RFU Competition meeting notes
Competitions Sub-Committee meeting (CSC)
Date: Tuesday 14 April 2015, 10.30hrs
Venue: Brunel 3, Twickenham Stadium
Present: Keith Shurville – Chairman (KS), Chris Burns (CB), Paul Astbury (PA), Mike Gee (MG), Andy Shorney (AS), Paul Kaminski (PK), Terry Brown (TB), Malcolm Caird (MC), Rob Briers (RB), Dave Clarke (DC), David McAteer (DM), John Rogers (JR), Norman Robertson (NR), Rosie Williams (RW).
In attendance: Alys Lewis (AL), Benji Crossley (BC), Nicky Cook (NC), Mark Saltmarsh (MS) - present for part of the meeting) Sarah Newell (minutes).
The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed all attendees.
Received from Ivor Horscroft and Keeley Fathers.
3229 Approval of Minutes – 13 March 2015
AS requested an amendment to minute 3226 to remove reference to U15s. No other changes requested and the minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting in March.
3230 Update on actions from previous meeting
3210 Meeting to discuss changes to the terms of reference to take place at 2pm today 14 April.
3221 RB to send County Championship survey results and recommendations to the committee.
3231 Loan Arrangements and Regulations
NC referred the committee to her paper she previously submitted on loan players (see Appendix 1). She confirmed that following the discussions that took place at the previous CSC meeting GMS will automatically re-register a player with the “owning” club once the loan period ends.
This change was tested on GMS over the weekend and it works well.
NC updated the committee regarding changes to Regulation 14 and a discussion followed on the issue of clarifying the number of movements a player can make during a season and whether a 7 day deregistration period is necessary. PA raised a concern that dropping the 7 day deregistration period could be open to abuse by players who could move from club to club without notice. CB assured PA that the club has to request to deregister a player to change the status of a player. NC stressed that clubs need to make sure that all checks have been done and a player has fulfilled his obligations before requesting to deregister a player. After further discussion it was agreed that Nicky’s proposal can be approved i.e. the change in this regulation can be delegated to PA, PK, AL, CB and NC who will introduce next season if concerns about integrity can be resolved.
The Committee approved Nicky’s paper with one caveat that NC ,PA, PK, AL and CB to work on the deregistration element and if it can be introduced whilst maintaining the integrity of the competition be recommended to Governance for approval.
3232 Student Pass
NC referred the committee to her report circulated previously on Student passes (see Appendix 2). As mentioned at the CSC meeting in March, proposals have included that we register a student using their student union number onto GMS or we leave loan registration open so students can move back and forth under loan arrangements. It was suggested that this could also be applied to workers/employees who work away from home during the season.
A discussion followed on what this would mean in practical terms. DM was not in favour of offering this to players beyond the student population and suggested that a cap should be put on travel between university and clubs. MC disagreed and emphasised we should be promoting participation in rugby rather than restricting it. MG raised concerns over compromising the integrity of the game in that some students may be drafted into clubs to assist with promotion or prevent relegation. NR queried whether there would be any restrictions on the number of players per squad. CB advised that the loan player regulation would apply. Therefore student pass players cannot be “loaned” to a club more than 2 levels below their “home” club and that each club will be limited to a maximum of 3 loan players (including student pass players) in their match day squad. Student pass players can play for both the Home club and the University club without limitation.
It was agreed that any anomalies would be dealt with on a case by case basis. DM requested that the recommendations regarding the student pass should consider mileage. CB recommended trialing this with students and reviewing progress in 12 months’ time. MS agreed to update the CGB that the CSC needs more time to fine tune this regulation. It was agreed that non-students dual registration would be dealt with at another time.
The majority, but not all the Committee agreed to approve NC’s papers with regard to the student pass.
NC to determine how the Club Registration list will reflect this arrangement.
Mark Saltmarsh to inform CGB that the arrangement for non-students will not be introduced in season 2015-16 but be considered for future implementation.
3233 AutoRoute Replacement
CB reported that there is no software that will remain static to facilitate mileage calculations between clubs. The REC team is currently looking at Garmin BaseCamp and other internet based tools as possible replacements to use for mileage calculations. For next season’s level transfers and mileage, AutoRoute will be used and payments will be based on this system.
