Rocky Mountain Rugby D2 Men Join NCR

NCR is pleased to announce that the Rocky Mountain Rugby Conference has committed their D2 Men’s competition to National Collegiate Rugby for the coming year.

Founded in 2014, the RMRC is currently comprised of 21 collegiate men’s teams across Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming – the Division 2 sides joining NCR are:

– Colorado Mesa University
– Montana State University
– University of Northern Colorado
– Western Colorado University

RMRC already has 6 Small Colleges as members of the NCR. They are the University of Denver, Regis University, Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, New Mexico Tech,  and New Mexico Highlands University.

National Collegiate Rugby COVID-19 UPDATE

Issued Tuesday May 26, 2020

NCR is working hard to make sure everything’s ready when play returns, including having insurance for players, coaches, and referees, competitions ready to go, and venues selected.  Remember: referees are covered for free under NCR’s insurance plan.  Like you, NCR is monitoring decisions from the state and federal government on reopening.  Once reopening occurs NCR will be putting together a best practices summary specific to the sport of rugby and reporting on decisions from its member institutions.

For collegiate rugby, the primary source of what will be permitted along with related safety/health protocols will be driven by the school itself in concert with its state and federal guidelines. World Rugby guidelines may supplement what is mandated by university and college officials in conjunction with government standards, but they cannot supersede them.

NCR will fully respect and comply with all school decisions in this matter.

The American College Health Association has put forth a comprehensive guidance that addresses facilities, practice, personnel, emergency care and planning to assist in deciding if a college can safely bring back athletes and students to campus. This guide is an excellent resource for understanding the areas of consideration for players, administrators, and coaches, though individual institutions and athletic conferences will make the final determinations on the return to rugby as they govern practice facilities

If you have questions regarding NCR’s policy on return to play, please contact us at

Other valuable resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association

World Rugby return to play update

World Rugby Covid-19 Courses

National Federation of State High School Associations

Southeastern Conference

The Great Lakes Women’s Conference joins NCR

The Great Lakes Women’s Conference is proud to announce they are joining National Collegiate Rugby in the fall. Their eight conference members will be competing in both the women’s open division and the small college division.

The eight teams joining NCR this fall.

Bowling Green State University
Calvin College
Central Michigan University
Grand Valley State University
Ferris State University
Saginaw Valley State Univeesity
Oakland University
Western Michigan University

For more information on the conference contact:
Robert Burns

For more information on the NCR Women’s Open Division contact:
Angela Smarto

Liberty is First D1A Conference Set to Join NCR

NCR is pleased to share that “The Liberty Rugby Conference looks forward to having our 19 D1A member teams continue their growth together at the highest level of the National Collegiate Rugby Organization beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year.     We are thankful with the genuine partnership with and professionalism from the NCRO and are excited to have their marketing expertise promote our Liberty Challenge & Championship.  

We are hopeful our annual event continues to grow as one of the flagship products for D1A college rugby on the east coast as we move into our new venue at Union Point Sports Complex, home to the MLR’s New England Free Jacks.  

We are excited to be aligned in mission and vision on seasonality, marketability, and the development of collegiate rugby in the United States.”

The Liberty Conference is comprised of 19 teams from across New England and New York State:

American International College
Boston College
Colgate University
Fairfield University
Fordham University
Iona College
Northeastern University
Stony Brook University
SUNY Albany
SUNY at Buffalo
SUNY Binghamton
SUNY Brockport
SUNY Cortland
SUNY Oswego
Syracuse University
University of Connecticut
University of Massachusetts
University of Rhode Island
Tufts University

2020-21 Membership Fees and Insurance Program

National Collegiate Rugby is pleased to announce its 2020-21 membership fees and planned insurance offering. Starting on August 1, all NCR clubs, players, and coaches will register and pay directly through the NCR membership platform. Membership fees include appropriate liability and accident insurance.


In establishing the fee structure, NCR strives to set affordable levels for our players while ensuring the organization provides exceptional services, safe environments and high-quality competitions. For the first time, all member fees will be invested directly into the support and growth of college rugby.


NCR will offer two payment structures for our members. These options were designed to better meet the diverse preferences of our programs and make it easier for clubs to obtain funding support from their schools and alumni.


2020-21 NCR Membership Fees

(includes insurance and processing fees)

Option 1 Option 2
Club Fee $160 $1,300
Player Fee $65 $20


Through NCR’s new registration platform, conferences and clubs can include their member fees in the registration process and receive direct payments. 


The membership fees include General Liability and Participant Accident insurance for players, coaches, referees, and volunteers while engaged in NCR rugby activities. Under NCR’s insurance program, referees will not incur any fees. To learn more about NCR’s insurance, you can access the insurance overview on


We recognize that many of our members are big supporters of USA Rugby national teams. While NCR members will not be required to pay USA Rugby membership fees to participate in NCR sanctioned events, we are exploring ways that our members can provide optional donations to these teams, as well as, the national governing body.


Coaches must also register and pay through NCR. The coaching registration fee will fund a range of services, including several new coaching educational opportunities. The coaching fee will be announced in the coming weeks.


Of course, we are living in unusual times and the Fall rugby season may be affected by the coronavirus safety measures. As we learn more about universities’ plans for the Fall, NCR may need to create a modified season or plan for fewer teams. These adjustments may also necessitate a review of the fee structure. Above all, NCR’s approach will be guided by the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.


If you have any questions, please contact Membership Services and Marketing Director Lucy Zugschwert at or call (551) 298-4239.

Ohio Valley Women’s D2 Conference joins NCR


The Ohio Valley D2 Women’s Rugby Conference is proud to announce that they will join the NCR Women’s Open Division for the Fall 2020 season with 8 teams. Additionally, they are currently in discussion with the Ohio Valley Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference who provide services to 11 small college teams. They are working on a plan to administer all schools together in the Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana region.

