F7s Rules and Regulations

Started in 2002, the Forum Sevens is a tremendous concept which continues to grow in popularity at LeagueUnlimited.com.

The object of the game is simple. Participants set up teams of five players with two reserves per match.

The players write Rugby League-related articles and a referee awards points to all contributors. The winning team earning points on the F7s ladder.

Playing the game

Forums Sevens is a game where two teams write articles and these articles are refereed by an impartial marker. Each article is marked with a score out of 100. The scores are then added up for two team totals. The team with the highest marks overall are declared the winners and receive two competition points. In the event of the scores being equal, both teams receive one competition point each.

The number of rounds and make up of the semi-finals are discussed at the beginning of each season. These can be found in the draw (see link in sidebar).

Teams

Ideally, a Forum Sevens team shall consist of five (5) participating players plus two (2) reserve players.

The team captain (or stand-in captain) must announce the team in the appropriate thread when the match kicks off.

The decision to change players during the match is at the discretion of the captain (or stand-in captain), but they must be selected from the team of seven players as announced in the match thread after kick off.

Exception: See 'Home Ground Advantage' below.

It is not mandatory but team names should be related to a Rugby League team. This can be a current NRL, ESL, NSWRL, QRL, CRL etc. It can be a team of historical significance as well. In essence, the team name should be in the spirit of the competition and enjoyable for the players.

Player Cap

Squads shall not exceed 15 players in total at any given time throughout the season. This player cap is relaxed during off-season recruitment drives, but the team roster must be no more than 15 when the new season kicks off.

Finals Eligibility

The spirit of this rule is designed to stop players shifting sides just before the semi-fianls, and/or teams recruiting totally new players as 'ring-ins' during the semi-finals. Strictly speaking, team members in the semi-finals should only be players that are already part of the team squad.

The amount of games played by the squad member is not important (it can be zero), as long they were part of the team squad in the penultimate (second last) round of the minor premiership. That is, no player movements are allowed in the final round of the minor premiership or in the semi-finals.

To govern this, captains see F7s Management Forum and post players movements there.

In effect, players that were not part of the squad during the season, cannot be suddenly recruited for the semi-finals.

Player movements may resume following full time in the grand final.

Home ground advantage

This rule allows for one extra reserve player for home ground teams only and is optional. That is, the home team may have five (5) players plus three (3) reserves.

The visiting team is restricted to the usual five (5) players plus two (2) reserves.

This gives the home team a competitive edge while at the same time not disadvantaging a well organised visiting team.

It is not mandatory for the home team captain to name an eight player squad.

(Please note: unless stated otherwise, the home ground advantage rule should not apply to trial matches).

Posting articles

Number of articles

Each team should post no more than five articles from five separate players.

Should the team exceed five articles, then only the first five will be marked unless arranged otherwise and this must be cleared with the referee.

Should the team fail to get five articles posted, then only the number posted will be marked. No article will be marked if it is submitted or edited after full-time.

Word counts

Each article should not exceed 750 words, INCLUDING THE TITLE.

Words which identify the team member or provide references will not be part of the word count.

Articles which exceed 750 words will incur a penalty (details below, 'marking procedures').

Posting images

Players are entitled to use images in their articles and in most cases this does not count towards a player's word count. Nevertheless, there are some cases where an image table may become part of the word count and players are urged to double check (see F7s Official Word Counter). However, The Front Row forums do have a limit of five images per post and this also applies to the F7s.

The F7s official word counter

Please note that not all word counters give the same result and players are encouraged to use the F7 Official Word Counter.

Since round 11 of the 2005 competition, the F7s has been using a standardise word counting tool, the F7s official word counter. From 2007 the F7s official word counter was adjusted so hyphens ( - ) are no longer part of the word count. However, players should always copy and paste the entire article, INCLUDING THE TITLE, into the F7s official word counter (images and image tables included) to be sure.

The F7s official word counter applies to all matches and is used by the referees when doing word counts.

The F7 Official Word Counter can be found by clicking here.

Declaring your team

Forummers please note: It is essential that you declare your team at the beginning of each article.

If the player fails to declare who he/she is playing for, the referee's job is made more difficult. The captains may intervene or ask for Administrator intervention.

Forummers may also include their player number if they wish.

These details will not be included in any word count.

Round schedules

Rounds will be announced at an agreed time at the beginning of each season. This depends on general consensus.

Currently, rounds kickoff on a Sunday and full-time is called on the Wednesday-week following at 9:00PM AEST. The relevant dates and times will be clearly announced at the top of each game thread. Any exceptions to these days, dates and times will be announced in the draw and/or in the match thread. The round schedule allows team members approximately 10 days to post their articles. Articles are marked by the referee who has until Saturday to get the job done. The ladder is updated in time for the next round to kick off on the next Sunday.

Match points

The winning team gets two (2) competition points plus one (1) bonus point* if all articles are posted. The losing team gets zero (0) points plus one (1) bonus point* if all articles are posted.

