Midwest Rugby Football Union

2017 Midwest RFU

Rugby 7s Qualifier Series

Responsibilities, Regulations and Hosting Application

Preface

The purpose of this document is to detail the regulations and guidelines governing the Midwest Rugby Football Union (RFU) 7s Qualifier Series and outline the responsibilities of event organizers hosting Qualifier events. An application also IS included for event organizers who wish to host a Qualifier event.

Please note that changes in this document from last year are highlighted in bold and italicized typeface.

Mission

To grow the sport of Rugby Sevens in quality, image and awareness on par with the Fifteens version of the sport and to identify the very best teams in the Midwest Competitive Region (MCR) to qualify for the USA Rugby National Sevens Championship.

Background

The MCR 7s Qualifier Series is an elite competition formed in 2012 through a collaboration between the Midwest RFU, the Midwest Rugby Referee Society and the collective efforts of rugby sevens events across the Midwest Territorial Union. In its inaugural year, four Men’s Qualifiers and three Women’s Qualifiers were held.

Men’s and Women’s Qualifier Series

The 2017 Men’s and Women’s series will be comprised of three (3) Qualifier Tournament (also referred to as “Events”) and one MWRFU Championship Tournament (or “Event”). Men’s and Women’s Events will be held together on the same weekends and at the same locations. The locations will be spread across the MCR geographically to help balance the travel distances for competing Clubs throughout the summer. The Event locations will be determined through a bid process (described below).

 The Qualifier Tournaments are held for the expressed purpose of providing MWRFU Member Clubs the opportunity to compete at the highest level of play possible throughout the summer, to develop and identify the most competitive sides, which will represent the MCR at the USAR National 7s Championship. The final standings of each Event will result in the awarding of Series points. The accumulated points throughout the Series will determine the seeding for the MCR Championship 7s Tournament (described below).  Clubs may enter more than one side in the Qualifier Events (in either Men’s and Women’s competitions, or both). However, Clubs may NOT have more than one Men’s side in the MCR Championship Event. Likewise, Clubs may NOT have more than one Women’s side in the MCR Championship Event. Clubs MAY have one Men’s and one Women’s side qualified and entered in the MCR Championship Event.

Contacts

Coordinators - The following people will coordinate the Midwest RFU Rugby Sevens Qualifiers:

     Women’s Qualifiers – Dawn McKenzie - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     Men’s Qualifiers - Justin Rutledge - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Responsibilities

The host of each MCRQualifier event agrees to:

1.    Abide by and implement the Regulations described below.

2.    Maintain records of the participating teams - including CIPP numbers - for a minimum of one year.

3.    Accommodate the Midwest RFU referees and the Midwest referee coordinator who will assign referees in all matches for the Qualifier bracket.

4.    Report the full scores of each and every Qualifier match in real time through social media and using an online spreadsheet provided by the Midwest RFU Sevens Coordinator. All scores will be entered within one hour of the Championship Match.

Regulations & Eligibility

All matches in the Qualifier Series will be held in accordance with the Laws of the Game - as specified by the International Rugby Board - as well as any and all applicable guidelines set forth by USA Rugby and the MCR, including USA Rugby Eligibility Requirements as described at the following link: www.usarugby.org/eligibility

Teams should bring a printed CIPP roster to the qualifier and then simply name and abide by their 12-player roster on-site before their first match.

Competition Details

Each of the events selected as a Qualifier host will organize an elite bracket in which the Men’s and/or Women’s teams will compete for a chance to represent the Midwest RFU in a National Championship.

The Qualifier Bracket will exhibit the following characteristics and restrictions:

1.    Each leg of the series will be held in the Midwest Territory between June and late July.

2.     It will consist of the following three rounds of play - Seeding, Playoff and Championship - as described below.

3.    The Top Eight teams are guaranteed five matches on each leg of the series, barring unforeseen forfeits or a lack of an appropriate number of teams (i.e. if only five teams registered for the event, one team may only get three matches).

4.    All teams are guaranteed four matches on each leg of the series, barring unforeseen forfeits or a lack of appropriate number of teams (i.e. if only five teams registered for the event, one team may only get three matches).

5.    Men’s teams not eligible for National Championships (i.e. from outside the region or teams with ineligible players) are not permitted in the Qualifier Bracket. This restriction does not yet apply to Women’s Qualifier brackets.

6.    Pre-event entry fees for the Qualifier Bracket must not exceed $300, not including any applicable handling fees.

7.    Registration for each leg of the series will remain open until one week prior to the event. After this time, registration may be closed at the discretion of the event organizer.

