CONSTITUTION... of the North West Colts League.

Issue 48 - 19th December 2023

Reference to Teams in all Colts League Documentation refers to the Responsible Persons in charge of Team Admin and is hereinafter or in the Regulations assumed to mean the Team Manager or Head Coach or both as applicable...

1. Title...

  1. Founded in August 2000 as the Lancashire & Cheshire Colts League
  2. The membership approved the change of name to the North West Colts League at the 2nd AGM.
  3. The Competition is thereafter to be known as such; although hereinafter may be referred to as the Colts League, League, or Competition.
  4. The name of the League or League Cup may be modified to align with sponsorship agreements.

2. Ethos Statement...

  1. The Colts League Ethos outlines the primary objectives of the Colts League. It is simple clear and coherent but avails to nothing if it is not practiced by everyone involved in Colts League Rugby to the mutual benefit of all.

3. League Administration & Organisation...

  1. The NW Colts League is a Members' League which shall be organised governed and administered by a League Committee empowered by the Members annually at the AGM consisting of the following Officers :

    1. President
    2. Chairman
    3. Hon' Secretary
    4. Hon' Treasurer
    5. Hon' Fixtures Secretary
    6. Hon' League Secreatries
    7. Hon' CLRA Referees Secretary

  2. The Committee is empowered to appoint or co-opt further Committee Members as required.
  3. Due to the high turnover of Players and Clubs transiting the Colts League biennially the Committee is constantly searching for people who believe they can make a positive contribution to Club based Colts Rugby by assisting in the running of the League. Persons interested in joining the Committee should please make their interest known to the Hon' Secretary.
  4. The Committee shall draw-up and publish the Colts League Regulations and Sub-Regulations thereto which shall outline the Rules governing the running of the various League and Cup Competitions to which all Member Teams must adhere.
  5. The Regulations and Sub-Regulations thereto form Appendix 1 of this Constitution.
  6. The Committee is empowered to make decisions at any time on matters relating to the welfare and running of the Leagues and on matters which are not covered by the Constitution or the Regulations which the Committee shall have the authority to interpret modify update and implement accordingly.
  7. Suggestions for amendments to this Constitution or to any of the Regulations will be considered from any Member Team or Club. Such amendments must be to the benefit of all Member Teams and their Players and should be submitted to the Hon' Secretary.
  8. The Committee strives to be as open and transparent as possible in the organisation and administration of the Competition. To this end the League WebSite has been specifically designed to be accessed using the bare minimum of computer hardware and software.

4. Colts League Team Membership...

  1. Membership of the NW Colts League is open to individual Colts Teams from all Clubs affiliated to the Lancashire RFU or to the Cheshire RFU.
  2. Colts Teams from Clubs affiliated to other County CB’s may apply for entry as a Guest Team which may be granted at the Committee's discretion.
  3. Applications for Team Membership should be made and renewed Online each season before the Entry Deadline in accordance with the Entry Regulations.
  4. Each Member Team's Senior Club Secretary and Colts Team Manager or Head Coach in consideration of signing and submitting the Entry Application Form for the Competition agrees they have entered into a legally binding obligation with the Colts League, the RFU, any sponsor of the Competition, and as a separate covenant with each other Club in the Competition, Match Official involved in any match in the Competition or cancellation or abandonment thereof, that their Club will not hold liable or make any claim against any of the foregoing or the Committee;for any loss cost charge compensation or expense arising out of or in connection with any kind of injury or illness suffered by any player, spectator or other person (in so far as is permitted by law).
    1. for any damage to property of any kind.
    2. for any other loss cost charge expense or damages be it economic financial consequential or for loss of profit expense incurred or otherwise and whether directly or consequential.
    3. for any loss of any description howsoever arising or alleged to arise from or in relation to the result of any match in the Competition arising out of or due to any decision or action that such official may take or failed to have taken under the Laws of the Game this Constitution or any other Rules or Regulations published by the Colts League or in the RFU Handbook or which have been properly introduced by the RFU or in respect of any opinion expressed under Regulation 17.5 or in respect of the normal procedures to hold play control cancel or abandon a match.
  5. Each Member Team's Senior Club Secretary and Colts Team Manager or Head Coach in signing and submitting the Entry Application Form confirms their agreement to ensure their Colts Teams abide by and adhere to this Constitution to the Code of Conduct and to the Regulations and Sub-Regulations.
  6. Colts League Team Membership is subject to a Membership Entry Fee determined annually by the League Committee which shall be published in advance on the Entry Application Form for the relevant season.
  7. When a Team has withdrawn from the Colts League or has been expelled through the "4-Strikes Rule" by reneging on fixtures and giving 4 x walkovers or has given a walkover in a League Cup Competition match then :~
    1. Said Team's Club shall immediately incur a financial administration charge equal and in addition to the Entry Fee payable by their Club to cover the extra admin costs caused by that Team's withdrawal.
    2. The next entry from said Team's Club whether in the following or subsequent seasons will be conditional on written assurances being given to the League from said Club's Senior Club Secretary.
    3. Said Club must lodge payment of a Surety Bond equal to 2 x the current Entry Fee, plus payment of the Entry Fee for the season; said bond only to be repayable upon satisfactory completion of the full season's fixtures.
  8. Only Teams duly Entered and fully Paid-Up by the Entry Deadline will be considered as Paid-Up Member Teams for the ensuing season.
  9. Only Paid-Up Member Teams will be eligible to be included in the League Seeding Process which ultimately leads to inclusion in the League's published fixtures.
  10. The League reserves the right to refuse entry to Teams late with their Entry Forms, Entry Fees, Squad Registrations or Seeding Feedback which unduly delay the League Seeding Process.
  11. Should the League be able to accept and accommodate a Late Entry this will be conditional on the payment of an Additional Administration Charge which is in addition and equal to the Entry Fee.
  12. All Member Teams must have Insurance in place for all their Teams, as provided by the RFU, which must not be vitiated in any way by Club or Team Personnel.
  13. No Club may enter Two Colts Teams into the Colts Leagues at the same age group.

