Middlesex Vets Merit Table

2016 – 2017 Competition Regulations

  1. NAME

The vets merit table shall be known as the Middlesex Vets Merit Table (MVMT).

  1. ADMINISTRATION

2.1       The MVMT shall be managed and supervised by Middlesex Rugby (Middlesex County Rugby Football Union Ltd) who shall appoint an Organiser (the Organiser) to administer the MVMT and to whom Middlesex Rugby may delegate such powers as it deems appropriate.

2.2       The Organiser shall administer the MVMT and make such decisions as he deems appropriate to run an efficient and fair competition provided only that any such decision must not be contrary to these regulations, the rules and regulations of Middlesex Rugby, the rules and regulations of the Rugby Football Union or the Laws of the Game.

2.3       The Organiser shall have the power to alter or amend these regulations, as he deems necessary in order to run an efficient and fair competition, provided only that no regulations may be changed, other than in exceptional circumstances, once the competition has started.

2.4       Any decision of the Organiser will be final and binding on all Clubs and teams in the MVMT subject to any Clubs right to appeal in accordance with Regulation 17.

2.5       The MVMT shall consist of two leagues followed by a knock out competition for the two leading placed teams in each league to establish a winner..

2.6       Clubs shall notify the Organiser of their MVMT contact. Any communication with the Club contact shall be deemed to be effective communication with the Club.

  1. ELIGIBILITY OF CLUBS

3.1       Only invited clubs and clubs which are members of Middlesex Rugby, to be known as “Eligible Clubs”, may participate in the MVMT.

3.2       All Eligible Clubs shall be invited to participate in the MVMT and by accepting such invitation and commencing a match in the MMT shall agree to be bound by these regulations.

  1. ELIGIBILTY OF PLAYERS 

4.1       Teams may only select members of their Club.

4.2      For the purposes of this competition a Vet is defined as a player who is or will be thirty five (35) years of age during the current season. Teams are asked to adhere to the spirit of the competition in fielding as many age qualified players as possible at all times.Teams should have a as a minimum, twelve vets on the pitch at any time.

4.3       A team may only select players for the Semi-Final and Final matches, who have already played for that team in the competition.

  1. STRUCTURE

5.1       The MVMT will be divided into two leagues comprising teams from the Eligible Clubs.

5.2       Each team in each league will play each other team in that league once to establish the position of each team in that league.

5.3      Matches will last not less than sixty (60) and no more than eighty (80) minutes plus time lost dependant on the agremeent of both captains, in the presence of the referee before the match commences. Where no agreement is reached matches will last last not less than seventy (70) minutes plus time lost.

5.4       Six merit table points (Points) shall be awarded for a win, four Points for a draw and two Points for a loss.

5.5       A further point shall be awarded to any team that scores 25 points or more or that loses its game by 10 points or less.

5.6       In the event of any team failing to fulfil a league match, other than for a postponement due to the pitch being unplayable, adverse weather conditions or other reason acceptable to the Organiser it shall forfeit the match.  The non-offending team shall be deemed to have won the match 25:0 and shall be awarded seven Points.

In league matches extra time shall not be played. In the event of the scores being equal at the end of normal time the match shall be deemed a draw.

5.7       The position in the final table shall be determined by Points awarded.

5.8       If Points awarded are equal then the team having the better difference between points scored and those conceded shall take the higher position.

5.9       If the teams can still not be separated then the team having scored the most points shall take the higher position.

5.10     Following the establishment of the position of each of the teams in the final table of each league the winners of the competition shall be determined by a knock out competition between the two top sides of each league comprising of Semi-Finals and a Final.

  1. SEMI-FINAL AND FINAL MATCHES

6.1       The Semi-Final matches shall be played on Friday 17th March 2017 between the first placed team in League A and the second placed team in League B and the second placed team in League A and the first placed team in League B. The Semi-Finals shall be played under lights at grounds to be determined by the Organiser

6.2       The Final shall be played on Friday 7th April 2017 between the winners of the Semi-Final matches under lights at a ground determined by the Organiser .

6.3       Reasonable expenses agreed by the Organiser for the host clubs in both Semi-Finals and Final will be covered by Middlesex Rugby

  1. DRAWN MATCHES IN THE KNOCK OUT STAGES

7.1       If at the end of normal time in both the Semi-Finals and Final the scores are level, the team that has scored the most tries is the winner. If still equal then the side that has scored the most conversions is the winner.

