Midwest Rugby Football Union

Introduction

A promotion and relegation policy has been developed and will be applied to men’s clubs in good standing with the Midwest Rugby Union/CR, which compete in USA Rugby (USAR) Divisions I, II, III and IV. The policy was created to maximize competitive landscape and attain the following mandatory match requirements to compete under in the national championships effective for the 2014-15 cycle:

      Division I: 14

      Division II: 10

      Division III: 8*

      DIV: 6**

*The USAR match qualification requirements for DIII clubs is eight. Due to the large density of DIII clubs in the CR, the Midwest is keeping 8 pre-playoff matches a requirement. However there are smaller clusters of DIII clubs at the geographic edges of the CR, where additional matches outside of their geography may impose an economic hardship. These smaller clusters will be provided a waiver and held to the eight-match, USAR requirement.

**While DIV clubs do not play for a USAR National Championship, it is recommended that these clubs play a minimum six match schedule to qualify for a Midwest Competitive Region Championship.

League structure

In tandem with the enactment of the promotion and relegation policy, the competitions committee is capping the maximum number of clubs in each division to:

      Achieve the mandatory match requirements

      Maximize the opportunity to fulfill fixtures during optimal climate periods

      Contain costs associated with travel

Clubs will be responsible for playing a home/away series within regional leagues comprised of:

      Division I: 7 clubs

      Division II: 6 minimum/7 maximum

      Division III: 5 minimum/6 maximum 

      DIV: None

In order to arrive at theses contained leagues and maximize competitions during a competitive cycle, the CR has adopted the following promotion and relegation format:

Promotion*

A side shall be automatically promoted to the next highest available division if, at the end of the current competitive cycle:
[a] the side played in the USA Rugby semifinals in their current division for the second consecutive year OR
[b] the side won the Midwest Rugby Union title in their current division for the second consecutive year OR
[c] the side won the Midwest Rugby Union title in their current division AND had an average point differential of +28 points/game or greater in league games within that division.

If a team refuses promotion, that team is ineligible for qualifying for championship matches at the same or lower level in the next immediate competitive cycle. That team may play in its current league, but that team’s matches will not count in the standings.

 

*Should a D4 club request promotion to a league that is at capacity, a play-in match will be scheduled between the requesting team and the last place finisher. The winner of the match will compete in the DIII and the loser will be relegated, or remain in DIV.

Relegation

A side shall be automatically relegated to the next lowest available division if, at the end of the current season:
[a] the side finished last in their current division for the second consecutive year OR
[b] the side finished with an average point differential of -28 points/game or worse in league games within that division for the second consecutive year OR
[c] the side finished last in their current division AND had an average point differential of -28 points/game or worse in league games within that division OR
[d] the side forfeited more than one league match in their current division due to insufficient numbers or refusal to play scheduled matches.

Exception: promotion or relegation is not automatic if the result is two sides from the same club competing in the same division. If the relegation of a clubs A-side will result in that side being in the same division as their second-side, their second-side may also be relegated.

It is possible for more than one side in a given division to be promoted or relegated within the same year. Club sides that are not in good standing, e.g. due to non-payment of dues or CIPP violations, may be relegated even if none of the above criteria apply.

Appeals and voluntary promotion/relegation

      A club may appeal automatic promotion or relegation or it may request voluntary promotion or relegation to a new division.

      A side may not appeal automatic promotion or relegation from the same division in consecutive seasons. For example, if a club successfully appeals its promotion and then qualifies for promotion again the following year, then it will be promoted. A second appeal will not be allowed.

      Criteria that may be considered by CR competitions committee when ruling on an appeal may include, but are not limited to, forfeits, margin of loss/victory, club size and location, coaching, anticipated player turnover, past performance, and if the club field sides in other divisions.

Procedure and Notice

The competitions committee will notify all clubs of the preliminary divisional alignments for the upcoming competitive cycle no later than 21 days after the completion of the USA Rugby Club Championships.

 

Each club shall then have 21 days in which to submit a written appeal regarding the division in which any of its sides have been placed. The competitions committee will rule on any appeals and notify all clubs of the final divisional alignment no later than July 15.