players should be asked to register to that specific team in Rugby Xplorer.
All Senior clubs/teams must be affiliated to and be in good standing with their appropriate geographic governing Union, and must additionally abide by any regulations set forth by this governance including any additional dues required by that body.
Since 2020, each rugby community (USA Youth and High School, Collegiate Council and Senior Club Council) has taken over primary responsibility for eligibility for competitions within their jurisdiction. There are certain core principles, outlined in the USA Rugby Eligibility Regulations, that remain in force and which bind all Unions. Any question about the enforcement of those regulations should be directed to the relevant community contact. For the correct contact information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- You ARE eligible for a refund if: The request is within 7 days of the transaction and you have NOT played in any match (scrimmage, friendly, competitive, tournament etc.)
- You are NOT eligible for a refund if: You have played in any match, tournament, or organized play or the transaction date is more than 7 days ago
- By refunding/cancelling your membership, you understand that: You are NOT eligible to utilize USA Rugby’s Accident Insurance Policy, you are NOT eligible to practice, compete or participate in USA Rugby activities and you are being refunded only the USA Rugby membership fees, NOT any regional fees, nor processing fees. Regional fees will need to be refunded from the region/union/SRO directly.
USA Rugby has implemented a policy and background screening process that helps ensure that the environment in its athletic programs at every level is as safe as possible. To this end, the organization preforms criminal background screenings on our Board of Directors, National Councils, National Office Staff, all Coaches, Executive Administrators, Referees, and some key volunteers. These background checks occur at least every 2 years, with additional checks as needed or warranted. Checks also occur upon report of any criminal or misconduct incident. It is the position of USA Rugby that members should not be exposed to any unnecessary risk to his or her health or safety. USA Rugby encourages its members and clubs to adopt and comply with policies consistent with each state's applicable laws relative to the detection of child abuse and persons involved in criminal offenses of a sexual or other nature or that could expose minors to a risk to their health or safety.
This policy guides the financial management and reporting practices of USA Rugby.
This Policy applies to any person, including but not limited to the CEO, financial staff, and members of the Audit and Finance & Risk Committees, who are charged with financial management or financial reporting. If the CFO position is vacant, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) will assume the responsibilities and functions of the CFO.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) - Accounting standards as adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board as may be updated from time to time.
The fiscal year for USA Rugby shall be January 1st to December 31st.
Management shall timely (but not later than December 1) prepare and present to the Finance & Risk Committee and to the Board a proposed budget and operating plan prior to each fiscal year. The Finance & Risk Committee shall review the budget and operating plan and make recommendations for approval and/or modification to the Board, as applicable. Management’s ongoing reports shall ensure that the Finance & Risk Committee and the Board have sufficient information to assess the current financial state of the organization, as well as the projected state of the organization through the end of the fiscal year. Such reports must include, but are not limited to:
- Budget to Actual Reports;
- Current Statement of Financial Position;
- Current Statement of Activities with summary of functional expenses;
- Cash Flow Statement and/or Projections; and
- Forecasting reflecting projected financial results for the year.
Management shall present the ongoing reports to the Finance & Risk Committee on a monthly basis and the Board on a quarterly basis at a minimum. In reviewing draft budgets and ongoing reports, the Board shall ensure that the budget and reports:
- Are fiscally prudent, ensuring that the resources of the organization are responsibly used;
- Have prudent underlying assumptions;
- Advance the strategy of the organization and supports the mission, vision, and values;
- Provide measurable outcomes for the organization in the coming year; and
- Allow for elements of risk in operational areas.
The person responsible for preparing checks, making cash disbursements, or initiating digital payments cannot be a signatory.
|One Staff Signer
|$10,000 to $99,999
|CEO or CFO and a Staff Signer
|$100,000 and above
|CEO and CFO
|Annual Contract Value
|Up to $49,999
|CEO, COO, or CFO **
|CEO, COO or CFO
|$50,000 to $99,999
|CEO or designate
|$100,000 and above
|Joint approval of CEO and Board **
|CEO or Board designate
**The CEO can approve contracts up to $100,000 annually. If exigent circumstances arise, the CEO may delegate signing authority; however, the delegation must be confirmed via email consent.
