Age Grade Law Variations - National Trials 2018-19

​Rugby is a game for everyone; all ages, levels of experience and body types. Children can prosper through rugby in an environment where having fun, learning and building confidence are prioritised.

It is the responsibility of all adults in the game to create an environment that is player-centred, development-driven and competition-supported. This applies to coaches, parents, teachers, volunteers and supporters.

As of 1 August 2018, a trial set of Age Grade Law Variations (AGLVs) will be in place to support a more enjoyable and inclusive game for all young players. The trial laws have been revealed during a series of roadshows, which attracted over 300 mini and youth coaches and referees.

Additional training videos and supplementary information will be availlable from August onwards, starting with the annual RugbyRight online course, which all coaches and referees should complete each season.

A guide to the trial laws can be downloaded by clicking here.

Why the need for change?

  • Research suggests that some of the current AGLVs don’t fully support long term player development principles, from both a participation and performance perspective
  • Implementation of the Technical Blueprint ‘The Scottish Way’ – do the current AGLVs support the development of the core skills of our game?
  • Continual search for ways to improve player retention rates and welfare throughout the age groups
  • Inconsistent application and interpretation across the country

Key Principles

A key principle behind the trial AGLVs is to provide a playing format with building blocks to the 15-a-side game, aligning to the Technical Blueprint ‘The Scottish Way’. The trial laws allow 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 1st August 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 feedback process will commence in November, once players, coaches and referees have had chance to implement the laws and consider their impact on the game.


Further Information

The trial period which starts on 1 August 2018 will be analysed by Scottish Rugby to determine the impact of each trial in comparison with the current set of AGLVs.

Further controlled trials will take place throughout the season, including specific women and girls laws. These will investigate innovative ways to develop the game at each age and stage to support the player-centred, development driven, competition supported ethos.

In addition to the analysis being undertaken by Scottish Rugby, feedback will also be sought from coaches, referees and players.

Additional training videos and supplementary detail will be launched in August through the annual RugbyRight online course, with practical workshops delivered throughout August and September.

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.


Principal Partners