October 19, 2020

Dear Rugby Nation,

USA Rugby has finalized its reorganization initiative and is ready to provide leadership throughout the 2020-21 season and beyond. While this has been and remains an unprecedented time throughout the American sports landscape, our goal at USA Rugby is to get back to playing rugby as soon as possible. For information and guidance on returning to rugby, please reference the USA Rugby Return To Play

In an effort to ensure everyone has a complete understanding for the benefits of membership and sanctioned rugby training and matches, we wanted to provide a summary of full membership benefits:


  • Access to USA Rugby certified referees for all sanctioned competitions; and ability to
    freely compete against USA Rugby registered clubs and programs
  • USA Rugby membership endorsement for all international competitions, and clearance
    for foreign registered players to compete within the United States
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Excess Accident Insurance
  • Access to the USA Rugby Membership System and Competitions Management System,
    to ensure eligibility and compliance of clubs and their members
  • Compliance services, including SafeSport and coach and admin background checks
  • World Rugby endorsed USA Rugby Certification for Referees and Coaches
  • Eligibility for USA Rugby sanctioned events and programs, including the Senior and
    Junior National Teams
  • Members of USA Rugby’s governance structure and more specifically, voting members
    of their respective constituent councils
  • National Office support in relation to membership, compliance and best practices
  • Access to event management services, if you desire to contract through the National
  • Representation through the National Office to World Rugby, the global governing body
    of rugby
  • USA Rugby Training & Education opportunities, both digitally and in-person

While USA Rugby has the ability to provide you with benefits outlined above, we understand that some programs may choose not to be a member of the Union and respect your individual decisions. However, we do want to ensure there is clarity as to what electing not to register as a USA Rugby member may mean for you and your club.

If your organization does not wish to be a full member of the Union, your clubs will be free to play any other non-Union member teams but will not be able to compete against USA Rugby member teams without the Union sanctioning each of those matches.

Any rugby activities held without the sanction of USA Rugby will be considered non-compliant with World Rugby regulations. As such, any certifications or qualifications tied to World Rugby would be considered invalid, and no tie would exist to the World Rugby rules of the game or disciplinary standards.

World Rugby Regulation 16.2.8 states:

“Any Match, Series of Matches, tour or tournament which does not fully comply with the requirements of the Bye-Laws, Regulations and Laws of the Game shall be deemed unofficial. The Union within whose territory such an unofficial event takes place (and the visiting Union or Unions) and/or the Union or Unions of participating Provincial, County, District, Clubs or Rugby Bodies will be held responsible and  ill be liable to sanction in accordance with the Regulations and/or Bye-Laws.”

A sanction for a non-member team to play a member team will not be unreasonably withheld if certain criteria are met. We would be happy to provide this information to you at your request; however, it is important to note that sanctioning does not provide accident or liability insurance to a non-member team for the match, nor does it confer any other member benefits beyond allowing the match to occur.

Considering the value and services provided with a full USA Rugby membership, your national Union, we hope you will join us for the 2020-2021 season and beyond. Member registration is now open at usarugby.sportlomo.com If you have questions about membership, please  contact membership@usa.rugby. We look forward to having you as a partner at USA Rugby!

Warm regards,

Ross Young
Chief Executive Officer, USA Rugby.