***For contracts above $100,000 annually, both the CEO and Board (in full or through its designate) must agree and provide email approval before any sign-off. Either the CEO or Board Chair may sign these contracts. In exigent circumstances, the CEO or Board Chair may delegate signing authority to a board member with email approval. Capital Expenditures Authority:
|Up to $9,999
|CFO, COO or Director of High Performance
|$10,000 to $99,999
|Joint approval of CEO or CFO and COO or Director of High Performance
|$100,000 and above
|Joint approval of CEO, CFO, and Board
- As part of the annual budget process, Management will present an annual Capital Expenditures budget for approval.
- All Capital Expenditures must align with the approved annual Capital Expenditures budget. Any variance must be approved following the variance procedures outlined in the Financial Procedures Manual.
The CFO is responsible for maintaining an up-to-date financial procedures manual, which will be distributed to the staff. This manual should detail the organization's daily financial operations, provide direction for employees, and include adequate internal safeguards to safeguard funds. Prior to making any significant adjustments to the Financial Procedures, both the Audit and Finance & Risk Committees should be informed. The CFO is tasked with updating the Board on changes to the manual and supplying a copy to Board Members upon request.
Any member or participant with payments past due may have their membership or participation rights curtailed or suspended until payment is made. Any such change in membership or participation status will be reasonably applied based on the amount owing, the amount of delinquency, and the impact of any sanction applied and must follow the USA Rugby Complaint and Hearing Procedure.
All directors, officers, and employees of USA Rugby shall avoid conflicts of interest with the organization when possible, and shall always follow the Conflict of Interest Policy. A conflict of interest exists when the interests or loyalties of an individual, such as a director or officer, are divided between his or her duty to the organization and his or her personal interests.
USA Rugby encourages its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, and members to report any concerns or suspected violations of laws or policies in good faith. The organization strictly prohibits retaliation against individuals who make such reports. Any individual who believes that a violation has occurred or is about to occur should report the matter promptly to the CEO, who will investigate the matter and take appropriate action. If the CEO is involved in the matter, the report should be made to the Board of Directors.
This policy will be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure that it is consistent with the mission and objectives of USA Rugby and with current laws and regulations. Any changes to this policy must be approved by both the CEO and the Board of Directors or Finance & Risk Committee.
Article 1. Rights to File Grievance. Except as limited herein, any Member of USA Rugby (the “Complainant”) may file a written or electronic grievance pertaining to any matter within the cognizance of USA Rugby and alleging a procedural violation of any provision of the Rugby USA Bylaws, the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act or the USOPC Bylaws. Any grievance specifically naming the Chair or CEO of the Corporation should be filed with the Board of Directors.
Article 2. Complaint. To be considered for resolution through these procedures, the Complainant should:
1. Submit their complaint to the:
(i) Chief Operating Officer
or, in case of a conflict
(ii) the Chair of the Discipline and Grievance Committee, or a staff delegate.
2. Include their full name and identifying membership information.
3. Sign the complaint under oath.
4. Allege with particularity the nature of the grievance and each element of these Bylaws, the Ted Stevens Olympic andAmateur Sports Act, or the USOPC Bylaws of which a procedural violation is claimed by referencing a specific section thereof and stating in concise language how, when and where the alleged procedural violation occurred. The factual allegations should be set forth in numbered paragraphs, each paragraph containing a single factual allegation.
5. Allege the damage suffered caused bythe grievance, and the relief sought.
The Complainant should attach all known supporting evidence and/or documentation to support their allegation or identify where said information and/or documentation may be found.
Article 3. Limitations to Grievance Rights. The right to file a grievance is limited to procedural matters. The substantive and final decisions of Councils, local, regional, or National bodies are final and binding.
Article 4. Exhaustion of Remedies. The Complainant shall first exhaust all Council, local, regional, or national procedures made available to him, her, or it.
Article 5. Filing fee. The Board may establish a reasonable fee which must be paid by a Complainant filing a grievance, except in the case of an expedited procedure. They may request a waiver of the filing fee due to financial necessity by emailing:
(i) Chief Operating Officer
or, in case of a conflict
(ii) the Chair of the Discipline and Grievance Committee, or a staff delegate.
