The following regulations apply to Senior Club Men’s Clubs competing in National Championship Series (NCS) Divisions 1, 2, and 3, and Super Regionals Division 4. [This applies to Capital Rugby Union Clubs; currently, there is one (1) EPRU club in the Men’s D1 competition (“MAC”); MAC is managed by Capital. Specifics regarding the EPRU are at the very bottom under (*).]
As of 2024-2025, D1 will have a goal of a maximum of 8 teams. At the end of 2023-2024, the bottom D1 club (D1 team #9) will go to D2. In 2024-2025, D2 clubs may be promoted to D1 in the place of the lowest D1 clubs (#8, #7, etc.), based on the following.
Any D2, D3 or D4 team will be promoted to the next higher division if they:
- win the USA Rugby National Championship (D2, D3) or Atlantic Super Regional (D4) in their current division OR
- win the Capital Rugby Union title in their current division for the second consecutive year OR
- win the Capital Rugby Union title in their current division AND have an average point differential of +35 points/game or greater in league games within that division during the current season.
Additionally, if a D2, D3 or D4 team wins the Capital title in their current division, they may request a challenge match at the home site of the current last place team in the next highest division to be played on the week after the Super Regional. The last place team may opt to concede the match.
Any D1 or D2 team(s) will be relegated to the next lower division if they have an average point differential of -35 points/game or less in league games within that division during the current season.
Given the geography of teams in D4, clubs in D3 will not be relegated into D4 except by voluntarily requesting it and understanding the relegation implication outlined in this policy.
Multiple teams may be promoted or relegated.
- The D1 league will be set at a maximum of 8 teams and the D2 league will have a goal of a minimum of 6 teams, with teams potentially coming in and out via relegation.
- If the number of D1 teams becomes higher due to promotions and appeals for a coming year, the teams over the 8 team threshold will be relegated in the following year.
- If there are fewer than 8 teams in D1 or 6 teams in D2, the D2 or D3 team (respectively) will be promoted without a team being relegated from D1 or D2.
In the event that a club’s higher division team is relegated and is now in the same division as their lower division team, their lower division team will be relegated. Specifically:
- D1 and D3 sides: D1 side is relegated to D2; D3 stays in a D3 division.
- D1 and D2 sides: D1 side gets relegated to D2; original D2 side goes to a D3 division.
- D2 and D3 sides: D2 side gets relegated to a D3 division; D3 side has to go to D4. [This is a USAR SCC Eligibility matter.]
- D3 and D4 sides: D3 side gets relegated to D4; D4 side has to be removed from D4.
A team may request a voluntary relegation but must be aware that they will be ineligible for Capital or Super Regional Playoffs for the next competitive cycle. However, they will be fully integrated into their division’s competition and are expected to follow current national registration and competition match system requirements. If that team does not follow registration and match requirements, they will be ineligible for playoffs in the following competitive cycle.
Club teams that are not in good standing (e.g., failed to comply with USA Rugby eligibility requirements, have had a forfeit) may be relegated even if none of the above criteria apply.
A club may:
- appeal promotion or relegation OR
- request voluntary promotion or relegation to a new division.
- Either an appeal or a request must be made via Email to the Capital Competition Committee no later than 5 calendar days after the current year’s National Championship.
- Criteria that may be considered by the Capital Competition Committee when ruling on an appeal or a request may include, but are not limited to, forfeits, margin of loss/victory, club size and location, coaching, anticipated player turnover, past performance, and whether the club fields teams in other divisions.
- A subsequent appeal of a decision on the above by the Capital Competition Committee must be made within 5 calendar days after the decision has been sent via Email to the Capital Rugby Union President.
(*) EPRU Teams: A D2 club from the EPRU may be promoted into D1 using the competition regulations within the EPRU, as well as written support from the EPRU Competitions Committee. At a minimum, the promotion procedures must follow guidelines given above for Capital Rugby Union teams. Relegation within D1 will follow the Capital Rugby Union guidelines.