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Polices and By-Laws

Polices and By-Laws


  • Ensure that documentation of eligibility requirements are disseminated to and understood by all college teams. Contact will be made with college registrars or the appropriate college official.
  • Ensure that scheduling problems peculiar to the college program are known and resolved well in advance.
  • Aid in the selection of the MARC Collegiate All-Star / Under 23 Select Side and work closely with the MARC College coaching staff to identify players; encourage players to participate in select side try-outs, events and competitions and to appoint qualified select side coaches.
  • Encourage intra-union play. MARC college sides will be encouraged to play Full, Associate and Recognized Members of other conferences.
  • Maintain close association and communication with the USA Rugby Collegiate Coordinator to ensure that the objectives of the national college staff will be met.
  • Institute and maintain a safety program and forum to address the challenges and issues of college rugby.

Definition Of Collegiate Eligibility

The appropriate Collegiate Committee (NCR, CRAA) shall act as the directive body on behalf of any Program situated within the United States of America which represents a two-year or four-year academic institution of higher education and which meets these criteria:

  1. The Program must be authorized and recognized by the administration of the college or university.
  2. The Program must have a faculty or staff member who serves as advisor to the Program.
  3. The Program must have a permanent mailing address (this address should not be that of a student officer, but should be a permanent P.O. Box or address at which members of the Program can be contacted regardless of any changes in administration).
  4. The Program must have an appointed coach. As per governing body requirements (NCR, CRAA, USA Rugby), all collegiate coaches must be certified or duly via the World Rugby coach certification program and be recognized by the Committee.
  5. The Program must have a Certified Club Referee on staff (player, coach or administrator). Said Referee must attend the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Referee Society (EPRRS) Referee Clinic(s) and meetings, as well as all training offered by the Referee Society. The Referee must maintain membership in the Referees Society and be available to referee as requested. It is the MARC policy that all games must be refereed by a Certified Referee.
  6. The Program must be a member in good standing of a conference recognized by the governing body (NCR, CRAA, USA Rugby).
  7. The Program must follow all governing body directives regarding player eligibility and competition.
    1. Please refer to the eligibility policy set forth by the appropriate governing body. 
    2. NCR

Alcoholic Beverages Policy

  1. Drinking by those under the legal age is prohibited. Rugby is not an excuse to drink illegally.
  2. At rugby matches held on property owned by the University or College, the serving or selling alcoholic beverages before, during or after the match is prohibited - unless approved by university officials in which case, a written notification from the school shall be sent to the MARC collegiate committee no less than 7 days in advance. In addition, all school policies on alcoholic beverages must be strictly adhered to by everyone in attendance.
  3. At rugby matches involving only collegiate teams in an off-campus location, the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages before, during or after the match is prohibited unless a liquor license is obtained under local government policies, such as by the Township, City and/or Parks Department.
  4. At rugby matches or events that mix collegiate and senior Programs, alcoholic beverages shall not be served or sold unless a procedure is in effect that will prevent serving of alcoholic beverages to under age persons in which case, a written notification shall be sent to the MARC collegiate committee no less than 7 days in advance. This procedure must be sent in writing and approved by the MARC no less than 7 days prior to the event and must also be established in accordance with all local policies, such as by the Township, City and/or Parks Department.
  5. It is the ultimate responsibility of college and local officials to insure that their own regulations and laws are enforced.
  6. Disciplinary action will be utilized to censure Programs, event hosts, and others under the jurisdiction of the MARC who fails to take the necessary action to enforce these regulations.

The following guidelines will be enforced for those college teams that violate the Alcoholic Beverages Policy and the Code of Conduct.

