What are the rules of the games played at Flanders Open?


Any team fielding an under 18 player, must advise the Secretariat!!

The FOR (Flanders Open Rugby) Tournament will be played under the IRB Laws of the Game of Rugby Football including the ten-a-side game variations (Click here for the official IRB rules).
However the following specific exceptions/amendments will apply to this Tournament:

1. Officials

Each side shall nominate a competent person to run touch for all games.
For the semi- finals and finals of the different Cup Competitions, a minimum of 3 officials (1 referee and 2 assistant referees) will be appointed.

2. Time (Law 5.1)

All games, except finals, will be 10 minutes per half with a 2-minute break.
The finals will be 15 minutes per half with a 2-minute break.
During knock out phases, Laws 5.6 and 9.B.4 (see below) will be applied.

3. Method of Scoring (Law 9.1.B)

After a try has been scored, there will be no conversions.

4. Foul Play (Law 10.5)

Temporary Suspension (yellow card) will be used throughout the Tournament. Players temporarily suspended shall stand behind the dead ball line and posts of the opposition’s In-Goal area for 2 minutes of actual playing time as from when the player has reached that area.
During Semi-finals and finals, where more match officials are available, sin-bin players will remain near the half way line.
All players sent off for foul play which incurs a straight red card will not be allowed to play again in the Tournament. The player’s name and team will be reported to the Games Secretariat by the match referee, who subsequently could send a report to the player’s or team’s union.

 5. Competition Format

  1. All decisions regarding seedings of teams shall be sole responsibility of the Tournament Organisers. The Tournament Organisers is comprised of 2 secretariats, a tournament secretariat handling all logistics of the tournament and a ‘game secretariat’ handling all sporting issues.
  2. Play will commence with teams in each pool playing against each other in their respective pool.
  3. In each pool game 3 points will be awarded for a win, 2 points per team in the event of a drawn game and 1 point for a loss. When a team is not ready on time for the kick-off or is forfeiting the game, no points will be awarded.
  4. In pool games, there will be no extra time to determine a winner.
  5. A team, which is qualified for the “cup”-competition, must submit at the latest by Sunday morning 10:00 a players-list at the secretariat with indication of the names of their players. Only those players who are mentioned on this list can play in the specified team. On Sunday a player can only be on the list of one particular team and therefore cannot take part in games of other teams.
  6. In deciding the most successful team in each pool at the end of pool games, if two or more teams in any pool have the same number of points, the winner shall be decided as follows:

a) Points difference: the team with highest difference of points “for” minus the points “against” in their pool games shall be the winner. If after (a) the teams are still tied then;

b) the team, which has scored the most points in their pool games, shall be the winner. If after (b) the teams are tied then;

c) the winner of the game contested between the two teams shall be the winner. If after (c) the teams are still tied then;

d) the team with the less number of red cards

e) the team with the less number of yellow cards

f) the winner shall be decided by a toss of a coin.

Teams that want to withdraw from the tournament, for whatever reason, MUST first inform the game secretariat ASAP in order to get prior approval. This is especially important not only prior to day 1 but also prior to day 2 when a new tournament schedule is produced.

 6. Injuries

  1. A team, which can only field 10 or less than 10 players because of injuries or other circumstances, may borrow players or reserves from other teams or the reserve pool of players (available at the game secretariat) except if it concerns a game for the “cup” competition.
  2. Such substitute players must be registered at the game secretariat. Article 5 (of the competition format) will be applied during the “Cup” competition on Sunday.

 7. Old Boys (Veterans)

  1. Open to everyone over 35 but it is important to keep in mind that open and enjoyable Rugby is the aim. No over-vigorous play and unsportsmanlike behaviour.
  2. No team shall field a player under 35.
  3. Each team must submit a list of players, to the secretariat, with indication of the names, dates of birth and passport N°, Id or players licence of all their players. Only these players will be able to play during the tournament. Any changes to the list during the tournament, must be reported to the Secretariat.

8. Behaviour, Exclusions, Reserve Players

  1. The tournament organization preserves the right to forward a referee report to the relevant national rugby organization of a player penalized (red card) during the tournament. Any red carded player has to accept the decision without further abuse or aggression of any kind after the game and for the rest of the tournament.
  2. Given the size of the tournament, the relative presence of Rugby-players in the town of Dendermonde is substantial. We do not want to compromise the hospitality, and therefore the organization preserves the right to exclude teams from participation to future tournaments who have misbehaved in a way that has impacted this great hospitality. The team in question, as well as their union or federation, will be informed in writing, including substantiation of the decision.
  3. The game secretariat will keep a list of spare players available to play for teams that have suffered injuries or that have become incomplete. All these spare players should report to the game secretariat.

All decisions other than THOSE mentioned above, shall be sole responsibility of the Tournament Organisers.