8.    Teams will be given at least 40 minutes or more between matches, barring extenuating circumstances that cause significant delays such as lightning or serious injury.

9.    Event organizers are free to set the start time but once the Qualifier matches begin all efforts must be made to complete all the matches in seven hours or less, barring extenuating circumstances that cause significant delays such as lightning or serious injury.

Seeding Round Teams in the seeding round will be seeded in advance by the MCR. Based first upon the current standings, brackets of four teams will be created, with the first bracket containing the first-seeded team, the second bracket containing the second-seeded team and so on. When one team has been assigned to each bracket, the remaining seeds will be assigned to each bracket  by the MCR through a random draw. The drawing will ideally will occur the weekend prior to the tournament. But it shall be done no later than by the Wednesday prior to the tournament.

In the event the number of teams does not allow for four brackets of four teams, the MCR will still be responsible for randomly seeding the teams into brackets using a standard template approved by the MWFU prior to the start of the Series. Furthermore the MCR has a bracket template for six, 10, 12 and 14 team events.

Matches in the Seeding round will consist of two seven-minute halves and a two-minute halftime. Each team will play three matches in the seeding round - barring unforeseen forfeits, ideally in four four-team brackets. In each group, a team plays a single match against each of the other teams in the brackets. Tie-breakers will not be played for any draws in the Seeding round and forfeits will automatically be assigned a score of 28-0 - four converted tries - in favor of the team that does not forfeit.

Playoff Round

The results of the Seeding Matches will be used to rank the teams, and those top eight teams with the best records will advance to the Playoff round. At most, eight teams will advance to the Playoff round. The top four teams will comprise the Cup division and the remaining teams will comprise the Plate division.

 In the event of a tie when ranking TWO OR MORE TEAMS  for the Playoff round,. The tie will be broken by applying the following Tie Breakers, IN SEQUENCE UNTIL the tie (s) is (are) broken for ALL teams originally involved in the tie or ties and the corresponding seeds are awarded:  Record, Head-to-Head, Tries Scored, Points Scored, Try Differential, Point Differential, Penalty Kicks and Coin Toss.

Matches in the Playoff round will consist of two seven-minute halves and a two-minute halftime. In the Cup Division, the first-ranked team will play the fourth-ranked team. Similarly, the second-ranked team will play the third-ranked team. Similar match-ups will be played in the Plate Division - fifth plays eighth and sixth plays seventh. In case of a drawn match in the Playoff round at the end of regulation time, the teams will compete in a “sudden death” overtime to determine the winner. Sudden death periods in the Playoff round - Cup and Plate divisions - will be five minutes in duration with a two-minute break. These periods will continue until a team scores.

Consolation Round

Teams that do not advance to the Playoff Round will play a single consolation match based upon their performance in the Seeding Round. If 12 teams participated, for example, two consolation matches would be played with the 9th ranked team playing the 10th ranked teams and the 11th ranked team playing the 12th ranked team.  

Players are required to play consolation matches, if offered, or be subject to USTA NorCal Point Penalty Suspension System. Tournaments must post information about consolation draws to the tournament web page.

Sides are required to participate in consolation matches, unless a medical, or inclement weather, waiver is granted by the tournament director. Failure to participate in consolation round matches without a waiver will be result in the following sanctions:

1.    First time offense: subtraction of all qualifier points for the respective event

2.    Second time offense: suspended from qualifier participation

Tournament directors should annotate clubs forfeiting consolation participation in their qualifier report.

Championship Round

In the Championship round, the Playoff round winners in the Cup Division compete for the Cup Championship and Cup Runners-Up. The Playoff round losers of the Cup division will play a consolation match to determine third and fourth place.

Similarly, the Playoff round winners of the Plate division will compete for fifth and sixth place and the losers will compete for seventh and eighth place.

Matches in the Championship round will consist of two seven-minute halves with a two-minute halftime, except for the Cup Championship inal, which will be ten minutes long. In case of a tie in the final round of the Cup or Plate finals at the end of regulation time, the teams will compete in “sudden death” overtime to determine the winner. Sudden death periods will be five minutes in duration with a one-minute break. These periods will continue until a team scores.

