What is Game on?

Game On is an initiative and playing philosophy to help keep the game on. From season 2019/20 it will be in regulation for all friendlies, and all matches in competitions OUTSIDE the RFU English Clubs Championship, for men and women.

It builds on some of the work and initiatives already happening to get games played. It overcomes barriers by reducing the complexity of the game.

Some Laws

Law 3.2: Team Numbers    
A match can take place with a minimum of 10 players on each team at the start of the match. It is encouraged that the number of players on each team is equal, subject to the laws of the game.

Law 5.3: Match Duration   
A match can be a minimum of 40 minutes in duration.

Law 3.34: Rollinsubstitutions
Rolling substitutions are permitted in accordance with paragraphs [3(a) to 3(b)] above.

Law 3.34: Half Game rule  
Where rolling substitutions are adopted, teams are encouraged to apply the half-game rule to ensure each player in every matchday squad plays at least half of the Available Playing Time (as defined in RFU Regulation 1).

Law 18: Line outs                 
Teams may agree not to contest or lift in the line out

Law 19: Scrums                    
Teams may agree that scrums will be uncontested

Some Regs

  Both teams must agree which of the Game On Principles will apply to the match, and notify the referee accordingly at least 30 minutes prior to kick-off

  If both teams cannot agree which principles to apply, the match will proceed without the application of the Game On Principles.

  Competition organisers may request for the Game On Principles not to apply to a competition. To do this, they apply in writing to the RFU Head of Regulations

Why are we doing this?

Around one third of lower level XV are not played. WE NEED TO ENABLE THESE MATCHES TO GET PLAYED

The NRS shows that a quarter of players would play more rugby if they knew of available opportunities to enjoy more social and turn up and play rugby: WE NEED TO LISTEN TO OUR PLAYERS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR DIFFERENT PLAYING OFFERS

Rugby is maintaining participation, largely driven by the female and age grade game.  The number of planned and completed matches in the adult male game is falling: MORE MATCHES = MORE PEOPLE IN CLUBS = MORE SUBS & MONEY BEHIND THE BAR = MORE SUSTAINABLE CLUBS

Game on is one possible solution to getting more matches played. It has been utilised across Wales and Ireland in different ways with some success.


To Players

Delivering what they have asked for

Enjoyment & retention

It is still RUGBY!

To Clubs & CBs / Competition Organisers

More matches = healthier more sustainable and stronger clubs

More players, more subs/money behind the bar, more volunteers

More satisfaction

More matches to count towards international ticket allocations

To the wider game

More matches = healthier more sustainable and stronger Game 

Hit personal and business targets

Supporting the core of the Game

Recognising and utilising power of Area Teams and providing them with tools to do their job

What support will be available?

Human resource, insights, and experience

Dedicated space on https://www.englandrugby.com/participation/playing/game-on


Assets – Posters (A4, A3),Twitter, Facebook asset, Instagram swipe asset, Email asset (tiled, similar to Touchline), Zed cards, Supporting video to bring the story to life and share case studies