A 12-team rugby union tournament where teams play each other twice, once at home and once away. The top four teams then advance to the playoffs, where first place will take on fourth whereas second and third will play each other. The winners of both games will play each other in the Grand Final (there is no third place playoff).
The bottom two teams, on the other hand, will play each other in a best of three series where the winner will stay in the ERC and the loser will be relegated to Division One. In Div One, the top two teams (out of thirteen) will play each other in a best of three to see who'll be making it into the ERC, whereas - much like in the top flight - the bottom two will have their of BO3 series to see who'll be staying up and who'll be dropping down into Div Two. Fortunately, there is no relegation from Div Two so if you come in last place there you'll be able to try again next season without playing with the non-league teams.
Teams are awarded four points for a win, two for a draw and zero for a loss, although teams will receive a bonus point if they score at least four tries in a game and another bonus point if they lose by seven or fewer points.
Auckhampton Birch Trees
Elejamie City Eagles
RC Los Reyes (Playa de Rocas)
Halo Park, Alvis, KEDE (Alvis Rams)
SkyBlue Stadium, Auckhampton, BIST (Auckhampton Birch Trees)
The Dales, Mainsborough, ATMN (Autumnia Lakers, Mainsborough Delphi)
Argonaut Lane, Avon, AVEN (Avon Knights)
Coventry Rugby Ground, Coventry, AVEN (Coventry Wyverns)
Barnham Road, Davenport, WYKN (Davenport Commandos)
St. Patrick's Garden, Edgebaston, MDLN (Edgebaston Warriors)
ECArena, Elejamie City, BIST (Elejamie City Eagles)
Knottsbridge Stadium, Iceland, SRTR (Iceland Panthers)
Mosshill Park, Murgon, BNTT (Murgon Bullfrogs)
Estadio Los Reyes, Playa de Rocas, NUPA (RC Los Reyes)
Rosate Rubihus, Rosetta, ROIY (Rosetta Sparrows)
Coventry Wyverns vs Avon Knights (the Battle of the Bridge)
Coventry Wyverns vs Davenport Commandos (although this has somewhat died down in recent years)
Coventry Wyverns vs Murgon Bullfrogs (due to them being the most successful teams in the league)
Murgon Bullfrogs vs Edgebaston Warriors (M32 Derby. Not as widely celebrated as the Bullfrogs-Wyverns Derby but it's still there)
Auckhampton Birch Trees vs Elejamie City Eagles (Birch State Brawl)
Iceland Panthers vs Alvis Rams (M48 Derby)
Autumnia Lakers vs Mainsborough Delphi (Mainsborough Derby. However, this rivalry doesn't appear that often as 60% of the time the two sides are playing in different leagues)
Auckhampton Birch Trees vs Murgon Bullfrogs (As the two teams have played each other eight times in the Playoffs; five semi-finals (1993, 1998, 2001, 2007 and 2014) and three finals (1996, 2005, 2011), with Murgon winning all but one of them - losing 23-11 to the Birch Trees in their 2014 semi-final matchup, although Auckhampton would go on to lose to Avon 14-8 in the Grand Final. However, this is a one-sided rivalry as the Bullfrogs are more concerned with Davenport and Coventry)
Coventry Wyverns vs Coventry Jesters (Coventry Derby. However, the Jesters were relegated from the ERC at the end of the 2004-05 season and the two teams haven't played each other since)
N.B. Winners will be listed first, followed by the score and then the losing side. Any extra information will be shown in brackets.
1991: Murgon Bullfrogs 19-6 Coventry Wyverns
1992: Avon Knights 12-3 RC Los Reyes (the only try-less ERC Grand Final)
1993: Coventry Wyverns 19-12 Edgebaston Warriors
1994: Davenport Commandos 14-8 Mainsborough Delphi
1996: Murgon Bullfrogs 9-7 Auckhampton Birch Trees (the only ERC Grand Final to have scores in the single digits)
1997: Davenport Commandos 62-11 Alvis Rams (the largest points margin)
1999: Murgon Bullfrogs 20-20 (26-23 AET; first Grand Final to go to extra time)
2002: Rosetta Sparrows 29-28 Murgon Bullfrogs (shortest margin in an ERC Grand Final)
2003: Coventry Wyverns 50-0 Coventry Jesters (the first time that one side had been left score-less)
2005: Davenport Commandos 10-3 Iceland Panthers (the lowest-scoring ERC Grand Final)
2007: Murgon Bullfrogs 19-12
2009: Coventry Wyverns 20-3 Edgebaston Warriors
2011: Murgon Bullfrogs 15-15 Auckhampton Birch Trees (20-15 AET; only Grand Final to be played outside of Coventry, at the Edgebaston Dome)
2015: Avon Knights 29-21 Auckhampton Birch Trees
2016: Coventry Wyverns 31-9 Rosetta Sparrows
2017: Davenport Commandos 21-10 Murgon Bullfrogs
In June 2016, the ERF (Elejamian Rugby Federation) announced that there will be a pre-season rugby sevens tournament, which will take place on the last Friday of August. The ERC 7s, as it's officially called, consists of all twelve teams in the ERC.
