The Union Cup 2017 will take place from 28 – 30 April in Madrid. Collection of the Welcome Packs at the Welcome Desk will be open all day on Friday 28th and an Opening Ceremony will follow. The competition will take place on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th. The tournament will come to a close with the Prizes and Closing Ceremony on Sunday evening.The information given in these FAQs contains the most up to date information that we have available. While we expect the majority of this information not to change some elements may be updated before the beginning of the tournament


Team Definitions

Each participating team shall consist of no more than 30 players.

The minimum number of players needed for a club to be defined as a complete competing team is 18. Any clubs registering 17 players or less will be contacted and invited to join with another smaller team or accept players from the pool of non-attached players.

Non-attached Registrations

Players registering as ‘Other’ (not attached to a competing team) will form a World Barbarians team if numbers are sufficient or invited to join an existing team.

This will be communicated in advance, at the latest at on site registration at the Welcome Pack Distribution and Information Point.

Registration of Referees

Any referee who is sanctioned by a Union recognised by the International Rugby Board is welcome to register to officiate at the Union Cup 2017.

The Madrid Rugby Federation has stipulated that anyone wishing to officiate during the Union Cup 2017 will not be allowed to compete as a player as well. Anyone wishing to officiate should register as a supporter and mark that they wish to be a referee in the notes during the registration. They will then be contacted by a member of the Union Cup Team with more information.

For more information on how the officiation of the tournament is being regulated please see the Competition section below.

Registration of Coaches

Coaches should register as a supporter in order to have access to the whole Union Cup tournament including bus shuttles, ceremonies and catering.

Upper Limits for Registration

There is no maximum limit for number of players that can register from one club.

In order to ensure that the Union Cup 2017 is accessible to all clubs, all clubs are initially capped at registering one full team of a maximum of 30 players. Any additional players that register from the club will go into the pool of players for the World Barbarians team.Clubs who have not yet registered more than one team and wish to do so are invited to contact the Union Cup Organising Committee to request permission.

Teams with more registered players than the number of teams they have registered will be contacted by the Union Cup 2017 in advance of the tournament.

Registration Closing

‘Lazy Bear’ registration is due to close on 28th April . The Union Cup 2017 however may close registration before this date if the maximum number of players or teams that the tournament can accommodate is reached.

If early closing of registration is looking likely this will be communicated in advance.

‘On the day’ registration in Madrid will not be possible.


The on site Welcome Desk will open from 10h00 – 18h30 on Friday 28th for participants to sign in and collect their welcome packs.

This will take place at El Corte Ingles, Plaza de Callao 2, right in the very heart of the city.

For late arrivals it will also be possible to complete registration at the Information Point at the pitches on Saturday and Sunday.

Any very late arrivers (Sunday) are requested to inform the Union Cup in advance.

There will be an information leaflet included in the Welcome Packs that will include a plan of the tournament venue, the official programme of the tournament with all addresses and times, information on the shuttle bus service as well as other important information.


Please note:

  • The provisional tournament structure is based on a total number of 32 Mens XV teams participating which seems the most likely scenario at the present time. This structure is subject to amendment based on the final number of teams participating.
  • Once final numbers for the Men´s XV tournament have been confirmed a finalised tournament structure will be communicated.

Tournament Rules

The tournament rules are being finalised and will be communicated to clubs and participants with a minimum of two weeks notice before the tournament.

The tournament rules are for a large part based on the rules from the last Union Cup tournament with some adjustments based on feedback received from teams.


Teams will be seeded prior to the draw taking place at the beginning of the tournament. The top seeded teams will play in the Union Cup competition, the subsequent teams in the Union Plate competition and the lowest ranked teams in the Union Bowl competition.

This seeding will be based upon previous results from the last Bingham and Union Cups and – where teams have not competed in one or both of these tournaments – the age of the club, how many inclusive tournaments they have participated in, whether they play regularly in a league and for how long will be taken into consideration.

