RFU - proposed Mini's rule changes

RFU - proposed Mini's rule changes

RFU - proposed Mini's rule changes%3A

All - just a quick straw poll%3A

Have any CLUBS that you are aware of officially come out in SUPPORT of these changes? If not, have they come out officially rejecting the proposed changes, or are they adopting a "wait and see" attitude?

Regards Stephe

Rugby CoachCoach
Simon JonesCoach, England


Could you outline which rule changes are causing you concern?

That way we could start a useful debate going?


Rugby CoachCoach

Hi Simon, Sure. In essence, the changes are%3A 1) u7 - field size stays the same, but 1 less player on the field for TAG 2)u8 - no change 3)u9 - NO TACKLING. Still TAG with uncontested 3 man scrums. Regards Stephe

Rugby CoachCoach

That's the first I have heard of this and I really hope it is not true. By the time kids get to 7 years of age (ie. Under 8s) they actively seek contact. We should be seeking to channel this in the appropriate way rather than stopping it altogether.

Jan DuncanAdministrator, England

This is actually going to be run as a 3 year trial in 3 volunteer Counties whereby this coming season's u9s would remain with Tag for 3 years but with added disciplines each year then all following teams would do the same with the RFU collecting data and feedback from clubs in each county, each year as, following an investigation by Exeter university to investigate the huge loss of players from u9-u12, this was deemed the most appropriate way to keep more players in the game until mature enough to take contact without being frightened off and they would learn the running, passing and evasion skills players seem to be losing in favour of the "hang onto the ball and go into contact at all costs" culture that seems prevalent at the moment although most suggestions from our coaches are that it is the coaching skills that should be looked at and changed, not the game itself.

Rugby CoachCoach

Withput trying to editorialise, I haven't encountered a SINGLE person that is in support of these changes - notwithstanding the RFU personnel who are championing it... As alluded to above - the deficiency is in the coaching, not the game.

Rugby CoachCoach

Having coached the same group of players from U7 to U11's next season, this potential change seems a strange one. A number of our players (current tight-head and hooker) struggled at tag as their skills lie elsewhere. It was hard work to keep them interested in the sport when all they were seeing was the faster funners getting past them. I also found that the step-up at U9s and then again at U10s has improved my player's passing and evasion and allowed players not blessed with speed and agility to be a full part of the team.

Rugby CoachCoach

I honestly believe that if a child has played tag rugby at 6,7,and 8 they are ready for contact,all coaches should improve their own coaching knowledge to allow contact to be fun and progressive, the kids are ready are the coaches? I would like to know were the three trialing areas are? My boys would not want another year of tag rugby.

Rugby CoachCoach

Based on our club, the only time player retention becomes an issue is around under 16s and colts level due to school exam/coursework pressures and other distractions and Exeter Uni clearly didn't consult us. We have had excellent retention of players in younger groups. This is primarily due to training. Most of our kids started in the under 7s and have progressed through the ranks and by the time they are 8 the vast majority are desperate to move onto tackling. At the start of the season we spend the first month on tacking and build it up so every player is confident and able to tackle, ruck and maul. This cannot be said about all clubs however as at a recent end of season tournament it was noticeable that our team were the only ones to consistently tackle players round the legs. Rugby is a sport that suits different body shapes which contrasts strongly with football and is a positive attraction to some players. That said it is vital that players are not typecast at such a young age given the way kids develop and all players should be rotated round.

Rugby CoachCoach

Jan, do you know which counties are trialling the changes?

Harry ReillyCoach, Scotland

I am not aware of these variations being introduced North of Border (Have checked the SRU site). I am a little confused as to the purpose behind these variations as I know that the focus here is on the National Themes (early hand catch, evasion etc) however we still manage to do this with the introduction of the tackle. As mentioned, by many of the contributers above, the young people involved seem to want to have some contact (part of the rough'n'tumble of their age) so why not channel and make sure that they get into good habits. If a coach specifically wants to remove it from a session then TAG will provide the non-contact environ. As to player retention I was not aware that this was the age group where the problem lay, we seem to expereince this more at U15-U17 level when the "distractions" seem to escalate. I personally am not a fan of School Year/Age banding I prefer a more size/weight and skill level approach being applied particularly where young people are joining the game. As progress through the age groups it becomes harder to integrate new players into their level due to the increase in physicality/situation awareness therefore the ability to develop them at a lower level and bring them up to a standard would help. This, overlaid with youth coaches of high integrity who focus on individual player development rather than winning trophies in mini/midi rugby and a much fairer system will result.

Rugby CoachCoach

I am the captain and prop of one of top 4 colts sides in the country, i have seen and watched Kiwi training sesions for players of U7s - U19s and i believe the main diffrence is the in this country from a young age we are not taught to be "HARD". in New Zeland kids as young as 8 are learning how to tackle on their coaches and they practice at home with their parents and i see this as a mian reason their U19s - mens are probably the best at what they do in the world at the moment. Our rugby here is becoming more and more safety oreientated and not%3A lets go and play rugby orientated, it doesnt matter what age you introduce Takling and Contested Scrums, you are still going to get the same kids that dont like it quit and you will loose players because they are bored of touch and want to play contact. And as for the reducing injurys part if you do not have contested srums untill a later age, the childs body will become more developed without their srum technique or neck strength getting better. then when you come to introduce them to the contested scrum they are far more likely to get injured, i think exeter university have looked far to narrowly at this with no experience of it, i personally believe that the only way to combat this is to improve the standard of our coaches at this level make sure they ALL have a good understanding of scrumige techniques and exersises to improve neck strength, and even bring contact in at an earlyer age.

Rugby CoachCoach

All, I think there has been pretty close to consensus on these laws (as iniaitally intended) being reviewed in terms of a more moderate appraoch. I think the intention is now to try and "reduce" the amount of contactt at u9, rather than try to eradicate tackling altogether. In essence, i think they are promulgating the following%3A 1) Tackling, and rewarding the "intention to tackle". Refs to force the player being being "tackled" to release the ball 2) No rucks/mauls at this age group 3) Contesting for the tackled ball to be restricted to a single player from each side 4) No lineouts I will endeavour to update with the final findings. To answer an earlier post, the counties trialing the changes are%3A Durham, Warwickshire and Hampshire. In essence though, I think they have failed to grasp the underlying principle that deals with the lack of coaching acumen and detailt ot he skills involved in these critical areas... Regards Stephe

Rugby CoachCoach

[edit - not that I can find thsi experiental; change on RFU or teh named county sites - got a link anyone to actual proposal, anyone...?]

Agree with all concerns about this change expressed above - my U8s are dying to tackle. Yes we will lose a few, but we also gain some. all our previous years had no problem with numbers when moving from u8 to u9s. Plus half my gang are at private schools where they have strated cobtact drills this year (as schools do not have to sign up to continuum I believe). It is all about coaching approach as noted- need to be sure the coaching approach and skill level is somewhere between coach dads who last tackled 7 years ago (that will be me) and currently playimng old stagers who think a successful game is 5-0 bloodfest with the try score by No8 tripping over the line.... (you know who you are..!). May be make all prospective U9s coaches do the tackle CPD etc? I am borrowing acadamy players as well as current vets to start contact 'concepts' - for as we know, one county RFU have just reminded some of us that teaching contact 'contact' after xmas in u8s is not allowed.

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