Rugby Illinois Releases Return to Play Protocol

The State of Illinois, US Centers for Disease Control , World Rugby COVID-19 Guidelines and USA Rugby COVID-19 Guidelines allow Rugby Illinois to consider resumption of training or matches.  The Rugby Illinois Executive Committee has delegated to the Rugby Illinois Compliance Committee the responsibility for implementing COVID-19 policies and procedures, assuring Rugby Illinois clubs comply and communicating and updating a handbook and COVID-19 rules.  The Executive Committee has also appointed Tim Walsh, Compliance Committee Chair as the Local Area Union Compliance Officer and John Honcharuk, Rugby Illinois Medical Officer as the Rugby Illinois COVID-19 Manager.  

 Rugby activity in Illinois during the pandemic will be managed in compliance with three standards: USA Rugby’s five stage public health plan that sets Return to Play standards and provides guidance as to approved rugby club and competition activities during each stage; Restore Illinois’ five-phased plan to reopen the state; and Restore Illinois’ All Sports Policy that assigns rugby as a Higher Risk sport and sets four levels of play depending on the phase of the current health plan and the sport’s assigned risk. 

Current statuses as of August 14, 2020 are:

As a result here is what is currently allowed:


The Restore Illinois All Sports Policy limits sessions to fifty people or fewer and for:

Tackle rugby
  • DCEO has determined that tackle rugby is considered a high risk sport.
  • Activity at Level 1 – no-contact practices and training only
  • Scrimmaging is prohibited under the Restore Illinois All Sports Policy while Restore Illinois is at Phase 4 or below.
Flag and touch rugby
  • DCEO has determined that flag and touch rugby are considered medium risk sports
  • Activity at Level 2 – intra-team scrimmages with parental consent for minors but no competitions.
  • DCEO has approved scrimmaging for flag and touch rugby but minimal contact.


Matches are not allowed until the Restore Illinois Five-Phased Public Health Plan is at Phase 5, the USA Rugby Return to Play Stage Guidelines is at Stage 5 and Restore Illinois All Sports Policy is updated to allow matches at Phase 5.