National League One
The sixteen teams in the league will play against each other on a home and away basis between 1st September and 30th April each season giving a total of 30 matches for each team.
During the 2007-08 season points will be awarded as follows:4 points will be awarded for a win
2 points will be awarded for a draw
1 bonus point will be awarded to a team that loses a match by 7 points or less
1 bonus point will be awarded to a team scoring 4 tries or more in a match.
At the end of the season the team with the most points will be declared Champions and qualify for promotion to the Guinness Premiership subject to satisfying the Premiership entry conditions. That team will be replaced the following season by the team finishing bottom of the Guinness Premiership.
The bottom two teams in National One will be relegated and replaced the following season by the top two teams from National League Two.
First Division Rugby Limited
Regulations and Administrative Instructions
First Division Rugby Limited (FDR) issues these regulations and administrative instructions pursuant to the powers granted to it by the Rugby Football Union in the regulations for the English Clubs Rugby Union Championships (the Principal Regulations) in its delegated role as the Organising Committee for National League One.
These regulations and procedures are binding on the Clubs playing in National League One (the Clubs) who by commencing their first match in National League One confirm their agreement to them.
Please note that the Executive Director of FDR. (“the Executive Director”) has the delegated authority to act on behalf of the Board of Directors of FDR . (“the FDR Board”) in all matters pursuant to these Regulations except where the powers are expressly stated to be a matter for the Board of Directors.REGULATIONS
The Principal Regulations in so far as they affect and are applicable to the Clubs govern National League One save for the amendments set out at A and B hereunder and the instructions that followA. Club Positions
The position of a Club in the League shall be established by awarding four League points for a win and two points for a draw. In addition, one bonus point will be awarded to a team
|on each occasion it scores four or more tries in a League game
|on each occasion it loses a League game by seven points or less.
If two or more Clubs have the same number of League points at the end of the Season, final league positions shall be determined firstly by the number of wins achieved and then on the basis of match points scored. A Club with a larger number of wins in the League shall be placed higher than a Club with the same number of League points but fewer wins. If Clubs have equal League points and an equal number of wins in the League then a Club with a larger difference between match points “for” and match points “against” shall be placed higher in the League than a Club with a smaller difference between match points “for” and match points “against”. Should two Clubs have the same number of League points and an equal number of wins and the same match points difference, a Club having scored more match points “for” shall be placed higher in the League than a Club having the lesser number of match points “for”. If this still does not establish the positions then the Clubs involved shall be ranked according to the number of matches won, excluding the first League match of the season. If necessary this process shall be extended to exclude the second match, third match and so on until the final positions are established.B. Kick Offs
Regulation 16.1.2 of the Principal Regulations shall be deemed to be deleted and there will be substituted therefore the following:
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this Regulation, the Home Club shall fix the time of kick-off of its League match as follows:
|between 2.p.m and 3.00 p.m.in each case for a League match played on a Saturday or Sunday of a scheduled weekend
|between 12.00 noon and 3.00 pm for a League match played on a Bank or other public holiday or between 12.00 noon and 4.00 pm when a game is scheduled on the same day as an England home International match
|between 7.00 pm and 8.00pm for a match played on a Friday.
A match cannot be arranged on any day other than a Saturday or a Sunday or Bank or other public holiday without the consent of the Visiting Club
|(b) All matches shall be played on the weekends scheduled in the fixture list approved by the Board prior to the start of the season unless postponed in accordance with paragraphs 1.1 – 1.8 below.
|(c) The Home Club shall notify the Visiting Club and the Executive Director in writing of the date and time of its League match with that club at least twenty-eight days prior to the date of such League match.
|(d) Any variations to the timings referred to in paragraph (a) of this Regulation shall only be made by the Home Club with the prior approval of the Board of FDR or any delegated Committee of disinterested persons nominated by the Board. In the event of a variation in the time fixed for the kick-off of a League match, the Home Club shall forthwith notify the Visiting Club in writing of such variation.
|(e) The last league game of each season shall only be played on a Saturday and the kick off time shall be 3.00 p.m.
1. Postponement of Fixtures
The following procedures must be followed.
1.1. If a fixture is in doubt due to the pitch being unplayable because of bad weather or the forecast of bad weather, the visiting team must be informed as soon as practicable. A suitably accredited RFU Referee (not a person, whether a Referee or not, who regularly acts as a Clubs’ 4th Official or who is a member of the home club) must confirm the postponement after an inspection of the match pitch. Such a pitch inspection by an independent Referee must take place before the time the visiting team intend to travel to fulfil the fixture.