Article 6. Time Frame. Unless the Complaint is filed by USAR or involves allegations that are USAR Safe Sport Policy and/or U.S. Center for SafeSport Code (USCSS) violations, the Complainant must file a Complaint within the following time frames:
(a) Administrative Grievance – sixty (60) days of the occurrence of the alleged violation or grievance, except as provided below.
(b) Right to Compete – six (6) months of the denial or threat to deny.
(c) Complaints alleging misconduct within USAR’s Safe Sport Policy (except for those matters subject to the jurisdiction of USCSS):
i. Five (5) years of the occurrence of the alleged violation, incident, or grievance. In the case of a person who was a minor at the time of the occurrence of the alleged violation, incident or grievance, the complaint must be filed no later than five (5) years following the person’s eighteenth (18th) birthday.
ii. However, grievances alleging sexual misconduct as defined in USA’s Safe Sport Policy or the USCSS Code are not subject to any statute of limitations.
Article 7. Expediting of Procedures. The Chair or CEO may expedite the time frame of the grievance procedures set forth herein. The Chair or CEO shall at all times seek to accomplish a timely resolution of the grievance. A Complainant must have the ability to request expedited procedures in the event that the individual has an upcoming competition or that circumstances warrant.
Article 8. Hearing Panel. The Chair of the Discipline and Grievance Committee will appoint at least three (3) disinterested and impartial individuals to serve as the hearing panel that will hear the matter (the "Hearing Panel") pursuant to Article 10. These appointments shall be subject to the following:
(1) The Chair of Discipline and Grievance Committee may appoint themselves or any other member of the Board to the Hearing Panel.
(2) The appointment of the Hearing Panel will include the designation of a chair.
(3) The Hearing Panel shall have at least thirty-three and one-third percent (33.33%) athlete representation. All athlete members of the Hearing Panel must meet the standards specified for an athlete representative to a board of directors of a National Governing Body or a “Designated Committee,” as that term is defined in the bylaws of the USOPC.
(4) The Chair of the Discipline and Grievance Committee is responsible for confirming the availability of each appointee to serve on the Hearing Panel.
(5) The Chair of the Discipline and Grievance Committee shall disclose the identity of the Hearing Panel members to the Complainant and Respondent.
(6) All Hearing Panel members should immediately disclose any conflict that they have (and that may arise during the process). No member of the three-member Hearing Panel shall have an interest in the subject matter, grievance, or complaint
(7) In the event any party or Hearing Panel member raises a conflict of interest, the Chair of the Audit and Risks Committee will consider the issue and require the replacement of the Hearing Panel member if deemed necessary in his or her sole opinion.
The Discipline and Grievance Committee shall be responsible to ensure that all Complaints proceeding to a Hearing Panel are heard in a timely, fair, and impartial manner and may promulgate procedures in addition to those set forth in USAR’s Bylaws.
Article 9. Notices. USAR shall send to the Complainant a notice acknowledging the receipt of the Complaint (the “Notice to Complainant”). The Notice to Complainant shall include a copy of these procedures.
USAR shall send to any individual and organization whose conduct is the subject of the Complaint (a "Respondent") a notice of the filing of the Complaint and a copy of the Complaint (the “Notice to Respondent”) within a reasonable time after receipt by the Chair not to exceed fourteen (14) business days, without just cause for delay. No Notice to Respondent need be sent when the only Respondent is USAR as it will have already received a copy pursuant to these procedures.
The Notice to Respondent shall include:
(i) An invitation to respond in writing to the Complaint (which will be shared with the Complainant) to include reasons why the matter should not be taken on by USAR, or, a reasonable time for Respondent to prepare a defense; and
(ii) A copy of these procedures.
All parties will receive notice of the identity of any witnesses that will appear at the hearing and distribution of evidence such that the evidence may be inspected within a reasonable time to prepare one’s position in the matter.
Article 10. Informal Resolution. Upon receipt of a grievance, the Chair or CEO shall refer it to the Disciplinary & Grievance committee for resolution, ensuring that the committee is compliant with Qualified International Athlete representation requirements. Every effort will be made to resolve the grievance or complaint through informal means and on a timely basis.
