Matches and Tours

News : Touring and Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Government and NHS advice is that the current Coronavirus outbreak may affect organisations for some months. During this time we would ask all clubs to respect the welfare of both their club members and the wider community.

Incoming Tours

We would remind club's that as part of the application process in relation to Hosting a Tour, clubs must check on the insurance arrangements made by the incoming Touring club (including in relation to access to appropriate medical care, etc. should the need arise).

Please consider the welfare of both your own club members and that of the incoming Tour party. Please keep in touch with the latest medical information by monitoring NHS Inform.

Outgoing Tours

If your club has approval for an Outgoing Tour (and hence will be playing out of Scotland) you should refer to the UK Government’s travel advice and to continue to monitor the appropriateness of the trip in the light of the conditions at home, at the Tour location and at any intermediate points (such as transit airports). It is recommended that a full Risk Assessment be undertaken prior to any overseas trip. At this time we would strongly recommend that this Risk Assessment specifically includes consideration as to whether the trip remains both necessary and appropriate in the light of the current Coronavirus situation and, if your club decides to continue with the Tour, what additional contingency measures it requires to put in place as a result of it.

Please also keep in touch with the latest medical information by monitoring NHS Inform .

For Club Tours outwith the UK please also refer to the note below from Scottish Rugby's insurance brokers, AON :

All Approved Tours : Change of Circumstance

If an approved Tour (either into or out of Scotland) has been cancelled, or requires to be rescheduled, please advise us by emailing :[email protected] or by phoning Nicola Murray on 0131 346 5102.

Scottish Rugby’s Regulation

Scottish Rugby reserves the right to approve all matches and tournaments taking place within its jurisdiction. Under World Rugby rules special permission is also required for any tour match or tournament featuring teams from more than one Union. Clubs are also reminded that specific permission is required to play a match in Scotland during the summer break (“Close Time”) and for games against “scratch” teams.

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.

Further assistance in relation to Permission to Tour, obtaining our consent to hold a match during Close Time and for games involving scratch teams is available below.

Permission to Tour

WR Regulation 16 sets out the approval process in relation to international tours and tournaments. Scottish Rugby has adopted this WR Regulation into its domestic regulations.

Guidance as to how a club or affiliated school can obtain Permission to Tour or Permission to Host a Tour from another Union can be found below.

  • Permission to Tour: If you are planning to play outwith Scotland.

    If your club or school is planning to play rugby outside Scotland you will need to obtain permission to do so from both the Scottish Rugby and the Union you are visiting. The steps in this process are as follows:

    Tours involving players under the age of 18

    1. Ask the club / school you are visiting to provide details of any age related rules/law variations operating in their Union. For player welfare and insurance reasons we will only approve tours played under comparable age-banding conditions, game variations and Laws as are used in Scotland. If you wish to discuss our age banding policies/rules please contact Shona Stott: [email protected] or phone 0131 346 5155.

    As part of the approval process for any age grade tour please note that we will require written confirmation that any matches on tour will either be:-

    (i) Played under local variations which are acceptable to Scottish Rugby; or
    (ii) Will be played under Scottish AYRTPR rules.

    2. Discuss the proposed Tour with your club's Child Protection Officer (CPO) or person responsible in your school for safeguarding. In particular you will need to consider with them the contents of Scottish Rugby's safeguarding best practice guide on Overnight Trips and/or Travel Abroad.

    3. Obtain approval for the Tour from your club's Committee (this must be the club's senior decision making body and not just the mini or youth section committee). For School Tours please obtain permission from the school's Headmaster or Senior Management Team.

    4. Seek Scottish Rugby's approval for the Tour by completing and submitting a Tour Application Form. This form is available below:-

    Please note that we will not process a club application unless it has been signed off by both the club CPO and the Club Secretary or President. We will also not approve your application if we believe that the club does not have appropriate safeguarding procedures in place. School applications must be signed off by the person responsible for safeguarding and a member of the school's Senior Management Team.

    Tours by Adult Teams

    Please complete and return a copy of the Tour Application Form below to Scottish Rugby's Regulatory Department:-

    Next Steps ...

    On receipt of your application we will review it and, providing everything is in order, we will officially stamp it and electronically pass it to the other Union(s) for their own approval. We will also email the applicant a copy of the approved form and a covering letter (and for clubs we will copy in the Club Secretary). A copy of the correspondence should be retained for the club’s / school's own records and a hard copy should be provided to the Tour manager to take with them.

    Please note that at certain times of year we receive a considerable number of Tour approval and similar requests. Whilst we will do our best to process your application as quickly as possible, applicants are recommended to plan accordingly.

    Further Help

    If you can't find the information you're looking for, have a specific query or wish assistance with the processing of your Permission to Tour request please email [email protected] or phone Nicola Murray on 0131 346 5102.

  • Permission to Host a Tour: If you plan to host a team from outwith Scotland.

    If your club or school is planning to play a visiting team from outwith Scotland:

    • The visiting team will need permission from its own Union to make the Tour; and
    • You will need to obtain Scottish Rugby’s permission to play them.

