Collegiate Draft – August 19th, 2021

The Major League Rugby (MLR) Collegiate Draft aims to provide a structure for managing the transfer of men’s rugby players from college to Major League Rugby in the USA and Canada. It was conceived with the following goals in mind:

  • To support the college rugby landscape;
  • To provide a pathway for US and Canadian collegiate players to Major League Rugby;
  • Provide transparency to MLR teams, collegiate players and administrators;
  • To encourage parity among MLR teams.

 

Format

The MLR Collegiate Draft 2021 will take place on Thursday, August 19th, 2021. (The format on the day is yet to be determined).

MLR will use a “Draft and Follow” approach. Rights to drafted players will be assigned following the MLR Collegiate Draft. MLR teams may activate those rights at any point until the mid-point of the next competitive MLR season AFTER the player is eligible to play in the MLR (through graduation/expiry of college eligibility/relinquishment of college eligibility). Drafting teams may sign those players or trade player rights with other MLR teams.

A player that isn’t signed by a team within the above-mentioned rights period, may enter the subsequent year’s Draft as long as they are eligible. If they lose their Collegiate Draft eligibility, they may enter the MLR if a team desires their services.

 

Order of selections

The order of selection will be based on the reverse order of regular season record during the 2021 MLR season, with expansion teams given priority. The draft will consist of a minimum of 3 rounds, and more if deemed necessary.

 

Eligibility

Players who are eligible for the 2021 Draft must declare to have the opportunity to play for an MLR team. Players who are eligible but do not declare for the draft will not be eligible to play in MLR until the mid-point of the next competitive MLR season after their eligibility expires.

For the 2021 Draft ONLY, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the MLR is waiving the requirement for athletes to have been a registered collegiate rugby player in the previous year. However, all athletes must have been enrolled in college during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Key eligibility criteria:

1. Must be enrolled in a US/Canadian University or College during the 2020-2021 academic year and be able to provide documentation (transcripts) as evidence of the same.

AND

2. Must have completed 3 years of college OR be at least 21 years of age.

Upon submission, MLR will review documentation and reserves the right to seek additional information to confirm eligibility.

Players other than those defined by the eligibility rules above may enter MLR if a team desires their services.

Collegiate players may declare for the MLR Collegiate Draft at any time by submitting the Draft Enrollment Form (http://bit.ly/MLRDraftForm) to the MLR League Office. Forms must be submitted by Friday, August 6th, 2021 11:59 PM CT.

Draft Policy Summary

By declaring for the draft, players will be asked to acknowledge policies that include, but are not limited to:

  • Player may potentially lose his college eligibility if an MLR contract is negotiated and / or signed;
  • Player must be willing to relocate to any MLR team if he is drafted;
  • Player must be willing to allow MLR to use his images and attributes during the 2021 MLR Draft.
  • MLR teams retain the assignment rights of draftees through the mid-point of the next MLR season.

 

All MLR contracts fall under two categories:

  • Standard Player Contract – Salaried, fixed term
  • Associate Player Contract – Hourly wage

Once a player is drafted, the specifics of each contract, including type, compensation amounts, and term, will be negotiated between the League, team, and the player, once the player completes his collegiate eligibility.

A player that isn’t signed within the rights period, may enter the subsequent year’s Draft as long as they are eligible. If they lose their Collegiate Draft eligibility, they may enter the MLR if a team desires their services.

Players who enroll but aren’t drafted may enter the MLR if a team desires their services and they are no longer eligible for the next Draft. If they are eligible for the next Draft, they must enroll again to join MLR.

Collegiate Draft FAQs

 

I enrolled, now what?

After submitting the enrollment form, download this frame to place over your own photo to announce that you’ve declared for the MLR Collegiate Draft. Share on social media using #MLRDraft and remember to tag @usmlr for the chance to be featured.

MLR will be making the list of eligible Draft prospects public. Stay tuned to MLR social channels for releases and contact draft@usmlr.com if you don’t see your name on the list.

I am a current student/recent graduate college player in the US/Canada, do I have to declare for the draft to be a part of MLR?

Yes, you need to declare for the Draft if you are eligible and want to play within MLR.