In the event, the grievance specifically names the Chair or CEO of the Corporation, the Board of Directors shall designate the appropriate committee for informal resolution.
USAR will determine:
(i)whether the Complaint complies with the requirements specified in Articles 2 and 5;
(ii)whether the Complaint is time-barred pursuant to Article 6;
(iii) whether the Complainant has the standing to file the Complaint pursuant to Article 3;
(iv)whether USAR has jurisdiction over the matter that is the subject of the Complaint.
If it is determined that the Complaint does not satisfy the criteria specified herein, USAR shall so advise the Complainant, and the Complaint shall be dismissed, and no further processing of the Complaint shall be required pursuant to this Policy.
Article 11. Formal Hearing. In the event that the Complainant filing the grievance is not satisfied with the proposed resolution of the matter by informal means, or by the appropriate committee, the Complainant may request a hearing before a three-member Hearing Panel to hear evidence, make findings of fact, and adjudicate the issues raised.
The Chair of the Hearing Panel will select the time and place for the hearing to have the hearing occur at the earliest convenient date for all parties not to exceed (90) ninety days after the last filing with USAR, without just cause for delay. The chair may choose to conduct the hearing by video conference call or other similar electronic means if all parties agree. The Chair will communicate the information about the hearing schedule along with the identity of the other members of the Hearing Panel to the parties. A summarized record of the proceedings shall be made by the Hearing Panel. The rules of evidence shall not be strictly enforced, however fundamental fairness and due process shall be respected.
Not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing, the Chair of the Hearing Panel shall cause to be sent to the parties a written copy of the procedures to be followed at the hearing.
Decisions about the merits of the Complaint and the form of any sanction shall be made by majority vote of the Hearing Panel. The Hearing Panel shall report its decision on the merits in the form of written findings of fact and conclusions to the Board and all interested parties. Subject only to any right to arbitration as is specified in Article 11, the decision of the Hearing Panel shall be final and binding upon all parties.
At any hearing conducted pursuant to this Article 10, all interested parties shall have the right to counsel, to present evidence in support or in opposition to the grievance, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to present such factual or legal claims as will support their positions.
Article 12. Submission to Arbitration. If the Complainant is dissatisfied with a decision in any controversy involving USA Rugby's recognition as a national governing body provided for in Section 10 of the USOPC Bylaws; or involving the opportunity of any athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator or offical to participate in protected competition as provided in Section 9 of the USOPC bylaws, the complainant’s sole remedy is a demand for arbitration with the pursuant to the commercial rules of the New ERA ADR (or whatever adjudicating body recommended by the USOPC) then in effect. Such a demand for arbitration shall be submitted in writing within thirty (30) days of the Complainant’s receipt of the decision described in Article 10 above. The arbitration shall be final and binding and shall be conducted on a timely basis and as set forth in Article XVII of the USAR Bylaws.
Article 13. Anti-Retaliation. USAR prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports misconduct or provides information about misconduct as more fully detailed in USAR’s Whistleblower Policy located on the USA Rugby webpage. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing, or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging or participating in the complaint processes when the action is reasonably related to the report or engagement with the process. Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding that no violation occurred.
Article 14. Athlete Ombuds Office. The Office of the Athlete Ombuds and its staff (the Athlete Ombuds) offers independent, confidential advice to athletes regarding their rights and responsibilities in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and assists athletes with a broad range of questions, disputes, complaints, and concerns. The Athlete Ombuds’ focus is to serve athletes who represent the U.S. in international competitions. The Athlete Ombuds operates on the core principles of confidentiality and privacy, independence, and impartiality.
Duties of the Athlete Ombuds
1. Provide independent, confidential advice and assistance at no cost to athletes.
2. Assist in the resolution of athlete concerns and disputes through fact-finding facilitated communication and mediation.
3. Advocate for fair, transparent, timely, and equitably administered policies and processes within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and its member organizations.
Phone: (719) 866-5000 or 888-ATHLETE
Lighting and Inclement Weather
USA Rugby follows the World Rugby Guidelines for lightning safety and inclement weather.