When asked to join NCR, Open Division Kayla Closson said, “This is a great opportunity to stay with our midwest competition and work with a group that has such a passion for Collegiate Women’s Rugby. Combining with the other Ohio Valley Conference to create a hybrid league will give all of our teams more chances to be competitive and unified as one.”

Long time Small College Commissioner Marc Ferguson is excited to begin working alongside the Open Division teams because, “In talking with Kayla, we realized that we faced similar challenges with the competitive levels of our teams and that the opportunity to combine would better serve the needs of both conferences.”


Open Division members: 

  • University of Cincinnati
  • Miami University
  • Ohio University
  • Cedarville University
  • Marshall University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Ball State University

Small College Division members:

  • University of Findlay
  • Kenyon College
  • Tiffin University 
  • Denison University 
  • Wooster College
  • Earlham College
  • Grace College
  • Baldwin Wallace University
  • Ohio Wesleyan University 
  • Wittenberg College
  • Oberlin College

For more information on the NCR Women’s Open Division contact: Angela Smarto 

For more information on the conference contact:

Open Division Commissioner Kayla Closson

Small College Division Commissioner Marc Ferguson

DIAA The MARC Collegiate Rugby Conference Joins NCR

The MARC Rugby Conference is pleased to announce their commitment to the NCR Open Division DIAA Competition beginning Fall 2020.  The MARC Conference was created in 2012 The Mid Atlantic Rugby Conference—operates as a regional Collegiate competitive organization in conjunction with USA Rugby.

MARC administers over 50 Collegiate and University rugby programs, and 2,000 student athletes, in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. The MARC mission is to administer and promote competitive rugby, player and coach development, player safety, and community service.

When asked about the MARC commitment to NCR, Commissioner John Gulden commented “After evaluating all options for our DI teams it became clear NCR is the right choice. Our partnership continues to grow with NCR as we are all dedicated in growing college rugby.”

The MARC currently has 7 DIAA team’s men’s teams spread across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.

  • University of Delaware
  • Rowan University
  • Temple University
  • Saint Joseph University
  • Towson University
  • West Chester University
  • University of Pittsburgh

John Sciotto MARC’s DIAA Coordinator added “The MARC DIAA teams are excited to be a part of an organization like NCR. We feel that their vision and values align with ours.”

Midwest D1 Women’s Rugby Conference joins NCR

NCR would like to welcome the Midwest D1 Women’s Rugby Conference who are joining NCR in the fall. They are the first Women’s D1 conference to make the move to the new Women’s Open Division. The addition of strong D1 teams like the University of Minnesota who were a D1 Final Four team will require changes to the planned structure of the open division.

NCR Open Division Commissioner Angela Smarto commented, “We are trying to be inclusive, although adding the D1 teams requires the creation of an elite tier. We’re willing to do this in order to provide a new home for the D1’s while maintaining parity for the teams in the open division.”

The conference is made up of five teams from Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Iowa State University
University of Iowa
University of Minnesota
University of Northern Iowa
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Current D2 Fall Champions Winona State will also compete in the conference in the fall.

NSCRO Rebrands to National Collegiate Rugby

College rugby has a long and storied history. Over the last 40 years, the game has evolved into a competitive sport on college campuses played by thousands of young men and women across the country. Since 2007, NSCRO has accelerated the on and off-field growth and development of 350 small college rugby teams, student-athletes and coaches.

Today, we are announcing the next evolution of college rugby.

We are excited to introduce National Collegiate Rugby (NCR), a new brand that will encompass a broad constituency of collegiate programs. The brand will be guided by the values inherent in rugby – teamwork, respect, and sportsmanship. Through the passion of our staff and the rugby community, NCR will continue to grow the game and create an unforgettable student-athlete experience.

We will continue to provide the same exceptional services to our small college teams as we welcome both new small and larger schools to the NCR family. The organization will expand to include additional services, including registration, insurance, a competition management system and much more. We are proud to have the continued long-term support of our top sponsor, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, as we work together to create a brighter future for collegiate rugby.

Under the NCR umbrella, the organization remains committed to positively impacting the lives of young adults and growing collegiate rugby.

We look forward to seeing everyone back on the pitch this fall.

Angela Smarto appointed as Commissioner of the new Women’s Open Division

National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) is proud to announce that Angela Smarto has been appointed as Commissioner of the new Women’s Open Division.

Smarto recently completed her seventh season as head coach of the Robert Morris University Women’s Rugby Club. She is in her third year serving as the Allegheny Rugby Union Women’s Collegiate Coordinator, previously serving four years as the union’s secretary and webmaster. She founded the union’s women’s all star program in 2017 which competes in various 15s and 7s events year round including the NSCRO All Star 7s Championship annually.

Smarto began her rugby career in Happy Valley playing for Penn State from 2007-2012, while also coaching the State College High School Girls Team from 2008-2012. Post-graduate Smarto was actively involved with the Pittsburgh Rugby Club and as president led the merger to the newly formed Pittsburgh Forge before retiring from senior rugby in 2019.

When asked to serve on NCR women’s staff, Smarto said “I was truly energized by the idea of creating something new. Working with Bryn Chivers to help guide the future of women’s collegiate rugby is something I am passionate about. I am happy to be in a place that matches my enthusiasm to support growth of the game.”

Smarto will now begin working with the Commissioners from Open Division conferences to establish a Competitions Committee to review current eligibility policies and the new competition structure. The Competitions Committee will develop the new playoff structure leading to the first Women’s Open Division National Championship scheduled for December 5-6.