  • First Offense: Offending team to be fined $500 and placed on probation for a minimum of one year. During this time the team will not be permitted to participate in post-season playoffs.
  • Second Offense: If a second offense of the Alcohol Policy happens within four (4) calendar years of the initial offense the offending team to be fined $750 and placed on probation for a minimum of two years. During this time the team will not be permitted to participate in post-season playoffs or have any member participate in its union, territorial or national college All-Star / Under-23 select program.
  • Third Offense: If a third offense of the Alcohol Policy happens within four (4) calendar years of the initial offense the offending team to be suspended from the MARC. A team may re-apply for union membership after a period of three (3) years.
  • Programs can appeal suspensions to the MARC Executive Committee, Collegiate Coordinator and Disciplinary Committee.

Players Code Of Conduct

The MARC fully supports the NCR and CRAA's statement regarding conduct and expects ALL collegiate teams to abide by this statement:

"Collegiate rugby players and coaches represent their colleges and are ambassadors of collegiate rugby in the United States. As such, collegiate rugby players and coaches are expected to behave with dignity both on and off the field. Collegiate rugby players and coaches should not tolerate rude or anti-social behavior of any sort which would reflect negatively on the image of USA Rugby or the student athlete's college/university, and the image of collegiate rugby as a serious and disciplined athletic endeavor. Any breach of this Code of Conduct will be forwarded to the appropriate disciplinary committee for action."
  1. Recognize that they, the player, are part of the safety equation and have a role in decreasing the chance of being hurt with participating in rugby.
  2. Understand that if an individual or groups of players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then they should tell a coach, faculty advisor, or MARC representative.
  3. Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
  4. Recognize good play by all players on their team and by their opponent.
  5. Be a sportsman - win with dignity and lose with grace.
  6. Play in a fair and sporting manner in accordance with the World Rugby Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees' decisions even if they appear to be incorrect. Once the match is over, have a friendly and constructive conversation with the referee regarding the decision.
  7. Control their emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of teammates, opponents, coaches, match officials, and/or spectators is unacceptable and will be punished.
  8. If significant issues arise, especially concerning safety issues, coaches or team representatives can contact the EPRRS and file a complaint. The MARC Collegiate Representative should be informed if a complaint is being filed.

Duties Of The Faculty Advisor to a Rugby Team

All College Teams are required to have a Faculty or Staff Advisor

The Faculty / Staff Advisor should act as a liaison between the team and its players and the university. They should (when possible) attend matches, particularly at home, and participate in team functions and social events whenever possible.

Specific responsibilities are:

  1. Ensure that the election of Program officers takes place at the END of the Fall or SPRING season (December / May time-frame) and that the Program President notifies the MARC Secretary, or , of the new officers immediately. Make sure to include the officer's name, position, email, phone and mailing address (for both summer and while at school, if different).
  2. Ensure that recruiting of new members is done at the beginning of each school year and on a continuous basis.
  3. Ensure that complete and reasonable matches are planned for the team and that the Match Secretary has sent a copy of the schedule to MARC officers via email and that the recipient confirms the email. (Fall schedules are due by August 1st, and Spring schedules are due by February 1st,).
  4. Ensure that practice sessions are properly organized and under the control of the appointed coach.
  5. Help the team locate a qualified coach if none is currently assigned.
  6. Ensure that budget requests for college funds are properly prepared and submitted in a timely and professional manner.
  7. Ensure the adherence to college policies regarding the use of facilities, insurance, playing personnel, use of funds, etc...
  8. Ensure that the team has access to the appropriate services and facilities offered by the college (practice & playing field(s), equipment, athletic trainer, medical personnel, emergency medical technicians (EMT) etc.)
  9. Notify the proper MARC officials of any disciplinary matters affecting the team. Attend, with Program officers, the Annual General Meeting of the MARC.

Coaches Code Of Conduct

In an effort to raise the standards and quality of play and player behavior as well as improve the image of the sport of rugby, every collegiate coach is expected to abide by the Rugby Coaches Code of Conduct. This Code is based on the premise that rugby should be an integral part of the education process of the student-athlete and that coaches are, above all, teachers with an ethical duty to enhance the physical, mental, social and moral development of student-athletes and teach them positive life skills that will help than become personally successful and socially responsible.

