Women's Collegiate Rules and Policies


The Women's Collegiate Coordinator(s) will:

  • 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 EPRU Collegiate All-Star / Under 23 Side and work closely with the EPRU college coaching staff.
  • Encourage intra-union play. EPRU college sides will be encouraged to play Full, Associate and Recognized Members of other subunions.
  • Maintain close association and communication with the National Small College Rugby Organization to ensure that the objectives of the national and regional college staff will be met.
  • Institute and maintain a safety program and forum to address the challenges and issues of college rugby.


The National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) shall act as the directive body on behalf of any small college club situated within the United States of America that meets NSCRO club eligibility standards and which meets these criteria:

  1. The club must be authorized and recognized by the administration of the college or university.
  2. The club must have a faculty member who serves as advisor to the club.
  3. The club 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 club can be contacted regardless of any changes in administration).
  4. The club must have an appointed coach. Collegiate coaches must be certified or duly recognized by the Committee. Certification standards and procedures are available from NSCRO and USA Rugby.
  5. The club must provide a Certified Referee. The Referee must attend the EPRU Referee Clinic(s) and meetings, as well as all training offered by the Referees Society. The Referee must maintain membership in the Referees Society and be available to referee as requested. Effective January 1, 2000 all games must be refereed by a Certified Referee.
  6. The club must be a member in good standing of a Local Union recognized by the NSCRO.
  7. The club must follow all NSCRO directives regarding player eligibility and competition. (In any competition which may effect the outcome of league standings or any competition leading to the national collegiate championship, players must meet NSCRO eligibility policies. 

NSCRO Collegiate Eligibility Rules

Revised 3/20/06

  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. 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. Local policies, such as by the Township, City and/or Parks Department, must be followed.
  4. At rugby matches or events that mix collegiate and senior clubs, 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. This procedure must be in writing and approved by the EPRU 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 clubs, event hosts, and others under the jurisdiction of the EPRU who fail to take the necessary action to enforce these regulations.

The following guidelines are recommended for those college teams that violate the Alcoholic Beverages Policy and the Code of Conduct.

  1. First Offense: Offending team to be fined $100 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 or have any member participate in its union, territorial or national college All-Star / Under-23 program.
  2. Second Offense: Offending team to be fined $250 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 program.
  3. Third Offense: Offending team to be permanently suspended. A team may re-apply for union membership after a period of two years.

The EPRU fully supports the USA Rugby Collegiate Committee’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."

All College Teams are Required to have a Faculty Advisor

The Faculty Advisor should act as a liaison between the team and its players and the university. They may or may not be a coach (in fact, they shouldn't coach unless they have a thorough knowledge of the game), but should attend matches, particularly at home, and participate in team functions and social events whenever possible.

Specific responsibilities are:

  1. Ensure that the election of club officers takes place at the END of the Fall season (November time-frame) and that the club President notifies the EPRU Secretary, secretaryatepru [dot] org or P.O Box 393, Exton, PA 19341, of the new officers immediately. Make sure to include officer position, name, email, phone and mailing address (for both summer and 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 Women's Collegiate Coordinator via the online form. (Spring schedules are due by February 1st, Fall schedules by August 1st).
  4. Ensure that practice sessions are properly organized and under the control of the appointed coach. Help the team locate a qualified coach if none is currently assigned.
  5. Ensure that budget requests for college funds are properly prepared and submitted in a timely and professional manner.
  6. Ensure that college policies regarding the use of facilities, insurance, playing personnel, use of funds, etc. are adhered to.
  7. Ensure that the team has access to the appropriate services and facilities offered by the college (practice & playing field(s), equipment, medical trainer, EMT, etc.)
  8. Notify the proper EPRU officials of any disciplinary matters affecting the team.


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.


Women's Collegiate Divisional Play Schedule


Divisional and playoff games will be played in early September to the beginning of November of the Fall season in accordance with the schedule provided by the EPRU.

 General Requirements
All teams representing the EPRU in regional or territorial playoffs must be Full Members, current with all financial obligations and in good standing with both the EPRU and the East Penn Rugby Referees Society to take part in the NSCRO Collegiate Playoffs. All teams in divisional play must be enrolled in USA Rugby's Club & Individual Participant Program (CIPP) as per the EPRU CIPP Policy.Teams who are not fully enrolled in the current CIPP Program by April 1st will not have their divisional play matches count in the standings. Enrollment of the club and its players in the previous year's CIPP Program does not fulfill the requirements. See CIPP Policy for further details. 

