Cup Competitions Structure and Regulations


The Devon RFU competitions committee will administer the competitions. One of the members of this committee shall act as competitions chairman and one member shall act as competitions secretary. The committee shall have full powers of adjudicating on all matters relating to the competitions. Any appeal against their decisions must be lodged with the Hon. secretary of the Devon RFU within seven days of the decision in question. All appeals must be accompanied by an administration fee of £50 payable to Devon RFU Ltd which shall be refunded if the appeal is upheld.

With effect from 2023-24 & 25 seasons, the Cup Competitions will be as follows;

All teams will have the opportunity to opt in or out of the Devon Cup Competitions OR play in the National Papa John Cup. They CAN NOT play in both.

The games between the Devon clubs within each league will be classed as a League and Cup Double Headers, these games will be played under League rules. The Devon Competitions Cup administrators will create, record and publish a ‘Separate’ Cup league table based on these results. These tables will be published on the Devon RFU web-site and will be kept up to date. If a team has opted OUT of the Devon cups, these games will NOT be included in the cup leagues.

  1. Devon Senior Cup shall be competed for by teams that play in the Regional South West 1 League
  2. Devon Intermediate Cup shall be competed for by the teams that play in the Regional 2 South West.
  3. Devon Junior Cup shall be competed for by the teams that play in the Counties 1 Western West
  4. The Devon Junior Shield shall be competed for the teams that play in Counties 2 Devon.
  5. The Devon Junior Bowl shall be completed for teams that play in Counties 3 North & East and Counties South & West
  6. The Devon 2nd XV Cup shall be competed for by the 2nd XV’s teams that are now competing in Counties 2 Devon.
  7. The Devon 2nd XV Shield shall be competed for by 2nd XV’s teams that are Counties 3 North & East and Counties South & West.
  8. The David Butt Memorial Trophy shall be competed for by teams that are currently in the Devon Merit Tables and which are not already entered in any other Devon Cup Competition.

Following the end of the League season, and ‘weather’ and teams dependant we will have Semi-finals (home and away if possible) as per the original tables sent out. Following these the Cup finals will be played with the HOME team being selected by drawing lots by the Devon Competitions Committee, and this will be communicated to all teams giving plenty of notice for the arrangements for the finals.
The David Butt Memorial Trophy Final will comprise the top eligible team in Devon Merit Table NE v top eligible team in Devon Merit Table SW.


Unless otherwise agreed, Cup ties in ALL competitions must be played on the same dates as laid out.
In the semi-finals and Finals, if a draw after 80 minutes, a period of extra-time of 10 minutes each way will be played. If still a draw then the team that has scored most tries shall be deemed the winner. If that is equal then the team that has scored most conversions from tries will be deemed the winner. In the semi-finals, if still a draw the AWAY side will proceed to the final. In the final if the teams cannot be separated, then the Trophy will be shared.


All league games are played under the league rules for replacements, A maximum of five replacements for the semi-finals and for the finals it is increased to seven. During the league games FOUR players in the squad should be qualified to play in the FRONT ROW in the semi-finals, and the final it is increased to FIVE.
In the event that a team has no suitably qualified front-row replacement at the start of the game, then the offending team shall forfeit the game. In the event that a team has complied with the regulation relating to front row forwards and runs out of replacements, the referee will order the game to be continued with non-contested scrums. In such cases, the offending team shall drop a player but must still continue with eight players in the scrum.


In the Group fixtures, the same scoring system as per the English Clubs Championship shall apply.


Results of ALL matches, will be taken from GMS during the league competition, for the Semi-final and the finals, teams continue to use GMS and also the relevant Competition Administrator MUST ne notified by 6pm on the day of the match. It is the responsibility of the home team officials to report the correct result, including the number of tries scored by each team.


GMS Match Result system is to be used for ALL Cup fixtures It is the responsibility of the home Club to ensure that the GMS system is completed and Home Clubs should ensure that Cup fixtures are on the Game Management System in order that the Referees are appointed..


All players must be bona-fide members of the club and should be on the GMS database
A player who has played for a club in any round of ANY competition may not play for another club in any of the competitions in the same season.
Any club with any doubt concerning the eligibility of a player shall apply to the Devon RFU Competitions Sub-committee for a decision which shall be binding on that club.


At the discretion of the Devon RFU Competitions Sub Committee, any Club/team that withdraws from any Competition may not be eligible to compete in any of the Devon RFU Cup Competitions the following season.


If a match is abandoned for safety reasons or weather conditions, it shall be re- arranged within 48 hours in accordance with the regulations unless more than 60 minutes have been played, in which case the score at the moment of abandonment shall stand and be deemed to be the final score. If a match is abandoned for foul play at any time, the tie will be void and neither club shall progress into the next round unless in his report the referee indicates that the conduct of only one club caused him to abandon the match. In this case the other club shall advance into the next round. The referee’s decision for the necessity of abandonment and the number of minutes played shall be final.
If a match is abandoned for any reason other than above, then, irrespective of the number of minutes played, the result of that match may be determined by the competitions sub-committee or it may order the match to be replayed.


Clubs MUST ensure that those players that ‘regularly’ play in their First teams DO NOT play in Second team cup Semi-Finals or Finals. This will be carefully checked and COULD lead to ‘Disqualification’ from this and next year’s competitions. We will check this by reviewing those who ‘Regularly’ for the separate teams on and via GMS.


In the event of clubs having clashing or similar colours, the away team must arrange to change its own colours.


The Devon Rugby Referees Society shall appoint a referee for matches in the competitions where appropriate throughout the season and shall appoint touch-judges for all semi-final matches and the final. Referees may be invited from outside the county on the official exchange system.
Please Note, for this season, Clubs will be required to add their Cup fixtures onto GMS manually. This is how WhosTheRef pick up the games and appoint officials. If you do not add the games to GMS then you may not have a referee appointed.


The gate receipts for all the finals including income from the sale of programmes shall be divided equally between Devon RFU Ltd and the two participating clubs after deduction of charges for the match officials and the costs of producing a programme. The secretary of the home club shall be responsible for submitting draft arrangements for the match to the competitions secretary for approval by the sub-committee and within 14 days of the match being played for submitting to the Hon. Treasurer of the DRFU a balance sheet showing all receipts, permitted expenditure and distribution of income.
Clubs should ensure that a realistic charge is made for spectators attending the matches. Matches should be considered as ALL PAY. In the event that a Club does not have the facilities to enable a gate to be charged, the Devon RFU reserves the right to change the venue to an alternative ground where such facility is available.


All objections regarding alleged breaches of the regulations must reach the relevant competitions administrator not later than seven days after the end of the match in question and must be in writing accompanied by an administration fee of £50 payable to the Devon Rugby Football Union Ltd. This fee will be returned if the objection is upheld.


All matches shall be played under the Laws of the Game as published by the RFU and regulations contained therein or otherwise in force in respect of replacements and substitutions.


These rules will be reviewed by the committee at the termination of each competition.