Competitors’ guide

Welcome

Thank you for registering for National Pub & Hen Sevens

Location

The tournament is held at Harpenden Rugby Club, Redbourn Lane, Harpenden AL5 2BA (link to map)

If you are travelling via the M1, the simplest option from North or South is to leave at junction 9, take the A5183 south towards St. Albans, then after a couple of miles at the roundabout take the first exit onto B487 towards Harpenden. The club is about ½ a mile up there on the right. There will be a lot of activity on the day so you won’t miss it.

Important note on footwear for the AGP

We will be playing as many matches as possible on our 3G pitch. For the safety of players and to protect the pitch, there are strict rules for what footwear can be worn on this pitch. Please make sure that all your players are aware of the following.

  • The only footwear that can be worn on the pitch, either for training or for matches, is boots with moulded or screw in studs.  Boots with blades and trainers cannot ever be worn on the pitch. This applies to anyone who passes through the pitch gate, including coaches, physios, team managers, non-playing players, referees, assistant referees, etc.
  • You must enter and exit the pitch via the gate only.
  • As the grass pitches are likely to be firm, you may need two sets of boots, one for the 3G pitch and one for the grass pitches

Entering the ground

Please make sure your squad members are made aware of the following to save time and hassle upon arrival.

  • Each squad of 12 will be given 15 entry tickets in advance, giving them free entry to the grounds
  • Each player must produce a ticket to enter the ground without paying. We appreciate that it may be difficult for Managers/Captains to distribute tickets to all members of their squad in advance, so the following should help:
    • Any player without a ticket will have to pay the £5 entry fee on arrival. In return he / she will be given a wrist band. They can then collect a ticket from their Captain and return to the entrance where, upon production of both ticket and wrist band, they will be refunded the £5.

Timings and general notes

Arrive any time from 7:30 on Sunday, or the day before is fine if you are camping (bring your own tents). Many teams bring a small gazebo to act as a base and that’s fine. The earlier you arrive, the better spot you’ll find.

Registration will be open from 8:00, you must register before 9:30 which is when we do the draw so that teams know when they are playing and can time warm-up, nutrition etc.

It’s not unusual for one or two teams to be short of players on the day. Don’t worry if that happens but let us know as soon as you can. There are often players without a team or we can combine teams if absolutely necessary as long as we know before the draw. If you’re running late or have any other issues, give us a call as early as you can on 07818 063595 and we’ll do as much as we can to help. 

The first matches will kick off at 10:30. The final match will be around 6pm.

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times

We ask people not to bring their own alcoholic drinks as bar sales are a major source of revenue for the club on the day. There will be plenty of food and drink on offer including two bars and a Pimms, Prosecco and shots tent.

We’ll give each team a couple of bin liners on arrival. It really helps us clear up if you can bag up your rubbish before you leave.

If you are camping, please don’t light fires as it damages the pitch, and is a fire hazard if the weather stays dry.

Teams are expected to provide their own insurance. If you are representing a club you will be covered by their insurance, otherwise you can download and complete a form from http://www.rfu.com/managingrugby/insurance/clubadministrators/rfuarrangedcover

Tournament Structure and Rules

The National Pub 7s tournament is a pool-based elimination structure where, depending on final numbers, teams will be in leagues of three where the winners of each league go into the Singleton Cup, the runners up go into the ‘Barrel’ and the third-placed team in each league goes into the ‘Plate’. The ‘Cup’, the ‘Barrel’ and the Plate’ competitions are then a straight knock-out format. This format will guarantee all teams at least three games.

The Hen 7s will have a similar structure depending on numbers.

In the event that teams are equal on league points at the end of the pool stage, the team which has scored the most points will progress. In the event of the number of points scored being equal the team with the most tries will progress. In the event of the number of tries being equal the team with the highest positive points difference will proceed. If the teams still cannot be separated the decision will be made on the toss of a coin.

General rules

The Tournament will be conducted entirely under the control of Harpenden Rugby Football Club (hereafter referred to as HRFC) whose decision, in all matters, is final. In the event of any complaint arising from any game the Tournament Manager’s decision (which may be made with input from the Referee Manager and HRFC) will be final.

Competition laws and rules

The competition will be played under current World Rugby Laws with 7 a-side variations as amended below.

  1. A representative of each side must report to the Central Control (in the main stand) for the captains’ briefing 30 minutes before the start of the competition and supply the names of all players in the squad to the Central Control prior to the order of play being published.
  2. The first games will kick off promptly at 10:30
  3. Players may only change teams with the agreement in advance of HRFC
  4. A maximum squad size for the tournament of 12 players is in place
  5. For each game all players are nominated as playing and up to five (5) interchanges can be made.
  6. An interchange is defined as being a player leaving the field of play and being replaced by another. An interchange does not occur if a player leaves the field because of an injury caused by foul play.
  7. All teams are encouraged to bring an alternative strip in case of a colour clash. In the event of a clash the first listed team will change
  8. All players must have adequate playing insurance through their team or club (standard RFU insurance is a minimum requirement).
  9. The team captain will be called to the centre of the pitch prior to the start of each game for the toss up for kick-off, or choice of ends. Failure to attend will result in the team being deemed to have lost the toss.
  10. Teams should assemble at the pitch and make their presence known to the Pitch Marshal at least 3 minutes before the advertised kick-off time
  11. Games will start at their allotted times and late arrival at the pitch ultimately risks disqualification
  12. If any team is going to be late arriving at the grounds they must telephone the Tournament Manager on 07818 063595 who will endeavour to reschedule games but there will be no guarantee of this
  13. In the pool games 3 points will be awarded for a win and 2 points will be awarded for a draw and 1 point for a loss, 0 points will be awarded for a no show or a referee’s disqualification
  14. The draw will be made available at 9:45 on the day of the competition
  15. The organisers, their employees or their helpers cannot be held responsible for any loss, or damage, to any individual’s property or valuables. It is the responsibility of the team captain/manager to make appropriate arrangements
  16. Any player aged under 18 must have been assessed as capable of playing adult rugby in accordance with RFU regulation 15

Playing laws

  1. Games will be played under the current World Rugby Laws Standard set of variations for Sevens and any applicable RFU Law Interpretations/Variations. All items of protective clothing, padding or likewise, must conform to IRB Laws and regulations.
  2. Each game will be played for 7 minutes each way with a 1 minute half-time except for the Singleton Cup Final which will be 10 minutes each way. No extra time will be played in the pool rounds of the tournament and matches will be left drawn
  3. In the knockout rounds if, at the end of normal time, neither side has won, captains will toss for the right to kick off or choice of ends and play will continue in periods of five minutes, changing ends after each period without further interval with the first side to score being declared the winner
  4. Substitutions/replacements must only be made with the referee’s permission and when there is a stoppage, or the ball is out of play. Players who have been substituted may replace an injured player in the same game but may not be brought back otherwise
  5. Any player sent off (red card) will not be allowed to play in the remainder of the tournament. Their team plays with less than 7 players for the rest of that game. The team is, however, allowed to start with 7 players for subsequent games
  6. In the event of a side being unable to continue to field 7 players during a game, other than through sending-off, then the game is abandoned and
    • If a pool game, then the pool game is considered as abandoned by the referee and points awarded accordingly
    • If a knock-out game, the other side goes through
  7. For a kick at goal after a try has been scored between the posts, where possible the kick will be made from behind in-goal so that the ball is more readily available for the restart of the game (i.e. the ball is kicked towards the halfway line)
  8. For a kick at goal after a try has been scored other than between the posts, one player of the opposing team is required to be behind the in-goal area to retrieve the ball