Age Banding

Youth rugby begins at under 9s and ends at Under 18s. For safety and to allow young players to develop in the best environment within clubs and schools young players should be training and competing with others of the same age and physical maturity.

Therefore, the youth game is divided up by the age of the players involved (age-grade rugby) with associated law variations. Regulations specify the age grades within which children should be grouped for training and playing. The rules are different for male and female players where physical maturity rates, levels of experience and playing numbers vary. The grades are selected to minimise disparities in physical maturity and experience, while allowing meaningful player development to take place.

SCRUMS

As part of the clearance process players parents are required to register them on SCRUMS as this will allow us to update their player profile to enable the club to add them to the match team sheet.

  • Male U18 – Adult Rugby Age Banding

    Medical research into boys' rugby strongly indicates that there is an increased risk of serious injury when U18 players play adult rugby.

    It is Scottish Rugby's policy that the age at which any player is permitted to play adult rugby is 18 years old. Players must only play contact rugby with players of their own age grade unless the player is permitted to play outside it.

    An U18 player's age grade is determined by whether they were born on or between 1 September 2001 - 31 August 2003 at the beginning of the season. That age grade applies for the whole season. National and regional representation cut off dates are 1 January.

    In exceptional cases, a player’s physical development, skill level and experience may be such that the player may be allowed to participate in a higher age grade. An assessment should be carried out to assess whether a player should be permitted to play outside their age grade.

    `Please note, U18 players who were granted dispensation for season 2018/19 must still apply for the 2019/20 season.

    Download Male U18 into Adult Rugby Policy Document

    Prerequisites

    Applications for Season 2019/20 are from Thursday 1 August 2019 and close Monday 11 May 2020 for 2019/20 season. Players must be a minimum of 17 years old to apply to play adult rugby.

    Players must complete the following World Rugby online RugbyReady and have a certificate from within the last 2 years.

    World Rugby online RugbyReady

    Pre-Application Assessments

    Players must complete the following pre-application assessments with a coach that has achieved (as a minimum) the UKCC Level 2: Coaching Youth & Adult Rugby. These assessments are demonstrated in the video below and also available on Scottish Rugby Training Hub, Hive.


    Application Procedures

    Email the completed application form and RugbyReady certificate to [email protected]

    This application form will be available in July.

    Forms should be sent as ONE PDF file per applicant, with the form and the RugbyReady certificate together. Applications in other formats may take longer to process.

    Scottish Rugby aims to have applications for U18 players in adult rugby turned around within 2 weeks of the application being sent to the regional panel. Ensure that the form is thoroughly completed as any missing information will delay the application. Applications are sent to the panel every Tuesday only.

    SCRUMS

    As part of the clearance process the player’s parents must register them on SCRUMS as this will allow us to update their player profile to enable the club to add them to the match team sheet.

    SCRUMS - https://scrums.scottishrugby.org

    Download guidance for parents on registering a youth player

    For Front Row Players

    Front row players applying to play adult rugby must complete the 2018-19 Male U18 into Adult Front Row Form, supplying as much detail as possible about their front row experience. Front row players are also required to complete a specialist neck strength test carried out by a Scottish Rugby designated practitioner.

    This application form will be available in July.

    Please contact [email protected] should you have any questions.

  • Male U16 – U18 Rugby Age Banding

    Medical research into boys' rugby strongly indicates that there is an increased risk of serious injury when U16 players play U18 rugby. It is Scottish Rugby's policy that the age at which male players are allowed to play U18 rugby is 16 years old.

    An U16 player's age grade is determined by whether they were born on or between 1 September - 31 August at the beginning of each season. That age grade applies for the whole season. National and Regional Representation cut-off dates are 1 January.

    Players must only play contact rugby with players of their own age grade unless the player is permitted to play outside it. In exceptional cases, a player’s physical development, skill level and experience may be such that the player may be allowed to participate in a higher age grade. An application should be submitted to Scottish Rugby to assess whether a player should be permitted to play outside their age grade.

    Please note, U16 players who were granted dispensation for season 2018/19 do not need to re-apply for the 2019/20 season.

    Male U16 into U18 Rugby Policy Document

    Prerequisites

    Players must be 15 years old to apply to play U18 rugby and have completed World Rugby online RugbyReady, application form and undergone a physical maturity test.

    Application Procedures

    Applications for Season 2019/20 will be accepted between Thursday 1st August 2019 and Friday 1st May 2020.