Men´s Rugby XV Tournament Structure (Provisional)

The Tournament Structure has been updated following feedback from clubs and the unfortunate cancellation of the Women’s and Oldies competitions. The tournament structure below remains provisional. A finalised structure will be communicated once the final number of competing teams is know.

Teams will be placed into pools of 4 in their respective competitions determined by a “draw” which will be conducted during the Opening Ceremony and overseen by an official from the Madrid Rugby Federation.

Each pool will contain one seeded team that will not be drawn. These will be the top seeds in each competition. Teams will play 2 pool matches on Saturday 29th April.

Teams will play the final pool match on Sunday 30th April. Teams will then progress to semi-finals or directly to finals depending on which competition they are competing it.

A finalised tournament structure will be communicated once the final number of participating teams is know.


Each team will be guaranteed a minimum of 4 matches (2 per day) with teams reaching the finals on day two playing one additional match. Under the provisional structure the timings are as follows:

Saturday 29th

Pool matches played on Saturday 29th will be 20 minutes each half with up to 5 minutes for half time.

Sunday 30th

The final pool matches, Semi-Finals in the Union Cup tier as well as Finals in the Union Plate and Bowl tiers will be 15 minutes each half with up to 5 minutes for half-time.All finals in the Union Cup tier will be 30 minutes each half with up to 5 minutes for half-time.

Regulating the competition

The competition will be regulated by the Madrid Rugby Federation.

All games will be officiated by referees from the Madrid Rugby Federation or by referees sanctioned by Unions recognised by the International Rugby Board.

The seedings, draw and classification following the pool phase will be conducted by a member of the UC Organising committee and will be verified by the head referee and coordinator from the Madrid Rugby Federation.

Captains Meeting

There will be a captains meeting held before the competition begins. The exact timing and venue of this meeting has yet to be confirmed however we are working towards having the meeting early evening on Friday 28th, before the Opening Ceremony in a location that is easy to move straight to the ceremony afterwards. The time, date and venue will be communicated in the finalised Official Programme ahead of the tournament.

Competitions Committee

There will be a competitions committee formed during the captain’s meeting who will adjudicate on any dispute or issue that arises regarding safety or disciplinary matters.

The process for forming this committee will be the same as in 2015. Full details of this will be contained in the Tournament Rules

Communication of Fixtures/Scores

There will be an online fixtures/scoreboard on the UC17 website that will be updated as soon as the draw has taken place with which teams are playing when. This will be continually updated live over the course of the two days with scores and fixtures for day two.

Information regarding the changing room and bus time allocations will also be on this same web page and updated simultaneously with the fixtures.

There will also be a physical scoreboard at the pitches that will be updated throughout both days.


All players must bring moulded boots and/or boots with rubber studs. Players may also bring metal studs for the natural pitch.

There will be a check carried out by referees at the beginning of each match on the artificial pitches as part of their usual footwear check.

All footwear must be compliant with with World Rugby Regulation 12. PROVISIONS RELATING TO PLAYERS’ DRESS


Main Tournament Location

The tournament will take place at the “Polideportivo Municipal de Orcasitas” in the south of Madrid (maximum half an hour by shuttle bus from the center), which is owned by the Madrid Rugby Federation.Address: Av. de Rafaela Ybarra, 52, 28026 Madrid.


The competition will be played across 3 pitches.

At the main tournament venue, Polideportivo municipal de Orcasitas, there is one natural grass pitch and one artificial pitch.

The third tournament pitch is a satellite artificial pitch located a 15 minute drive away at El Bercial de Getafe.

Shuttle buses will be provided, a clear timetable communicated and well prepped volunteers will be on hand to help teams and ensure that the timings run like clockwork.

In addition we are modifying the match timetable to try to ensure an even spread of teams that play on the satellite pitch to minimise time players are away from the main tournament venue.

As previously communicated player safety is our number one priority at the Union Cup 2017 and no player attending the Union Cup 2017 will be asked to play on pitches that are unsuitable for the game of rugby or do not comply with their insurances.