5. Maintaining Team Contacts...

  1. The League makes extensive use of eMail and WhatsApp to communicate with Member Teams.
  2. To participate effectively in the Competition Teams must keep at least the Mobile numbers and eMail addresses of their Team Manager, Head Coach, and Senior Club Secretary up-to-date on the League's Database.
  3. Updates to Team Contacts and eMail addresses MUST be notified to the Hon' Secretary as soon as practicable.
  4. Contact details are held by the League for communication purposes with the League and between Teams. Mobile numbers will be published on the League WebSite, whilst eMail addresses remain undisclosed and secured by the Leagues eMail system.
  5. Team Managers will benefit from joining the League's Fixtures WhatsApp Group.
  6. It will also be beneficial to join you own League's WhatsApp Group - see your LeagueSec.

6. Referee Society Membership...

  1. It is Mandatory that all Teams join their Local Referees' Society in accordance with the Referee Protocol Regulations.

7. Player Eligibility...

  1. Players must be bona-fide paid-up Members of their Club and must be registered in accordance with the Squad Registration Regulations.

8. Seeded Leagues...

  1. Teams shall be Seeded into Leagues of Teams with similar ability as determined by the Seeding Panel.
  2. Seeding is based on feedback submitted by Team Managers.
  3. It is imperative all Teams contribute to the Seeding Process in accordance with the Seeding Regulations.

9. Disciplinary Powers...

  1. All Member Clubs, Teams, Players, Club Officials, and Spectators must observe and abide by the Colts League Code of Conduct issued as Appendix 2 of this Constitution.
  2. Any disciplinary process arising from a Colts League or Cup match will normally be conducted in line with the Disciplinary Regulations by a Disciplinary Committee of the offenders own Club or their County CB.
  3. The Committee shall have the power of expulsion fines or the imposition of any other penalty it considers appropriate in addition to any sanction imposed by the County Disciplinary Committee against any Team or Team Official considered to have failed to support the Colts League Ethos or to be in breach of the Regulations or the Code of Conduct or for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the Game contrary to RFU Rule 5.12.
  4. Under exceptional circumstances the League Committee may itself convene a League Disciplinary Committee or may call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to consider more serious matters.
  5. Disputes or complaints should be notified to the Hon' Secretary by phone and eMail within 24 hours of the relevant game or situation.
  6. The League Committee shall be the arbiter in cases of dispute or complaint and shall have the authority to make decisions at any time on matters which are not covered by this Constitution or the Regulations.
  7. A Club shall have the right of Appeal to the RFU against any such decision made by the Committee upon payment of the appropriate fee to the RFU to cover the costs of such a hearing. Guidelines on the appeals procedure are set out in the RFU Regulations. Appeals must be lodged within 14 days of a decision or ruling and a copy must be sent by eMail to the Hon' Secretary.

10. Annual General Meeting...

  1. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be called by the Committee after 1st June and before the start of each season as deemed practicable by the Committee.
  2. All Member Teams for the upcoming season shall be entitled to nominate one member to be present who may vote on their Team’s behalf; one vote per Member Team with no proxy voting.
  3. All Member Teams shall have at least 28 days notice of the AGM; which shall be in August, as published in the Structured Season.
  4. The AGM shall consider the Election of Officers for the ensuing season, shall ratify the Committee’s determination on revisions to the Regulations, entry fees and conditions of entry, plus other Agenda Items and Any Other Business notified to the Hon' Secretary at least 14 days prior to the meeting.
  5. Nominations for Officers to be elected at the AGM should be received by the Hon' Secretary by eMail at least 21 days before the AGM. All persons so nominated must be proposed and seconded by a seperate Member and shall confirm their availability by eMail to the Hon' Secretary who will publish a list of nominations on the League WebSite at least 14 days before the AGM which shall be closed and removed 7 days before the AGM.
  6. There shall be no more than 18 months between AGM’s.
  7. The League's informative Pre-Season Managers Meeting is held in conjunction with the AGM.
  8. ALL TEAMS must send at least one Representative (Manager or Coach) to the AGM & Pre-Season Managers Meeting who MUST be involved with the day to day running of the Team; on penalty of a 2 point deduction for not attending.

11. Financial Management...

  1. The Colts League is administered independently from the CB’s (County Unions) and therefore operates at a nil cost to any County RFU; thus remaining financially neutral to the CB’s is a prerequisite for the continuation and running of this independent Competition.
  2. A Bank Account in the name of the North West Colts League shall be maintained by the Hon' Treasurer. A statement of the League's financial standing shall be submitted to the Committee at each committee meeting and an annual financial report shall be presented at the Financial General Meeting in September.

Appendix 1 - Colts League Regulations

Appendix 2 - Colts League Code of Conduct

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