USA Rugby: Youth & High School, College, Senior Club Councils Finalize Community Service Agreements

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GLENDALE, COUSA Rugby and the National Councils have completed discussions to finalize Community Service Agreements for each level of the community game. Council individually negotiated terms with the National Office, based on specific demands for their level of play. Materials agreed upon include USA Rugby member dues structures and services provided by the National Office. Each agreement will renew on an annual basis, where USA Rugby and the National Councils are given the opportunity to mutually review and amend each year.

  • USA Rugby National Office and Councils finalize Community Service Agreements, marking an unprecedented partnership of support between community stakeholders and USA Rugby.
  • Agreements incorporate member dues structure with USA Rugby and services provided by the National Office.
  • Agreements effective through the 2020-21 Member cycle, starting September 1, 2020.
  • Player, Coach, Referee & Administrator Member registration now open for 2020-21 Season.

Member registration for the 2020-21 USA Rugby season is now officially open for members and clubs permitted to compete or host rugby activities.

“This is a truly meaningful day in the transformation of USA Rugby and the domestic game,” said USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young, “Lots of hard hours have passed in discussion, however we are exceptionally proud to shape new standards for the organization. Thank you to the dedicated individuals on the National Councils and extended stakeholders for their hard work in building these relationships.”

David Pool, President of the Youth and High School Council commented, “We had 100% support from State Governing Bodies (SGBs) that represent 95% of the Youth and High School players in the country. This is unprecedented support and endorsement of the restructuring plan initiated by USA Rugby. With the support of USA Rugby, we have established a platform for Youth organizations nationwide to drive their own growth and continue to develop Youth Rugby to be the fun favorite game for youth and high schools across the country.”

Collegiate Director to the USA Rugby Board, Michele Yarbrough added, “2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year for both our Country and the Rugby Community.  Thousands of hours have been volunteered since March from across this Country to ensure the future success and sustainability of USA Rugby.  Through the dedication of these volunteers and hard work since May, together we have successfully navigated negotiations of the Community Agreement for the College Community.  We feel that through the unprecedented work of the USA Rugby restructuring process and Community Agreement negotiations, we are working together to ensure that future generations of college students in this Country will have the access to the sport which we all love, Rugby.”

Senior Club Director to the USA Rugby Board, Al Lucas said, “This has been the first opportunity for our Council and USA Rugby to implement the processes built in the new USA Rugby Bylaws adopted in May. We have crossed the first hurdle, negotiating the Community Agreement for the 2020-2021 cycle. As a Community, the leadership of the Senior Club Unions will continue to be actively engaged in shaping the future of Club Rugby.”

The USA Rugby dues structure agreed upon by the councils includes Full Membership and Training Membership pricing for Players; along with universal Coach, Referee and Admin categories. For players, Full Memberships include all traditional coverage and benefits, where Training Memberships include the same coverage and benefits, short of formal or friendly competition with other clubs. Given the restrictions of COVID-19 and potential for no structured competitions this Fall, Training Memberships provide regular benefits – most notably accident and liability insurance – for clubs looking to hold non-contact or limited contact training, along with intra-squad scrimmages in place of cancelled competition. Should clubs look to host sanctioned or friendly competition with other clubs, members can upgrade to a Full Membership by simply paying the difference. After evaluation, the Youth & High School Council elected to bypass Training Memberships for the upcoming season and exclusively offer the Full Membership option.

Coaches and club administrators should continue to consult with their local health officials and governing organizations on permitted activities and return to play plans. The USA Rugby Return To Play Guidelines have been updated to reflect the new registration options, new limited contact training curriculum and the most recent COVID-19 climate.


Additionally, the occurrence of sanctioned competitions will be determined by the above organizations. For further information and questions, feel free to email USA Rugby at

Through negotiations, USA Rugby and the National Councils agreed to services provided by the National Office for the 2020-21 season. Primary services include but are not limited to accident and liability insurance, management of membership registration and data, training and education, World Rugby and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) standards, disciplinary support and clearances of international players and tours. The above will be facilitated by a Community Department, staffed at the National Office. In the case of Youth & High School, the representative Council individually acquired member accident insurance, while USA Rugby will provide liability coverage.

Expanding on the above services; management of the membership database will include providing a membership registration platform, certificates of insurance, coach and referee certification data along with international player and tour clearances. Training and Education will go through a reform period to improve useful materials through an online Learning Management System (LMS) and creation of digital content. The USA Rugby International Athlete Council has started collaboration with the Training & Education department to support these community resources.

The Community Department will also collaborate with the National Councils and governing organizations to assist with implementation of laws, guidelines and medical standards as required by World Rugby and the USOPC. Additionally, internal management of discipline and grievance matters when appropriate to the National Office. Business services include oversight of required USOPC and World Rugby financial reporting through the Audit and Risk Committee, IT for internal technology and amplification of submitted Council communications through the USA Rugby website and social media channels.


While the USA Rugby member dues and services are ratified by each Council, they do not reflect additional fees instituted by each competition organization. Formally referred to as “third-party dues” and paid during USA Rugby registration, these additional fees are determined by each individual organization and fund certain initiatives like competitions, championships, growth programs and more. Unlike previous years, these funds will no longer be accounted and distributed by USA Rugby. Following bylaw restructure and approval of a new registration system, community dues will be allocated directly to each organization, and not the USA Rugby National Office.

It is important to clarify that the opening of USA Rugby Membership for the upcoming season is not a renewed approval to resume full competition and rugby activities. As mentioned previously, rugby is a close contact sport where our game sits above all when it comes to risk of COVID-19. Coaches and administrators are continually encouraged to be diligent and accountable when planning rugby activities of any sort.

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Matt McCarthy comes to from their partner in the USA, RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00