1.2 If the inspecting Referee deems the pitch unplayable and/or likely to be unplayable the home club must act on that judgement and immediately postpone the fixture. If the inspecting Referee deems the pitch playable and/or likely to be playable the home club must act on that judgement and notify the visiting team accordingly.
1.3 If this procedure is not followed and the fixture is postponed, because the pitch is unplayable, after the visiting team have travelled to fulfil the fixture the home club will be responsible for 50% of the costs of travel and accommodation incurred by the visiting team. Such costs will be payable by the home club within 28 days from receipt of the relevant invoice and supporting copy invoices from the visiting team.
1.4 When a late decision (i.e. within 3 hours of kick-off) as to the fitness of the pitch for playing a match is necessary, the decision shall be made by the captains of the teams involved. If the
captains are not able to agree, the decision as to the fitness of the pitch should be made by the appointed Referee in accordance with Clause 18.1 of the Principal Regulations. If the match is postponed the home club must notify the Executive Director within 48 hours of the decision to postpone. If the Referee declines or fails to make a decision, and the captains disagree about the fitness of the pitch, the match shall be immediately postponed and the circumstances notified to the Executive Director within 48 hours of the decision to postpone.
1.5 When the decision to postpone is made before 5pm on the day preceding the match, the home Club must immediately inform the RFU Operations Department, the Executive Director and the match officials as well as the visiting team. If after 5pm on the day preceding the match, the home Club must immediately notify the visiting team, the Executive Director and the match officials.
1.6 A postponed match must be re-arranged by the home club in consultation with their opponents on the next available weekend (as the same is defined in the Principal Regulations) and the new date notified to the Executive Director within 7 days. If agreement is not reached either club shall notify the Executive Director that agreement cannot bereached whereupon the Executive Director shall stipulate the date on which the match is to be played. The Executive Director shall have power to decide which club is at fault in not reaching agreement with the other club and such club shall be subject to a financial penalty of £250.00 for the first occasion in which it is in breach of this regulation and £400.00 for each breach thereafter such payment to made to FDR.
1.7If the game is postponed for any reason other than the weather, the home Club must
follow the procedure outlined in 1.5 and 1.6 above. If a Club postpones any match, for any reason other than the weather, without prior approval by FDR it will be deducted such number of League points as FDR deem appropriate (subject to the appeals procedure set out in the Principal Regulations and summarised in Paragraph 8 below) and any other sanction which FDR deems appropriate. In addition at FDR’s discretion the match will be re-arranged in accordance with 1.6 above.
1.8 NB. Lack of players because they are required to attend a match or training for a national
representative team is not a justification for non-fulfilment of a scheduled fixture or for application to the Board for a postponement.
NB The sanctions set out in paragraph 1.6 may at FDR’s discretion also apply in the event of postponement due to bad weather where the correct procedure has not been followed.
2. Match Result Sheets
2.1 The Match Result Sheets MUST be faxed (or emailed) within one hour after the final whistle to RFU Operations (0870 143 2423), RFU Results (0870 741 5119); S.McCormack (0161 926 8900); Rugby Roundup (01455 844044) and the FDR Executive Director (01943 872410).
Failure to comply with this requirement will give rise to a fine of £100.00 on the first occasion. Non payment of fines within 14 days and a second or subsequent failure to submit a results sheet within the prescribed time may give rise to sanctions including points deductions as decided by the Board.
2.2 The match sheets will be supplied to all clubs by the RFU Community Rugby & Operations Department or by the FDR Executive Director.
2.3 The Home Club must ensure that the sheet is completed in accordance with Principal Regulation 20.
2.4 Both clubs must ensure that the information is accurate and legible. The sheet should be completed in upper case, as should the names of the signatories. Any discrepancies caused by lack of clarity or incorrect information may be regarded as a breach of the regulations, as will non-completion by both Clubs. This will also apply in the event of ‘frivolous’ entries. Either or both Clubs may be sanctioned in such cases. These sanctions will include a financial penalty of £100.00 on the first occasion and £150.00 for each occasion thereafter during that season
2.5 In accordance with RFU instructions, the home club must pass to the referee a completed match sheet (signed by both Clubs) and the appropriate Player Registration Certificates to the referee at least one hour before Kick Off. The sheets cannot be altered after passing them to the referee without a valid and unavoidable reason (e.g., injury during warm up). A change of mind or late arrival of a player is not “exceptional”.
2.6 After the match, the referee will return the sheet, signed by him and containing the match result, to the home club, which is then responsible for returning the sheet to Community Rugby & Operations Department as per 2.1 above.
