Devon Colts Merit Table Regulations

Administrator; Steve Alexander Tel; 07894 862636 –


Committee; Verity White (Barnstaple), Steve Alexander (Brixham) Paul Parret (Honiton)

Mark Wavish – (Newton Abbot)


1.1 The competition will be known as the Devon Colts Merit Table (DCMT), and shall be subject to the direction and control of the Devon RFU acting through its Competitions Sub-Committee and the Devon Colts Merit Table Sub Committee.

1.2 The competition will be administered by the DCMT sub Committee who will work as a team responsible for the day-to-day running of the league on behalf of the Devon RFU. 

1.3 The administrators will adjudicate on matters relating to the competition, (see also Regulation 10 – Appeals). 

1.4 By entering the competition, Clubs agree to abide by the regulations as laid out. 

1.5 The DCMT will be based on three regional leagues. Teams will play each other once either home or away with 1st Phase fixtures to be completed by 14thNovember 2015. On completion, teams will then be seeded with the creation of three Merit Tables as follows; the top two teams in each regionalized Merit Table will form the Devon Colts Cup Merit Table. The teams finishing in third and fourth places will form the Devon Colts Shield Merit Table, Both of these competitions will play both home and away. The teams finishing in fifth, sixth Seventh and eighth places will form the Devon Colts Plate Merit Table playing once either home or away. All games to be played by 9th April 2016.

1.6 Finals dates and venues TBC.


The Devon Colts Merit Table competition is open to any Rugby Football Club currently affiliated to the Devon RFU. 


3.1 To play in the DCMT, a player must be under EIGHTEEN years of age on the 1st September of the year in which the season commences. 

3.2 All players must be registered with the sub-committee of the DCMT by email by the 5th September 2015, but can be added to until 26th February 2016 as per the RFU regulations.

3.3 The RFU Youth regulations permit a player to play UP one age grade (under 17’s and under 18’s are treated as one combined age grade for this rule) provided they have written permission from their parent or guardian to do so. In addition, a Level 2 coach and Safeguarding Officer must assess that they are physically capable of playing up one age grade, and have the skills and abilities to play at the higher age grade. Players are not able to play down any age grade whatsoever.

3.4 Players must be current members of the club they are playing for and must be registered on the RFU GMS database for that Club.

3.5 Any player who is contracted with an RFU Academy or an Academy affiliated to a Premiership or Championship will not be eligible to play in the completion.

3.6 A max of 5 players in a match day squad may have played for Exeter Chiefs U17’s/ U18’s only.

3.7 Players who transfer clubs within Devon after the 1st November 2015 of the current season are not eligible to play for their new team in the DCMT competition. This may be reviewed on a case by case basis in extenuating circumstances by the DCMT sub-committee.


4.1 Fixtures in the DCMT shall be arranged by the Sub Committee of the DCMT, subject to pitch availability, Clubs may have the flexibility to play midweek and Sundays, Clubs have the option to change venue and in extreme circumstance the date may be changed with the approval of the DCMT administrator. 2nd Phase Fixtures to be arranged by clubs on a home and away basis on the agreed dates. 

4.2 Matches will be of 35 minutes each way duration. 

4.3 No youth player is permitted to play any additional time in a match. 

4.4 All matches will be played in accordance with the U19 Law Variations of the IRB and any RFU ELV’s currently in force. However, there may be certain exceptions relating to local circumstances and which will be covered in these regulations. It is recommended that all coaches and players visit the RFU Website and acquaint themselves with the U19 variations. These are also available in the RFU Handbook. 

4.5 If the point’s differential reaches 50 the referee will consult with the coaches about continuing the match. It is recommended the match continues with the team in the lead making substitutions to allow new or less experienced players to play, or the players are swapped between teams to even out the play. In any case, the maximum point’s differential that will be awarded to any team is 50.

4.6 Rolling substitutions are permitted, that is, a player who comes off the field of play can return when allowed, provided he is not serving a temporary suspension from playing (under a ‘Yellow Card’ Which is 7 minutes) or has been dismissed from the field of play. 

4.7 Match day squads for Devon Colts Merit Table can comprise up to 22 players. 

4.8 In all DCMT matches, both teams will have the same number of players on the field of play at any one time, unless a player is temporarily suspended (‘Yellow Card’) or dismissed from the pitch (‘Red Card’). 

4.9 Where teams do not have fifteen players available, both teams will reduce the players on the field of play at any one time down to a minimum of twelve. This will be done in the following manner: Fourteen-a-side = no Number 8s Thirteen-a-side = no flankers (6 and 7) Twelve-a-side= no flankers and one centre only. 

4.10 Clubs are encouraged to loan players to opponents in order that a game will start with 15 a-side in accordance with the spirit of the game and the score will stand. 

4.11 The composition of the teams is to be agreed by both coaches prior to kick off, and the referee advised of the resultant decision.

4.12 Each team in the DCMT competition should endeavour to have suitably trained and experienced front-row players and replacements. In a squad of twenty-two players, at least one player must be able to play at Loose Head and Tight Head Prop, and one player must be able to play at Hooker. If, for reasons beyond a team’s control there are no front row replacements available during a match, the referee will order non-contested scrums and the final score will stand.

4.13 If a team does not have a suitably trained and experienced front row for an arranged match, the game can be played with non-contested Scrums. The result card must be completed as normal stating non-Contested Scrums. The DCMT Committee will adjudicate on whether the result will stand. 