  1. Recognize the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players.
  2. Understand that most learning is achieved through doing.
  3. Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport. Specifically when it comes to players safety.
  4. Be a positive role model both on and off the pitch.
  5. Teach good sportsmanship. Keep winning and losing in perspective, and encourage players to behave accordingly.
  6. Respect all referees and their decisions. Ensure that both players and coaching staff treat referees with the respect they deserve.
  7. Provide rugby training that matches the team and players ages, ability, and physicality.
  8. Provide a safe environment for both training sessions and matches.
  9. Never allow a player to train or play when injured. Be very aware of concussion and post-concussion symptoms.
  10. Keep their knowledge and coaching strategies up to date and in line with World Rugby philosophy.
  11. Coach to the laws and keep up to date on any and all law changes.

Men's Collegiate Divisional Play Rules And Regulations

The purpose of Men's Playoff Structure is to determine the MARC D1AA Men's, D2 Men and Women, Men's Small College Champion and runner(s)-up who will be eligible to advance into National Playoff Structure as defined by their governing body (NCR, CRAA, USA Rugby). All conference teams, players and coaches must be enrolled in their appropriate registration process, and meet medical insurance and player eligibility documentation requirements. Points table scoring system as follows:

  • 4 points for win
  • 2 point for tie
  • 0 point for loss
  • 1 bonus point for 4 tries scored
  • 1 bonus point for loss of 7 points or less
  • - 1 point for LACK OF ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLIANCE, which has the followin components:
  1. Match report with confirmation of (2) & (3) above must be submitted to Competition Coordinator and webmaster, via email, by 5PM of day following match.

There is no overtime in regular season conference matches.

For purposes of calculating point differential in a forfeit, the score will be 28 - 0 with the winning team gaining 4 tries for a total of 5 bonus points.

* A minimum of two-days (approx. 48 hours) notice (by email and phone to opponent AND MARC collegiate coordinator) prior to day of match is required in the case of a game not being played, otherwise the game is considered a match day forfeit. Even with this notice, game is still considered a forfeit and subject to MARC Disciplinary action as described below under Failure to Play Matches.

* Two forfeits in one season by a team results in both a $500 fine and suspension the following season. Example - 15’ season with 2 forfeits... suspended the following 15’s season. Does not include spring 7’s. 

*All MARC 7’s Tournament entry fees are non-refundable regardless of cancellation notice.  

Tie Breaking Procedure In Final Standing - Regular Season

  1. In case of total point tie and when two sides have played each other in the regular season, the first tie breaker will be the result of head to head competition. This applied to division, seeding and wild card standings.
  2. Second tie breaker for divisions titles and playoff seeding is division record. For wildcard standings it is point differential.
  3. Third tie breaker for division titles and playoff seeding is point differential. For wildcard standings it is tries.
  4. Fourth tie breaker for division titles and playoff seeding is tries. For wildcard standings it is conversions made.

Playoff Structure / Seeding - Championship Cup Competition

  • Round 1 Semi Finals- TBD
  • Round 2 Finals- TBD

National Playoffs

The winner of the MARC is guaranteed a place in the NCR National Championship Round of 16. If for some reason the MARC champion is unable to attend the National Championship Round of 16 then the runner up shall be granted that privilege. If the runner up is also not able to attend then the winner of the 3rd/4th place consolation match will represent the MARC at nationals.