All pitches are under the management of and have been certified by the Madrid Rugby Federation (MRF) for use playing rugby.Written confirmation of this verification has been sent to team representatives and can be requested from


Changing Rooms

There will be changing rooms with hot showers available to teams however there are not enough changing rooms for one per team for the duration of the tournament.

The changing rooms will therefore be organised on a schedule that fits with the matches.

This schedule will be available online and on site once the fixtures have been set.

There will also be tents available to the teams in the tournament venue that will provide shade and a place to leave belongings.

These areas will not be secure and teams are advised to assign a responsible to look after valuables.

Medical Services

All players are reminded that they must have valid insurance for playing rugby during this tournament.

All participants should to bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them as well as their European Health Card if they possess one. These will only be needed in case of injury.

The on-site Medical Services of the Union Cup 2017 are being managed by the Director of Trauma from a hospital in Madrid.

There will be a minimum of one doctor and one first aider on hand for each pitch.

There will be at least one ambulance on site.

The closest hospital has already been made aware that the tournament is taking place and prepared to deal with any serious injuries.


There will be physios on site for players situated in one area inside the main tournament venue.

Teams are welcome to come with their own physios.

Information Point

There will be a central Information Point tent and volunteers circulating round the tournament venue to answer questions from participants and resolve any issues that may arise.


Participants lunch for players and supporters on both competition days is included with registration.

Lunch will be served at the main tournament venue between 12h00 – 15h00 and there will be both hot and cold options available.

There is also a café on site where participants can purchase food.

There will be bars inside the main tournament venue where soft and alcoholic drinks can be purchased.

Participants are reminded that drinking alcohol is permitted on site however it is the responsibility of participants to ensure they do not drink alcohol before playing if this will invalidate their insurance.


Each competing team will be provided with an additional welcome pack that will contain refillable water bottles.

Madrid tap water is safe to drink unless marked otherwise.

There are two taps to fill bottles at the bottom of the main stand facing the main natural pitch. This will be marked on the site map in the welcome packs.


Shuttle Bus

There will be a bus shuttle service provided for all UC participants from the centre of Madrid to the main tournament location in the south.

The pick up point in the centre will be in Plaza de España.

Buses will run from Plaza Espana to the pitches from 1h30 before the beginning of the first match and will continue to run from the tournament venue back to the centre until 1h after the final match has finished.

Buses will also run between the main tournament venue and the satellite pitch throughout the day.

All paid participants of the Union Cup will have use of the bus shuttle service. However to ensure that matches start on time please be aware that, where necessary, players for matches beginning imminently will be given priority.More precise info on the bus schedule will be communicated at the same time as the finalised tournament structure. It is likely that teams will be allocated a certain bus time to ensure that all teams reach the venue in time for their match so be aware of this. This will be communicated on the same webpage as the fixtures, at the same time. For more information on communication channels during the tournament please see the Communication section below.

Public Transport

Madrid has a comprehensive metro system as well as well connected bus routes and local trains called ‘Renfe Cercanias’. Metro/Bus tickets can be bought in stations, 10 journeys costs – €12,20Be aware that these tickets are not valid for journeys to the airport or for use on the Cercanias network. For both of these you will need to purchase additional tickets.

The nearest metro station to the tournament venue is ‘Usera’ station that is on Metro line 6.


There are plenty of taxi companies available in Madrid although it is not guaranteed that they will speak English if you call so consider booking online.Taxis from the airport to the centre of Madrid are fixed at €30.

The average cost of a taxi from Callao (centre of Madrid) to the tournament venue is +/- €15. This is variable depending on traffic and the route taken.

Uber is also available in Madrid.


The primary official communication channel of the Union Cup 2017 is our telegram channel which will be in used during the tournament.

Our other social media channels will continue to be active throughout the tournament.

For information on how fixtures and scores will be communicated please see the Competition section of this document.

All key information necessary for the team representatives will be communicated by email ahead of the tournament including the tournament rules, finalised tournament structure, finalised official program and general information pack.

