Rules of Play

The Rules of Play use a ‘building block’ approach and aim to equip players and coaches with the skills they need as they build towards the XV-a-side game. They offer progression and challenge for players season by season and state the furthest players can travel towards the 15-a-side game at each age. This ensures our game remains Player Centred and Development Driven.

This gradual introduction of new rules, a simpler game, and a focus on growing confidence and self-esteem will ensure that the development of each individual child goes hand in hand with the development of the game through the age groups. This stepping stone approach will equip players with the skills and confidence they need to fully enjoy the XV-a-side game later in life.

The Principles of the rules are to:
1. Put the child first
2. Maintain rugby as a game for all shapes and sizes
3. Increase enjoyment for all
4. Increase involvement for all
5. Retain players in the game

Rules and Regulations for each game have been carefully developed, trialled and reviewed since 2007. An academic review by Exeter University of the pilots that took place in Hampshire, Warwickshire and Durham demonstrated that this model provided players with more contributions per player, per game than the previous playing structure provided.

The rules of the games have been simplified to support children’s development – they are deliberately uncomplicated and flexible. A free flowing and continuous game should be encouraged, and they offer core guidelines to the game, with enough flexibility for the coach to adapt to the needs and abilities of the players.

The game has been developed to increase player involvement, increase the number of decisions a player has to make which in turn will improve their game understanding.

More touches of the ball supports their skill development as they are involved more frequently, during the game.

All of which will increase their enjoyment of rugby and will assist with the long term retention of players in the game.

You can see examples of the game by clicking on the videos below:

Under 7s here
Under 8s here
Under 9s here
Under 10s here
Under 11s here

Full versions of the Rules and Regulations of the game can be found by clicking here