    The steps in this process are as follows:

    1. You should inform Scottish Rugby of the proposed incoming Tour by completing our Permission to Host a Tour Form.

    2. We require that any match played in Scotland is played under our own player welfare rules. Thus, for instance:

    (i) If it is an adult match, the touring team will not be able to field any under 18 players;

    (ii) If it is an age grade match, Scottish age-banding and other rules apply.

    3. We will expect you to advise the visiting club / school of the relevant Scottish rules and to ensure that your guests comply with these.

    4. We require you to make enquiries to ensure that your guest teams have arranged appropriate travel and medical insurance. You should be in a position to provide evidence to this effect if requested.

    5. The visiting team’s Union should provide us with a copy of its authorisation for the team to Tour. On receipt of this approval we will review it and, if everything is in order, we will officially stamp it to signify our own approval.

    6. We will then email a copy of the approved Form and a covering letter to the Secretary of your club.

    7. The Club Secretary should retain a copy of the correspondence for the club's records.

    Please note that at certain times of year we receive a considerable number of Tour approval and similar requests. Whilst we will do our best to process your application as quickly as possible, applicants are recommended to plan accordingly.

    Further Help

    If you can't find the information you're looking for, have a specific query or wish assistance with the processing of your Permission to Host a Tour request please email [email protected] or phone Nicola Murray on 0131 346 5102.

Permission to play matches involving a Scratch Team

For regulatory and insurance purposes approval must be sought for matches involving “scratch” teams. A scratch team is one which neither belongs to a member club of a Union (such as the SRU) nor is a representative side of a Union. Often scratch teams are formed to play one off games e.g. charity matches. To apply for permission to hold a match involving a scratch team please use this form:

Application to play a match involving a Scratch Team

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.

  • Who is covered by the Regulation?

    The Regulation covers clubs in membership of the Scottish Rugby Union, affiliated Scottish schools and visiting clubs/schools during their stay in Scotland.

  • Do we have to apply for approval for every fixture?

    No. Whilst Scottish Rugby reserves the right to approve any fixture, approval is only normally required where:

    1. The match involves clubs/teams from more than one Union (e.g. a Scottish club going on tour, a Scottish club hosting an incoming touring team or two incoming teams wishing to play a match in Scotland); or
    2. The planned match is during the Summer rugby break (known as “Close Time”); or
    3. The match involves a non-club team, such as those sometimes drawn together to mark a special occasion or for a charity match (“Scratch Teams”).
  • Tours FAQ's

    How do we apply for Permission to Tour? There is a standard form on our website. The form should be completed under the authority of your club committee.

    When should we apply? Clubs are advised to apply as early as possible, and at least four weeks before the departure date, as we will require to obtain the approval of the other Union(s).

    Do we need to apply if we are only visiting England, Wales or Ireland? Yes. Whilst there is an informal arrangement between the “Home Unions” that permission will be granted, approval is still required under the relevant WR Regulation.

    What are the consequences if we don’t apply? If you tour without permission your club may be subject to misconduct proceedings. The tour party will also not receive the benefit of the free travel extension available under the Club Accident Insurance Policy.

    We have an incoming touring team. What should we do about Tour Approval? You should let us know by using the form on our website and the visiting team should apply for permission to tour from its own Union. Your visitors’ Union will ask the SRU to approve the match against your club/school. We will send you a copy of the approval when granted.

  • Matches during the Summer break “Close Time” FAQ's

    Why is there a summer break from matches? This is a player welfare issue.

    Does this mean that my club needs permission to train in the summer? No. The ban is from playing matches. If you want to hold training / practice sessions then this is fine.

    Does the summer ban on matches involve all forms of the game? The summer break includes XV’s, tens and sevens - both adult and age-grade. It does not involve other forms of the game recognised by World Rugby (such as Touch, Tag and Beach rugby).

    How long does the summer break last? The exact dates each year are set out in the National Competition Rules.

    What are the consequences if we don’t apply? Your club may be subject to misconduct proceedings.

    Can we apply to play a match in Close Time? Yes, permission may be granted if there is a good reason why the game must be played in Close Time. Please use the application form on our website.

  • Matches against Scratch Teams FAQ's

    What is a “Scratch Team”? A Scratch Team is one which is not part of a SRU member club or a SRU Affiliated School, or for which permission has been granted for an incoming Tour or is a representative team of any Union in membership of World Rugby (WR). Scratch teams are often formed to play charity matches or in relation to special one-off events.

    Why is permission required for Scratch Matches? Under WR Regulations Scottish Rugby is obliged to be able to regulate all rugby union within our territory. We also need to make sure that all those playing the game are provided with appropriate catastrophic injury insurance cover.

    How do we apply for permission to play a Scratch Match? There is an application form on our website.

    What are the consequences if we don’t apply? Those involved in the match (including players, match officials and club administrators) may be subject to misconduct proceedings.

Contact details

Tour Approvals: If you can't find the information you're looking for, have a specific query or require assistance processing a Tour Approval please email your query to [email protected] or phone Nicola Murray on 0131 346 5102.

Close Time: For queries about playing during the Summer break (Close Time), or if you require assistance processing a request to play in Close Time, please email your query to [email protected] or phone Nicola Murray on 0131 346 5102.

Scratch Matches: For queries about playing a Scratch Match please contact Scottish Rugby's Head of Regulation, Graham Ireland, at [email protected] or phone 0131 346 5004.

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