Florida Youth Rugby – U15 to U19 Rules & Regulations

Click Here to download the U15 to U19 Regulations

Other Useful Links

Boys & Girls U15 to U19
Rules & Regulations

Rules of Play

  1. Rules of play shall be as specified by the WORLD RUGBY LAWS OF THE GAME except as modified by USA Rugby and/or the Florida Youth Rugby Union.  Any inter-club game shall abide by the “World Rugby Laws of the Game” along with any modification or specifically published Rules and Regulations.
  2. Only 23 players are eligible to be on the “Game Day Roster” for the Varsity League Games. Therefore only 23 players are eligible to play in the game. Exception when the Development Rule enacted (points differential reaches +25 and both coaches agree that match score is officially taken). If the Development Rule is enacted each team can use more than original roster of 23 players. All players, including any extra players, must be documented, registered, eligible and are notified to the opposing coach.
  3. Follow the World Rugby Laws of the game with regards to injury and substitutions.
  4. When 23 players are nominated in a team there must be sufficient front row players to play at hooker, tight-head prop and loose-head prop who are suitably trained and experienced to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement in any front row position is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums. Uncontested scrums are ordered as a result of there being no suitably trained and experienced front row replacement for any reason, the team concerned shall not be entitled to replace the player whose departure caused uncontested scrums.
  5. A minimum of thirteen (13) players for a team playing fifteen (15) a-side, five (5) for a team playing seven (7) a-side, shall constitute a team for game purposes.   
  6. The Development Rule; When a game reaches a points differential of +25 the losing coach can request that the referee and opposing coach enact the Development Rule. The winning coach or the referee cannot request to enact the Development Rule. Once both coaches agree, the match score will be taken at the time of enacting the Development Rule  and will be used as the final match score. The game can continue with a Development Focus. Allowing both teams to use rolling substitutions upon until 12 total substitutions, players replaced through injury are not allowed to return to the match, teams can use more 23 players as long as any extra players are documented, USA Rugby registered, High School eligible and are notified to the opposing coach. Please note in spirit of this rule dominate players are not to be used in a rolling sub capacity.
  7. The maximum points differential that one team can achieve in match is +/- 25, this is to stop point chasing and allow for the development rule to be enacted and/or better player development of team.
  8. It shall be mandatory to play a regularly scheduled game, unless the opposing club accepts valid reason for non-appearance.  Notification of non-appearance MUST be given to the opposing Club Coach at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled match time.  It shall be the responsibility of the home team, in any case, to notify the club and the FYRU Referee Assignor, and/or the referee of a game cancellation (and reschedule, also). Any rescheduled FYRU-assigned games are subject to any rescheduling costs to be paid by Club whose team requests the change.
  9. In the case of postponed games, the rescheduling will occur by agreement of both clubs and coordinated with the FYRU Executive Director.
  10. Coaches, spectators, or any other officials SHALL NOT enter the field of play, unless requested by the referee.  Coaches or Medical Trainers may only enter the field of play to attend to an injured player without the referee’s permission.  Assistant Referees, spectators, or reserve players can only enter the field of play with the referee’s permission at a stoppage in play.  
  11. The USA Rugby requires all coaching staff and players to stand behind the crowd restraints.  If a coach (head or assistant) is nominated as the designated assistant referee, he/she may not make any comments to their team or to the Referee while executing this role. It highly recommended that no coach is used as the assistant referee.
  12. If the crowd restraints (e.g., restraining ropes) are insufficient for the purpose of keeping the crowd from the Playing Area and interfering with the Match Officials, the Referee should instruct the Match Organizer (home team organizers) the game will not start until sufficient arrangements have been made.  Crown restraints must be at least 5 yards from sideline of the field.  
  13. In the event that coaches take the field without the permission of the Referee, the Referee is required to report the incident to the Discipline Chair of the FYRU.
  14. In the event that any non-playing person enters the Field of Play and touches a player of the opposing team that person should be dismissed from the Playing Enclosure immediately and the Referee is required to report the incident to the Discipline Chair of the FYRU.
  15. In the event that a person directs verbal or physical abuse at a Match Official, that person shall be required by the Referee to leave the Playing Enclosure and the Referee must report the incident to the Discipline Chair of the FYRU. These guidelines are to make sure that the Referee is covered for liability purposes
  16. If the coach is ejected from the game then the assistant coach may direct the team. If the assistant coach or coaches are also ejected (or if there are no assistants) then the team will forfeit the game with a score of 25-0.  A game report is mandatory for the referee to file with the disciplinary committee within 48 hours of the end of play.