7.2       If still equal each team will nominate from the number on the field of play at the end of the final whistle to participate on its behalf in a place kicking competition. The kicks to be taken alternatively starting with the kicker from the team that kicked off the match with the winner to be determined when one player kicks a goal and the other fails to make the same kick. The attempts to be taken from the following positions in turn repeating the sequence until a winner is decided.

the centre of the 22-metre line

the intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to left of posts facing

the intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to left of posts facing

the intersection of 22-metre and 15-metre lines to right of posts facing

the intersection of 22-metre and 5-metre lines to right of posts facing.

  1. WINNER OF THE MIDDLESEX VETS MERIT TABLE COMPETITION

The winner of the Middlesex Vets Merit Table Competion shall be the winner of the Fnal

  1. PROMOTION

There is no promotion or relegation for the 2016-17 season.

  1. FIXTURES

10.1     The Organiser shall draw up the fixtures for the season which will take place on Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons unless the Organiser agrees otherwise. The dates for the Semi-Finals and Final will remain as per regulation 6.1

10.2     Participating Clubs may, with the agreement of their opponents, re-arrange any of their league matches provided the Organiser is notified by 31st August 2016 and has no objection to the re-arranged date.

Teams are only permitted to arrange a match after 31st August 2016 if the new date is before the scheduled date unless the arrangeemnt is as a result of the game being postponed or abandoned due to unplayable pitches

10.3     In the event of a dispute between Clubs as to when a match should be played, either on the Friday evening or Saturday afternoon, the match shall be played on the Saturday afternoon of the date originally specified by the Organiser, or any other reasonable date that the Organiser deems suitable.

10.4     The home team shall be responsible for organising the referee and paying his expenses.

10.5     Other than in the Semi-Finals and Final, the home team shall use its best endeavours to secure the services of a referee from the London Society of Rugby Football Union Referees (“LSRFUR”).The organiser shall arrange referees for the Semi-Finals and Final matches and be responsible for covering his/her/their expenses.

10.6     In the event of the LSRFUR being unable to appoint a referee the home team shall be responsible for providing a competent referee.

10.7     The home team shall be responsible for informing the referee of these Regulations.

10.8     If in the opinion of the referee there is a colour clash the home team or in the Semi-Final or Final, the first named team shall change its shirts.

10.9     All other arrangements shall be made as for usual Club fixtures.

  1. ABANDONED MATCHES

11.1    Weather Conditions (which shall be deemed to include bad light in the sole opinion of the referee):

Less than 50 Minutes Played

If weather conditions result in a match being abandoned when less than fifty minutes have been played then the game will be replayed and both teams will use their best endeavors to ensure that the match is played at the earliest possible date. If the teams cannot agree, the match shall be played at a time, date and venue as specified by the Organiser.

50 or more Minutes Played

If a match is abandoned because of weather conditions when fifty or more minutes have been played, then the score at the moment of abandonment shall stand and be deemed the final score in the match. The Referee’s decision as to the necessity for abandonment and the number of minutes played at the moment of abandonment shall be final.

11.2     Other Reasons

If the Referee finds it necessary to abandon a match for any reason other than weather conditions, then, irrespective of the number of minutes played, the circumstances shall be reviewed by the Organiser who may order, after making such enquiries as he deems appropriate, the match to be replayed and/or impose such other sanction as he deems appropriate.

  1. UNPLAYABLE PITCHES

12.1     A match shall only be postponed if either captain regards the pitch as unplayable.  The referee’s opinion may be sought, but it is the captains’ decision whether to play the match or not.  If the captains cannot agree then the match shall not be played and the matter shall be reported, by the home team, to the Organiser. If in the Organiser’s opinion a Captain unreasonably refused to play then the Organiser may award the tie to the other team. In reaching his decision the Organiser may consult the referee.

12.2     If a league match is postponed then both teams will make every reasonable effoty to ensure that the match is played at the earliest possible date. If the teams cannot agree, the match shall be played at a time, date and venue as specified by the Organiser. If no suitable date is available then the game will not be played and neither side will be awarded any Points.

12.3     In the event of the postponement of a Semi-Final or Final then both teams will use their best endeavours to ensure that the match is played at the earliest possible date. If the teams cannot agree the match shall be played at a time, date and venue as specified by the Organiser.

  1. NOTIFICATION OF RESULT/POSTPONEMENT

The home team is responsible for notifying the Organiser of the result or of the postponement/abandonment/cancellation of the match by midday on the Sunday following the match.

NOTIFICATION OF THE RESULT WILL BE BY EMAIL ONLY TO mmt@middlesexrugby.com

  1. REPLACEMENTS

14.1     In league matches, there will be no limit to the number of replacements

14.2     Teams will be allowed seven replacements for the Semi-Final and Final matches.

14.3     In Semi-Final and Final matches teams must have four players in their team capable of playing in the front row.

14.4     In Semi-Final and Final matches teams are required to be able to replace any position in the front row on the first occasions that a replacement is required

  1. PLAYER INTERCHANGES

15.1     In both the league and the knock out competitions each team shall be permitted unlimited interchanges:

15.2     Player Interchanges replace the “blood bin”. If a player has an open wound and thus has to leave the field, he can be replaced The Player is permitted to return once the wound has been treated and the bleeding stopped.