Law 3: Number of Players – The Team

3.1 Maximum number of players on the playing area

Maximum: each team must have no more than ten players on the playing area.

3.4 Players nominated as substitutes

A team may nominate no more than five replacements/substitutes. Match Organisers may vary the number of players nominated as replacements/substitutes.

A team can substitute or replace any number of players during a match at any time.

Players entering the field of play must do so at the half way line after the replaced or substituted player has left the field of play.

Sanction: Penalty Kick where the match would have restarted.

Match Organisers may decide to vary the number of replacements and substitutes and limit the number of substitutions.

3.12 Substituted players re-joining the match

Delete: 3.12 Substituted players re-joining the match

Law 5: Time

5.1 Duration of a match

A match lasts no longer than twenty minutes plus lost time and extra time. A match is divided into two halves of not more than ten minutes playing time. Match Organisers may vary the duration of the match.

5.2 Half-time

After half-time the teams change ends. There is an interval of not more than two minutes.

5.6 Playing extra time

When there is a drawn match and extra time is required, after a break of one minute the extra time is played in periods of five minutes. After each period, the teams change ends without an interval.

 Law 6: Match Officials

  1. A.13 Extra time – toss

Before extra time starts, the referee organises a toss. One of the captains tosses a coin and the other captain calls to see who wins the toss. The winner of the toss decides whether to kick off or choose an end. If the winner of the toss decides to choose an end, the opponents must kick off and vice versa.

 Law 9: Method of Scoring

  1. B.1 Taking a conversion kick

Amend (c): The kick must be a drop kick.
Delete (d)
Amend (e): The kicker must take the kick within forty seconds of a try having been scored. The kick is disallowed if the kicker does not take the kick in the time allowed.

9.B.3 The opposing team

Amend (a): All players of the opposing team must immediately assemble close to their own 10-m line.
Delete (b) (c)
Delete 3rd paragraph: “When another kick is allowed…”

9.B.4 Extra time – the winner

In extra time, the team that scores points first is immediately declared the winner, without any further play.

 Law 10: Foul Play

10.5 Sanctions

Note: Temporary Suspension: When a player has been temporarily suspended, the player’s period of suspension will be for a period of two minutes.

Law 13: Kick-off and Restart Kicks

13.2 Who takes the kick-off and restart kick

Amend (c): After a score, the team that has scored kicks off with a drop kick which must be taken at, or behind, the centre of the half way line.
Sanction: Free Kick at the centre of the half way line.

13.3 Position of the kicker’s team at a kick-off

Amend: All the kicker’s team must be behind the ball when it is kicked. If they are not, a free kick is awarded to the non-offending team at the centre of the half way line.
Sanction: Free Kick at the centre of the half way line.

13.7 Kick-off of less than 10 metres and not played by an opponent

Amend: If the ball does not reach the opponents’ 10-metre line, a free kick is awarded to the non-offending team at the centre of the half way line.
Sanction: Free Kick at the centre of the half way line.

13.8 Ball goes directly into touch

Amend: The ball must land in the field of play. If it is kicked directly into touch, a free kick is awarded to the non-offending team at the centre of the half way line.
Sanction: Free Kick at the centre of the half way line.

13.9 Ball goes into the in-goal

Amend (b): If the opposing team grounds the ball, or if they make it dead, or if the ball becomes dead by going into touch-in-goal, or on or over the dead ball line, a free kick is awarded to the non-offending team at the centre of the half way line.
Sanction: Free Kick at the centre of the half way line.

Law 20: Scrum

Amend 2nd paragraph:
A scrum is formed in the field of play when five players from each team, bound together in two rows for each team, close up with their opponents so that the heads of the front rows are interlocked. This creates a tunnel into which a scrum half throws the ball so that front row players can compete for possession by hooking the ball with either of their feet.
Delete paragraphs 10 and 11.

20.1 Forming a scrum

Amend (e): Number of players: five.
A scrum must have five players from each team at all times. All five players must stay bound to the scrum until it ends. Each front row must have three players in it, no more and no less. Two locks must form the second row by binding together so that their heads are between a prop and the hooker. Sanction: Penalty kicks
Delete: Exception

20.10 Ending the scrum

Amend (c): No player in the scrum may unbind to play the ball. Sanction: Penalty kick

Law 21: Penalty and Free Kicks

21.3 How the penalty and free kicks are taken

Amend (a): Any player may take a penalty or free kick awarded for an infringement with any kind of kick: punt, drop kick but not a place kick. The ball may be kicked with any part of the leg from below the knee to the toe but not with the heel.

21.4 Penalty and free kick options and requirements

Amend (b): No delay. If a kicker indicates to the referee the intention to kick at goal, the kick must be taken within thirty seconds of the penalty having been awarded. If the 30 seconds is exceeded the kick is disallowed, a scrum is ordered at the place of the mark and the opponents throw in the ball.

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