Rugby Culture & Values

Rugby has  a unique culture that underlines the values of honor and respect for opponents, teammates, coaches and referees. In rugby, the referee is respected, even if you do not agree with their decisions; opponents are fought with a fury but treated with respect; fans cheer good rugby and are respectful of the opposing team; coaches prepare the team as best they can and then let them play the game. 

Everyone that is involved with youth rugby in Southern California is an ambassador of the game and is expected to honor the games values and culture.

It is the responsibility of every SoCal Youth Rugby Member Club to actively promote the core values of Rugby to its athletes and fans and is their duty to take immediate and decisive action if club members or supporters are not upholding these sacred values. 

Individual Action

It is the responsibility of every athlete, coach, parent, administrator, referee – everyone – to ensure that we hold ourselves and each other to the high standard of behavior that this great game of rugby demands.  When you see poor behavior at a youth rugby pitch, speak up!  In a friendly but firm fashion let the other person know that, “That’s not how we do things in rugby.”

Club Actions

Culture Keepers – Clubs and teams can appoint adult volunteer Culture Keepers for each match. 

  • Patrol the sidelines and help spectators and fans understand our positive culture and the rugby ethos.
  • Keep the focus on the kids on the field and their enjoyment of the game
  • Remind everyone that their job is to Honor the Game!

SCYR Culture & Values


  • Play by the laws and within the ‘spirit of the game’
  • Respect the referee, your coach, team mates & opponents. Without them there would be no game.
  • Sportsmanship and Community are vital rugby values, Admire all good play whether they are by your own team or the other team.
  • Play for the fun of the game and not just to please parents, coaches and teachers.
  • Shake hands with your opponent after the game.
  • Control your temper. Verbal abuse officials or other players, deliberately fouling or fighting is neither acceptable nor permitted. 
  • Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

Parents and Spectators

  • Children play sports for their enjoyment, not yours.
  • Respect the Referee. 
  • If you disagree with an official, raise the issue through the appropriate channels rather than question the official’s judgment and honesty in public. Remember that most officials give their time and effort for your child’s involvement.
  • Focus on the efforts and performance rather than the overall outcome of the event. This reduces the emphasis on winning and rather enjoying the rugby experience and the enrichment that comes from playing the game.
  • Applaud good play by all teams.
  • Show appreciation for volunteer coaches, officials and administrators. Without them your child would not participate.
  • Consumption of alcohol is forbidden at all junior rugby games. 
  • You are not allowed in the playing enclosure during a game.

Administration & Officials

  • Ensure that equal opportunity for participation in sports is made available to all children.
  • Rules, laws, length of games and training schedules take into consideration the age, ability and maturity level of participating children.
  • Children participate for their enjoyment and play down the importance of rewards. 


All clubs, players, coaches, referees, administrators and supporters are considered SCYR Members and more importantly ambassadors of the sport of rugby. As such, all SCYR members are expected to behave with dignity both on and off the playing field and must uphold the values, culture and traditions of rugby to the highest extent. 

Clubs, players, coaches, referees, administrators and supporters must not tolerate rude, profane, threatening or anti‐social behavior of any sort, which would reflect negatively on the image of their club, SCYR, USA Rugby or the sport of rugby in general. Any breach of this Code of Conduct, as specified below, will be subject to disciplinary action by SCYR Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the SCYR Disciplinary Policies & Procedures.

The following actions occurring at or near (sidelines, stands, parking lot, etc.) any match or event involving a SCYR member club are prohibited:

  1. Verbal harassment of a referee 
  2. Verbal threats, intimidation or physical contact with the intent to cause harm to a referee by a player, coach, administrator or supporter is strictly prohibited and triggers an automatic investigation by the SCYR Disciplinary Committee.
  3. Entry by a non-­player (reserve player, coach, administrator, staff, etc.) onto the playing field (except to tend to severe injury) for any reason during the match. Includes any verbal or physical actions toward any athlete on the field or the referee
  4. Public drunkenness 
  5. Vulgar language or obscene gestures
  6. Fighting
  7. Throwing objects onto the field of play
  8. Destruction or theft of property
  9. Public urination on or off of any field
  10. Illegal use of alcohol or drugs
  11. Legal consumption of alcohol is prohibited at any SCYR match or tournament unless the event is hosted by a senior (adult) rugby club and includes a designated, restricted area for adults to consume alcohol (e.g. beer garden)

In addition, derogatory or inflammatory language, comments, photos or videos regarding rugby (rugby teams, rugby players, coaches, officials or anyone associated with rugby, etc.) that are publicly displayed on social media or other public channels is also prohibited. Clubs are expected to manage these violations by their members. Repeated and/or major violations will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.


USA Rugby and the US Center for SafeSport require the reporting of sexual misconduct by or of any member of USA Rugby to the US Center for SafeSport Response and Resolution Office. 

REPORT/Seek Support: 833-587-7233 / Submit Online

Non-Discrimination Policy

SCYR is committed to upholding a culture of inclusion and neither SCYR nor its member clubs and teams discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability.  

Individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in youth rugby in Southern California and SCYR and its member clubs and teams will strive to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures when such modifications are necessary to enable otherwise eligible individuals with disabilities to participate.

Youth rugby players who, because of a disability, need a reasonable modification to SCYR’s rules, policies or practices to participate fully and equally in SCYR-sanctioned competition should describe in an email message to, the modification needed and how the modification would avoid discrimination, including how the modification will address the rugby player’s disability.  Such requests should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of competition.

Upon receipt of a request for modification, SCYR will conduct an individualized inquiry that includes consideration of the athlete’s specific circumstances and the purpose of the rule or policy at issue, to decide whether to allow the modification.  SCYR will endeavor to allow the modification unless the modification is unreasonable or would fundamentally alter an essential aspect of SCYR’s program or compromise the safety of any athletes potentially affected by the modification.

Diversity Policy

SCYR is proud to serve a diverse membership of players, coaches, officials and fans and is committed to creating and promoting a culture of inclusion and mutual respect, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religious beliefs, sex, age, gender identity, disability or sexual orientation.

We celebrate the differences that make our members unique and special and do not tolerate discrimination, bullying or exclusion in any form.

SCYR expects its leadership, coaches, officials, teams, players, administrators and fans to actively promote a culture of acceptance and support through their actions and through the recruitment of members without regard to sex, race, disability, or sexual orientation.   

Sportsmanship Policy

The SCYR Sportsmanship Policy comes into effect at halftime, or any other time thereafter, when the difference in points becomes 40 or more, by notice to the referee and other coach by either the winning or the losing coach.

  • If it is within 10 minutes of fulltime the losing coach can refuse it (U16 & U18, HS & JV) or 5 minutes from fulltime (all other ages).
  • If Sportsmanship rule is invoked, coaches of the winning team should remove star players and field second string players. Coaches may also consider possible player swaps.
  • If there are less players on field for the losing team, players shall be brought on to replace sent off players or players removed from winning team (or given by winning team) if none is available on losing team bench. All benches shall be emptied, and substitutes can come from players not originally named on a limited number roster.
  • Once invoked the winning team is recorded as 5 point winner. Losing team can only record 1 point bonus for 4 tries. The score at this point becomes the recorded score.
  • Scrums and lineouts become uncontested if there is significant disparity between the teams. [This is to try to even out possession]
  • After any score, free kick is taken at halfway by losing team (instead of kick to 10 meter line by scored upon team). 22 dropouts become free kicks on 22. [These are to try to even out possession]
  • The criteria for tie breakers using points differential shall be capped at 40, so there is no reason to score more than 40 points over an opponent.