USA Rugby League

The first cohort of the new United States Association of Rugby League Board will be elected in January in one of the final acts of a lengthy and detailed governance reform process initiated by the International Rugby League.

IRL has confirmed six of the active USARL clubs have been graded as member clubs, according to the new USARL constitution and membership policy.

Jacksonville Axemen, LA Bandidos, LA Mongrel, San Diego Barracudas, South West Florida Copperheads RLFC, and Tampa Mayhem have been classed as Club Full Members and will have voting rights.

Pacific Coast Rugby League submitted an application to become a league member but is not yet eligible.

Of the other clubs that participated in the 2023 USARL season, Atlanta Rhinos, Glendale Storm, Herriman Roosters, Provo Broncos, Riverton Seagulls and Santa Rosa Dead Pelicans did not submit membership applications and, along with PCRL, will have until 3 January to submit applications before the constitutive election cycle commences on 8 January.

A constitutive election, scheduled for the end of January 2024, will be managed by IRL

The election will be for:

  • 1 female and 1 male Director drawn from the list of individual members (players, administrators and coaches) of the member clubs and elected by the Club Full Members;
  • 7 Directors nominated by the member clubs and elected by the Club Full members.

Following the election of these 9 Directors, the new USARL Board will:

  • elect an interim Chair from among the 9 Directors
  • recruit up to three independent directors to join the Board.

Immediately after the recruitment of up to three Independent Directors, the 12-strong Board shall elect a Chair from among the Directors.

The election of the full Board will complete a reform process that started in October 2021 and included wide and multiple consultations with the rugby league community in the United States, a review of multiple relevant US sports governance models and was benchmarked by USARL consent at every stage to ensure a fully collaborative process.

IRL Chair Troy Grant said: “I’m pleased the USARL is continuing to move in the right direction after too many years stuck in governance quicksand.

“The governance reform now has them on the front foot to grow the game stateside and take advantage of initiatives such as the NRL event in Las Vegas and opportunities in the international calendar”.