Latest RFU Community Game Update

14 Oct 2020 22:20 | Devon RFU

Return to community rugby update

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director at the RFU, provides an update on our continuing plans to get rugby returned. Please share this video with your rugby communities.

We remain at Stage D on the RoadmapRFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines, must be followed. Where local lockdown restrictions are in place, local authority guidelines must be followed.

Return to community rugby – age grade regulations

Any mixed age non-contact activity under Regulation 15.6.2, must be risk assessed appropriately and follow best practice as outlined in the Codes of Practice, which includes ensuring parental consent is in place. Where 17 year olds are participating in contact training, Regulation 15.6.1 must be followed.

Adult Male Future Competition Structure Review – Update

Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the many webinars and surveys that have been conducted over the last 12 months regarding the future competition structure (English Club Championship Level 3 and below). Click below to read the plan.

A detailed summary of responses from the Future Competition Structure Survey conducted over the summer, separated by player and non-player feedback, can be accessed here. In addition, the results from the survey conducted in February 2020 are available here.

As Covid-19 restrictions are still with us, and we remain uncertain of the timing and nature of the 2020/21 season, the Community Game Board have taken the decision to pause implementation of any changes to league structures (should these be approved at a future date by RFU Council) to season 2022/23. Work on the review remains a priority and will be discussed again at the RFU Council meeting on 27 November, where it is likely a vote on some key matters of principle will be taken.

We will also contact Honorary Secretaries at adult male clubs (levels 3-12) in the near future to ask for their input into a survey which aims to help us better understand the level of interest from clubs to entering Lower XVs teams into the RFU Leagues Pyramid to up to Level 7. At the same time we will share some draft criteria for this happening. The outcome of the survey will assist the FCS Group in understanding the number of teams coming into the pyramid. Whilst there is no commitment from clubs at this stage, the information will provide an important steer in assessing the level of interest from clubs and any potential impact on future structures.

We thank you for your continued support in this important process. The majority of people agree that we have a significant opportunity for rugby to develop in order to provide an optimal playing offer and structure that protects the future health of the adult male game while meeting the needs of current and future players. Players are looking for a balance of quality of experience, welfare needs and less travel. Meanwhile, we must also ensure we protect the sustainability of clubs.

Revised local lockdown restrictions effective Wednesday 14 October

Due to the rise in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, as well as an increase in hospital admissions, the Government has announced its intention to introduce a new three tier system of local lockdown measures, effective Wednesday 14 October 2020. Clubs must follow the current guidance until then.

We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines. In all cases, clubs must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance.

Clubs can check what local restrictions are in place in their area. The three tier system being introduced is:

Tier 1 - Medium:

Current nationwide rules will apply to areas in this tier. With regards to sporting activities in tier 1, exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, or indoors if the rule of six is followed.

Tier 2 – High:

With regards to sporting activities in tier 2, exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport.

Tier 3 – Very High:

With regards to sporting activities in tier 3, it is the same as for tier 2 areas, although additional measures agreed with local authorities could include closing of venues such as leisure centres and gyms whilst ensuring provision remains available for elite athletes, youth and disabled sport and physical activity.

Clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities and to check the latest position regarding local restrictions as they may change frequently over the coming weeks.

Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union.

Test & Trace and handling of Covid-19 positive tests

Clubs are reminded of the need to have a Test & Trace system in place. You can find out more about NHS Test & Trace below, or read about Howdens Test & Trace here.

In the event of positive tests occurring within a club, including retrospective cases, each case should be registered via the Positive Test Notification Form, which can be accessed on the link below. This information is requested to allow us to monitor the number of confirmed positive Covid-19 tests occurring in clubs and ensure clubs have the appropriate support.

Webinars and podcasts

Understanding Corporation Tax for Rugby Clubs

This webinar, at 7pm on Thursday 15 October, will explore how corporation tax applies to rugby clubs. Including what income is taxable, what reliefs are available and how clubs can comply

Webinar On Demand: Good Club Governance

Our Club Support legal series continued with Irwin Mitchell, covering good club governance. Discussing what good governance looks like and top tips for your club. Click below to watch the webinar