Rules & Regulations

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Coaches must report to the tournament tent upon arrival to the field. At that time the organizing committee will verify that your entry package (i.e. entry form, certificate of insurance, and entry fee) is complete. 


Schools may bring up to 30 student-athletes to the tournament but a maximum of 25 medals will be  presented to the champions and runners-up. Character Players will be nominated by their coaches and will receive a t-shirt courtesy of the Barbarian Cup organizing committee. The Character Player Awards will be presented to each team’s nominated player at the end of one of their games. 

The World Rugby Laws of Rugby Union shall govern play at the Barbarian Cup 


A game-sheet will be provided to each team by a student volunteer prior to the start of the game.  Coaches must verify the names on the game-sheet before the start of the game and verify scorers and  the final score by signing the sheet at the completion of the game.  

There is no limitation on the number of substitutions that a team can make. However, once a player is subbed off they are not permitted to return to the game unless it is for a front row replacement, as per the law. Substitutions are only allowed between the 22-m lines, unless there is an injury. 

Teams having 19 or more student-athletes on their team entry form must have 5 suitably trained front row players and at least 3 suitably trained locks. If a team has 22 or more student-athletes on their team entry form, the number of suitably trained replacements increases to 6 front row and 3 locks.  

A student-athlete receiving a red card may not be replaced except under exception 2. Players receiving a red card may not play in another game during the Barbarian Cup and will be referred to their local athletic association.  

A student-athlete receiving a yellow card will be temporarily suspended for 5 minutes of playing time on day one and 7 minutes of playing time on day two.  

If a student-athlete leaves the field to have bleeding controlled or an open wound covered, that player may be temporarily replaced and return to the match with the referee’s permission. If the player cannot return within 15 minutes of running time, the replacement becomes permanent.  

Exception 1: a substituted player may return to play to replace a player that is bleeding or has an open wound.  

Exception 2: a substituted player may return to play to replace a front row player when injured,  temporarily suspended or sent off and there is no other properly trained front row  player available for substitution. If a front row player is sent off for any of the reasons  outlined above and no player on the field or eligible substitute is trained to play the front  row, the captain will choose a player on the field to leave the game and a previously  substituted player that is trained to play front row may return. 


The maximum number of minutes allowable per day for junior rugby players is 90 minutes.  
In the event that there are 3 teams in a pool and fewer than 10 teams in the draw, all games in that  draw will consist of 20-minute halves with a 2-minute interval between halves. When there are 4 teams  in a pool, day one of the Barbarian Cup will consist of 15-minute halves with a 2-minute interval  between halves. 

On day two of the tournament, games will consist of 20-minute halves with a 2-minute interval at the half.  

Teams must be ready to play 15 minutes before their scheduled game time. Games will start on  schedule. If for some reason games begin to run behind schedule, the referee will wait 5 minutes after the completion of the previous game for the teams involved in the next game to warm-up on the field. Teams not ready to play at the scheduled start time for their game will forfeit the game with a score of 7 - 0. 


Pool Play and Semi-Final Tie Breakers
There can be no ties in the tournament. During pool play, a game that ends regulation time will go  directly to kicks to decide the game. Each team will choose one, two, or three kickers from the players  on the field at the end of regulation time to kick for goal. Any one of the three players chosen can take a kick at any time. Kicks shall be made in the following sequence from the 22 metre line:  

i) centre field 
ii) left side at the intersection of the 15 metre line and the 22 metre line  
iii) right side at the intersection of the 15 metre line and the 22 metre line 

For the first round, kicks will alternate between the teams with kicks occurring from all three spots. If no winner is decided in the first round, all subsequent kicks are sudden victory following the kick sequence  defined above until a winner is determined.  

Advancement & Wild Card Tie Breakers
To determine advancement and wild card entries to the championship rounds, the following tie breakers  will be used: 
i) head-to-head 
ii) fewest points against 
iii) greater differential in points between tied teams  
iv) greatest differential in points in pool play 
v) a coin toss  

In the event that a wild card is given entry to the championship rounds (i.e. there is an odd number of  pools), the wild card team cannot play a team from their pool in the semi-final.  

Championship Game Tiebreakers 

If the championship game ends regulation time in a tie, two 5-minute overtime halves will be played with 10 players aside. The 10 players must be chosen from the players on the field at the end of  regulation time. If a tie still exists at the end of overtime, the kicking format outlined in “pool play and  semi-final tie breakers” will be used to decide the game.  

Student-athletes are expected to wear mouth guards at all times. Referees will check mouth guards  prior to the start of the game and will ensure that all footwear, clothing, and equipment (ex. knee braces) comply with the World Rugby Laws of the game. Click here for details on approved clothing. 

No metal, rubber, plastic, or cloth jewelry can be worn during the game. A player may not wear a single stud at the toe of the boot. Moulded rubber multi-studded soles are acceptable provided they have no  sharp edges. 

Any student-athlete suspended from play by a red card from the referee may not return to play for the remainder of the Barbarian Cup and will be referred to their local athletic association. 
A student-athlete receiving a yellow card will be temporarily suspended for 5 minutes of playing time on  day one and 7 minutes of playing time on day two.  

A Jury of Appeal will deal with any discipline issues or disputes that arise during the Barbarian Cup.  The Jury of Appeal will be composed of three members of the organizing committee that are not  coaching in the draw in which an appealing team is playing.  

A dispute must be submitted in writing to a member of the Organizing Committee together with a $25  fee, refundable if the dispute is upheld, within 30 minutes of the conclusion of the game in which the incident under dispute occurred. Decisions of the Jury of Appeal are final.  

The referee is the sole judge of fact and law on the field. The Jury of Appeal will not accept appeals of  judgment calls made by the referee or their assistants during play.  

Referees will be appointed by the Barbarian Cup Organizing Committee. Teams are expected to  provide a touch judge for all games except the championship game where assistant referees will be  provided.  

Athletic therapists will be at the tournament while all games are being played. Therapists will provide assessment and first aid treatment for players. Therapists will also provide taping before a game but teams must supply their own tape.  

Referees in consultation with the athletic therapists have the final say on whether an injured player will  be allowed to continue to play. This includes suspected concussions. 

All student-athletes, coaches, and trainers are asked to review the Concussion Awareness Resources found by clicking here.