Field Requirements

  1. Field must be AT LEAST 65 yards X 100 yards try line to try line - 110 yards overall - minimum 5 yard in-goal area.
  2. Field must be properly lined and goal posts padded as set forth by the Referees Society
  3. Spectator ropes must be erected 22m to 22m on both sides of field OR a clearly designated area free of spectators shall be present and approved by the referee. (I am thinking of stadium turf fields that are fenced off for example) Only touch judges and designated medical personnel will be permitted inside the designated areas.
  4. If extenuating circumstances prevent a Program from playing on a field with required minimum dimensions (see 1), the Program MUST SUBMIT IN WRITING to the MARC Collegiate representative the exact dimensions of the field to be used and an explanation of the circumstances preventing the use of a regulation field. The Collegiate representative will review the situation and make a recommendation to the coaches/program representatives involved in the game. If the situation warrants, the Program may be dropped from divisional play. This letter must be submitted no later than September 1st OR 2 days prior to a scheduled game.
  5. Unless a waiver is granted by the MARC Collegiate representative, failure to comply with the Field Requirements are grounds for protest and may result in forfeit by the offending team.
  6. It is the coach's /program representative's responsibility to make sure that field requirements are met; failure to do so may result in forfeits, penalties and sanctions as deemed necessary by the MARC Executive Committee.

Uniform Requirements

  1. All players must play in matching jerseys and shorts whose colors AND styles have been registered with the MARC. Jerseys must be clean, free from holes and tears.
  2. Jerseys may be short-sleeved but must not be "cut-offs" or sleeveless. Short-sleeved, hemmed jerseys must cover the bicep.
  3. Shorts must be clean and free from holes and tears.
  4. Numbers on jerseys (for the correct positions) are mandatory for all players.
  5. In the event of a lack of contrast in jersey colors, the home team is responsible for providing alternate kit to the satisfaction of the referee.
  6. Failure to comply with the Uniform Requirements is grounds for protest and may result in forfeit by the offending team (see Protest Procedure).

Minimum Number of Players

A Program must field a minimum of 12 players from their own roster for a division match to count in the standings.

Match Dates

  1. Matches must be played on the dates set by the MARC. Match Dates can be changed if a mutually agreeable alternate date and reason for the change shall is submitted, in writing, to the MARC Collegiate representative for consideration.
  2. NO CHANGES SHALL BE PERMITTED WITHOUT APPROVAL OF BOTH COACHES AND THE MARC Collegiate representative. No changes will be considered within 7 days of the match.

Failure to Play Matches

Weather related issues

All teams should work if feasible to secure alterative locations in the event of possible heavy rain cancelling matches on turf. However, this is not feasible for all teams and reasonable realizations must be taken into account. thus the following are the procedures in place for reschedule. 

1) Moving match to a different location if home team is able to host on turf.

2) moving to an earlier or later day if possible at either location during the same weekend.

3) Moving to another date if there is an open date for each team. Both teams must be open. 

4) Moving to a midweek game within reasonable travel distance and timing for student classes. Academics come first and may not be feasible. 

5) A double up weekend for both teams, if feasible due to distance but only if it is needed for playoff seeding. 

6) Lastly, if no other options exist for weather related failures the match will be considered a 10 to 10 tie if not replayed.

Other failures

  1. If a Program fails to keep a division fixture for any reason that is not communicated, via email and phone call, to the opposing coach, match secretary, and MARC collegiate coordinator forty-eight (48) hours prior to kick off, the Program will be required to post a $500 bond or cash within thirty (30) days of the report of the offense, to be held by the MARC for one year.
  2. If, within that year, there is a second offense, the money will be forfeited to the MARC. The MARC will disperse monies as appropriate. Otherwise, the MARC will return $250; $250 will be kept by the MARC.
  3. The Program will not be permitted to participate in further divisional play or playoffs unless the bond is paid.