3234 Competitions Review
KS informed the committee that there is a possibility of a delay in the implementation of the competitions review, pending a new survey to address some of the issues that came up in previous survey – this will be presented at council next Friday. KS informed the committee that he had not been consulted on this decision. RW added that there could be the possibility to call an SGM on this matter with the potential of a vote of no confidence in the council which should be avoided. The committee agreed that action needs to be taken regarding this delay. The process started in 2011 and it has taken until 2015 for possible implementation and now this may be postponed to 2017. DC suggested that there is a massive leap from postponement of the implementation of the review to a vote of no confidence. PA commented that perhaps a postponement was appropriate in that there is dissent in the North which needs to be addressed and a degree of unease in London. MG added that a possible 14 league structure in the Southwest will have a lot of support. The Chairman reassured the committee that he would go back to Governance and strongly recommend that committee members are involved with the next stages of the Competition Review and voice their concerns over lack of consultation on delaying implementation for a year.
KS to feed back to Governance that CSC members need to be involved in the Competition Review process.
3235 Structured Season 2015-16
CB updated the committee on the structured season which had been returned by the Board for minor alterations. Given the possible delay to the implementation of the ACR Recommendations, it will be necessary to reinstate play-off weekends next season. The committee agreed the necessary changes including the removal of a Reserve weekend at Levels 5 & 6 on 28 November. MC requested that publication date of the document needs to be added to which CB agreed.
CB to redraft structured season and circulate to the committee.
3236 Regulation 13
AL presented the changes to Regulation 13 for the committee to review. PK cited the Lowestoft appeal which concerned the man off rule and the fielding of an unauthorised player. CB added that the Panel determined in such cases the result of the match stands but the League Secretary/DOC can impose a sanction such as a points deduction. The same principles apply to rolling replacements in that regardless of the actions of the referee on the day as to whether he permits an unauthorised player on the field, the club is still responsible for fielding such player. The sanctions table has been amended to reflect this potential breach.
The draft was approved and delegated authority was granted for the regulations sub-group to finalise the regulations to Governance.
3237 Regulation 14
PA flagged that there was an inconsistency between the regulations and a registration protocol in relation to registration of players after the transfer deadline.
The proposed regulation changes presented by NC were approved and delegated authority was granted for the regulations sub-group to draft the regulations to Governance.
PA, PK, AL to redraft this regulation and look at tweaking the protocol together with NC.
3238 Regulation 16
AL presented a new version of Regulation 16 regarding the women’s game. MC described the three main changes as follows: a play-off to decide the Premiership Winner, the regulation around transfers of players has been strengthened and the U19 Law Variations can be played with the approval of World Rugby. RW added that she has had previous approval from World Rugby on variations of the game being allowed and will produce this to the committee. On a separate note NR queried when teams are level on competition points should a draw be worth more than a loss? CB agreed to look into this. All agreed that the final draft of the changes to Regulation 16 should be submitted to Governance for approval.
The proposed Regulation 16 was agreed and recommended to Governance for approval.
RW to provide approval evidence from World Rugby on variations of the game
CB to look into draw versus loss in regard to teams level on points within a league structure.
9 Rugby Events and Competitions Report
As per report
3240 Women’s Competitions
As per report
3241 Knock out Cups
BC reported that all teams involved are meeting at the RFU on 15th April 2015 to discuss fixtures and event delivery.
3242 County Championship
RB reported back to the committee on the details of a meeting regarding the county championship that took place on 13th April. The meeting looked at proposals for the seniors and U20s with recommendations pending. The funding proposal needs more work and the report will be ready for June CGB. RB will consult with the committee on whether the survey should be extended out to the various CBs.
3243 National U20s
3244 Organising Committee Reports
.1 DOC – no report.
.2 Midlands – as per report.
.3 London and South East – no report.
.4 North – as per report.
.5 NCA – no report.
.6 The Championship - no report.
.7 South West –no report.
3245 Competition Appeals to RFU
Exeter University – appeal took place on the 25 March over the phone. A brief discussion took place on appropriate RFU support for DOCs going through this process and also in regard to universities participating in the league. DM expressed strong reservations about the role of the RFU Legal Department in the Exeter University appeal and in particular the lack of help given to SWDOC, and Mike Gee in the matter. The chairman recommended that MG speak to Jeff Blackett in the meeting following this.
3246 Any Other Business
DC queried how many teams constitute a team, 10 or 12? CB confirmed the law states 5. RW added in lower leagues the minimum is 5. CB agreed to look into this query and will get back to the committee with a definitive answer.
CB to look into how many players constitute a team.
Date of next meeting – TBC
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