The teams (all 140 of them) are split into 20 groups of five teams. The groups are ranked, based each teams top 15 players average CSR, and then the top 20 ranked teams are spread out in the Top 4 groups.
The top 4 groups will play for the Cup. Groups 5 to 8 play for the Plate, 9 to 12 play for the Bowl, 13 to 16 play for the Shield, and 17 to 20 play for the Vase, 21 to 24 the Plaque and 25 to 28 the Resin.
There are 10 group rounds (Rounds 1-10) and everyone plays each other home and away. Each team will have 8 fixtures and 2 byes throughout the group rounds.
Points are tallied by winning matches (4 points) and playing to a draw (2 points). One bonus point (BT) will be awarded to any team that scores 3 or more tries than their opponent in a single game, regardless of the final result.
A bonus point (BL) may also be awarded to the losing side if the margin of loss is 7 points or less. Only the losing side can achieve the maximum 2 bonus points.
After the group rounds the teams finishing in the top four in each group will move forward to the knockout rounds, with the grand finals being in week 14.
When two or more teams are tied on total points, the higher-ranked team will be determined by the following criteria in order:
- Points Difference
- Total wins in current WCC season
- more bonus tries (BT)
- more loss points (BL)
The teams that finish on top of the table in each group will earn home games in the knockout round and the quarter finals as a reward for topping their groups.
The teams that finish in 2nd place on the table in each group will earn home games in the knock-out round only, as a reward for coming 2nd.
The teams that finish in 5th place after the group rounds have been completed, will not progress on to the finals, and their WCC season will be over.