German Rugby Federation



The German Rugby Federation (german: Deutscher Rugby-Verband or ''DRV'') is the governing body for rugby union in Germany. It organizes the German national team and the three league divisions: the
Rugby-Bundesliga The Rugby-Bundesliga is the highest level of the league system for rugby union in Germany, organised by the German Rugby Federation. The league is predominantly amateur, with only one club in the league being officially a professional outfit, ...
, the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga and the Rugby-Regionalliga. It was founded on November 4, 1900, in
Kassel Kassel (; in Germany, spelled Cassel until 1926) is a city on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Regierungsbezirk Kassel and the district of the same name and had 201,048 inhabitants in December 2020. ...
, and is the oldest national rugby union in ''continental'' Europe. After the Second World War, the DRV was restored on May 14, 1950. The ''DRV'' publishes the ''Deutsches Rugby-Journal'' with 11 issues per year. It is the official organ of the federation.


Prior to its foundation several initiatives were taken to syndicate the German clubs. When the efforts of the north German clubs failed in 1886, DFV Hannover 1878 joined the "German Football and Cricket federation", while the southern clubs opted for the "South German Football Union". Despite the well pronounced individualism of the clubs, representatives from Heidelberg and from FV Stuttgart 93, the later
VfB Stuttgart Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e. V., commonly known as VfB Stuttgart (), is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The club's Association football, football team is currently part of Germany's first division, t ...
, met in February 1898 for the first Rugby-Day (german: Rugby-Tag) in Frankfurt. Led by Professor Dr. Edward Hill Ulrich this group went on looking for closer contact to the north German clubs. Additional Rugby-Days followed in August 1898 and September 1899. It was not until the fifth of this gatherings, taking place in Hannover on 4 November 1900, that 19 clubs formally decided on a joint operation to form a German Rugby Football Union under the governing body of the German Football Association. On 4 November 1901, only one year after the foundation the Rugby-Football Federation made the decision to leave the association football players and form the self-governed German Rugby Federation.

Centenary and Barbarians Tour

In 2000 the German Rugby Federation celebrated its centenary. Centenary celebrations included a banquet in the Heidelberg Castle and the hosting of the European leg of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in
Heidelberg Heidelberg (; Palatine German: ') is a city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. As of the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, of which roughly a quarter consisted of students. ...
, in which the German team came close to upsetting
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the seco ...
, who had Gordon D'Arcy in their line-up. The tournament was won by the Welsh team, which featured Andy Marinos and Arwel Thomas. The highlight of the Centenary season was the Centenary Match against the
Barbarians A barbarian (or savage) is someone who is perceived to be either uncivilized or primitive. The designation is usually applied as a generalization based on a popular stereotype; barbarians can be members of any nation judged by some to be less ...
. The Barbarians included a host of internationals including Scott Hastings, Peter Stringer, Shaun Longstaff, Jeff Probyn, Frankie Sheahan, Russell Earnshaw, Shaun Connor, John Langford and Derwyn Jones and won 47–19 against a determined German team.

Proposed reform 2009

The ''DRV'' proposed a reform of its structure in October 2009, with the view of rugby having become an Olympic sport once more.Der DRV-Arbeitsplan "Rugby auf dem Weg nach Olympia 2016", author: Claus-Peter Bach, published: 19 October 2009, accessed: 27 March 2010
Also, from 2010–11, every club has to field a minimum of ten players per game who are eligible to play for the German national team, and can only field twelve non-eligible players at the same game. For the national teams, the aim was set to have the men's side achieve qualification for the
2019 Rugby World Cup The 2019 Rugby World Cup was the ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's rugby union teams. It was hosted in Japan from 20 September to 2 November in 12 venues all across the country. The opening match ...
, at the latest, and qualification for both the men and women for the
2016 Summer Olympics ) , nations = 207 (including IOA and EOR teams) , athletes = 11,238 , events = 306 in 28 sports (41 disciplines) , opening = 5 August 2016 , closing = 21 August 2016 , opened_by = Vice President Michel Temer , cauldron = Vanderlei Cordeiro d ...

Financial Crisis

The German Rugby Federation suffered a major crisis in 2011, finding itself close to insolvency, being €200,000 in debt. The situation was brought on by the annual grant of the German federal ministry of the interior, ''BMI'', not being paid in 2010 after the ministry voiced concerns that the ''DRV'' was not using the money for the desired purpose, to support the sport. A legal battle that the ''DRV'' chairman Claus-Peter Bach fought with the ministry did not bring the desired result but instead worsened the situation. Bach consequently announced he would not stand for another term in July 2011 and was replaced by Ralph Götz. The ''DRV'' was able to secure a private loan to survive and hopes to attract sponsors that had withdrawn under Bach as well as to reach a settlement with the ''BMI''. At the ''Deutsche Rugby Tag'' (DRT) in mid-July 2012, the ''DRV'' announced that it was able to avoid insolvency and regain its annual grants from the German government on the condition that it sticks to a strict financial plan that would see the ''DRV'' debt free by 2018. Any violation of this plan would see the funding withdrawn and the association confronted with insolvency again.


The ''DRV'' is located and registered as a non-profit organisation in Hannover and combines the 13 regional unions (''Landesverbände'') with 11,656 members total of which 10,023 are male and 1,633 are female players. The 108 registered clubs have 319 referees (as of January 2011). The ''DRV'' has three sub-organisations these are the German Rugby Youth (german: Deutsche Rugby-Jugend or ''DRJ'') since 1967, the Referees Association (german: Schiedrichtervereinigung or ''SDRV'') since 1996 and the German Women's Rugby Association (german: Deutsche Rugby-Frauen or ''DRF'') since 2003. As an outcome of the ''Rugby-Tag'' in July 2010 the integration of Touch Rugby was scheduled for January 2011.Protokoll des DEUTSCHEN-RUGBY-TAGS, Haus des Sports, Hannover, 03.07.2011, DRV


The DRV is a foundation member of Rugby Europe (1934), and became affiliated to the International Rugby Football Board, now known as World Rugby, in 1988. Moreover, it is a founding member of the German Olympic Sport Federation ''
Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund The German Olympic Sports Confederation (german: Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund or DOSB) was founded on 20 May 2006 by a merger of the ''Deutscher Sportbund'' (DSB), and the ''Nationales Olympisches Komitee für Deutschland'' (NOK) which dates ...


Since the formation of the association in 1900, its presidents were: Source:


* '' Brockhaus Enzyklopädie'' (1973 edition), vol 16 )


External links

Deutscher Rugby-Verband
- Official Site {{Authority control Rugby Rugby union in Germany Rugby union governing bodies in Europe Sports organizations established in 1900 1900 establishments in Germany