For player welfare reasons there is a period each year during which there is a mandatory break from playing rugby matches. This includes not just XVs but also Sevens and Tens. It also applies to age grade games. The period during which no matches are allowed is known as “Close Time”.
The Close Time Period does not apply to:
- Touch, Tag, Wheelchair and Beach Rugby;
- Training or gym sessions; and
- Matches or Events for which Scottish Rugby has provided written permission.
During 2020 Close Time will run from 18 May to 1 August 2020.
Scottish Rugby’s Regulation
Scottish Rugby reserves the right to approve all matches and tournaments taking place within its jurisdiction. This includes in relation to any matches proposed to take place during Close Time.
These rules are further explained within our domestic regulation Scottish Domestic Regulation 16: Match Approvals and Permission to Tour. All those within the Scottish Rugby Union’s jurisdiction are required to comply with this Regulation.
Assistance in obtaining Scottish Rugby’s consent to hold a match during Close Time is available below.
SDR16: Match Approvals and Permission to Tour
1. The Scottish Rugby Union (“Scottish Rugby”) acknowledges that it is obliged to comply with those Regulations Relating to the Game issued from time to time by World Rugby (WR).
2. Scottish Rugby recognises that WR has issued a specific Regulation in respect of the Organisation of International Matches; International Tournaments; International Tours (WR Regulation 16). The Scottish Rugby Board (the “Board”) has adopted WR Regulation 16 within Scottish Rugby’s domestic regulations.
3. The Domestic Regulation below relates to the approval of matches and permission to tour within Scottish Rugby’s area of jurisdiction. All those within Scottish Rugby’s jurisdiction are required to comply with this Regulation.
Approval of Matches
4. No rugby football match or tournament, including in relation to any WR recognised variation of the game, shall take place within Scotland without the approval of the Board. The Board shall have an absolute right to refuse permission in respect of any match or tournament.
5. Unless otherwise revoked by the Board, approval is hereby granted in respect of any match which:
5.1 Is subject to the National Competition Rules and the date and time of which has been determined and notified in accordance with those Rules; or
5.2 Has been arranged between two or more member clubs during the playing season and does not conflict with a match within a National Competition approved under 5.1 above.
6. For the avoidance of doubt no member club or affiliated school shall play a match:
- in Close Time;
- against a touring team in Scotland;
- within the jurisdiction of another Union on tour; or
- against a Scratch Team
without the prior written permission of Scottish Rugby.
Approval of Matches in Close Time
7. No XV-a-side, ten-a-side or seven-a-side match or tournament shall take place within Scotland during Close Time without the prior written approval of the Board.
8. The Board may consider applications for the approval of matches / tournaments during Close Time. In granting any such approval the Board shall be entitled to impose such conditions as it deems to be appropriate on a case by case basis.
9. Where any such approval has been granted for three consecutive years, deemed approval may be assumed for the match or event to take place on the same terms, and on a similar date, in future years. The Board reserves the absolute right to revoke any such deemed approval without prior notice.
10. For the avoidance of doubt the Board shall have the absolute right to refuse permission to play in Close Time.
Approval of Overseas Tour
11. No member club/affiliated school may arrange or fulfil a Tour outwith Scotland without:
(a) Obtaining prior written approval from both the Board and from the Union(s) being visited;
(b) Arranging such travel, medical and other insurance as may be appropriate (and demonstrating the same where requested by Scottish Rugby);
(c) In the case of age-grade teams, ascertaining the age banding regulations and law variations applicable in the jurisdiction being visited and obtaining written confirmation from Scottish Rugby that participation under these regulations / laws is acceptable to the Board; and
(d) Complying with any other conditions or requirements as the Board may require.
12. For the avoidance of doubt the Board shall have the absolute right to refuse permission to Tour.
Permission for Incoming Tours
13. No member club/affiliated school may arrange or fulfil a match/tournament involving an incoming team without written evidence from the touring team’s Union that it has been granted permission to Tour, and ensuring that such permission has been countersigned by Scottish Rugby on behalf of the Board.
14. It shall be a precondition of the Board granting permission for the tour that the host club / school has and, where requested by Scottish Rugby, is able to evidence that it has:
(a) Ascertained that the visiting team has such personal accident, travel, health and other insurances as may be appropriate;
(b) In the case of age-grade teams and players, it has provided the visiting team with a copy of Scottish Rugby age banding and age related law variations and has obtained the visiting team’s written agreement to abide by the same for the duration of their tour to Scotland; and
(c) Complied with any conditions or requirements the Board may have set out in granting permission for the incoming Tour.
15. For the avoidance of doubt the Board shall have the right to refuse permission to host any incoming Tour.
Permission for Matches involving Scratch Teams
16. For the purpose of this regulation a Scratch Team is one which is neither:
(a) A team organised by and representing a club in membership of Scottish Rugby or of another WR recognised Union; or
(b) Is a representative team of a Union recognised by WR.
17. No member club/affiliated school may arrange or fulfil a match involving a Scratch Team without the prior written permission of the Board.
18. It shall be a precondition of the Board granting permission for the match that:
(a) The organisers of any Scratch Team participating in the match/tournament have arranged catastrophic injury insurance for its players on a basis acceptable to Scottish Rugby;
(b) The organisers of the match and any Scratch Team agree to be bound by Scottish Rugby’s regulations; and
(c) The organisers of the match and any Scratch Team agree to comply with any conditions or requirements the Board may set out in granting permission for the match.
19. For the avoidance of doubt the Board shall have the right to refuse permission to host any match or tournament involving a Scratch Team.
20. It shall be an offence subject to potential disciplinary proceedings to participate or to encourage others to participate in:
(a) An unauthorised match or tournament in Scotland, including during Close Time;
(b) A Tour outwith Scotland for which permission has not been granted or, where granted, any condition attached to the approval has not been fulfilled;
(c) Hosting a Tour to Scotland for which permission has not been granted or, where granted, any condition attached to the approval has not been fulfilled;
(d) A match or tournament involving a Scratch Team for which permission has not been granted or, where granted, any condition attached to the approval has not been fulfilled; or
(e) To make misleading or false statements in relation to any application to play in Close Time, any permission to go on Tour or to host an incoming Tour or any application in respect of a match or tournament involving a Scratch Team.
21. Any disciplinary procedures arising under the Regulation shall be conducted in accordance with the Misconduct procedures set out within Scottish Rugby’s Rules for Disciplinary Procedures.
Permission to Play in “Close Time”
On a case by case basis Scottish Rugby may consider applications to hold matches during the Close Time period. To apply for permission for such a match please use this form:
Please note that we are unlikely to grant approval for any match scheduled to take place after the third Sunday in June i.e. 21 June 2020.
Matches/Events Approved in the 2019 Close Time Window
The following matches / tournaments were approved for the 2019 Close Time period:
Frequently Asked Questions
To assist those looking for more information on match approvals and permission to tour we have prepared a summary of Frequently Asked Questions.
For queries about playing during the Summer break (Close Time) please email [email protected] or phone Nicola Murray on 0131 346 5102.