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.

During the 2018-19 season, a trial set of Age Grade Law Variations (AGLVs) were introduced to support a more enjoyable and inclusive game for players in mini rugby and the boys youth game. Further to this, a bespoke set of AGLVs for the Girls Game were introduced in 2019-20, following the same principles of developing an enjoyable and inclusive game.

Training videos and supplementary information on the AGLV’s are available in the annual RugbyRight online course, which all coaches and referees should complete each season. This can be found on Training & Education’s Online Training Hub powered by Hive Learning. –

Why the need for change?

  • Research suggests that some of the previous 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’ – how can the 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
  • To ensure consistent application and interpretation across the country

Key Principles

A key principle behind the trial AGLVs is to provide a playing format with building blocks up 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.

2019-20 will see the extension of the trial period (which started in August 2018 for mini rugby & boys youth and 1st August 2019 for girls). During this period Scottish Rugby will continue to undertake a match analysis project to determine the impact of each trial in comparison with the previous set of AGLVs, as well as asking coaches, referees and players for their feedback.

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