In an emergency situation team representatives will be contacted directly.


Early Arrivals

For participants arriving early there are unfortunately no planned social events however following requests we are providing a list of suggested bars that are central and would be great meeting points.


Enfrente is a great option to start the night and have a drink. They offer a 2×1 every night of the week and they are located at the very heart of Chueca. Great music by resident DJs.

Calle Infantas 12


Hot is the place to go if you are looking for a bears’ den. It’s right in front of (enfrente) the Enfrente Club (Yes, you’ve got it!) and you’ll find a small, warm and cozy bar for the first drinks of the night.

Calle Infantas 9


Not very far from those two bars you have the Bulldog Pub. Another great place to have a drink, meet great guys and find very nice bartenders. Great music and lovely people at the centre of Chueca.

Calle San Bartolomé 16


You are hungry and you are near Chueca. Go to Entrepuentes where you’ll find laid back quality food in a modern, young and relaxed environment!

Calle Infantas 18


Want to try some of the best Spanish food in Madrid? Paquita is the place for you! With market cuisine that skilfully blends ingredients and flavours, La Paquita provides the perfect balance between tradition and innovation in an intimate setting.

Calle del Mezquite 2


Famous for its Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent, at LL you can catch Madrd’s most famous Drag artists throwing shade and serving up a true Spanish extravaganza!

Calle Pelayo 11


Looking for something a little hotter? Boyberry is a crushing bar over two floors so whatever you’re into, whatever age lose yourself at Boyberry and find just what you were looking for.

Calle de Valverde, 3

Opening Ceremony

Due to the overwhelming interest in the Union Cup 2017 we have been forced to change the initialled secured location for the Opening Ceremony. Precise details of the venue will be communicated however we are able to give the following details at the current time.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday 28th April.

The schedule that we are working to foresees that the Opening Ceremony will begin at 19h00 and last no more than two hours.

The venue of the Opening Ceremony will be located in central Madrid and be accessible by public transport.

The draw to determine the pools for Day 1 of the competition will take place during the opening ceremony.

Supporters Bar Crawl

This will take place in the centre of Madrid on both Friday 28th and Saturday 29th and the provisional start time is 22h00.

Although this is marked as a Supporters Bar Crawl, all participants are welcome to join (at the mercy of their coaches).

Awards Ceremony and Closing Party

The Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the official tournament and will take place at Teatro Kapital, Calle de Atocha, 125.

The provisional start time of the Ceremony is 21h00. Doors will open at 20h00 and the ceremony will begin at 21h00. This is subject to change depending on the final timings of the match fixtures on Day 2 to ensure that all players have enough time to return to their hotels beforehand.

The Awards Ceremony will take place at Teatro Kapital where the winning teams of each grouping will receive their trophies.

Entrance to the Ceremony + Party is included in participant’s registration however this does not include any food or drink. Participants are advised to eat before arriving.

The party will continue long into the early hours.



2nd April – Deadline for bid submission to the Union Cup 2017 Organising Committee. The Union Cup 2017 will review the bids and ask for any further clarifications that may be necessary.

7th April – The Bids will be circulated to all clubs and posted online with an explanation of the selection process.

28 – 30 April – All candidate teams for hosting the Union Cup 2019 will have the opportunity to present their bid during the Bid Presentation meeting. The exact time, date and place of this meeting is yet to be finalised

30 April – The winning team will be announced during the Closing Ceremony of the Union Cup 2017.

Management of the Bids

The Union Cup 2019 Bidding process is being managed by the IGR representative for Continental Europe. Please direct any questions to him directly at .


Alcohol in Public

Drinking alcohol in the street or outside is illegal in Madrid. This is strictly enforced by police and the fine is €600.

Tournament Insurance

The Union Cup 2017 has Civil Responsibility Insurance. All players are reminded that it is their own responsibility to ensure that they have their own personal insurance that covers them to play rugby during the Union Cup 2017.