Looking to create an environment that promotes a higher level of competition for its members, USA Rugby announced today the framework for the coming restructuring of its women’s and men’s senior club championships (15s and 7s).
“The new structure will increase the number of competitive matches for our membership,” said Alan Sharpley, Chairman of the USA Rugby Club Strategic committee. “The competitions structure will increase the amount of divisional fixtures in preparation for our championships and will provide a more meaningful pathway to Championships.
Play under the new competitions structure will begin in the 2013-2014 competitive cycle. The restructured competition will divide the country in two leagues, each featuring four competitive regions.
Throughout the past two years members of the USA Rugby Senior Club competitions committee audited senior league play at all levels around the county to evaluate and categorize clubs as either participation or performance based. The committee also benchmarked the existing domestic championship pathways against international league structures.
The audit determined that the majority of clubs were performance based and interested in more league play opportunities. It also identified that domestic clubs played fewer competitive matches than their counterparts in other major rugby-playing countries..
The new competitive regions will be governed by appointed committees that will administer league scheduling and provide oversight of a relegation and promotion procedure that is under development and will be released later this year. The new structure also introduces the expansion of the men’s play to include a fourth division and a third for women’s play for emerging and social sides.
Additional details of the restructuring and club participation will be forthcoming from USA Rugby throughout the next six months. "The new competitions model is critical to the sustainability of our clubs and prepares them well for the future growth of the game. Providing a vibrant league plan for all levels of the senior game will ensure increased competitiveness and the framework that may possibly be applied into a commercial endeavor," added Sharpley. ” We will be continuing to finalize the details of the restructure over the coming weeks in order to provide ample time for clubs and administrators to be fully prepared when the changes are enacted.”
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