Rules for all Festivals


The rules below are designed to encourage open running, attacking play, optimum participation and enjoyment, positive team culture and positive side-line culture in accordance with ‘England Rugby NROP and Core Values’.

All age groups are in accordance with the RFU guidelines:


Match Officiation: With the introduction of the NROP the emphasis of all matches should be placed on player participation and enjoyment. The implementation of any change requires experts to facilitate effectively. The coaches are those experts and thus a refereeing requirement is placed on all visiting coaches, as described in the orders of play. There is bound to be extenuation of circumstance for some, eg. A coach carrying an injury. Should coaches find that at any time such a situation arises they are asked to apply flexibility; if they both agree they may ref the game themselves, sharing a half each.


The event is blessed with the support of outstanding venues; all try to aid with the officiation of matches by supplying their own teaching staff, however, this cannot be guaranteed and thus please expect to ref.


There will be a zero tolerance of any poor behavior towards a referee. Any such incident must be reported immediately and will be dealt with; “The referee is in charge at all times!”


It is expected that coaches, parents and spectators will demonstrate common sense for the well-being of their children throughout the event.


  1. Group systems will be operated with points awarded as listed:

a)   4 points awarded to the team with most tries scored (points instead of tries when conversions are taken)

b)   2 points if number of tries scored is equal.

c)   There will be 1 bonus point for either side scoring multiples of 2 tries. (Rewarding the core value of open attacking rugby.)

d)   And 1 bonus point for a team that has scored one less try. (Rewarding the core value of defensive skills in tandem with attacking skills.)

e)   Teams will be scored by the referee (0 to 3) on sportsmanship and respect of others (in order to encourage equal team and player participation). Descriptors below:

0        =          Poor sportsmanship; a clear, and repetitive, lack of respect for the referee and his decisions.

1        =          Unsportsmanlike behavior of a minor nature without repetition.

2        =          Sportsmanlike conduct, in line with ‘The RFU Core Values’.

3        =          An exceptional level of Sportsmanship & respect for others; exceeding the expectations of ‘The RFU Core Values’.

f)     The support offered by the touchline from parents & staff will be scored by the referee (0 to 3) on sportsmanship and respect of others; descriptors as in point e).

g)   Points achieved from categories a) to f) will be integral in the final calculation and all points gained from either category have equity in value.


  1. 2.   All teams involved in the NSRT Festivals of Rugby will be invited to participate in a second FESTIVAL of Rugby at either Epsom College or Taunton School on SUNDAY 18TH MARCH 2018. You may choose your venue considering logistics, but we encourage all to venture to other areas to experience meeting different teams and making new contacts.


U8 to U11 age groups will operate league systems with all teams playing the same appropriate number of matches. Teams will meet and play other teams from across the regions. All results will be published on the NSRT website after the Festival.


U13 & 12  – A round of group matches will be followed by a short ‘Waterfall’ round of matches.



All children involved in the Festival will be awarded a bespoke certificate at the second festivals (collected from the control point by their teacher), commemorating their outstanding contribution to the development of rugby.



3. Teams must report to the pitch they are playing on 2 minutes before the kick off time.


4. The current R.F.U. Schools NROP are applicable to all festivals. Please refer to the link below:





5. Reserves. Each team may have a maximum of 6 reserves, which may be used at any stage of the tournament. It is the responsibility of the team coach to ensure that a player suitable to play in any given position, in accordance with NROP. The increased number of reserves is to allow schools to provide opportunity of participation to more pupils. It must be noted that it is the decision of the coach as to how many reserves attend but a minimum of 4 is recommended (pending pupil number within your school).


6. Teams will be made up of the maximum number of players stipulated by England Rugby NROP.


7. Length of matches. All matches will be 7 mins each way unless specified otherwise in the orders of play; (for example, in small groups longer games may be stipulated and in larger groups shorter games stipulated). The objective being to ensure that all children receive equitable match time and thus opportunity.


8. No weight limit will operate for all age groups.