Players must have medical insurance in order to participate in any rugby activity. Players should supply copies of their medical cards to their club as proof of coverage when requested.  All clubs must also be in compliance with the EPRU, NSCRO & USA Rugby Eligibility Requirements.

Determination of Final Standings 

Points will be awarded as follows:
4 for a win        
2 for a tie*
0 for a loss 
1 point for 4 or more tries scored in a game
1 point for a loss by 7 points or less
1 point for Match Report submittal within 24 hours of match -- both winning and losing sides are to submit a Match Report.
0 for forfeit and the match is played
-1 for forfeit and the match is NOT played
-3 for game day no-show**
* There is NO overtime in divisional play matches. A forfeited match will be credited with a score of 28-0 with a bonus point awarded for 4 tries in a match. Overtime will only be played during playoffs, challenge matches or championships (See Match Requirements below).
** A minimum of two days (approx. 48 hours) notice by email to the Collegiate Coordinator and opponent prior to day of match is required in the case of a game not being played, otherwise the game is considered as a no-show on game day. Even with this notice, game is still considered a forfeit and subject to EPRU disciplinary action. See Forfeit Policy

Tie Breaking Procedure in Final Standings

  1. Results between tied teams
  2. Cumulative point differential in all division games (points for minus point against = differential)  Note: Maximum scoring differential for standings will be limited to 25 points.
  3. Number of tries scored in division games (tries MUST be recorded on match report form)  
  4. Cumulative point differential of common non-division EPRU opponents in current season

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 goal line to goal line on AT LEAST ONE SIDE of field. Only touch judges and trainer will be permitted inside rope.
  4. If extenuating circumstances prevent a club from playing on a field with required minimum dimensions (see 1), the club MUST SUBMIT IN WRITING to the EPRU Women’s Collegiate Coordinator the exact dimensions of the field to be used and an explanation of the circumstances preventing the use of a larger field. The EPRU Women's Collegiate Coordinator will review the situation and make a recommendation to the EPRU Executive Committee. If the situation warrants, the club may be dropped from divisional play. This letter must be submitted no later than September 1st.
  5. Unless a waiver is granted by the EPRU Women's Collegiate Coordinator, failure to comply with the Field Requirements are grounds for protest and may result in forfeit by the offending team. See Protest Procedure

Kit Requirements

Below is only a brief outline (go to "Kit Requirements" for full details)

  1. All players must play in matching jerseys, shorts & socks whose colors AND style have been registered with the EPRU. 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. Boxer shorts CANNOT show below rugby shorts (no bike shorts). Socks must be clean and free from holes and tears.
  4. Numbers on jerseys (for the correct positions) are mandatory for all teams.
  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 Kit Requirements is grounds for protest and may result in forfeit by the offending team. See Protest Procedure 
  • Eligibility Requirements – Failure to Abide by all Requirements is subject to disciplinary action.

The NSCRO Eligibility Regulations will be in effect for ALL EPRU divisional league and playoff matches. Please read them carefully at www.nscro.org
Highlights are:

  • A college photo ID card is required and must be shown to the opposing team's captain by the player before the match begins upon request. Any player attempting to use a card other than her own will face disciplinary action. If a player does not have this proof, an alternate proof is another form of picture ID (such as a passport or driver's license) and class schedule documents. If no proof is provided, the opposing team's captain is to be asked whether or not they can play. Her decision is final and not subject to protest. 
  • The EPRU Women's Collegiate Coordinator may request team rosters at any time including verification of eligibility of players for divisional play in accordance with #7 above under Definition of Collegiate Eligibility.
  • Only Full Member Clubs in good standing may represent the EPRU in the NSCRO Collegiate Playoffs (i.e. you must be a Full Member at the time the EPRU qualifying teams are determined).

Match Requirements and Overtime

All league matches shall consist of two (2) 40 minute halves.Teams are encouraged, but not required, to play an instructional "third-half" or second match for newer or "B-side" players. Results of extra halves will not count toward Divisional Play. Make sure to finalize number of halves and game length with your opponent before game day.

