Age banding policies

Age banding overview

Medical research into boys' rugby strongly indicates that there is an increased risk of serious injury when under-16 players play under-18 rugby, and when under-18 players play adult rugby. It is Scottish Rugby's policy that the age at which male players are allowed to play under-18 rugby is 16 years old.

Girls may play under-18 rugby aged 15 years old and this difference is due to the relative physical maturity of 15-year-old girls when compared to boys.

It will remain Scottish Rugby policy that the age at which any player is permitted to play adult rugby is 18 years old. Exceptions below.

For help with these policies, email, or write to:

Shona Stott
Are You Ready to Play Rugby? administrator
BT Murrayfield Stadium
EH12 5PJ

Male under-18 into adult rugby policy

After a club consultation period in January 2013, Scottish Rugby, through the Board, adopted the following policy for the 2013-14 season. There are no changes for Season 2014-15.

Male U18 into adult rugby policy (pdf)

2014-15 Male U18 into adult application form (pdf)


All players must apply for dispensation, even those who were granted dispensation last year. Applications open on Monday 14 July 2014.

Pre-application assessments

Male under-16s in under-18 rugby

There have been no changes in the under-16 into under-18 policy for season 2014-15

Download the Male under-16 into under-18 policy (pdf) 

Applications for Season 2014-15 will be open fron Monday 7th July 2014. To apply, please

Shona Stot
AYRTPR Administrator
BT Murrayfield Stadium
EH12 5PJ

On receipt of application forms an acknowledgment email will be sent to the main contact (usually the coach).

2014-15 Physical maturity assessment dates

Borders & East Lothian

Dunbar RFC - Thursday 21st Aug 6pm

Melrose Health Centre - Monday 18th Aug 5.30pm



Dollar Academy - TBC


Edinburgh, Mid/West Lothian

BT MUrrayfield Stadium - Tuesday 26th Aug 4pm


Glasgow North

Scotstoun Stadium - Wednesday 10th Sept 6pm


Glasgow South

Ayr RFC - Monday 25th Aug 7pm



Scotstown Medical Centre, Aberdeen - Tuesday 9th Sept 5.30pm


Highlands & Islands

Culloden Medical Centre - Friday 22nd Aug Time TBC


Tayside & Fife   

Hillbank Health Centre, Dundee - Monday 1st Sept 4.30pm


 Physical maturity assessment information sheet (pdf)

All players wishing to be put through the exception process must attend a physical maturrity assessment - these will be organised on an ad-hoc basis from this point forward, and the date and venue of these centres cannot be guaranteed.  


Female age banding - season 2013-14

Female age banding policies 2013-14 (pdf)

Application forms 2013-14 (pdf)


Dispensation to play in a younger age grade

In exceptional cases a player may be given dispensation to participate in rugby at a level below their true age grade, due to an existing or previous medical disability (physical or behavioural). Any dispensation, if granted, would only be valid for one season, and would only allow players to play down one age grade, in a specific team.

If a club or school wishes to apply for such a dispensation for a player they must make a written submission to Scottish Rugby, including any supporting evidence of the player's condition. The player and their coach must have completed the online IRB Rugby Ready course (, and submissions should be signed by the player's parent or guardian and coach.

Submissions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by Scottish Rugby's medical team.


School and club rugby - age grade law variations

Scottish Rugby recommends that male school rugby is played in a maximum of two year age bandings.

For example, players in S1 can play with the S2 year group, but not with the S3s. Where clubs or schools need to combine age groupings (e.g. S1 and S2), the lower age grade law variation (S1) should be applied.

Age Grade Law Variations (pdf)

Rugby participation for primary school children

It is the policy of Scottish Rugby that children can begin their introduction to training and playing contact rugby from the age that they enter their 4th year of primary school. Children of Primary 1 to 3 years of age should participate in non-contact versions of the game like tag rugby, focusing on the development of basic movement and coordination skills.

Further information on what to prioritise at each age and stage of a child and young person's development in rugby is available in Scottish Rugby's Long Term Development Strategy (LTPD). Please note Scottish Rugby's insurance policy covers participation in the game from the age of 5 (Primary 1) to 55 years of age.