The teams are then split into two groups of six, Group A (which play their games in one stadium) and Group B (which play their games in the other); in the inaugural tournament hosted in the twin cities of Avon and Coventry, they were named Group A and Group C. Each team plays each other once, with the first group's games being played on the Friday and the second group's games being played the following day, with the same point system as the ERC (see above). The top two teams in each group will continue to the Cup portion, the middle two teams will compete for the Plate and the bottom two teams play for the Bowl. All of which are played on the Sunday afternoon, with the semi-final and third place games being held at Argonaut Lane. The Cup, Plate and Bowl finals, however, are held at the Coventry Rugby Ground and, unlike all other matches, consist of two 10-minute long halves (with two extra halves of five minutes should they be required). The Bowl final is played first, followed by the Plate and then the Cup.
The inaugural tournament (with games played at Argonaut Lane in Avon and the Coventry Rugby Ground in Coventry) was a modest success and a second edition is scheduled to begin on 25th August 2017 in Edgebaston, with games to be played at St. Patrick's Garden and the Edgebaston Evening News Stadium.
Cup: Avon Knights 6-11 Rosetta Sparrows (3rd place: Murgon Bullfrogs 32-23 Coventry Wyverns)
Plate: Auckhampton Birch Trees 26-19 Davenport Commandos (3rd place: Alvis Rams 13-16 (AET) Elejamie City Eagles)
Bowl: Edgebaston Warriors 35-24 RC Los Reyes (3rd place: Iceland Panthers 30-17 Autumnia Lakers)
Cup: Murgon Bullfrogs 12-0 Coventry Wyverns (3rd place: Davenport Commandos 28-16 Alvis Rams)
Plate: Avon Knights 41-6 Auckhampton Birch Trees (3rd place: Elejamie City Eagles 10-23 Rosetta Sparrows)
Bowl: Mainsborough Delphi 11-19 Iceland Panthers (3rd place: RC Los Reyes 9-30 Edgebaston Warriors)
In early 2016, the ERF controversially announced that the current season of the HBL (2015-16) would be the last and an all-new league would begin in the new year. Christened the HBRL (with the "HB" coming from the Edgebaston-based brewery Hanson's Brews, who sponsored the HBL in its last eight seasons; although they won't be returning, the new league will be sponsored by the Avon-based Hinckley Bank, which still fits the naming scheme), the new tournament wouldn't be that much different from the old HBL; in fact, all 14 teams from the HBL will be taking part in the new competition (including the Navelgas R13, which would end up relocating to Davenport to become the Blades in July 2016). In fact, the only difference would be that the tournament will take place all in one year.
Much like the HBL, teams are awarded three points for a win and zero points for a loss. However, there are no draws meaning that, if two teams are levelled by the end of the 80 minutes, they'll have to play for the golden point (similar to a golden goal in football/soccer). The first team to score a try, a penalty or even a drop goal will win the match. If the two teams are still tied at the end of the GPP (Golden Point Period, which is what the HBL calls overtime), the match is decided by a coin toss (which is marked on official results as (CT) next to the winning team's score). Only one match in the entirety of the HBL has ended in a coin toss; on 15th February 1998, a match between Aloc RLT and the Alvis Mechanics ended in a 16-16 draw and, after a pointless GPP, referee Brian Kershaw (in his first game as a referee) tossed a coin which landed on heads, awarding the three points to Aloc. However, if a team makes it to the GPP but loses, they still receive a consolation point for making it that far.
Beginning on the third Sunday of February, teams will play each other once in a single round robin. After a break on the third week of May, the top eight eight teams will play each other again in another single round robin tournament (called the HBRL Super Eights), which would determine rankings for the play-off stages. In the quarter-finals, which begins after a third break, whoever came first would play the eighth-placer, the HBRL SE runner-up would play seventh place and so on. The winner of all those games would go on to the semi-finals and the winner of both semis would play each other in the final (aka the Million Sofanc Game), which has been played at the Edgebaston Dome since 2009.
The HBL (originally titled the ERL but renamed in 2007 to avoid confusion with the ERC) was the only professional rugby league league in Elejamie. As a result of its demise, that honour will now belong to the HBRL.
Berlin Blue Bolts
Crown Manor Princes
Eden Rock Red Vees
Fosado XIII Guerreros
VikingStadium, Aldenport, ATMN (Aldenport Vikings)
Aloc Pec, Aloc, ELIY (Aloc RLT)
Halo Park, Alvis, KEDE (Alvis Mechanics)
Mistleview Stadium, Berlin, MTDF (Berlin Blue Bolts)
Coventry Rugby Ground, Coventry, AVEN (Coventry Saviours)
The Fortress, Crown Manor, WRWK (Crown Manor Princes)
Barnham Road, Davenport, WYKN (Davenport Blades)
The Rock, Eden Rock, BIST (Eden Rock Red Vees)
Edgebaston Evening News Stadium, Edgebaston, MDLN (Edgebaston Chariots)
Estadio Fosado, Fosado, NUPA (Fosado XIII Guerreros)
Knottsbridge Stadium, Iceland, SRTR (Iceland Foxes)
South Murgon Park, Murgon, BNTT (Murgon Power)
Camp Parklane, Newford, ESEL (Newford Comets)
Woodsworth Rugby Stadium, Woodsworth, ESRE (Woodsworth RLC)