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
All games, except finals, will be 12 minutes, plus time lost, per half with a 2-minute break.
The finals will be 20 minutes, plus time lost per half with a 5-minute break.
During knock out phases:
• When a drawn match requires extra-time, play restarts after a one-minute break with periods
of no more than five minutes. After each period, the teams change ends without an interval.
• In extra time, the team that scores points first is immediately declared the winner, without
any further play.
In the 2021 veterans competition the friendly game on Saturday will be 25 minutes per half, with a
5-minute break.
3. Method of Scoring
After a try has been scored, there will be no conversions.

4. Foul Play
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 Game Office by the match
referee, who subsequently could send a report to the player’s or team’s union.

5. Referee report
After each game, the referee report needs to be signed by the captains of the two respective
teams. Once the referee report has been signed, the score and all other elements of the report are
considered to be definitive. Any objections of complaints need to be made to the referee before
signing the report, since no further appeal on any of these elements will be possible.

6. Competition Format
1. All decisions regarding seeding 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 Office” handling all sporting
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. All teams, playing in the “cup”-competitions (Men, Women, Vets), must submit at the latest by
Saturday morning 10:00 a players-list at the Game Office with indication of the names of their
players. Only those players who are mentioned on this list can play in the specified team. A
player can only be on the list of one particular team and therefore cannot take part in games of
other teams. If a Cup team plays a game with any players not registered with that team, the
game will be considered forfeited.
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 Office 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.

7. 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 Office) except if it concerns a game for the “Cup” competition.
2. Such substitute players must be registered at the Game Office. Article 6.5 (concerning the
competition format) will be applied during the “Cup” competition.

8. 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 Game Office, 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 during the tournament must be reported to the Game

9. 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 Office 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

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

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