Tours & Overnight Stays – Regulation 10 and other things.
There are a number of examples of clubs being sanctioned by the RFU for going on tour without permission from their CB and without appropriate insurances. When clubs decide to ignore the regulations, it leaves the CB and possibly clubs or individuals open to litigation should an injury or incident occur.
Sometimes there is confusion over the definition of a tour.
When is a tour not a tour?
For adults a tour means playing rugby against a team or teams outside the home Union of England (overseas, or Ireland, Scotland and Wales.) England home Union includes the IOW and the Channel Islands. For Youth tours the same applies for travelling outside of England. However, with Youth tours, it’s not a question of “Is it a tour?” but rather “Is it Regulated Activity?”– i.e. is it overnight between the hours of 2.00am to 6.00am (in England or elsewhere)? This may be defined as a regulated activity in England rather than a tour, but there is a gap in RFU regulations (Reg. 10) addressing regulated activity specifically (whether a “tour” or not) which means there is not specific paperwork available for allow for this. If the answer to the overnight question is “yes”, then Hampshire Rugby strongly recommends that tour rules apply and tour paperwork should therefore be used. This recommendation is made in order that safeguarding standards can be met and to effectively manage the risk of liability. Equally, if your players (adult or youth) are wearing your club’s shirt and representing your club, then once again, we advise tour rules, and approvals/insurances apply.
What to do before Touring or embarking on overnight regulated activity:
Whether the parents are there or not, your club has certain legal obligations – one is to ensure the club has the appropriate paperwork to evidence that it has been compliant in its duty of care.
Firstly, that means approval and appropriate insurance (as explained below.)
Secondly, it means that the CSO from the club/County team needs to have signed the Youth Tour Checklist (number 5 above on this webpage) which confirms that the appropriate risk assessment has been completed, in accordance with the RFU Touring with Children Guidance...
Of course, additional compliance is required for Youth Tours, in particular Regulation 21 (Regulated Activity, DBS checks), Regulation 15 (maximum playing times, playing out of season)
On tour, all the touring players are the responsibility of the Tour Staff whether the parents are present or not. If parents are accompanying the tour, this duty of care must be carefully explained to parents. Allowing players under the age of 18 to have access to alcohol or illegal drugs or failing to supervise players’ access to alcohol or illegal drugs is a criminal offence.
PLEASE do not forget – the reason Regulations exist is not to make your life difficult – they exist to not only protect the children in our sport but also to protect ALL the adults (volunteer or paid) as well – to ensure we are all safe within our beloved sport.
Let’s be clear about the expectations: when you want to go on tour (adults) or take young players on tour or overnight trips (‘youth’ means ANY PLAYER under the age of 18) you must obtain approval from the CB, whether your tour/activity is taking place in England or outside of England (“overseas”, including Ireland, Scotland or Wales). Club or County sides, men, women or youth, whoever you are, it applies to you:
RFU Regulation 10:
10.4.1 This Regulation 10.4 applies to the following:
a) Adult men’s and women’s Incoming Tours and Outgoing Tours at level 3 and below;
b) Incoming Tours and Outgoing Tours in respect of Age Grade Rugby;
c) Incoming Tours and Outgoing Tours in respect of teams representing a Constituent Body.
10.6.1 No Club, person or entity may arrange or fulfil an Outgoing Tour unless:
It makes no difference whether home or abroad, you still have to have CB and Club approval to go, and in either case you must be compliant with Regulations.
RFU Regulation 10:
“10.4.2 Players must not participate in any match referred to RFU Regulations 10.5 and 10.6 (whether in England or abroad) without the approval of the Club to which the Player is affiliated, and unless the match has been approved in accordance with this Regulation 10.”
So, you need to complete and sign a tour application form available on the CB website, (Visit the Tours - Forms and Flowcharts section) and send it to the CB Executive Officer (not directly to the RFU) (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for approval:
On the England rugby website under “Applying for permission to tour overseas (clubs)” ) it states very clearly:
“Once completed and signed, send your application to your Constituent Body (CB) and they will write to your Tour Manager confirming approval (providing it is correctly and fully completed).
You must also ensure you have secured appropriate insurances for the tour – especially if you are taking players under the age of 18, and if you are travelling outside the UK.
RFU Regulation 10:
“10.6.2: The RFU has prepared best practice guidance notes on Incoming Tours and Outgoing Tours can be found here and Clubs are reminded of the need to have appropriate insurance in place prior to travelling abroad.
As you can see from the following, player insurance on tour hinges on the approval which is conferred by the RFU via the CB:
On the England rugby website under “Applying for permission to tour overseas (clubs)” it states very clearly:
“Clubs that are affiliated to the RFU will be insured by the RFU’s Death & Catastrophic injury insurance for playing rugby while on tour, providing CB / RFU approval has been granted and your policy is up to date.
Please note that this insurance does not cover temporary injury, loss of earnings, medical and legal expenses or any other type of injury not mentioned in the policy. However, you will need to obtain travel insurance (which will cover you for any repatriation costs should a player become injured during the match and need specialist travel home).”
If, during a tour, there was a catastrophic injury (spinal injury, lets say, someone is paralysed or killed after a fall) or a child protection incident and it could be shown that individuals were working outside of their governing body’s regulations then this could be seen as negligence:
Legal Duty of Care
A duty of care is a statute imposed under Civil Law. It means that a sports body needs to take such measures as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that individuals will be safe to participate in an activity to which they are invited to or which is permitted.
When children, young people or vulnerable adults are involved in organised sports activities and are to any extent under the care and/or control or one or more adults, the adult(s) have a legal duty of care to ensure their safety and welfare.
Liability for the legal duty of care arises when an incident occurs and it can be demonstrated that the risk was foreseeable, but no action had been taken to remedy it.
Within the sporting environment the duty of care would start by ensuring the activity is authorised by sport and that the coaches etc are qualified for the task and that the activity is managed in a safe manner throughout.
It is expected that any club or association would adhere to the National Governing Body (NGB, in our case, the RFU) policies and procedures and incorporate reference to them in the club constitution.
Legal negligence may occur when
the legal duty of care to keep participants safe at all times and to eliminate all dangers is not followed
NGB policies and procedures are not followed
Taking Your School on a Rugby Tour:
The RFU has a dedicated tours area on the website for general advice and there are specific guidelines for schools click here for the link.
Please be aware that schools need to have permission to tour overseas. It is necessary to complete a Permission to Tour Form and return to the schools department, this should be found in the tours area. This should be completed and returned along with an itinerary, fixture information and insurance details to email@example.com. Schools should apply for permission to tour a minimum of one month in advance of the tour. Once the form is returned the endorsement of your County School Union (CSU) and the Overseas Union you are visiting will be sought, and a letter granting permission to tour from the ERFSU will be issued.