    Application Form

    Completed application forms and a copy of the player's World Rugby online RugbyReady should be sent to [email protected].

    Scottish Rugby aims to have applications for U16 players in U18 rugby turned around within 2 weeks of the physical maturity test date.

    As part of the clearance process can you ask the players parents to register them on SCRUMS as this will allow us to update their player profile to enable the club to add them to the match team sheet.

    SCRUMS - https://scrums.scottishrugby.org

    Download guidance for parents on registering a youth player

    Front Row

    Male U16 players cannot play front row in U18 rugby until they turn 16 years old.

    Physical Maturity Assessments

    Download Physical Maturity Assessment Information Sheet

    Physical Maturity Assessment Dates 2018

    Are You Ready to Play Rugby? Physical Maturity Assessments are conducted at an assessment centre set up by Scottish Rugby and manned by suitably qualified medical personnel. Any further dates will be set-up on an "as required" basis by Scottish Rugby.

    Please contact [email protected] should you have any questions.

  • Female Rugby Age Banding

    Mini or Under 12s

    In most cases females of primary school age will play mini rugby; however, some U12 female only festivals will be delivered in 2019/20. To be eligible for U12 girls’ rugby, players must be in Primary 6 or 7 or 11 years of age on the 1st of September.

    Under 14s

    Female players are only permitted to participate in under-14 rugby if they are 12 or 13 years old on or after the 1st September OR; are in Secondary 1, 2 age group at school. On turning 14 years old, females can apply to participate (see Girls Playing Up Dispensation Policy for criteria) in under-16 rugby or remain within under-14 rugby for the rest of that season.

    Under 16s

    Female players are only permitted to participate in under-16 rugby if they are 14 or 15 years old on or after the 1st September OR; are in Secondary 3 or 4 age group at school. On turning 16 years old, females can apply to participate in under-18 rugby (see Girls Playing Up Dispensation Policy for criteria) or remain within under-16 rugby for the rest of that season.

    Under 18s

    Girls may play U18 rugby from 16 years old.

    Female players are only permitted to participate in under-18 rugby if they are under-18 on or before the 1st September, are at least 16 years old at the date of the game concerned OR; are in Secondary 5 or 6 age group at school. No players aged 15 can play under-18 rugby. On turning 18 years old, females may elect to participate in senior rugby and/or remain within under-18 rugby for the rest of that season.

    National and Regional representation cut off dates are 1st January

    Players must only play contact rugby with players of their own age grade unless the player is permitted to play outside it. In exceptional cases, a player’s physical development, skill level and experience may be such that the player may be allowed to participate in a higher age grade. An application should be submitted to Scottish Rugby to assess whether a player should be permitted to play outside their age grade.

    Adult - 17 year olds can play adult rugby if the following criteria is met.

    Prerequisites

    Players must complete the following World Rugby online RugbyReady before presenting to their coach at the pre-application assessment.

    World Rugby RugbyReady

    Pre-Application Assessments

    Players must complete the following pre-application assessments with a coach that has achieved (as a minimum) the UKCC Level 2: Coaching Youth & Adult Rugby. These assessments are also available on Scottish Rugby Training Hub, Hive.

    Overhead Squat Assessment
    Press-Up Assessment
    Tackle Assessment

    Application Procedures

    Applications will be open between Thursday 1st August 2019 and Monday 11th May 2020.

    This application form will be available in July.

    Completed application forms must be emailed to [email protected]

    Scottish Rugby aims to have applications turned around within 2 weeks of receipt of the completed application.

    Front Row Players

    Female U18 players cannot play front 5 in adult rugby until they turn 18 years old.

    As part of the clearance process the players parents are required to register them on SCRUMS as this will allow us to update their player profile to enable the club to add them to the match team sheet.

    SCRUMS - https://scrums.scottishrugby.org

    Download guidance for parents on registering a youth player

  • School & Youth Rugby Age Banding

    Scottish Rugby recommends that male school and youth 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 S3/U15s or S2/U14s can play with U15s, but not with U16s . Where clubs or schools need to combine age groupings (e.g. S1 and S2), the lower age grade law variation (S1) should be applied.

    Rugby Participation for Primary School Aged 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 email [email protected] should you have any questions.

  • 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. This could be 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 complete the application and email it to [email protected] , including any supporting evidence of the player's condition. The player must have completed the World Rugby online RugbyReady course (rugbyready.worldrugby.org) and the coach must have completed the annual RugbyRight course. The application form must 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.

    2019/20 Application - Dispensation to play down

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