Age Grade Rugby Update & Actions
The new year signals the restart of Age Grade Rugby in clubs, schools and colleges. Read below for reminders and actions for a few key elements to get your rugby back underway for the second half of the season.
Playing Out of Age Grade
The priority in the game is for players to play in their own age grade with their peers, and where their parents/support groups/commitments are most connected. Regulation 15 enables players to play out of their default age grade in exceptional circumstances only. The circumstances, assessments and approvals required are outlined in the regulations and the online forms can be found under Regulation 15(opens in a new tab).
This includes the regulation regarding 17-year-olds playing and training in adult contact rugby. We reiterate that a player must have reached their 17th birthday and approval from the Constituent Body for the club and for the individual must be in place before they do any form of contact rugby with adults.
Age Grade Codes of Practice Update – Winter 2022
The Age Grade Codes of Practice support those who deliver the Age Grade game to be player centred and help with the application of Regulation 15. We have updated these Codes of Practice recently after helpful feedback from the game and to further support Regulation 15. The updated document and accompanying materials can be found on the Codes of Practice webpage(opens in a new tab). We ask all those involved in Age Grade Rugby to commit to following these codes.
Age Grade Affiliation
Thank you to everyone involved across over 840 clubs in affiliating age grade players this season. We have overtaken last season’s number for the whole season already – the total now stands at 155,000.
However, we can see that there are still clubs with high numbers of pending affiliations and other clubs with low numbers of affiliated players in large age grade sections. Annual affiliation of all Age Grade players is a regulation of the game. RFU and CB colleagues are following up with these clubs to ensure they are aligned with this requirement. We urge all clubs to check their GMS dashboard to see if they need to action any outstanding player affiliations. There is a wealth of support for this is on the GMS Help Portal(opens in a new tab).
Please share the above information across your age grade networks.
As mentioned, to align with the coming change across the whole game, we will be renaming ‘Age Grade Affiliation’ to ‘Age Grade Registration’ from next season. It is important to stress that the process for the Age Grade game is not changing, purely the name.
Pitchside First Aid & Immediate Care Standards
As rugby restarts after the Christmas break, please remember the requirements of Regulation 9.3(opens in a new tab) from this season.
The RugbySafe First Aid/Immediate Care Provision Standards and appropriate risk assessments need to be applied for all age grade contact rugby activity. This will ensure we are keeping our players safe and supported in the event of any injury. The standards and guidelines, as well as information about training, can be found on the RugbySafe pages.(opens in a new tab) First aid training courses can be booked through the GMS Course Finder(opens in a new tab).