Age Grade Rugby
Age Grade Rugby was rolled out across the game in September 2016 and is aimed at providing player-centred, development-driven and competition supported rugby for all.
The needs of young people are at its heart and it puts player enjoyment above all else to keep more young people enjoying the game for longer and into their adult years.
The Regulations for Age Grade Rugby are contained in Regulation 15 of the game and these are supported by the Codes of Practice.
These regulations should also be read with Regulation 21 (Safeguarding) and Regulation 9 (Player Safety).
Regulation 15 includes everything required to support the playing of the game to the right rules in a safe and supportive environment and should act as the first port of call for delivery of Age Grade Rugby.
The format at various ages ensures that young players play the right rugby at the right time. These formats are supported by the regulations of the Age Grade game and have been developed by scientific research and studies on player development in sport.
The principle behind the Rules of Play is to provide a playing format with building blocks to the 15-a-side game that allows players time to get to grips with the basics of running and catching the ball before contact and specialism is gradually introduced – which positively impacts on player safety.
AGE GRADE RUGBY CALENDAR
The playing calendar provides a model which supports inclusivity of all players, guards against overplaying and underplaying and limits conflict between club and school/college rugby maintaining choice for players to play with their peer groups.
It also supports dialogue between clubs and schools at a local and county level in the interests of player.
This national calendar ensures that competition and representative rugby is delivered across the country at a consistent time and is divided into “competition windows” during which clubs and schools can deliver competition. Clubs and schools can play friendly or block fixtures at any time within the season and as such this isn’t a “priority” calendar.
To ensure to agree a balanced playing programme based on the needs and motivations of the young player the following annual process is observed:
- National competition dates and windows added
- CBs, CSUs and Academies work together to add County competition
- Approved calendar is released to clubs and schools. Locally organised competition will need to be in correct window
- Local clubs, schools, academy, parents and players agree appropriate playing and training programme
Out of season Age-grade summer framework for 2023 shows what age grade rugby activity is allowed over the summer.
To view the Middlesex 2023-2024 playing calendar click here .
Age Grade Rugby Tours
- Clubs must seek prior consent from Middlesex before undertaking any age grade tour either inside the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world.
- A “tour” is defined as any trip away from the home ground that involves one or more overnight stays.
- Clubs should seek consent by completing the RFU consent form and forwarding it to moc/ybgurxeselddim/eciffoytnuoc
- A copy of the club’s risk assessment specific to the tour is to be provided with the application.
- The application should be signed by an authorised officer of the club, being either the Secretary, Chairman or President.
- Applications for consent should be submitted no later than one month before the tour commences.
- Clubs should ensure they are aware of differences in approach to rugby particularly in overseas clubs. For instance this might include any potential law variations or different age bandings. Clubs should also ensure they communicate with the opposition to ensure a balanced and safe match. This should be considered in the risk assessment.
Should you have any queries please direct them to either the Safeguarding Manager, Middlesex Rugby at moc/ybgurxeselddim/gnidraugefas or Tim Miller, Chairman of Governance, Middlesex Rugby at moc/ybgurxeselddim//rellim/mit
Some of the changes include:
- Girls can no longer play with boys in the U12s age group. Instead they will need to join U13 girl’s teams. If your club does not have a provision for U13 girls please contact Community Rugby chair Louise Latter or your RDO about how to set up a team or which is your nearest club that caters for U13 girls. It is important that we encourage girls to continue their rugby.
- U13 and U14 boys will no longer play in leagues. The Herts and Middlesex Junior Leagues will still administer the U13 and U14 structure.
- There will be NO streaming in Mini Rugby within Middlesex Rugby i.e. no A or B teams in U7 – U12 age groups. All clubs and teams are encouraged to adopt a fully inclusive, mixed-ability, balanced team structure
- Middlesex Rugby has developed the ‘Festival Framework’ which clubs will be expected to sign up to and adhere to (see below).
- Clubs wishing to host their own Mini Rugby festivals MUST obtain approval from Middlesex Rugby, as your Constituent Body, and agree to follow the Festival Framework. Please go to the Age Grade Festival applications page.
- The U12 league competition has changed slightly to conform to Age Grade Rugby. The new Festival rules are attached for your reference (see below).
Middlesex Rugby will be running some further workshops for mini and junior rugby during the season. Details of these will be circulated to clubs and published on the website.
Middlesex Schools Finals
A great opportunity for school across the Middlesex region to come together in this festival of rugby. The U14, U15, U16 and U18 compete through the season in either the cup or the plate competition. 160 teams compete over 350 matches to reach the final stages across the county competing in the Middlesex Schools Finals.
The Middlesex U12 Festivals
The Middlesex U12 festivals help young players develop their rugby and bridge the divide between mini and youth rugby. The festival format meets the RFU age grade rugby requirements and provides a better rugby experience for teams and players as well as helping facilitate a the transition of players to the Youth Leagues at U13 with players experience longer matches and the type of discipline that they will need as they move to the youth age grade rugby structures. Since the format was introduced, U12s playing for Middlesex clubs have progressed to youth level with greater strength and skill.
St George’s Day Festival
The St George’s Day Festival began in 2010, as part of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 Legacy Programme. The Festival is held in April of each year and is aimed at girls at U11, U13, U15 and U18 age groups.
For 2023 St George’s Day festival is still to be scheduled.
Middlesex Minis Festivals
Minis Festivals 5th to 19th March 2023
Any questions please contact Waheed Aslam (ku/oc/cfspsaw//malsa/deehaw or 07867 576785)
Middlesex Rugby has produced framework and guidance documents for running County Festivals and Middlesex U12 Festival Rules. Also Clubs wishing to host the Middlesex Mini Festivals in March will be expected to be signed up to the Kids First Rugby programme. For more details click here.
Please ensure you are familiar with these if you are planning to run a festival.
If you wish to join the Minis Chairs WhatsApp Group please send an email to Waheed Aslam.
For further information about the changes to Age Grade Rugby please contact Middlesex Rugby chair of the Community Rugby Committee Louise Latter at moc/ybgurxeselddim//rettalesiuol or minis chairman Waheed Aslam at moc/ybgurxeselddim//malsa.deehaw
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