If the match is tied at the end of regulation play, the match will remain tied. During playoffs, challenge matches and championships only, the following tie-breaking (overtime) procedure shall be in effect:

  • Referee will flip a coin just as he would to start a match to determine who will kickoff.
  • This will be followed by an overtime period of two (2) ten-minute halves. Teams will switch ends at the half.
  • If teams are still tied at the end of the overtime period, they will play sudden death in ten-minute periods, switching ends at the end of each period. Each new ten-minute period will begin with a kick-off at mid-field, alternating teams for the kickoff until there is a winner.
  • Minimum Number of Players
    A club must field a minimum of twelve (12) eligible players from their own roster for a divisional play match to count in the standings. Players must attend the school for which they are playing.
  • Match Dates
    Matches must be played on the dates set by the EPRU. If there are extenuating circumstances which preclude either team from playing on that set date, then a mutually agreeable alternate date AND reason for the change shall be submitted, IN WRITING, to the Women's Collegiate Coordinator for consideration. 
    NO CHANGES SHALL BE PERMITTED WITHOUT APPROVAL OF THE EPRU WOMEN'S COLLEGIATE COORDINATOR. No changes will be considered within 2 weeks of the match. 
  • Protest Procedure

The Team Captain must advise the referee BEFORE KICKOFF that her team wishes to register a protest and give the reason.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. If the circumstances are not corrected, the referee and protesting team MUST notify the Women's Collegiate Coordinator, in writing, within 48 hours of the circumstances of the protest. The protest will be reviewed by the EPRU Executive Committee and the teams involved will be notified of the Committee's decision.

Reporting Requirements – BOTH Home and Away Clubs

  • Form for reporting results are available at the EPRU website in the Forms section
  • Match report forms (with information requested) must be completed and provided to the Women's Collegiate Coordinator
  • Failure to get the report in within 24 hours following the game will result in zero points being given in the standings (see Determination of Final Standings). The match report form MUST be submitted directly from EPRU website or by email provided it contains the same information found on the website form.
  • Failure to Play Match

If a club fails to keep a division fixture for any reason, their club 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 EPRU for one year.  If, within that year, there is a second offense, the money will be forfeited to the EPRU. The EPRU will disperse monies as appropriate. Otherwise, the EPRU will return $400; $100 will be kept by the EPRU. The club will not be permitted to participate in divisional play unless the bond is paid before next year's schedule is prepared. Also see Forfeit Policy *Note* If a club fails to keep a non-divisional match, they will be subject to disciplinary actions that may include fines, probation and suspension from the EPRU.

  • Referees
    All matches are to be played under the control of a certified referee.
    If a certified referee has NOT been assigned by the East Penn Rugby Referees Society, then the home team must supply a certified referee; if the home team cannot do so, the visiting team can do so. Society referees and club referees who have received USA Rugby Referee Certification are automatically approved.
    If the assigned referee does not show, or the teams cannot find a replacement certified referee, then the match is to be re-scheduled and played before the start of the playoffs (unless the result will not have any bearing on the playoff pairings). The home team must advise the Women's Collegiate Coordinator within 24 hours of the originally scheduled match date in this matter.
  • Determination of "Bye" Weekend
    Since a number of colleges have a Fall Break or Parents Weekend during October, all college teams must identify which date, if any, they want a "bye." The club MUST submit a written request to the Women's Collegiate Coordinator no later than April 1. Requests received after April 1st will be honored only at the discretion of the Women's Collegiate Coordinator. If no date is submitted, then a date will be assigned. There is to be no appeal allowed of the assigned date. Requests are to be submitted annually as college calendars change each year.
  • Injury Substitution

Eight injury-related substitutions will be allowed per match (which includes 3 possible front row players as subs). A player leaving a game because of injury will not be allowed to return for the duration of the match.

  • Teams Not Wishing to Participate in League Play

Teams are not required to participate in divisional play or the proposed league structure. Teams that make this choice are free to schedule whomever, whenever they choose and will not participate in divisional play or playoffs or be subject to promotion or relegation. Teams wishing to not join or rejoin divisional play must make this declaration, in writing, by April 1 to the Women's Collegiate Coordinator.

The EPRU Women's Collegiate Coordinator, in agreement with the EPRU Executive Committee, reserves the right to add new teams and to adjust the divisions as it becomes necessary.