Series Points and Advancement to Nationals

Teams will be selected for the MCR Championships based on points accumulated at each event as follows:

1.    At each event, points will be awarded to teams in the Qualifier bracket based on a team places in the tournament as follows:

a.    First place - 12 points

b.    Second place - 11 points

c.    Third place - 10 points

d.    Fourth place - 9 points

e.    Fifth place - 8 points

f.     Sixth place - 7 points

g.    Seventh place - 6 points

h.    Eighth place - 5 points

i.      Ninth place and below - 2 points

 2.            Any forfeits by teams in any round will result in a two-point penalty for each forfeited match. The top four teams from the East and the top four teams from the West Qualifier Groups will compete in a MWRFU Championship Tournament to determine the Teams which will advance to the National Championships

“Golden Ticket”:

If a club finishes in first place in each of the respective qualifying tournaments, it will automatically qualify for the USAR National Championship.  The MCR Championship Tournament shall be held then to identify the second qualifier from the region.

Please note that National Championships are organized by USA Rugby. As such, the number of teams advancing to the National playoff from each territorial or geographical union is determined by USA Rugby. Historically, two men’s and two women’s teams advance to National from the Midwest RFU.

Series Tiebreaker

In the event of a tie when ranking TWO OR MORE TEAMS for the MCR Championship,. The tie will be broken by applying the following Tie Breakers, IN SEQUENCE UNTIL the tie (s) is (are) broken for ALL teams originally involved in the tie or ties and the corresponding seeds are awarded:  Record, Head-to-Head, Tries Scored, Points Scored, Try Differential, Point Differential, Penalty Kicks and Coin Toss.

Field and Playing Surface

A standardized playing area at each event is critical for a successful Qualifier event. Thus, all fields and playing surfaces will conform to the following specifications:

1.    Minimum pitch size: 60 meters by 90 meters, plus two additional 10-meter in-goal areas. The pitch MAY NOT exceed 70 meters by 100 meters with 22-meter in-goal areas.

2.    Permanent or sturdy goal posts with the following minimum dimensions:

a.    5.6 meters wide

b.    Crossbar 3 meters high

c.    Total height of 3.4 meters

3.    IRB-standard goal post pads or equivalent

4.    Clearly lined fields - using chalk or paint

5.    Flags marking the main lines

6.    Ropes and/or spectator barriers along the sidelines

Medical and Safety

Maintaining the safety of all participants - players, spectators, match officials, etc. - is of paramount importance. Event organizers will endeavor to reduce the likelihood of serious injury by implementing the following safety measures:

1.    A dedicated, covered medical area with a medical table and at least one trainer. This may be a centralized location or provided at each field as appropriate for the size of the event. Trainers must be available one hour prior to the first match and one half hour after the final match. Please note that each participating team is also expected to provide a trainer for initial medical evaluation and treatment during matches.

2.    A dedicated, on-call ambulance with a maximum response time of ten minutes. The direct telephone number for the ambulance service must be provided in advance to all participants (i.e. in the event program or via e-mail) unless an ambulance is maintained on-site throughout the entire event.

3.    Tape and ice must be available in the Medical Area at all times.

 Concessions and Vendors

Food and water must be available to purchase throughout the event. We also recommend that events organize an area for vendors. In addition, ice and water must be available without cost to all Qualifier referees.

The Midwest RFU reserves the right to promote the Qualifier Series at each event using a tent/booth, flyers, apparel and other promotional materials. Event organizers and the Midwest RFU will work together to avoid conflicts of interest in regard to free or commercial promotional items.

Referees

Referees for all matches in the Qualifier Series will be provided by the Midwest Rugby Referee Society.

Event organizers will compensate these referees immediately after play has completed for the event as follows:

1.    $25 per match for the referee

2.    $10 per match for assistant referees

3.    $5 per match for end goal judges

The Midwest Rugby Referee Society will send a match assignor to each event to assign referees as follows:

1.    One referee for each match in the Seeding round

2.    One referee for each match in the Playoff round

3.    One referee and two assistant referees for each match in the Championship round. Two end-goal judges may also be assigned at the discretion of the assignor.

Event organizers are not responsible for any travel costs for these referees and are not responsible for assigning “warm up matches” for referees in other brackets outside of the Qualifier series, though they are free to do so at their discretion.

Bid Process

Bids to host the Men’s and Women’s Qualifier Series will be accepted electronically through April 8. Venues decisions will be determined by the MWRFU Competitions Committee. A Qualifier Event and the MCR Championship Tournament MAY be held in conjunction with another USAR-sanctioned Tournament. However, during the course of play for the Qualifier Event, the host Club must designate and reserve a minimum of two (2) pitches to be used exclusively for the Qualifier Event. No other competitive play shall take place on those designated pitches until the conclusion of the Qualifier or Championship Event.

Event organizers for winning bids will be invoiced $200 and checks should be made payable to the Midwest Rugby Union.