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USA Rugby Says New Membership Signup Starts August 10. Here's Why

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USA Rugby Says New Membership Signup Starts August 10. Here's Why

USA Rugby.

USA Rugby made a somewhat odd announcement today, saying that membership registration will commence on August 10.

That in and of itself isn't odd—generally registration begins in August for the next cycle. But this announcement comes in the middle of a period wherein USA Rugby is still negotiating itself out of bankruptcy proceedings, and has yet to announce community agreements with some of the community groups within the game.

Some of those groups—USA Youth & HS Rugby for one—have not said they will sign and pay the dues USA Rugby wants them to pay.

So is this announcement an attempt to spur these organizations into action? Likely no as most Youth & HS groups won't be playing for some months. The same goes for college.

But it is still interesting to note that the August 10 date is for College only.

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The key deadline is that the current 2019-2020 USA Rugby membership expires August 31. After that organizations better have a plan in place.

“It has been a unique juncture for the rugby community as the current membership cycle comes to a close,” said USA Rugby CEO Ross Young in the announcement. “However looking ahead to a new year with fresh opportunities is very encouraging as we venture back to rugby and continue building a stronger organization for the game.”

In May, the USA Rugby Board and Congress voted to approve bylaw changes and reform the union governance structure; developing National Councils across Youth & High School, Collegiate, Senior Club and International Athlete competitions. The Councils have since been seated by their individual constituencies where the representatives consulted with USA Rugby to develop membership dues and allocations for the upcoming fiscal year.

With continued restrictions to certain rugby activities due to COVID-19, Members are continually encouraged to follow USA Rugby Return to Play Guidelines after registering for the new year. For clubs and members unable to compete outside of inter-squad activities due to COVID-19, a specified “Training Membership” with comparable coverage at a lower rate will be available at the opening of registration. This registration will provide coverage and benefits during CDC approved training activities and can be easily upgraded to a full membership when clubs are permitted to compete with other clubs in their region, effectively returning to full competition.

Meanwhile, the dues structure everyone is discussing (and sometimes trying to negotiate) has not been finalized or officially announced. That, apparently, will happen in the coming days.