HSBC Rugby Festival Dubai 2019 Full Rules and Game Variations

1. Squad Details.

The maximum numbers in each team and squad and the number of minutes each half are as shown in the table below. No player may represent more than one team throughout the tournament, even if within the same Age Group, without the approval of the Tournament Directors. Players must have been under the age of the Age Group as at midnight of 31 August 2018, with the exception of the U19 Girls and U19 Boys Competitions where the Age Grade cut-off is 31 December 2017.

Players may play up age groups in accordance with the UAERF Schools and Youth Regulations. Players must be at least five years old to play in this tournament. Mixed gender teams are allowed up to Under 12. The U13, U14, U16 and U19 Boys teams must consist of male players only, unless a UAE RF sanction has been provided to an U15 female player. The U12, U15 and U19 Girls competitions must consist of female players only.

Players may not play in a lower age group.

For U10 and above, the maximum number of players in the squad, as set out in the table below, applies to the whole Tournament. In the event of injury, changes in the squad may only be made with the approval of the Tournament Directors.

For U10s and above and the Girls U12, U15 and U19, squads are not permitted to be changed during the tournament without the approval of the Tournament Directors. The maximum number of players in the squad, as set out in the table below, applies to the whole Tournament. In the event of injury, changes in the squad may only be made with the approval of the Tournament Directors.

For Under 9 and below, the squad size applies to each match only. The coach must nominate the squad for the relevant match and use players from the nominated squad during that match. For subsequent matches the coach may nominate a different squad from a greater pool of players, but players must only play in that one squad.

Whilst this is very much an inter-Club competition, and the games should be competitively contested, Coaches and Managers are obliged to honour the “spirit of rugby” in their team selections.

If, in the opinion of the Tournament Directors, there has been intentional abuse of the squad system, the Tournament Directors may award a walk-over to the opposition team for that match.

Age Group Max No of Players in Team Max No of Players in Squad Mins / Half
Girls Division
U19 7 12 7
U15 7 12 7
U12 7 12 7
Youth Division
U19 10 15 7
U16 10 15 7
U14 10 15 7
U13 10 15 7
Midi Division
U12 15 22 10
U11 12 18 7
U10 10 15 7
U9 7 12 7
Mini Division
U8 7 12 5
U7 7 12 5
U6 7 10 5

Games may be played with a smaller number of players in a team only by mutual agreement of the head coach of each of the playing sides. In the event of a disagreement a Tournament Director can be consulted and his decision and ruling on the matter will be final.

Rolling substitutes will be permitted for all age-groups to ensure the maximum number of players participate in the Tournament.

2. Tournament Day Registration.

On each day of the Tournament, each Lead coach or Team Manager is required to register at the Pitch Manager’s desk, pitch side, at least half an hour before that team’s first game. Variations to this may be made at the discretion of a Tournament Director to accommodate travel requirements. All Head Coaches / Team Managers are requested to have direct access to their players’ passports (pdf / electronic copies will be accepted) for the purpose of age grade verification. In the event of any dispute over a player’s age, a Tournament Director can insist that the passport of the player in question is presented. In the absence of a passport or appropriate passport copy, the matter can be referred to the Tournament Directors whose decision on this matter shall be final.

3. Match Registration.

Coaches and / or managers, team captains and assigned Referees must register at the Pitch Marshal’s tent in the relevant playing area at least seven minutes before each game. The toss to decide kick-off and pitch ends must be performed before the end of the previous match.

4. Match Results.

Each Referee should sign and give the result slip for the match to the Pitch Marshal’s Tent in the relevant playing area. These will be collected and retained at the tournament registration office. In the event of a dispute over the result of a match, the referee’s decision, having consulted the result slip, will be final. .

5. Pool Stage – Tournament Tables.

Tournament Points will be awarded as follows:

  • 4 points for a win or a walk-over*
  • 2 points for a draw
  • 0 point for a loss
  • 0 points for not showing

(*) In the event of a walk-over, the score will be deemed to be 50-0 in favour of the side that was ready to play.