Protest Procedure

  1. The Team Captain must advise the referee BEFORE KICKOFF that his team wishes to register a protest and give the reason.
  2. The referee must notify the opposing Team Captain that a protest has been lodged and for what reason. The referee should give the offending team a reasonable amount of time to correct the circumstances of the protest.
  3. If the circumstances are not corrected, the referee, both coaches and captains MUST notify the MARC Executive Committee, in writing, within 72 hours of the circumstances of the protest. The protest will be reviewed by the MARC Executive Committee and the teams involved will be notified of the Committee's decision.
  4. The game may still be played if a protest is lodged unless it is due to grave safety concerns in which case the referee's decision to play is final. If the decision is to play the game, then the MARC Executive committee will make an assessment and judge the outcome of the game if a protest is lodged; results stay as is, a forfeit to the offending team, to replay the game at another time, or another outcome decided by the Executive Committee.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Only Members in good standing with the MARC, governing body and respective Referees Society are eligible to compete.
  2. Appropriate Governing Body Eligibility Rules will be in effect for ALL division games. The Link to the official eligibility rules can be found under at the appropriate governing body webpage.
  3. For playoff matches a college photo I.D. card will be required and must be available before each game. Players without cards will not be permitted play that day. Any player attempting to use a card other than his own will face disciplinary action and the team will forfeit the game.
  4. A team must have a certified Coach. If they don’t have a certified coach and/or meet the MARC/USA Rugby requirements, they are subject to an administrative forfeit which will result in a forfeit score of 28 - 0 with the winning team gaining 4 tries for a total of 5 bonus points.

  5. Home teams are responsible for having an athletic trainer, medical staff, or ambulance at home games. If medical personnel are not present, the home team is subject to a forfeit loss which will result in a forfeit score of 28 - 0 with the winning team gaining 4 tries for a total of 5 bonus points.

  6. The MARC Executive Committee may request team rosters at any time.
  7. Only Members in good standing may represent the MARC in the National Collegiate Playoffs (i.e. you must be a Member at the time of MARC qualifying teams are determined).

Match Requirements


  1. Divisional matches will consist of two (2) 40 minute halves with a 10 minute halftime.
  2. A team must have at least twelve (12) players, including three (3) qualified front rower subs, in order to play a divisional or playoff match.
    • If a team cannot field twelve (12) players the match will be considered a forfeit for the purposes of divisional standings.
  3. The home team is required to provide a certified athletic trainer, medical personnel, EMT and/or Paramedic. The certified athletic trainer should be made available thirty (30) minutes before kickoff and for at least a thirty (30 min) following the completion of the last game. The Certified Athletic Trainer has final say as it pertains to the safety and well-being of all players on the field unless a more qualified medical person is present (MD or DO)
  4. The home team is should attempt to provide a scoreboard. The scoreboard doesn't have to be electronic. It simply has to be a visual display of the score that the fans can see from the stands.
  5. Prior to the game both coaches will exchange lineup cards with player's numbers and names. A lineup card for each team will also be provided to the referee.
    • The lineup cards will also indicate which players are front row eligible.
    • Players must present their official school identification cards prior to each game to be eligible to play
  6. After the game coaches will exchange stat cards indicating what substitutions where made, who scored and when, along with any possibly disciplinary action that may have occurred during the game. Coaches will also highlight players who should be considered for select side play.


  1. Teams in D1AA, D2 and Small College Champions are required to play an instructional second match for developing or "B-side" players.
  2. If a team has more than twenty-seven (27), including five (5) front row eligible players available then they are required to play a full B-Side match that consists of three (3) 20 minute periods. Period lengths can be changed if agreed upon by both sides.
  3. If a team has less then twenty-seven (27), including less than five (5) front row eligible players available then they are required to play two (2) 15 minute halves.
  4. Within 5 days prior to the game, the coaches and match secretaries from each team need to discuss the B-Side match. If for some reason both teams agree to cancel the B-Side match the cancellation agreement will be emailed to the MARC Collegiate Coordinator and will include both coaches and match secretaries.
  5. Not playing a B-Side match based on the above guidelines will result in a one (-1) point penalty within the divisional standings.