15.3     Not more than two Player Interchanges per team may occur at any one time and may only occur during a stoppage in play and with the permission of the referee who is entitled in his sole opinion to refuse to allow or postpone a Player Interchange if he believes that the Player Interchange would prevent the opposition from restarting the game quickly or that a player has been injured or that it would not be safe in his opinion for the replacement player to play in the match.

15.4     A Player who is a replacement shall not be entitled to take a kick at goal until a passage of play has taken place since that Player took to the field of play.

15.5     A Player who suffers two injuries in a match which has necessitated that Player being replaced on each occasion is not permitted to act as a replacement following the second injury.

15.6     Under dispensation provided to Unions by the IRB, where these rolling substitutions Regulations conflict with the Laws of the Game these Regulations shall take precedence.

  1. UNCONTESTED SCRUMS

16.1     Teams are expected to have a front row available for games and only in exceptional occasions should league matches commenece with “uncontested scrums.”

.        16.2     In league games there is no requirement for front row replacments. In the event of uncontested scrums for all or part of the game the result wiill stand as if contested scrums had taken place

16.3     In the event of starting or playing part of a league match with “uncontested scrums” the relevant team will not be obligied to adhere to the “Man Off” regulations and will be able to play the match or part of the match with a full complement of players

16.4     In both league and knock out matches if a team is unable to contest the scrum due to having a front row player either temporarily or permanently excluded (red ot yellow card) that team will continue with a maximum of fourteen players until the removed player can return.

16.5     In the Semi-Finals and Final teams must have four players in their squad capable of playing in the front row and are required to be able to replace any position in the front row on the first occasions only when a replacement is required. After teams have provided a replacement on that first occasion when required if the match then goes to “uncontested scrums” the result will stand as if contested scrums had taken place and teams will continue with a full complement of players.

16.6    In the Semi-Finals and Final if a team opts for uncontested scrums prior to the start of the match or when on the first occasion only when a front row replacement is required is unable to produce one that team will be required to remove a player from the field and play with not more than fourteen players

If after the start of the game that team brings on a player that allows the scrums to be contested they will be allowed to field not more than fifteen player.

16.7     If in the referee’s opinion at any time the scrums cannot be contested safely the game will continue with uncontested scrums.

  1. APPEALS

17.1     A Club can make an appeal (“the Appellant) under these regulations by writing to the Organiser.

17.2     If the appeal concerns a particular match then the appeal must be made within seven days of the playing or postponement of the match concerned. In any other circumstances the appeal must be made as soon as possible and in any event within seven days of the facts giving rise to the appeal being made public or known to the appellant.

17.3     The Organiser may consult with whosoever he wishes in arriving at his decision. Any failure or delay by a Club in providing information within seven days of being requested to do so may adversely affect the Club’s position. Such failure by a Club to provide relevant information in a timely manner without satisfactory explanation shall not be permitted to form the basis of an appeal.

17.4     The Organiser must inform the Clubs involved of his decision in writing within fourteen days of receiving the appeal or explain the reason for the delay and give a new deadline when the Clubs may expect his decision.

17.5     Once the Organiser has reached his decision and informed the Clubs in writing a further appeal can be made by the Club writing to the Competitions Committee of Middlesex Rugby (“the Appeal Committee”).  Such appeal must be made in writing to the Secretary of Middlesex Rugby at the County Office within seven days of receiving the written notification of the decision from the Organiser.

An appeal can only be made on the following grounds:

a.      The decision of the Organiser is unreasonable;
b.      The decision breaches MVMT, Middlesex Rugby or RFU regulations;
c.      The sanction is excessive; or
d.      New evidence has become available.

                     New evidence will only be considered if it was not available to the appellant in time to be submitted to the Organiser when considering the original appeal.

17.6     The Appeal Committee may adopt such procedure as it deems appropriate save that the decision will be based upon written submissions only (and there will be no personal hearings unless the Appeal Committee determines exceptionally otherwise).

17.7     The Appeal Committee may initiate a de novo hearing, but only if there are exceptional circumstances, such as when new evidence which was not available to the Organiser becomes available. An appellant will not be able to rely on new evidence that it could and should have provided to the Organiser to request a de novo hearing.

17.8     The Appeal Committee will notify the Club of their decision within twenty-one days of receiving the appeal.