Home Field Team Responsibilities

  1. The designated home team will be responsible for the condition of the fields and equipment (including goal posts, flags, and personnel barriers/ropes) and proper field markings.
  2. Goal posts, goal post pads, flags, and barriers are required for all games. Clubs are responsible to periodically inspect the condition of the field and goalposts.
  3. All goals must be securely attached to the ground to prevent goals from tipping over or collapsing.
  4. Home team coaches are responsible to insure that there are no conflicts in jersey colors with the visiting team.  In event of conflict, home team must change jersey, subject to referee approval.
  5. Clubs are responsible for ensuring that teams, coaches, fans and spectators conduct themselves in a proper and respectful manner.
  6. When assigned referees show up for a scheduled match, and for whatever reason the game is not played, referees will still be paid their fee.
  7. The Home must a trained and designated medical person on site before any match can begin. Please referrer to FYRU Medical Policy for more information.  
  8. Referees assigned to competition games by the FRRA referee assignor must be notified no later than three days prior to the scheduled match.  The home team coach will convey directions and confirm kick-off time. The referee will be re-assigned to another game if not contacted by the home team coach within three days of scheduled game day.
  9. It is highly recommended, in the spirit of the rugby tradition, a post-game social involving both teams, parents, spectators, coaches, and officials be coordinated by the home team.


Field and Game Management Requirements

  1. Player substitutes must remain on the bench and behind the ropes, while the game is in progress.
  2. Coaches, spectators, or any other officials, SHALL NOT enter the field of play, unless requested by the referee.  The exception: Coaches or trainers may enter the field of play in the event of injury, to attend to the injured player.  
  3. Non-players may enter the field of play during water breaks only to hydrate the players at a stoppage in play, and only with the referee’s permission.   
  4. Coaches, players, or spectators may not utilize mechanical devices at any time, such as voice amplifiers.
  5. Coaches, players, or spectators, shall NOT use profanity or make insulting or otherwise derogatory remarks or gestures directed to their own team, the opposing team, the referee, or the spectators.
  6. Coaches, players, or player substitutes, shall not, by their remarks or gestures in any manner incite disruptive behavior.
  7. Coaches, players, or spectators, violating the above rules, will be subject to ejection from the game, as well as further disciplinary action deemed appropriate by the individual club and/or the FYRU Board.
  8. Coaches and Captains will be asked by the referee to control his/her teams spectators – when out of control – otherwise the game may be terminated.

Game Delay, Cancellations and Forfeits

  1. Any team delaying the start of a scheduled game more than 25 minutes without required notification and permission from the other Club, shall forfeit the game to the opponent by a score of 25-0.  
  2. In the event both teams fail to appear for a scheduled game (within the 25 minute grace period) without required notification and permission from the proper authority, and the referee rules the ground playable, then both teams will be assessed with a loss.  This will be recorded as a double forfeit.
  3. Notification of a game time change must be given to the assigned referee and the FYRU Executive Director.
  4. In the event of a forfeited game, then the referee must cite the reason for the forfeit and then forward a report to the FYRU Executive Director within 24 hours of the game.

Game Termination

In the event a game is terminated, the FYRU Executive Director has the discretionary power to require that the game be replayed in its entirety.  The Executive Director reserves the right to set the time and place of replayed games and to assign officials thereto.  Games terminated by the referee for inclement weather conditions will be deemed official and complete if half of the game has been completed.


Tie Breaking Sequence for Conference Standing

  1. Best Won/Lost/Tie Record (Based on winning percentage when teams end up playing a different number of conference matches) or competition points when teams have the same conference matches
  2. Which Team Won in Head-to-Head Competition
  3. Fewest Points Allowed per Conference match played (in case there is a difference in the number of Conference matches played)
  4. Coin Toss

Tie Breaking Sequence for Play-Off Games
Tie Breaking when scores are level at the end of play

  1. Most tries in the given playoff match.
  2. Which team won in head to head competition in their conference match, if no head to head match, or that match was tied then move to #3.
  3. Most tries in equal number of playoff matches (if a team has a bye or neither team has played in a playoff match then skip to the 4th   tiebreaker).
  4. Kickoff –  Each team designates their kicker*, the 1st round of kicks are taken from the middle of 22, the left 15 meter hash and the 22 and the right 15 meter hash . If still tied after each of the three kick have gone, the kicks are moved. If still tied after each of the three kick have been taken, then the kicks are taken at the same 3 points but moved to a line 27 meters out from goal, if still tied then retake from 32 meters out, and continue to increase by 5 mtrs till a result is achieved.* Kicker must be a player on the match roster, who has participated in all, or some of the tied match. The kicker may have been substituted during the match, but is eligible to come back on to take the kicks.
  5. If after a series of three kicks each, no scores result (no kicks are made) then the decision will be by a coin toss by the referee, the call to be made by the captain of the team traveling furthest.

Forfeit Policy (Updated Jan 2019) 
Any team who forfeit a match and fails to play in any capacity will be deemed ineligible to participate in playoffs at any level in that given season. Playing short numbered and showing up with a coach any number of players counts as playing the match, failure to show up at all will deem you ineligible to play in playoffs.

Further the competition points system further rewards teams who play matches. The competition points are allocated as follows:
4 points for a win
2 points for a draw
1 point for a loss.
Note: If you forfeit, but still play the match it will be considered just a loss and you will gain the 1 point for the loss.
Forfeiting but not playing the game you will be deducted 2 points and you will not gain the 1 point for the loss along with being eliminated from playoffs

Click Here to download the U15 to U19 Regulations

Other Useful Links

Scroll to Top