Many Clubs in Surrey operate Mini rugby sections for participants aged U5s to U11s.
Surrey encourages Clubs to become involved in this important aspect of the Game. It is an important recruiting ground for senior players of the future. Thousands of young boys and girls enjoy this form of the Game. Surrey is here to develop this and to arrange annual festivals to celebrate participation. Discover more about Mini Rugby.
Surrey End of Season Mini Festivals in 2019 are:
31st March 2019
Sutton and Epsom RFC
31st March 2019
31st March 2019
7th April 2019
7th April 2019
Old Reigatian RFC
Festival Rugby 2018-2019
As you will be aware, RFU regulations require all clubs that are considering to hold a mini rugby festival to gain consent from their Constituent Body before holding a festival.
Surrey Rugby fully supports clubs who wish to hold a festival however, it does require certain criteria to be met before it will provide the required consent. Below is a list of requirements that a club must agree to meet.
RFU Regulations with regard to Festivals
The club must be accredited by the RFU. If it is going through the re-accreditation process, there must be no significant delays in the process of reaccreditation.
The club must run the festival in line with RFU regulations
The club must run the festival in line with the rules set by Surrey Rugby for mini rugby festivals which are:
All matches involving U7s, U8s, U9s & U10s must be run a mixed ability.
To help Clubs achieve the aims of the RFU’s age grade Codes of Practice, all matches involving U11s can be run as either and development festival or an experienced festival. Further explanation of these different festivals are given below
The festival format must follow guidelines and there should be no knockout stages/final and no overall winner or a winner cup.
The club must complete and provide a risk assessment for the festival
The club must complete and submit the form attached
Changes for this Season
From the beginning of the 2018-19 season, all festivals that are run by Surrey Clubs must follow these new requirements. If a club has already received consent to host a festival, they will have to amend their practices to account for these 3 changes:
All games for U7s to U10s must be played as mixed ability only.
There will be no development festival level for U10s this coming year but U11 festival games can still be run as experienced or development levels in line with previous guidance.
This will mean that last year’s U9s who played mixed ability will continue to do so at U10s.
It is envisaged that this will continue onto next year where u11s will be mixed ability only meaning there will only be mixed ability rugby within mini rugby.
Surrey Rugby support the running of “Development leagues” and there will now be 4 across Surrey from the start of next season. These “leagues” offer those new to rugby at U9-u11s or who are at a very weak ability level, to play against other clubs outside a festival environment and gain more experience & confidence before they play at a festival – if you would like to set one up with local clubs, please contact me.
Last season, Surrey Rugby received a number of complaints where clubs who had cancelled a festival due to bad weather, pitch conditions etc. had refused to give a refund of the entrance fee to the visiting clubs who have paid to attend. Surrey Rugby feels that this is not in the spirit of rugby. I know that at my own club, Sutton & Epsom RFC, provide a 100% refund to all clubs when a festival is cancelled.
Therefore as part of requesting consent to host a festival, host clubs will have to agree to provide a refund of at least a 50% refund to visiting clubs who have paid the entrance fee should the festival be cancelled. This is in line with the Surrey’s own mini rugby festival policy and allows clubs to offset any cost they would have incurred in setting up the festival. It is also acceptable for the host club to offer a “credit note” to the visiting clubs to attend another festival that year or in the following year.
It has been noted that some clubs when setting their fees for a festival, set them on £x per child but on larger squad sizes than the sizes Surrey Rugby recommend. This could be seen as a way of increasing the revenue made from entrance fees & also reduces the amount of playing time a player gets to play.
Therefore as part of requesting consent to host a festival, host clubs must agree to set fees on the following squad sizes
U7s – 6 (4 on pitch), U8 – 10 (6 on pitch), U9s – 11 (7 on pitch),
U10s – 12 (8 on pitch), U11s – 13 (9 on pitch)
These squad sizes allow each player sufficient game time at a festival.
Clubs who wish to bring more players must agree with the host club beforehand.
RFU’s half game initiative.
The RFU intend to introduce the above initiative into the age grade game from 2019-20 to ensure that every player selected for a game plays at least half a game rather than just 1-2 minutes as a sub!
This is mainly aimed at the junior game, however, the Surrey mini rugby committee feel that this can be implemented for minis as well.
Therefore from this season, all clubs are encouraged to ensure that whenever a squad is taken to a festival, all players play at least 50% of the game time available throughout the festival.
This does not have to be 50% of every game, but approx. 50% across all the games at aa festival.
The Age Grade Rugby season kicks off this week. As we start this exciting year, I wanted to thank everyone who has been involved in the work over the last five years. Your input has been really constructive and without it we would not be at this important point for young people playing our sport now and in the future. This season sees significant changes to make the game more about what motivates the players themselves and whilst change takes time, we all owe it to those young players to visibly drive the evolution together. We must also be prepared to be challenged by them and others if we drag our heels or are not aligned to the new framework of Age Grade Rugby. Your support in modelling best practice and taking our clubs, schools and colleges with us is going to be vital.