IGR Membership votes for uncontested scrum inclusion at Bingham Cup

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The membership of International Gay Rugby has voted 80-54 in favour of including those who cannot contest scrums at all levels of the Bingham Cup from 2020, with a pre-designated penalty of 15 players v 14 players.

The main focus of the debate was inclusion of those teams who are currently unable to contest scrums due to local laws which prohibit the practice. This currently affects the 5 IGR member clubs in France. This debate has been on-going for many years and becomes apparent annually as preparations for either the Bingham Cup or Union Cup reach their final stages.

IGR Chair, Ben Owen spoke of the debate:

“Six months ago, the Trustees launched an in-depth and wide-reaching consultation process with the clear intention of resolving this eternal debate. We first initiated the creation of a working group of volunteers, bringing opinions from all sides to the table to create a series of options for the membership. Three weeks ago, we presented the results of our findings in the form of six options for the membership to debate and vote upon.

“This was reduced to two options after the first round of voting. Following the second round, Option 2 has attracted a clear majority of 56% of the available vote and therefore will now be officially adopted as the uncontested scrum rule at Bingham Cup from 2020, with penalty ‘A’ as the pre-designated penalty. This option will also be the IGR recommendation for the Union Cup, commencing from the 2019 event in Dublin.

“I would like to thank all of the membership for participation in this debate and it is now my hope that we can work together to make option 2 and penalty ‘A’ a successful part of the continuing evolution of Bingham Cup. I would also like to thank my fellow Trustees, our Regional Reps and the Scrums working group for the months of hard work and conversation that have gone in to finding a long-lasting solution that will put an end to years of debate.”

From the Bingham Cup in 2020, the following tournament rule will apply:

  • Teams who cannot contest scrums at the commencement of the tournament are allowed to compete in IGR tournaments at all levels of play with a pre-designated penalty.

When a match features a team unable to contest scrums, the following penalty will apply:

  • Scrums are uncontested. The team who is able to contest scrums may request the other team to play with 14 players for the duration of the game. Teams will be required to declare at the beginning of the tournament if they will apply the penalty, which will apply throughout the duration of the tournament.

Vote results

Vote Participation:

  • Number of votes available: 142
  • Number of votes cast: 134 (94.37%)

Scrum Vote:

  • Votes for option 2: 80 (56.34%)
  • Votes for option 3: 54 (38.03%)
  • Votes not cast: 8 (5.63%)

Penalty Vote:

  • Votes for option A: 75 (52.82%)
  • Votes for option B: 59 (41.55%)
  • Votes not cast: 8 (5.63%)

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