  • Substitutions are based off the World Rugby substitution laws (Law 3.5).
  • Number of Players - Number of Suitably Trained Front Rowers
  • 15 or Less - Three experienced front row players
  • 16, 17 or 18 - Four experienced front row players
  • 19, 20, 21, 22, or 23 - Five experienced front row players

Disciplinary Code for Foul Play

  1. All cards will be reported to the MARC Executive Committee, Collegiate Representative and Disciplinary Board
  2. Referees have the final say in any cards handed out for foul play during the course of a match. Cards cannot be protested during a match. The final say for disciplinary action during the course of a game lies with the referee.
  3. If any individual player receives three (3) yellow cards within a single season (crossover, divisional, and/or playoff games) that player will serve a one (1) game suspension.
  4. If a player receives a hard red card during a conference game (crossover, divisional, and/or playoff games) that player will be expelled from the current game and will be suspended for the next conference game.
  5. All cards will be reviewed by the MARC Executive Committee, Collegiate Coordinator and Disciplinary Committee and additional suspension can be added on depending upon the seriousness of the infraction. USA Rugby's Disciplinary Committee may also hand down additional suspension depending upon the seriousness of the infraction.
  6. Players and programs can appeal suspensions to the MARC Executive Committee, Collegiate Coordinator and Disciplinary Committee. However any additional suspension handed down by USA rugby cannot be appealed through the MARC and will have to be dealt with through USA Rugby.

Disciplinary Committee:

The Disciplinary Committee will review yellow/red cards, appeals, forfeits, and other issues that arise during league and non-league play. The Disciplinary Committee will be made up of the Disciplinary Director and each of the Division Coordinators (currently Men D1AA, Men and Women D2, Men Small College).  Whichever division the issue that is being reviewed by the Disciplinary Committee resides, that Division Coordinator will abstain from the review/decision/sanction process. In the event of a split decision, the Disciplinary Committee will mutually agree upon a member of the Board of Directors that will be asked to be part of the process and help make the final decision.


  1. If no referee has been assigned by the Referees Society, then the home team must supply a certified referee that meets the approval of the visiting team. Union referees and referees who have attended the Union referee clinic are automatically approved. If the home team cannot supply a referee, the visiting team may provide one by prior agreement of both teams: if this person is a Union referee and has attended the Union referee clinic he is automatically approved.
  2. If the assigned referee does not show, or the teams cannot agree on a replacement referee, then the match is to be rescheduled and played before the start of playoffs. Home team must notify the Collegiate Representative within 24 hours of the originally scheduled match date.


  1. Teams who fail to field an eligible side or who fail to provide a referee for home games will forfeit the game and receive will receive negative points in the divisional standings. If it is a no show forfeit then the forfeiting team will be docked -3 points, but if notice is given it will only be a -1 point forfeit.
  2. A match report indicating the reason for the forfeit must be submitted to the Collegiate Coordinator by the team who forfeited. In the event of a forfeit, teams may still elect to play a non-divisional game.
  3. For purposes of calculating point differential the score will be 28 - 0 with the winning team gaining 4 tries for a total of 5 bonus points.

Tied Matches in Post Season Play In the event of a tie after a full match during playoffs, the tie-breaking procedures shall be as follows:

  1. Referee will flip coin (same as starting a match)
  2. Teams will play one ten-minute period. If a winner is not determined after the first overtime period the teams will continue to play ten minute periods until a winner is determined. Switching ends at the end of each period. Each new ten-minute period will begin with a kickoff at mid-field, alternating teams for the kickoff.

Determination of "Bye" Weekend

  1. Since a number of colleges have a Fall Break or Parents Weekend during October, all men's college teams must identify which date(s), if any, they want a "bye." The Program MUST submit a written request to the Collegiate Representative no later than June1st.
  2. Requests received after June 1st will be honored only at the discretion of the Collegiate Representative. If no date is submitted, then a date will be assigned. There is to be no appeal of the assigned date. Requests are to be submitted annually.

Submittal of Complete Fall Schedule

Your complete fall schedule must be submitted to the Collegiate RepresentativeNO LATER THAN AUGUST 1st.