2.7 In the event that due to exceptional circumstances it is not possible to fax the results sheets immediately after the match as per 2.1 the sheet must be received by Community Rugby & Operations Department within 72 hours of the end of the match. If sent by post, the onus for proof of posting lies with the home club. If it is not received on time, the offending Club will be fined £100.00 on the first occasion in a season and £150.00 for each occasion thereafter during that season. It is recommended that each club photocopy the match sheet before posting to the RFU in order that a further copy can be submitted in the event of loss.
2.8 The timely receipt of the sheets will enable Community Rugby & Operations Department and FDR to check player eligibility prior to the next League or Cup match. (See Section 2 above).3. Player Eligibility
3.1 All Match Sheets will be checked against the current Registration File. Any irregularity willbe notified by the Community & Operations Department to the Executive Director
3.2. The Executive Director will inform the Club in writing as soon as possible and request an explanation of the occurrence. If the Club is found to be guilty of fielding an ineligible player sanctions may be applied in accordance with the Principal Regulations.
4.1 The half-time interval shall normally be ten minutes and both teams may leave the field of play during this interval if they wish to do so.
4.2 With the agreement of the captain of each team the referee may reduce the half-time interval in exceptional circumstances but in this case the interval shall not be less than five minutes.
4.3 No club Official other than the designated 4th Official shall enter the referee’s changing room during the half-time interval.
4.4 No club official other than the designated 4th Official shall approach the referee at any time during the half-time interval to discuss any issue arising from the first half of the match or to discuss any other matter
- 4th Official
Each home Club must provide a nominated 4th Official for each match. The 4th Official will :
5.1. Ensure that he/she is introduced to the Referee.
5.2 Issue the radio sets to the referee and touch judges (the officials); ensure that they understand how to operate these devices; collect the equipment from the officials at the end of the match.
5.3. Be responsible for the administration of ALL substitutions and replacements (blood or otherwise). He/She should have boards carrying the player’s numbers, and these should be displayed on each occasion a substitution takes place, indicating clearly the player leaving the pitch and the player joining the match.
5.4 Be responsible for logging all such movements, noting the names, reason and time of substitution on the Match Result Sheet. He/She is also responsible for ensuring the correct nomination of front row replacements, and informing the referee of their identities at least 45 minutes prior to kick-off.
5.5 Be responsible in conjunction with the referee and an official of the visiting team for accurately completing the Match Result Sheet and obtaining the necessary signatures. Copies of the Match Result Sheets should be retained by the home Clubs until the end of the season to which they apply in case reference is needed in the future. .
5.6 Be responsible for monitoring the time penalty for a player sent to the sin-bin. He/She will ensure that the suspended player remains in the designated area, separate from the replacements bench, until the full time penalty has elapsed. The 4th Official will then notify the referee via a touch-judge that the player can rejoin the game.
5.7 At all times during the match be readily available at the pitch side. He/She must not sit in the stand nor leave the pitch-side during the match.
6.1 A substitution card as shown below will be used for the management of replacements on and off the pitch.
6.2 Procedure during match.
bullet 6.2.1 On match day, the team’s nominated person will be situated during the match in the Technical Zone. The team’s nominated person will have at his disposal as many replacement cards as he requires.
bullet 6.2.2 When it is decided that a player must be replaced, he then complete the details on the form, giving all the requested details (names, numbers, reasons, times etc).
bullet 6.2.3 Once this form is completed, it is handed to the 4th Official instructing him of the replacement at the next opportunity.
bullet 6.2.4 After the match, the 4th Official will attach the forms used for the replacements to the Match Report for the Home team to forward to the RFU
FDR Substitution Card
TIME: SIGNATURE OF
6.3 In the interests of safety each team playing in National League One must have at least five players in their nominated match squad aged at least 18 years suitably trained and experienced to be capable of playing in the front row to ensure that on the first or second occasion a front row player is required to be replaced the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums.
6.4 If on any occasion any front row player requires to be replaced and his team cannot provide a replacement or other player suitably trained and experienced from those who started the match or from the nominated replacements to enable the match to continue safely with contested scrums the referee having confirmed this fact with the Captain of the team or such other person nominated by the Club as the manager or other person responsible for the team will order uncontested scrums. If the match is completed with uncontested scrums the result of such match will stand and not be altered by the Board. However the Board may take other action in respect of any suspected, alleged or actual breach of Regulation 7.3.
- Match Officials Communication Devices
7.1 Each Club in National League One must purchase an approved set of radio communication devices for the use of match officials.