Each team is responsible to be ready to play according to the match schedule for each year group. The Pitch Manager shall have discretion to forfeit a game where a team is more than five minutes late, in which case a walkover shall be awarded to the opposite team.

Where any teams are equal on points after the pool stage, the final position shall be determined as follows:

  • First by way of count back. This means the team that won the pool game between the tied teams shall be ranked higher. Note: This shall not be used to resolve a tie between more than two teams. In the event that the tie remains unsolved by count back, then:
  • The margin of points scored for and against a team in all pool matches shall be considered. The teams with the higher positive point difference shall be ranked higher in the pool table. In the event that the tie still remains unsolved then;
  • The team that scores the most points in all pool matches shall be ranked higher in the pool table. In the event that the tie still remains unsolved then;
  • The team that concedes the least points in all pool matches shall be ranked higher in the pool table. In the event that the tie still remains unresolved then;
  • The winner will be decided by the toss of a coin between the Managers of the teams concerned.

Where the play-off draw considers rankings from the pool stage (i.e. the team placed 2nd,3rd, 4th etc. in the pools), the Tournament Points achieved in the pool stage will determine their positions. In the event that there is a tie then;

  • The team with the highest margin of points scored for and against all teams in the pool stage will be ranked ahead of the other team. In the event that the tie remains unresolved then we will follow the same route as above.
6. Play-Off Stages.

Extra time will only be played in the play-off stages and the result will be determined by a “Golden Point” in two periods of three minutes. The team that kicked /passed off the match will kick/pass off at the start of the first period. In the event of there being no score during two periods of the extra time, one player is removed from each side every minute until such time as a try is scored by the winning side.

7. Medals and Trophies.

Participation Medals will only be presented to Age Groups up until and including U9s. Relevant trophies and medals shall be awarded to winners and runners-up immediately following that Age Group’s cup final in the presentation area.

8. Referees and Match Officials.

For the Boys U13, U14, U16 and U19s and the Girls U15 and U19 match referees will appointed from the UAE Rugby Referees Society (UAERRS). For the U6 to U12 and the Girls U12, match referees will be appointed from either Men’s Section players of the two hosting clubs or a volunteer from a neutral club in that age group. All teams in the U6 to U12 and the Girls U12 age groups are required to nominate and provide at least one volunteer referee for each team entered in the Tournament. All referees are asked to complete and sign a result slip and give it to a pitch marshal immediately after the match is completed. (See 5 above). All teams must provide one line judge for each match that they play.

9. Rules of the game

The Laws of Rugby Union will be played in accordance with the UAERF School and Youth Law Variations. These are included on the Tournament website.

10. Penalty goals, drop goals and / or conversions

There will be no penalty goals, drop goals or conversions allowed for any matches for the U6 to U11 age groups inclusive. Conversions will be allowed and counted only if goal posts are available for the U12 age group. These will be scored by drop kick in front of the posts only. Drop goals, penalty goals and conversions will be allowed if goal posts are available for U13 and above. All penalty and conversion kicks must be taken by a Drop Kick.

There will be no penalty goals, drop goals or conversions allowed for any matches for the Girls U12 and U15 age groups.

11. TAG Rugby rules

These apply to age groups U7 to U8 age groups inclusive.

All tags used must be a minimum of 38 cm in length by 5 cm in width. They should be made of a flexible plastic or plastic/canvas material. Colours should be chosen so that they stand out against the player’s strip e.g. teams with blue shirts or shorts should not use blue tags.

The Velcro strip on the tag shall be a maximum of 50mm wide (tag minimum width 5 cm) and 25 mm in length (tag minimum length 380 mm) as per UAERF requirements.

If tags do not conform to the required specification then the team must borrow Tournament compliant tags. If tags are found to be non-compliant during or after the game has been played, the offending team will forfeit that result.