Draws

  • in the event of a draw during the regular competition round, each team gets one (1) point each plus one (1) bonus point* if all articles are posted.
  • in the event of a semi-final, representative game or grand final draw, the referee allows an already named reserve from each side to make another post.
  • if the reserve is unavailable for whatever reason, the named captain, at his/her discretion, may make the extra time post.
  • this has to done by extra-fulltime (9:00 pm) the following day.
  • if it is still a draw after extra time, then the second (new) reserves or captains get to do it all again with yet another post from each side before extra-extra-fulltime the next evening.
  • articles must be original material from the author which has not been posted in a previous F7s match.

* Bonus Point

Bonus point on the competition ladder for team(s) getting all articles in for that round. NB: Articles that are disqualified by the referee, for whatever reason, will not be counted.

Possible Scenarios

  1. Both teams achieve maximum articles and there is a winner and loser: the winning team receives three points, the losing team receives one point.
  2. Both teams achieve maximum articles and it is a draw: competing teams will receive two points each.
  3. Winning team achieves maximum articles, losing team does not achieve maximum articles: Winner receives three points, loser recieves zero points.
  4. Losing team achieves maximum articles, winning team does not achieve maximum articles: Winner receives two points, loser recieves one point.
  5. Neither team achieves maximum articles and there is a winner and loser: the winning team receives two points, the losing team receives zero points.
  6. Neither team achieves maximum articles and it is a draw: competing teams will receive one point each.

The F7s Ladder

Teams will score competition points in the following manner:
Win = 2 points
Bye = 2 points
Loss = 0 points
Draw = 1 point
Bonus point* = 1 point

*Bonus Point

Bonus point on the competition ladder for team(s) getting all articles in for that round.

Ladder ranking/position

When establishing a team's position on the ladder, the order of ranking is as follows:

  1. Most competition points.
  2. Most articles.
  3. Most Points For.
  4. Best For and Against / Differential (F/A or +/-).

NB: Most articles added to ladder rankings in 2006.
Bonus point added to ladder ranking in 2009.

Marking procedures

Guidelines

  • From 2005, referees will mark each article out of 100 (previously it was out of 10).
  • Articles score more points if they are rugby league related. articles which have little or no reference to rugby league will score low.
  • articles which show some effort will be marked favourably.
  • The more original the article, the higher the score.
  • Players who borrow from other sources would be advised to list those sources (these sources will not be included in the word count).
  • A well researched article may also score well.
  • Any entry which is considered plagiarism will be disqualified. This is at the discretion of the referee.

Full-time

  • Timekeeper(s) calls full-time as soon as possible. This is done as matter of courtesy but real full-time is 9pm (Sydney time) according to the forum clock.
  • After full-time, it is 'pens down'. Players must not edit their articles and no further articles are allowed.
  • The referee individually marks each article out of 100.
  • The player scores are added up to get a team total.
  • The referee announces the winning team and the player(s) of the match.

Word count penalties

Ideally, each article shall consist of a minimum of 650 words and a maximum of 750 words, including the title. Articles that venture outside of the 650-750 word count range will incur a penalty. Be aware that any articles that are less than 500 words will be disqualified and will not be marked by the referee.

1-499 words: Disqualified
500-649 words: 5 points penalty
650-750 words: no penalty
751-760 words: 2 points penalty
761-800 words: 5 points penalty
801-850 words: 10 points penalty
+ 10 points penalty for every additional 50 words or part thereafter.

NB: Players team details and post-article references are NOT included in the word count.

Posting / match penalties

At the top of each match thread is posted the following:

Please note - This is a game thread only, therefore only game posts can be made here (Teams, Articles).

Any other posts will result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee.

While friendly banter is always encouraged, forum members are asked not to bring irrelevant discussion in the match thread.

The threads for posting articles are for that purpose only. Should a team member (other than the captain) make a post which is not an article, a team penalty of 1 point per post may apply. This is totally at the discretion of the referee.

Posting by proxy

First and foremost, a player being late because they simply forgot or had computer issues of their own is not considered an adequate excuse. The full time deadline still applies.

This section primarily deals with the issue of 'posting by proxy', or when an article is sent in by an alternative method prior to the fulltime deadline.

A captain or vice captain may post on the behalf of another team member 'if circumstances permit'.

However, it is considered polite protocol for the captain representing the player to inform he opposing captain and referee prior to the article being posted.

By ''if circumstances permit', we mean when the player in question gave advance warning that they'd be out of reach and had no choice but to ask for assistance from their team captain prior to the full time deadline.

For example, a reserve player will already have an article ready but will not be around closer to full time. They want to post but are waiting for the go ahead from their captain who in turn is waiting on an answer from a 'run-on' player. In such a case, no team should be without the reserve player and as long as all parties are informed, the captain or vice captain may post the player's article prior to full time.

Other examples include the Front Row forums being inaccessible. This may happen just before fulltime and it is no fault of the player if the server suddenly crashes.

As a backup, the article can be sent by email to [email protected]. F7s management can then check the time of the email and this will verify the intentions of the player: Please note that this is not an entirely reliable method and the F7s are not responsible for ISP delays in regards to emails.

