Grassroot Development Incentives

 

STRATEGY:

The Major League Rugby (MLR) Grassroots Development Incentives are intended for teams to develop and promote rugby participation within their respective markets with the aim solidifying local player pathways and building community engagement.

Note: Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and varying local restrictions, MLR may maintain flexibility around the fulfillment criteria, timelines, and deadlines for each of these incentives ahead of the 2021 season.

SUMMARY:

  • 1. Youth Development: Additional salary cap will be awarded annually, based on number of participants, for teams who support the rugby development of children (boys and girls) under the age of 14.
  • 2. Academy Development Options: Additional salary cap and player retention rights may be availed as follows:
    • a. High School Academy: Additional salary cap will be awarded for the formation and running of a High School Academy team with 25+ players;
    • b. Developmental Academy: Additional salary cap will be awarded for the formation and running of a Development Academy team of 25+ players.
    • c. Homegrown Players: MLR teams may retain rights to players who they develop for a sustained period of time within their respective High School or Developmental Academy teams.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVE:

  • Youth Sponsored League, Training Group, or Qualifying Event
    • a. Incentive: Tiered additional Salary Cap allocation dependent on the number of participants registered in a “qualified” program:
      • i. 50 participants
      • ii. 100 participants
      • iii. 200 participants
      • iv. 350 participants
      • v. 500 participants
    • b. Required qualifications:
      • i. A minimum of 6 rugby sessions for each participant
      • ii. A program that is either fully operated and funded by the MLR Team or is sponsored by the MLR Team in partnership with a USA Rugby, a  State-based Rugby Organization, City/County Municipality Parks & Recreation Organization, YMCA, Boys and Girls, and / or other certified youth development program.
      • iii. MLR Team must provide verifiable data on number of players, names, and attendance records.

ACADEMY DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVE:

  • 1. High School Academy Team:
    • a. Incentive: Additional Salary Cap Allowance for a qualifying High School Academy Team
    • b. Required qualifications:
      • i. Team of 25+ players
      • ii. Twenty (20) training sessions during the prior calendar year of the MLR season
      • iii. Competition schedule of 4+ MLR-sanctioned High School Academy games during the prior calendar year of MLR season—i.e. versus other MLR Academy teams, other “Tier 1” high school teams, or other similar caliber opposition.
  • 2. Developmental Academy Team:
    • a. Incentive: Additional Salary Cap Allowance for a qualifying Developmental Academy Team
    • b. Qualifications:
      • i. Team of 25+ players
      • ii. Thirty (30) training sessions during the prior calendar year of the MLR season
      • iii. Competition schedule of at least 4+ MLR-sanctioned Developmental Academy games during the prior calendar year of MLR season —i.e. versus other MLR or overseas professional developmental teams, Division 1 USA Rugby Clubs, or other similar caliber opposition.
  • 3. Homegrown Player Designation:
    • a. If an Academy player (either High School or Developmental age) is within the respective MLR team’s Academy team for at least one of the following he may be designated a “Homegrown Player”:
      • i. Twelve(12) calendar months and Thirty-five(35) training sessions
      • ii. Competes in at least eight(8) Academy competition matches(15-a-side) and Thirty-five (35) training sessions
    • b. An MLR team will be able to receive the following benefits for all players with a “Homegrown Player” designation:
      • i. Once a player becomes eligible and is declared to the League Office by the team, MLR reserves the right to not assign the player to another team.
      • ii. MLR Team will retain rights to that player for twelve (12) months after being eligible and the player will not be subject to the MLR player allocation processes (such as the MLR Collegiate Draft) during that time period.
      • iii. If the “Homegrown Player” pursues a collegiate rugby career after their Academy participation the MLR Team will retain rights to that player for twelve (12) months following the players declaration to enter the MLR
        • 1. Should the player not be contracted by the MLR Team he will enter existing allocation processes relevant to his situation – Collegiate Draft, Off-Season Player Allocation etc.
      • iv. All rules and implications need to be communicated in advance and in writing to any prospective “Homegrown” academy player.

NOTES:

  • To qualify for any of the 2021 Salary Incentive Options teams must verify completion of the respective incentive by May 31, 2021 (date subject to change based on evolving local restrictions). The Homegrown Player rights will begin tracking from the first date of involvement and follow through the 2021 season.
  • The burden of proof for each of these incentives will be on each team. The final decision to award the salary cap will rest with the League Office who retain the rights to audit these programs in as much detail as required.

Team

Youth Development

High School Team

Academy Team