Rules and documentation


The format of tournament and the length of games will be determined by the number of teams in each bracket. In principle, all teams are guaranteed at least three games not including the finals competition.

IRB rules as interpreted by the referees will be in effect for all games. All scrums will be contested unless at the referee’s discretion they are deemed unsafe, at which time uncontested scrums will be adopted. All decisions by the referees are final.

The referee’s watch is the official timepiece of all matches; games will be shortened to keep the schedule on track if so needed. Shortening games is up to the referee’s discretion. The referee is charged with notification of a shortened match at the coin toss if deemed necessary.

The referee’s scorecard is final.

All matches must have a result. If at the end of regular time in a pool match the scores are even, a kicking competition will determine the winner. The referee will choose a goalpost and the team captains will nominate a player to drop kick from anywhere behind the 22m line. Kicking will continue until there is a winner. No player can kick twice until everyone on the team has tried. Once one team has scored and the other has missed, a winner is determined (the winning team will receive three (3) points towards their point total for the match). In any knockout stage game or final, extra time will be added for one (1) ten (10) minute period. If the score is still tied at the end of the first extra period, additional sudden death ten (10) minute periods will be added with the team scoring first being deemed the winner.

All teams must be prepared to play all their matches during the tournament.

All teams are expected to be on the pitch and ready to play 5 minutes prior to published kick-off time. Teams failing to field a team within 3 minutes of the published start time are subject to a penalty try, and after 6 minutes are subject to forfeit loss by a score of 7-0. In the event of delay (due to injury, weather, etc.) the Tournament Chairman and Referees Committee have sole discretion to make changes to match times and to cancel/reschedule matches when necessary.

All teams will submit their rosters to the tournament director no later than the Wednesday before the tournament.

Rosters will contain the following information: The names of all the players, their birthdate, phone number, and email address.

No player may play for more than one team in any division. Violation of this rule will result in the disqualification of the additional team for which that player competes. Teams who use players, not on their submitted rosters or players whose age does not qualify them to play in the age group of their bracket, will be disqualified from the competition.

It is each team’s responsibility to verify the age of their players. A player qualifies to play in an age division if they are within one year of the age of that bracket. Someone 39 or older qualifies for the 40s Division. Someone 49 or older qualifies for the 50s, etc.

Roster sizes are as follows:

Open Division teams are limited to 35 players. For any match 23 may suit up and be available for play. Open substitutions are allowed in pool play, substitutions are limited to 8 per game for playoffs and the final.

40s Division teams are limited to 40 players. For any game 32 may be suited up. All suited up players are available as substitutions.

50s and 55s are limited to 40-man rosters. All may suit up and be available to play. Open substitutions are allowed; however, all subs must wait for a stoppage in play and must announce their substitution to the referee. Rolling substitutions are not permitted.

Protests regarding rosters must be made and presented to the referee before the kickoff so that the accused team, has a chance to rectify any roster issue. Other protests must be made before to the referee before they leave the field of play. The referee will consult with the Tournament Committee (the Tournament Director and the Referee Coordinator) and a decision will be made. All decisions made by the Tournament Committee are final and binding. Teams failing to heed to these decisions face automatic disqualification from the tournament effective immediately.

Any player suspected of having a concussion will be evaluated by the attending professional medical staff who will determine whether that player can return to that match or play in any other subsequent ones. Concussion protocols will be enforced for all matches.

The tournament format will be determined based upon the number of teams competing in each division.

Final standings in pool play will determine a team’s standings for the knockout bracket. The tournament directors reserve the right to reseed teams to create a more competitive bracket and ensure the best competition possible.

The official scores of each match will be kept by the referee and reported to the tournament chairman.

Tie breaker criteria:

Point differential in all matches played

Total tries scored in all matches

Total converted tries in all matches

Head-to-head scores between common opponents

Coin Toss

YELLOW CARD violations will be determined by the referee and the length of banishment will depend on the length of the game in which it occurs and be communicated to the captains by the referee before the match starts.

RED CARD violations where a player is sent off the field for game misconduct may mean disqualification of that player from the rest of the tournament. The Tournament Committee along with the match referee and referee director will make the final decision as to the player’s availability to compete is subsequent matches.

Gentleman like behavior is expected off the field and throughout Aspen. Rugby is the gentlemen’s game and the town of Aspen has been hosting Ruggerfest for decades and the citizens of the town and valley are avid fans. Any unsocial, illegal, violent, threatening, or unsportsmanlike behavior off the field may lead to a team or individual being banned from the tournament and/or punishment by local law enforcement.


2024 Logistics Package

Aspen Ruggerfest Tournament Rules 2024