In the case of any disputes, the referee makes the final decision.

Forum members from other websites

Captains or delegates may not post by proxy for members of other website's forums. In the interest of fair and open posting, it is essential that F7s players are members of TFR forums at LeagueUnlimited. Any post made on behalf of an off-site forum member will not be marked by the referee.

Members from other forums are most welcomed to join TFR forums at LeagueUnlimited.com.

Please click here to find out how to join the F7s..

Should any member have trouble joining, please contact the forums at [email protected].

Representative fixtures

Each year, the Forum Sevens have a few representative matches.

The selection process begins with the posting of a thread asking for potential captains to put up their hand. Anyone can nominate his or herself as long as they have played F7s.

Non-playing referees then select the rep captains by voting amongst themselves.

The selected captains then put up their own threads asking for players who are interested. That's when you, the player, throw your hat in the ring. Mutual agreements aside, F7s rep players must have previously played in the F7s premiership competition.

Out of the squad available, the rep captain selects a team. Rep teams comprise of 10 players each. Matches are 7 v 7 plus 3 reserves per team.

Players can play for any rep team where they feel their loyalties lie. For example, you may live in Queensland but will want to play for New South Wales, simply because that's where you were brought up. Equally, you may be Australian but have a fondness for New Zealand or Great Britain. So it's really up to the individual.

The full draw with the rep matches is here: f7s.leagueunlimited.com/draw2005.php.

Code of Conduct

Sportsmanship & Disruption to the competition

This is perhaps the most important section of the rules and all forummers are asked to read this section carefully.

In basic terms, participants are asked not to bring any discussion into the Forum Sevens which may disrupt the Forum Sevens.

The Forum Sevens promotes 'cross-fan' participation and sportsmanship. That is, to encourage fans from opposing bases of opinion to join forces and leave their differences at the door. This has gone a long way to ensuring the success of the Forum Sevens at Leagueunlimited.

Management takes a dim view of any participant or non-participant who shows a lack of sportsmanship. The same applies to anyone who through actions or words, damages the reputation of the Forum Sevens.

This especially applies to post-match comments and it also applies to questioning the referee decisions in the open forum.

It is imperative that players leave all arguments at the door. Any disputes between members is not to be carried into the Forum Sevens competition.

Penalties for anti-sporting behaviour can range from points being deducted to match suspensions; and possible expulsion from the competition and the forums.

Should there be excessive disruption from a participant or non-participant, anyone from F7s management may request the assistance of a site administrator.

Dispute procedure

The vast majority of queries are settled between captains in consultation with the referee.

Disputes may be brought up by team captains or delegates in the F7s management forum or by email to [email protected]. Queries can also be sent by Private Message (PM) in the forums.

Equally, should any participants or non-participants show a lack of sportsmanship, the issue may be raised in the F7s management forum, by email or by PM.

What we mean by 'sportsmanship' and 'playing the game in the spirit it was intended'

Congratulating the other team, thanking the referee are not mandatory but it happens a lot in the F7s and is part of the spirit of the game. Everyone enjoys winning but this is not a 'win at all costs' competition.

'Playing the game in the spirit it was intended' means that we want to see everyone have a go and come away thinking they were part of something.

Examples of sportsmanship include players from opposing teams helping each other out with advice and not wanting to see a team lose a match for a minor mistake.

As mentioned, none of this mandatory but it has happened often and is all part of the true spirit of the game.

Naturally, friendly and positive discussion is always encouraged.

Anti-poaching

The Forum Sevens will look out for the interests of the player first and foremost. That is, he/she should feel free to play for the team where they feel most comfortable.

No one should be placed under pressure to join another team, especially when this pressure creates indecision and/or divisions.

Equally, captains should be kept informed of any such movements. Naturally, captains cannot veto a player's genuine desire to move on; however, the polite thing is for the player to let the captain know what's happening.

Player Cap

Squads shall not exceed 15 players in total at any given time throughout the season. This player cap is relaxed during off-season recruitment drives, but the team roster must be no more than 15 when the new season kicks off.

The referees

Team captains can ask for clarification on any matter (in the F7s management forum or by PM) but ultimately, the referee's decision is final. Players should remember that the Forums Sevens is designed for enjoyment and everyone is participating as a volunteer.

Judiciary

The introduction of a F7s rules manager will begin in 2007. The job of the rules manager is to field issues regarding enforcement of the rules. This is done in full consultation with the referees boss and if required, the referees as well as the relevant team captains.

Official home of the F7s

Leagueunlimited.com are the official hosts for the Forum Sevens competition. The name Forum Sevens and the Leagueunlimited site is owned by Sports Unlimited Online Pty Ltd. Anyone wishing to promote the names 'Forum Sevens', 'Forum 7s', or 'F7s' should first check with Sports Unlimited Online by email.

Questions?

Should there be any questions; posts can be made in Forums Sevens section of the Front Row Forums. As well, the site owners can be contacted at [email protected].