1. Series outline
1.1 In line with the objectives of the RFU’s Sevens strategy, and subsequent to the approval of the Community Game Board, it has been agreed to roll out a full domestic Sevens series which progresses from local to regional to national level in 2016, culminating in a national finals day at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 30th-31st of July.
1.2 Details of the Series:
a. The series should feature two tournaments in this first year – thus:
i. For competitive players, within an open competition which may feature club and non-club teams, but with some restrictions on eligibility to favour domestic teams. Teams within this competition will have the opportunity to progress from local to regional to national events if they are successful at each level. In the intended spirit of the competition teams competing in the GB7s series or originating from outside England are ineligible to progress onto the regional and national finals.
ii. A multi-format competition for more social or recreational players, which may be mixed or non-contact depending on demand. Teams within this competition will not progress, but will compete only within the event which they enter
b. Beside Hartpury Sevens, seven other qualifying events were selected for the South-West region which collectively serve as the qualifying phase for four regional final events, which in turn serve as a qualifying phase for national finals:
i. Within each region, qualifying events should be staged with a view to identifying teams in the open tournament to progress to the regional final events
ii. All qualifying events will be completed at least a week before their respective regional finals
iii. In the event of a team qualifying from more than one sevens event the first qualifying event in order of date will be the event that they qualify from
iv. In the case of point iii. The team placed second in the later qualifying event will be invited to qualify
v. In the event that a team does not wish to take up its qualifying place the team placed second will be offered the qualifying place
c. Regional events will be staged at a club venue, and organised and managed by a PDO with the support of the Area delivery team:
The regional final for South West will be staged on 9 and 10th July in Exeter
d. Each of the four regional events will produce two teams from the open tournament to go forward to the national finals, which will be staged at the Ricoh Arena on 31st July:
i. There is an option to engage an event management company to deliver this event on the RFU’s behalf, depending on available human resource
ii. The national finals will be staged on the weekend of 30 and 31 July 2016
2.1.1 For two tiers of competition:
a. Tier 1 – an open competition for adult male players
b. Tier 2 – a social competition which will be played in different formats, depending on demand
a. Tier 1 competition
2.1.2 All matches will be played in accordance with World Rugby Laws of the Game, as modified to govern 7-a-side rugby.
2.1.3 All matches will be of 15 minutes’ duration, that is, seven minutes each way with one minute for half-time.
2.1.4 Teams will be allocated into pools by means of a random draw, although Event Managers may seed teams if there is sufficient information on which to base the seedings. Teams will play each other team within their pool and, depending on the number of teams within the tournament, may also play teams from other pools in order to provide each team with an even number of matches.
2.1.5 Each team will be awarded points within their pool as follows:
a. 4 points for a win
b. 2 points for a draw
c. 1 bonus point for scoring four tries or more
d. 1 bonus point for a losing margin of 7 points or less
2.1.6 If on completion of the pool matches two or more teams have the same number of points, precedence shall be determined on the following basis:
a. The team or teams with the most wins shall have the higher standing;
b. If still unresolved, the team or teams with the highest points difference (that is, the difference between points scored and points conceded) shall have the higher standing;
c. If still unresolved, the team or teams which scored the most tries shall have the higher standing;
d. If still unresolved, then head-to-head results will determine the higher standing;
e. If still unresolved, the toss of a coin will determine the higher standing.
2.1.7 If scores are equal at the end of a quarter-final or semi-final, the winner shall be the team which scored the most tries. If still unresolved, the winner shall be the team which scored the first try. If no tries have been scored, the winner shall be determined by the toss of a coin.
2.1.8 If scores are equal at the end of the final, extra-time shall be played consisting in the first instance of two halves of five minutes each. The first team to score points in extra-time shall be deemed the winner. In the event that neither team has scored within this first period of extra-time, an additional period shall be played and shall continue until one team scores.
2.1.9 A team may replace a player during a match as long as it is done through the referee. Rolling substitutions apply with no limit on the number of substitutions allowed.
2.1.10 A team which is unable to field seven players and five reserves in any given match because of injury or illness may “borrow” players from another team, on condition that:
a. The other team has already been eliminated from the tournament;
b. The permission of the Event Manager has been secured;
c. A team’s registered players must be selected to play ahead of any “borrowed” player, as long as they are fit to do so;
d. Any player who has been replaced by a “borrowed” player may take no further part in the tournament;
e. Once a player has been “borrowed” by a team, he may not be “borrowed” by another team;
f. Only players who have been registered to play in the tournament as part of a team may be “borrowed” by another team.
2.1.11 A yellow-card offence will result in a player spending two minutes in the sin bin.
2.1.12 A disciplinary panel should be available to adjudicate any disciplinary matters arising from a player or players sent from the field of play during a match, immediately after the end of that match. The panel will be convened by the Event Manager, and will comprise three independent persons of appropriate standing, knowledge and experience:
a. The panel will have power to suspend a player for one or more matches within the tournament;
b. The decisions of this panel will be binding, and not subject to appeal;
c. A player who has been sent from the field of play during a match may not play again within the tournament until the disciplinary panel has considered their case.
2.1.13 The disciplinary panel may at its discretion elect to defer any matter arising to be dealt with at a later date by the Disciplinary Committee of the host CB. In this event, the player concerned may not take any further part in the tournament, and cannot be replaced.
2.1.14 Any match which is abandoned by the referee due to indiscipline should be referred to the disciplinary panel, who will have power to expel one or both teams from the tournament, and to refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee of the host CB.
2.1.15 Any disciplinary matter arising from the tournament which is not concerned with actions on the field of play should be dealt with at a later date by the Disciplinary Committee of the host CB.
2.1.16 In the event of any dispute arising as to the meaning or interpretation of the tournament regulations, or any contingency arising which is not covered by the regulations, a ruling shall be given by the Event Manager and that ruling shall be final.
ii. Eligibility and registration
2.2.1 The tournament is an open-entry event, subject to the following:
a. Each team should have a minimum of seven and a maximum of 12 players at each event;
b. No team may register more than 25 players across the series. That is to say, a team may register different players for each phase of the series, subject to a maximum of 25;
c. A player may be registered for more than one team within the series, on condition that:
i. The team or teams with whom he previously registered are eliminated from the series, and
ii. No team registers more than 25 players across the series as a whole;
d. No male player may be registered to play who has not had his 17th birthday prior to the day on which the event is staged. Any player aged 17 must produce evidence of parental permission before he is allowed to play in the event.
e. For women’s competitions no female player may be registered to play who has not had her 18th birthday prior to the day on which the event is staged.
f. No team in any one event may include more than two players whose normal place of residence is outside the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and/or the Channel Islands;
g. No player who is currently serving a suspension from any sport as a result of a disciplinary or anti-doping violation will be permitted to play in any event.
2.2.2 In order to enter a tournament, each team will be required to provide the following information through registration:
a. A team name, which may or may not reflect representation of a current RFU member club;
b. The full name, date of birth, and usual place of residence, of each player;
c. The RFU member club with which each player is registered, where applicable;
d. The colours in which it intends to play;
e. The shirt number which each player will wear.
2.2.3 Registration for events will be administered through the organising committee of that event
2.2.4 Each team will be responsible for meeting its costs for participating in the event, including but not limited to entry fees, travel expenses, accommodation where required, kit and equipment.
2.2.5 Events and teams will be covered through the RFU’s standard insurance policies, copies of which will be made available to Event Managers and teams on request. The RFU will not be liable for any act or omission by any event or team which does not take account of the limitations of the cover provided.
Please contact us for any other questions.