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Rugby Illinois Return to Play - Rules & Update

By Rugby Illinois, 04/25/21, 9:00AM CDT


April 28th, 2021

Illinois has allowed a season to take place. Stay tuned, more information to come. Likely April to June!

New Trier Rugby Club are following all applicable State of Illinois, City of Chicago, USA Rugby, Midwest Rugby, CARFU and Rugby Illinois guidelines in order to slowly, safely and smartly return to rugby. The below protocol is mandatory and must be followed by everyone participating in any New Trier Rugby Club program as a player, coach or administrator. No exceptions are allowed, and anyone who participates or attempts to participate in a New Trier Rugby Club event without fully following the protocol is subject to discipline, up to and including being permanently banned from the organization. Failure to follow the guidelines endangers the health of your clubmates and their families, will impact the return of competitive rugby, and could subject the New Trier Rugby Club to legal liability.

Download our Return to Play PDF below.

November 19, 2020

The State of Illinois, US Centers for Disease Control, World Rugby COVID-19 Guidelines and USA Rugby COVID-19 Guidelines allow Rugby Illinois to consider resumption of training or matches.

As a response to the increased number of Covid 19 cases and steadily increasing positivity rate in Illinois, the IDPH has advanced the state to Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation. These measures go into effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, November 20th.

The pertinent verbiage in the IDPH statement includes the following that would apply to RIL member clubs:

  • Health/Fitness facilities – “no indoor group classes”
  • Organized Group and Recreational activities – Pause all indoor sporting activities, including youth sports. Individual training may remain.

Outdoor sports and recreational activities are allowed: Participant group and practices are limited to a TOTAL of 10 persons (this includes coaches) and face coverings are required for all activities at all times.

On behalf of the RIL Executive and Competition Committees, I need to:

  1. Remind all clubs that, before any activity can take place at this time, a Return to Play (RTP) protocol specific to your club needs to be submitted to, and approved by, the RIL Compliance Committee. And to…
  2. Inform you that all RIL clubs and select sides are to comply with the aforementioned IDPH Tier 3 Mitigation directives until such time as these measures are reversed.

The current further restrictions are tied to the present state of COVID spread within Illinois. While we are not going to enforce a “Pause” in outdoor activity, we do, however, discourage all activity at the present time in order to do our part as an organization to reduce any further outbreak that could hinder a Spring youth sports season.

It’s the end of November. It’s getting cold. There’s a lot of anxiety about this right now. Please do not allow enthusiasm to turn into recklessness.

The entire text of the IDPH statement can be viewed here:

Further, the IHSA is on board with the Governor’s direction and has specifically expressed their hope that club sports in Illinois will follow suit. See this link for details of their statement:

The RIL Executive, Competition and Compliance committees will stay abreast of any changes in this situation and will keep the membership informed of any changes in administrative protocol.

Paul Bergman, President Rugby Illlinois

Rugby Illinois

The Rugby Illinois Executive Committee has delegated to the Rugby Illinois Compliance Committee the responsibility for implementing COVID-19 policies and procedures, assuring Rugby Illinois clubs comply and communicating and updating a handbook and COVID-19 rules.  The Executive Committee has also appointed Tim Walsh, Compliance Committee Chair as the Local Area Union Compliance Officer and John Honcharuk, Rugby Illinois Medical Officer as the Rugby Illinois COVID-19 Manager.

 Rugby activity in Illinois during the pandemic will be managed in compliance with three standards: USA Rugby’s five stage public health plan that sets Return to Play standards and provides guidance as to approved rugby club and competition activities during each stage; Restore Illinois’ five-phased plan to reopen the state; and Restore Illinois’ All Sports Policy that assigns rugby as a Higher Risk sport and sets four levels of play depending on the phase of the current health plan and the sport’s assigned risk.