By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Participant Eligibility Policy

I.  Purpose

The Board of Directors of USA Youth and High School Rugby believes our highest priority is the safety of our young athletes.  First and foremost in ensuring the safety of our young athletes is a rigorous vetting of all individuals who would have close proximity to those athletes as a coach, referee, club administrator or other official capacity.  Accordingly the Board of Directors has adopted this Participant Eligibility Policy to vet all our participants.

Participating with USAYHSR and any of its local area organizations is a privilege, not a right. Accordingly, any individual wishing to participate must comply with this Policy.

The following is the policy of USA Youth and High School Rugby (“USAYHSR”).  Each individual member and each rugby organization affiliated with, or a member of, USAYHSR, must comply with this official Policy.


In the following policies, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed herein.  

“Local Affiliate Organization” or “LAO” means any rugby organization affiliated with USA Youth and High School Rugby including, but not limited to, rugby clubs and teams, state youth rugby organizations, interscholastic leagues and varsity programs.  

“Member” means an individual registration with USA Youth and High School Rugby.

“Minor Athlete” means a rugby player who is under the age of 18.

“Rugby Activity” “Rugby Activities” means any rugby training, practice, scrimmage, match, game, instruction, tournament sanctioned by USA Youth and High School Rugby, and travel to and from any one of those activities.

“SafeSport” means the U.S. Center for SafeSport, Inc.  

“Participant” means an individual who, with or without compensation, is authorized by USA Youth and High School Rugby to coach or referee in any rugby activity; to act as club administrator, board member, officer, or employee of any Youth Rugby Organization; or who is otherwise authorized by USAYHSR or a SYRO to have regular contact with minor athletes.

“Participate” means to act as a Participant.

“State Youth Rugby Organization” or “SYRO” means a member organization of USAYHSR.

Participant Application Policy

1.   Authorized Individuals. Only individuals who are eligible to participate and have been properly screened and approved pursuant to this and other policies may participate.  

2.  Participant Requirements.  Every individual who wishes to participate must comply with the following requirements each year before having contact with minor athletes:

  1. Annually register as a member with USA Youth and High School Rugby;
  2. Annually submit a completed and signed volunteer application;
  3. Bi-annually provide a government-issued photo identification (e.g. driver’s license or passport);
  4. Bi-annually submit to and pass a background check as prescribed by the USAYHSR and/or USA Rugby;
  5. At all times comply with child abuse prevention and reporting training requirements; and
  6. At all times comply with all other applicable USAYHSR and USA Rugby policies.

3.  Approval, Additional Qualifications.  Non-compliance with Paragraph 2 shall result in the rejection of the volunteer’s application.  Individuals wishing to participate in certain capacities such as coach and referee, must meet additional eligibility requirements specific to their respective positions.  

4.  Background Check.  USA Youth & High School Rugby will conduct or have conducted a background check on each participant applicant pursuant to adopted policy.  

5.  Application Review.  USA Youth & High School Rugby and/or USA Rugby or its designated agent will review the participant application and approve or reject the application based upon the USAYHSR Participant Eligibility Policy. The name of every individual whose participant application has been rejected shall be placed on a list of ineligible participants, which shall be maintained by USAYHSR and USA Rugby.

6.  Transferring Volunteers.  Any LAO that receives a transfer request from a participant registered with another LAO shall check with USAYHSR to ensure the participant has not been disqualified or suspended from participating.

Participant Eligibility Rules

1. Eligibility.  Unless ineligible or disqualified, any individual is eligible to participate with USAYHSR or any of its LAOs.  Some participant positions such as coach and referee will have additional eligibility requirements.

2. Mandatory Disqualification: An individual is disqualified and ineligible to volunteer if:

  • They have a criminal disposition. A criminal disposition is any disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty, including, but not limited to: an adjudication of guilt or admission to a criminal violation, a plea to the charge or to a lesser included offense, a plea of no contest, any plea analogous to an Alford or Kennedy plea, the disposition of the proceeding through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, deferred prosecution, disposition of supervision, conditional dismissal, juvenile delinquency adjudication, or similar arrangement.  
  • They have any pending criminal charge or warrant for their arrest.  
  • Their name is on any state, federal, territorial, or tribal sex offender registry.
  • If the individual
  1. Is listed on the SafeSport Centralized Disciplinary Database;
  2. Is listed on the USA Youth & High School Rugby Ineligible Volunteer List; or  
  3. has been disqualified or prohibited from contact with minors by any youth organization, by any school or school district, or by any federal, military, state or local government agency.

3. Conditional Disqualification:  An individual shall be disqualified and ineligible to participate until and unless eligibility is reinstated under Paragraph 4:

  1. If the individual is or becomes under investigation by any law enforcement agency for any offense involving child abuse, including sexual abuse, child endangerment, or child neglect; or for assault, battery, or any other violent crime;
  2. If the individual is or becomes under investigation for prohibited conduct against or involving a minor by any non-law enforcement agency or organization including, but not limited to, any child protection agency, SafeSport, USA Rugby, USA Youth and High School Rugby, school or school district; or
  3. If the Board of Directors of USAYHSR or USA Rugby determines for any other reason that the individual presents an undue risk to other participants or to the organization.

4. Permissive Disqualification.  An individual may be disqualified and ineligible to participate:

  1. If, in any civil or administrative proceeding, they have been found liable on any claim or action involving misuse of funds or property including, but not limited to theft, misappropriation, conversion, and civil fraud; or
  2. If the individual fails to comply with all applicable USA Youth and High School Rugby policies and SafeSport training and education requirements.

5. Eligibility after Disqualification.  An individual who is disqualified and ineligible to volunteer under Paragraph 3 or 4 shall become eligible to participate or shall be reinstated as a participant only if:

  1. the law enforcement investigation under Paragraph 3(a) does not result in a criminal charge;
  2. the investigation under Paragraph 3(b) results in a finding of ‘not-substantiated’ or a similar conclusion and no action is taken against the individual;
  3. The volunteer satisfies all applicable USA Youth and High School Rugby policies and SafeSport training and education requirements; or
  4. The disqualification is reversed on appeal by USAYHSR or USA Rugby.

6. Action Upon Information of Disqualifying Condition.  Upon receipt of information indicating a member is or may be ineligible to participate pursuant to Paragraph 2, 3, or 4, a LAO must immediately report the information to USAYHSR.  Before determining the member is or should be disqualified, USAYHR shall make reasonable efforts to confirm the information and shall document such efforts.  If USAYHSR or USA Rugby disqualifies any individual from participating, it shall notify the member’s LAOs and shall place the individual’s name on a list of ineligible members maintained by USA Youth and High School Rugby and USA Rugby.

7. Appeals.  Any individual who is disqualified from participating with USAYHSR under this Policy may appeal that decision to USAYHSR by written request stating all facts and reasons the applicant should be eligible to volunteer.  The board of directors of USAYHSR may, but is not required to consider any such appeal.  USAYHSR shall notify the appellant of its decision to accept or reject the appeal within 45 days of receipt of the written appeal.  The board of directors of USAYHSR may decide the appeal with or without a hearing.  The Board of USAYHSR may in its discretion waive the criteria identified in Paragraph 3(a) if the Board determines that the criminal disposition should be ignored due to lapse of time, the offense was minor, and the individual would not present a higher risk to other participants, and the individual would be a valuable participant . The Board of USAYHSR may in its discretion waive any other disqualification criteria upon determination of the Board that the individual would not present a higher risk to other participants and the individual would be a valuable participant.