Age Grade Law Variations – National Trial announcement

As part of the implementation of the Technical Blueprint ‘The Scottish Way’, a set of age grade law variations (AGLV) for mini and youth rugby will be trialled during season 2018-19.

The principle behind the trial AGLVs 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, evading, catching and passing the ball before tackling and contact skills are gradually introduced, with the aim of having a positive impact on player safety.

Through the trial period (starting on August 1st 2018), Scottish Rugby will undertake a match analysis project to determine the impact of each trial in comparison with the current set of AGLVs, as well as asking coaches, referees and players for their feedback.

The trial AGLVs will also provide clarity on the competitive formats for mini and youth players.

Scottish Rugby’s Head of Training & Education, Neil Graham said: “Young people tell us that, above all else, they want to have fun playing rugby with their friends. Both expert opinion and Scottish Rugby’s own research have shown that there is often an over emphasis on winning at the younger age groups, leading to over playing of the able players and under playing those less able players to achieve results.

“The revised competitive format information puts inclusivity and each player’s skill development first, with the increasing intensity of competition introduced later.

"Young players will start with festivals and triangular fixtures and progress to knockouts, tournaments and leagues as they get older and develop their game.  Our aim is to have as many players as possible having the opportunity to take part and develop through the game.”

The competition formats which may be played at each age group, have been designed in relation to what is developmentally appropriate for the players age and stage.

Scottish Rugby Ambassador Chris Paterson said: “Rugby is continually evolving and I think it is a really positive and innovative move to trial some new laws.

The AGLVs are designed to keep the game fun and allow our young players to improve their skills and their team work safely. The feedback received after the trials will help shape the future of our game in Scotland.”

To launch the AGLV trials and competitive format information, a series of regional roadshows will be delivered in June to communicate the age-specific trials to mini and youth convenors, directors of youth rugby and lead coaches.

The regional roadshow dates are:

  1. 11th June, 6:30pm – Dumfries RFC (Register here
  2. 13th June, 6:30pm – Inverness Leisure Centre (Register here
  3. 13th June, 6:30pm – Scotstoun Stadium (register here
  4. 14th June, 6:30pm – BT Murrayfield (Register here
  5. 14th June, 6:30pm – Aberdeen Sports Village – Aqcuatics Centre (Register here
  6. 18th June, 6:30pm – Stirling University (Register here
  7. 18th June, 6:30pm – Selkirk RFC (Register here
  8. 20th June, 6:30pm – Marr RFC (Register here