5.1 In the DCMT league competitions, points will be awarded on the following basis: Win = 4 points - Draw = 2 points One bonus point will be gained on scoring four tries in a game One bonus point will be gained by the losing side if the defeat is by a margin of 15 points or less. 

5.2 The 2nd phase will start with everyone on 0, (no points will be carried over form phase 1)

5.3 In determining the positions in the Merit Table, total points difference will take effect when two or more sides have an equal number of match points. However, only Merit Table games between those sides will be counted. 

5.4 For the DCMT finals, if the match is drawn after 70 min the winner will be determined by

a) Team which has scored the most tries in the match; 

b) Team which has scored the most converted tries in the match; 

If all are equal, the Trophy shall be shared.


6.1 Matches played in the DCMT will be officiated by suitably qualified referee appointed by the Devon Rugby Referees Society or Plymouth Rugby Referees Society. 

6.2 If the Devon Rugby Referees Society or Plymouth Rugby Referees Society notifies a home club that no society referee is available, the club can make application to the competition administrator for a referee to be appointed the following order: a) Member of the Devon or Plymouth Rugby Referees Society; b) ELRA qualified club referee from another RFC; c) ELRA qualified club referee from that club, but independent of the age group involved in that match.

6.3 Each team should provide one competent person to act as touch judge acting under the jurisdiction of the referee. Unless they are appointed as Assistant Referees, touch judges cannot signal offences or foul play, but may be consulted by the referee is appropriate circumstances. 


7.1 It is the responsibility of the Coach/manager for each competing team to comply with the administrative arrangements as laid out in these regulations. Failure to comply could result in a points deduction penalty.

7.2 It is the responsibility of the home team to provide the match result card for both teams and which must be completed and handed to the referee no later than 30 minutes prior to the kick off. This will contain the names and RFU registration numbers each player in the squad for that match. The first names and surnames used must be those under which the player is registered on the RFU database.

7.3 Each coach or team manager must ensure they have RFU registration cards containing a recent (no more than 2 years old) picture of each player shown on the team sheet. The registration cards must be made available to the opposition in order to verify the eligibility of players. (Consistent failure to produce these will result in a point’s deduction).

7.4 Once both coaches or team managers are satisfied as to the eligibility of all the players, the team sheets will be handed to the referee.

7.5 At the conclusion of the match, or as soon as possible afterwards, the referee will enter the final score and sign the match result card. It is the responsibility of the home side to email the card to the Administrator to arrive no later than the Monday after the game.

7.6 Both sides must text the result and number of tries in as soon as the game is completed.

7.7 If the card is not filled out correctly, sent in late or the results not sent in by text the OFFENDING side will be deducted 1 point for each offence up to 2 points 


8.1 Coaches must endeavour to play the fixtures on the dates given to them by the DCMT Committee. 

8.2 Games cancelled due to weather and pitch conditions, the visiting team must be notified as soon as that decision is made. If the game can be played at another venue this must be considered.

8.3 The competition administrator will be notified by phone by the home team as soon as possible of the decision to cancel the match. 

8.4 The administrator will inform both clubs on the date for which the game will be rescheduled, this will be the first available weekend when neither side has a merit table or cup match.

8.5 Merit table fixtures take precedence over friendly matches. 

8.6 There will be no double header matches under any circumstances.

8.7 Matches will not be postponed due to county commitments, the unavailability of a front row or other issues to do with squad availability. (Extreme circumstance can be put to appeal to the DCMT Committee) If a team fails to fulfil an obligation to play a match, the competition administrators must be notified by phone immediately. The team that is deemed to be responsible for the match being un-played will lose the game 15-0 and will be deducted 4 points. The non-offending side will receive 5 points.

8.8 Any club which fails to fulfil 25% of its scheduled fixtures at any stage during the season will be removed from the competition and all records expunged.

8.9 If the game is abandoned due to weather or injuries and has reached 50 min the score will stand. If it is before 50 min then the game must be replayed unless both sides agree that the score should stand. The home side must inform the DCMT committee immediately. 


9.1 Any team which is proved to have fielded an ineligible player, whether by reason of being over or under the correct age, or because they are not registered or an academy player, will be deducted four league points for each player involved.

9.2 Coaches are responsible for their own behaviour, and that of the parents, guardians and supporters of their team. The standard of behaviour expected is that laid out in the RFU Codes of Conduct. Where the conduct of an individual or group of people falls below that standard, that individual or group may be liable for sanctions to be imposed by the Devon RFU. 


10.1 A team may appeal a decision of the league administrator. However, any such appeal must be made in writing, by the Chairman or Secretary of the Club to the Secretary of the Devon RFU Competitions Sub-Committee. 

10.2 Appeals will not be accepted by the Devon RFU Competitions Sub-Committee from coaches, parents or guardians of players. 

10.3 Any appeal must be made within seventy-two hours of the event.

10.4 The Secretary of the Devon RFU Competitions Sub-Committee will arrange for the appeal to be heard in accordance with the procedures of the sub-committee. Members of the Devon RFU who have a conflict of interest for any reason will declare such and not be involved in the appeal hearing. 

10.5 The Devon RFU Competitions Sub-Committee has full powers of adjudicating on all matters relating to the competition and their decisions shall be final. 

10.6 The parties will be informed in writing by the Secretary of the Devon RFU Competitions Sub-Committee once the hearing has been completed.


Where not covered separately, the rules of the Devon Senior Cup will apply including financial arrangements. 


The Devon RFU Sub-Committee will review these rules annually.