If you are eligible and do not declare for the Draft, you will not be able to play in the MLR until the mid-point of the next MLR Season after your collegiate eligibility expires.

Do I have to be enrolled at a US or Canadian College/University between 2020 to 2021 to be eligible for the draft?

Yes, to be eligible for the 2021 Draft you must have been enrolled as a student at a US or Canadian College/University during the 2020-2021 Academic year and be able to show proof of enrollment (such as transcripts).

I played rugby at a US or Canadian College/University between 2020 to 2021, can I declare for the Draft?

Yes, make sure you provide your registration details, with your relevant governing body – USA Rugby, Rugby Canada, NCR, OUA et al) within the application form.

I did not play rugby at a US or Canadian College/University between 2020 to 2021 due to COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions, can I declare for the Draft?

For the 2021 Draft ONLY, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the MLR is waiving the requirement for athletes to have been a registered collegiate rugby player in the year preceding the Draft. However, all athletes must have been enrolled in college during the 2020-2021 academic year.

I graduated in December 2020, am I eligible for the Draft?

Yes, December 2020 graduates are eligible for the draft provided they have not exhausted their collegiate eligibility.

How will you verify that I am eligible for the MLR Collegiate Draft?

You must submit both your 2020-2021 Collegiate Transcripts and the requisite Collegiate Rugby Governing Body Registration card/printout (USA Rugby, NCR, Rugby Canada, OUA et al.), if applicable.

I am a foreign student in a US university/college, can I declare for the Draft?

Yes, as long as you meet the other necessary eligibility criteria.

I am a student in a university/college outside of the US and Canada, can I declare for the Draft?

No, unfortunately, this draft is for US and Canada based collegiate players only.

Does it matter what division of US/Canadian collegiate rugby I play?

No.

Where do I declare?

You can declare through this Draft Enrollment Form (http://bit.ly/MLRDraftForm).

Do I lose my collegiate eligibility by declaring for the Draft?

Your collegiate eligibility depends on the particular level of rugby and competition that you play. Please clarify with the appropriate body for your specific situation. 

For D1A players, you do not lose your collegiate eligibility by declaring for the draft.

What happens once I am drafted?

MLR uses a “Draft and Follow” approach. The team that drafted you will have until the mid-point of the next competitive MLR season AFTER you are eligible to play in the MLR (through graduation/expiry of college eligibility/relinquishment of college eligibility) to reach an agreement with you.

Do I lose my collegiate eligibility if I get drafted?

Your collegiate eligibility depends on the specific collegiate rugby governing body that you play under. Please clarify with the appropriate body for your specific situation.

For D1A players, being drafted will not affect your eligibility. However, you cannot begin contract negotiations (written or verbal) until your college eligibility has expired. Any contract negotiations that happen prior to the completion of your collegiate eligibility may result in forfeiture of college eligibility.

What actions might result in the loss of my college eligibility?

Please check with your collegiate governing body regarding specific eligibility requirements. Eligibility may be lost if any of the below events takes place:

  • Beginning MLR contract negotiations
  • Signing an MLR contract
  • Practicing or playing with an MLR Team outside of the approved training windows

If I declare for the Draft at the end of my Junior year and I am drafted, can I still play college rugby during my Senior year?

Yes, as long as you do not begin or execute contract negotiations (written or verbal), you will maintain your collegiate eligibility for your Senior year.

If I declare for the draft and I’m not drafted, can I still play for an MLR team during the next season?

Yes, if you are not drafted, you will be able to play for an MLR team and you will not be eligible for the next MLR Draft.

If I declare for the draft and I’m not drafted, can I enter the following year’s Draft?

Yes, as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria, you may enter the following year’s Draft.

If I get drafted, what sort of contract will I be offered?

All MLR contracts fall under two categories:

  • Standard Player Contract – Salaried, fixed term
  • Associate Player Contract – Hourly wage

Once a player is drafted, the specifics of each contract, including type, compensation amounts, and term, will be negotiated between the League, team, and the player, once the player completes his collegiate eligibility.

I still have questions about the Draft and need help, who can I contact?

Please contact draft@usmlr.com for any questions/concerns.