Please refer to the tournament TAG rules and UAE RF Schools and Youth Law Variations

12. Quick Rip (U8 and U12 Girls)

The U8 and U12 Girls Competition will be played according to the UAE Quick Rip Rugby 7’s rules, which are available on the Tournament website and by following the link below.

These can be found on the UAE Rugby website Resources, Regulations section (http://uaerugby.ae/Page.aspx?id=38)

13. Touch Rugby (U15 Girls)

The U15 Girls Touch Rugby Competition will be played according to the Federation of International Touch Playing Rules.

These can be found on the Federations website (www.internationaltouch.org).

14. Disciplinary matters

Any U13 – U19 and Girls U19 player given a red card by the Referee will be subject to disciplinary proceedings as required by the UAERF, and the rules and regulations of World Rugby. Every attempt will be made to ensure any disciplinary hearings are held as soon as practicable and if of a low level nature, as determined by the Tournament Directors, will be held within the Tournament. Based on the seriousness of the red card offence the Tournament Directors may defer deciding the matter and refer it to a fully convened Judicial Panel. A player who has been red carded cannot play again in the Tournament until a hearing has been held.

Any U13 – U19 and Girls U19 players receiving a yellow card will be required to stand behind their opponent’s posts for a period not less than two minutes of actual play. Any player receiving 3 or more yellow cards during the Tournament will be required to attend a disciplinary hearing before they play again in the Tournament.

Any disciplinary hearing will be held as soon as practicable on the day of the Tournament and be comprised of either the UAERF judicial officer or, in their absence, the Tournament Directors or people appointed by the Tournament Directors as being competent to undertake a hearing on behalf of the Tournament.

Any U12 players and below may not be sin-binned but may be sent off, for serious or repeated infringements of the rules. This player must remain off for the duration of the match but the player may be replaced (i.e. the team can still play with a full squad). In the unlikely event of such an occurrence, the coach should ensure that the player fully understands what the offence was. A player sent off for a second time during the tournament shall be referred to the Tournament Directors prior to playing another game.

15. Substitutions

“Rolling” substitutions are allowed, in all competitions, from the nominated squad.

Approval from the referee for substitutions is required.

15. Equipment and liability

Each team is to supply its own rugby balls for practice. Match balls only will be provided by the pitch marshals.

Rugby is a contact sport and from time to time injuries occur. The Dubai Exiles Rugby Football Club, and the Dubai Hurricanes Rugby Football Club and their owners, management, officers and members accept no liability whatsoever for any accident resulting at the Tournament. Players’ parents / guardians must ensure their families have adequate and effective medical and other insurance. Players should safeguard all their clothes, valuables and other belongings at all times.

Coaches and spectators are also responsible for their belongings. The Dubai Exiles Rugby Football Club, and the Dubai Hurricanes Rugby Football Club and their owners, management, officers and members accept no liability whatsoever for any loss or theft.

17. Code of conduct for Players and Parents

The referee’s decision on the pitch shall be final.

The Tournament Directors decision on all other interpretation and application of these Tournament rules shall, save in the case of manifest error, be final.

Everyone must respect the Laws of the Game.

Each team is responsible for their, players, coach and spectators.

Neither players nor spectators should abuse, threaten or intimidate a referee, assistant referee, other match official or a selector, coach, manager or player of an opposing team, whether on or off the field.

No crude language or gestures or intimidation should be used towards a referee, assistant referee, match official or spectators.

All players, coaches and spectators should not show any unnecessary obvious dissension, displeasure or disapproval towards a referee, assistant referee or match official.

Coaches and Team Managers should maintain control of their own supporters and remind them of the code of conduct and that it is only a game and that the referees’ decision is final.

Sanction: The referee, after two official warnings to the Coach of the offending team playing the match (irrespective of whether the offence is from a spectator, parent, coach or another player from another squad of that Club) shall forfeit the game to the non-offending team. This shall be supported without exception by the Tournament Directors.