This Major League Rugby (MLR) Collegiate Draft document outlines a structure for managing the transfer of men’s rugby players from college to Major League Rugby in the USA. It was drafted with the following goals in mind:
- To support the college rugby landscape;
- To provide a pathway for US collegiate players to Major League Rugby;
- Provide transparency to MLR teams, collegiate players and administrators;
- To encourage parity among MLR teams.
The 2020 MLR Collegiate Draft will take place on June 13 & 14, 2020.
MLR will use a “Draft and Follow” approach. Rights to participating players will be assigned following the MLR Collegiate Draft. MLR teams may activate those rights at any point until 1 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 time 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 through existing player allocation processes.
Order of Selections
The order of selection will be based on the reverse order of regular season record during the first 5 rounds of MLR 2020, with expansion teams, Dallas (1) and Los Angeles (2), having first choice. The draft will consist of 4 rounds in total, and more if deemed necessary.
Players who are eligible for the 2020 Draft must declare in order 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 one year after their eligibility expires.
For the purposes of the Draft, a collegiate player is defined as anyone who has played collegiate rugby in the 12 months preceding the Draft (between June 13th 2019 and June 13th 2020), as determined by USA Rugby registration and the associated collegiate eligibility rules.
Collegiate players may declare for the MLR Collegiate Draft at any time by submitting the draft enrollment form to the MLR League Office. Forms must be submitted by Sunday, May 17th, 2020 11:59 PM CT.
Key eligibility criteria:
- Must be a collegiate player, as defined above; AND
- Must have completed 3 years of college OR be at least 21 years of age.
Upon submission, MLR will review submitted documentation and reserves the right to seek additional information in order to confirm eligibility.
Players other than those defined by the eligibility rules above may enter MLR through existing player allocation processes.
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 ultimately 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 2020 MLR Draft.
All MLR contracts fall under two categories:
- Associate Player Contract – Hourly wage
- Standard Player Contract – Salaried, fixed term
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 through existing player allocation processes.
Players who enroll but aren’t drafted may enter the MLR through existing allocation processes and/or enter the subsequent year’s Draft as long as they remain eligible.
Canadian Collegiate Players
Canadian Collegiate players will not be a part of the 2020 MLR Collegiate Draft. Those are interested in playing within MLR may enter through existing allocation processes.