7.2 It shall be the responsibility of the home club to ensure that an operational set of radios is available at each league match for the referee and touch-judges. Each away team will also carry their radio sets to the match as a stand-by in case of equipment failure.
7.3 Failure to provide an operational set of radios for the match officials will be deemed to be a serious breach of these regulations and will lead to disciplinary action against the offending Club.
7.4 A Club leaving National League One shall be required to sell its radio sets for match officials to a Club taking its place as directed by the Executive Director. The selling price shall be as follows: at end of season 2006-07, £700; at end of season 2007-08, £550; at end of season 2008-09, £400. All Clubs qualified to play in National League One for season 2010-11 will be expected to purchase a new set of radios as directed by the Board.
- Appeals Procedure
In the event of the application of any sanction (points deduction, the imposition of fines or the application of any other sanction) the following procedure will apply:
8.1. The Executive Director will inform the offending Club in writing..
8.2. If the Club wishes to appeal against the Executive Director’s decision, the Club will have seven days, in which to lodge an appeal directly to the RFU in writing. The RFU Appeals Panel decision will be final.
8.3 No sanction will be applied until the appeals procedure has ended.
8.4 Clubs must be aware that the imposed sanction(s) may be increased as well as decreased on appeal. (This may also apply to an appeal, which is deemed to be frivolous.) All costs (including travel, hire of ancillary equipment etc.) of an appeal regardless of the outcome will be at the discretion of the panel hearing the appeal. Costs will not be invoiced until the appeals process has ended.
8.5. Appeals not lodged within the seven days will be adjudged to be ‘out of time’ and will not be heard.
- Persons within the Perimeter Fencing and Sin Bins.
9.1 Regulation 17 of the Principal Regulations should be noted carefully and must be strictly observed.The referees have the power to report non-compliance to FDR.
- Visiting Supporters/Officials
10.1 Visiting teams are entitled to purchase up to 20% of the capacity at a ground by prior application to the home club made not less than fourteen days before the date of the match.
10.2 The home club shall send the visiting team 12 complimentary tickets for seats in the main stand and four complimentary car park passes not less than one week prior to the date of the scheduled league fixture between the two teams.
10.3 The complimentary tickets shall be for seats in the centre portion of the stand as near as possible to the halfway line unless agreed otherwise between the two clubs.
- Clash of colours
11.1 In the event of clubs having similar or clashing colours the away Club shall be responsible for changing its colours for the match between the clubs where a clash of colours would otherwise occur.
11.2 The away Club shall be responsible for checking for a potential colour clash at least one week prior to a match and shall notify the colours its team will wear to the home club in time for programme printing
11.3 When very wet weather conditions are expected both teams must ensure that they have a suitable extra set of shirts available so that they can change during the match if necessary to enable correct identification of players.
- Match Videos
The home club is responsible for supplying an un-edited copy of the match video on DVD to the visiting team at each match between two FDR clubs. The visiting team should receive the copy within two hours of the final whistle or as otherwise agreed by the two clubs. If it is agreed that the DVD should be sent by mail it must be posted by recorded next day delivery on the first working day following the match. Failure by the home club to provide the DVD within the agreed time-limits will incur disciplinary sanctions. A copy must also be sent to the Referees Dept in the week following the match.
- Touch Judges
The home club is responsible for ensuring that a suitably trained and kitted out person is available at each home match to take over as a touch judge should one of the appointed officials have to be replaced for any reason. His duties will be determined by the match referee but will not normally extend beyond indicating when the ball or a player carrying the ball is in touch and indicating a successful or unsuccessful kick at goal.
- Value added Tax
FDR is not registered for VAT.
15.1 Each Club participating in National League One shall pay an annual management fee to cover the administrative operating expenses of FDR.
15.2 The fee will be determined annually by the FDR Board and shall be due and payable not later than 1st September in each year or on such other date as the FDR Board may determine from time to time.
- Non-payment of financial penalties.
In the event of failure to pay any or each of the financial penalties or charges imposed under these guidelines within 14 days of notification (subject to any appeal), non-payment of fines will be subject to deduction of league points or Cup sanctions (subject to any appeal) as per RFU Regulations.
- Definitive Regulations
The Principal Regulations shall apply to National League One save where they are excluded or modified by these regulations in which case these regulations shall prevail
ALL CLUBS WILL RECEIVE THE PRINCIPAL REGULATIONS PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SEASON AND, IN THE EVENT OF ANY BREACH, IGNORANCE OF THE REGULATIONS WILL NOT BE DEEMED TO BE AN EXCUSE.
By Direction of the Board