The Juniors competition is governed by strict SJRU rules. All coaches and managers should be familiar with these rules.
Actions to do
- Review rules below – worth being familiar with the changes for this season
- Load Team App onto your phone and register with Manly Roos to receive notifications
- Touch judges are required from each team
Administrative Changes vs Minis Rugby
Need to note to ensure that all players are there in plenty of time prior and appropriately prepared
- Each player must be registered on RugbyLink prior to taking the field
- Each Club is to print out their Sign-on Sheet and take it to the Match
- Each Team signs their respective sheet in front of the opposition at the sign on table.
- Both Teams then tick their players off on the opponent’s sheet.
- Every Players’ Registration must be supported by a valid entry on the Photo ID Sheet
- Players must provide a photo of themselves, taken within the last 12 months, for upload to RugbyLink
U-10 Rule Changes vs U-9
The move from U-9 to U-10 involves considerable changes for players and their parents. Details below set out the changes so that everyone is aware of them before the season starts and can plan accordingly.
The main changes are that the rugby laws change to more closely approximate senior rugby and the competition is run by the Sydney Junior Rugby Union (SJRU).
The changes reflect the continuation of the rugby pathway in recognition of the boys’ physical development and their increasing ability to handle more complex laws of the game.
Maximum number of Players allowed to be signed-on and used in a match:
- 18 players for a 12-a-side Competition
- Unlimited rolling substitutions
- Players replaced due to serious injury are not allowed to return
- Must be sufficient front row players to play at hooker, LHP and THP to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement prop is required and a replacement hooker is required one is available and play can safely continue
- Any team which plays uncontested scrums in more than 2 Matches during the regular season, of which a maximum of 1 can occur in the last seven rounds, shall be deemed ineligible to participate in Finals Series
- If the difference in score between two Teams reaches 50 points or more then the losing Team may call to stop the Match, irrespective of time remaining
- Team Officials, in conjunction with the Referee, are expected to encourage the development and enjoyment of the game using ‘friendly game’ initiatives
The key differences in U-10 (vs U-9) are:
- There are 12 players on the field (rather than 10) being an extra forward and an extra back.
- The field is nearly 3 times larger (being the same as a full size field except the sidelines are 5m inside the normal sidelines).
- Scrums are contested (rather than uncontested) with a limit of a 1m push.
- Lineouts are contested (rather than uncontested) but no lifting is allowed.
- Kick offs and restarts are contested (rather than uncontested).
- The defence can move when the ball is out of the scrum or lineout (rather than needing to wait for the halfback to pass before defending).
- Kicking is allowed in general play (rather than prohibited).
The overall impact of these changes in the laws is that U10 rugby games are tougher – they are played on a much larger field by bigger boys with more aspects of the game contested. The boys will adapt quickly to the challenge of new rules. However, to ensure that they learn safely, training generally starts in early March.
A primary focus will be to ensure that the forwards who will be playing in contested scrums and lineouts learn how to do so effectively and safely. SJRU competition The SJRU organises Sydney-wide competitions from U10s to Opens.
Sunday U-10 Competition
Most teams from Sydney play in the Sunday competition which provides by far the strongest and deepest opportunity to play competitive club rugby in Sydney against well-matched opposition teams. The Sunday competition has the following features:
- The majority of clubs are based on the north shore or the northern beaches, the competition is played across Sydney and also includes clubs from eastern, southern and western suburbs. As a result, participation in the competition involves a fair amount of travel for away games.
- Teams in each age group are graded into one of up to 8 divisions, subject to the overall number of teams, from A division through to H division. There can be ~ 65 teams in 7 divisions in the U10s. The divisional grading by SJRU of U10 teams is difficult because the teams have not played in a SJRU competition previously. Teams are therefore “graded” on a preliminary basis into divisions based on input from the local districts according to their prior year’s 3 performance.
- After the first four rounds of the competition, divisional grading is reviewed and teams may be moved up or down divisions to even out the competition depending on results from Rounds 1 to 4. The purpose of grading teams into different divisions is to ensure a fair competition between evenly matched teams. Overall, it works very effectively.
- Under the competition rules, where a club enters two or more teams from the same age group into the competition, all players in that age group must be graded based on their ability, experience and playing position. This involves a process of trial and selection during the pre-season. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that boys play in teams commensurate with their ability and experience, which enhances their development, enjoyment and safety.
- There is limited interchange between teams in the same age group i.e. under the competition rules, some players per team are considered non-transferable to a lower grade. The purpose of this rule is to prevent the stacking of players in a team competing in a finals series to gain an unfair advantage
- Scores are recorded and a table of results is maintained. A finals series is played at the end of the season. The competition rules have strict eligibility criteria as to who can play in the finals series based on the number of games played during the season.
- Independent referees are appointed for each game.
- Each team must provide a qualified assistant referee (touch judge).
Decisions & Considerations
How many U-10 teams will there be?
In order to be competitive, teams in the U10s are formed into squads of about 15 players; any fewer than 14 players per team is difficult to sustain and any more than 16 players per team makes allocation of adequate game time difficult. With teams requiring 12 players on-field, this allows 2 to 4 reserves per team.
Why do we grade the boys?
Grading players is necessary to:
- Comply with the competition rules requiring players to be graded based on their ability, experience and playing position; and
- Ensure that players’ development, enjoyment and safety is maximised by playing in a team with players of similar ability and experience against well matched opposition teams
We understand that grading can be a difficult process, although experience indicates that it is often more difficult for the parents than their sons. Most of the boys are already graded into school teams and are comfortable with the process. Our primary objective is for the players to have the best experience possible playing rugby and our experience is that grading is the best way to promote player development and safety.
How do we grade the boys?
Grading (if required based on player registrations in the U10s) will be undertaken during the pre-season. At least two and possibly three internal trials will be arranged in order to provide a fair opportunity for each player to be assessed. Selection will be undertaken by the age group coaches assisted by independent selector from the Roos Committee. Typically, the U10 coaches, taking into account the views of the independent selectors, will be able to agree on the composition of the different squads in the age group. In the case of disagreement, the Club’s policy is that the Director of Rugby has the final say in selection of teams in each age group, after taking into account the input of independent selectors and the age group coaches. This process will result in two or more graded squads.
The composition of these squads will be reviewed by the age group coaches after external trial games played during the pre-season (if any) and the first four rounds of the competition. During those windows, players may be moved between teams based on their performance. Decisions to move players will be taken by the age group coaches.
After Round 4, no further changes will be made to the composition of the squads in the age group. Nevertheless, there will remain some flexibility for certain players to play for higher or lower teams in the age group, subject to the competition rules (all players can play up a team and players nominated as transferable can play down a team unless they become representative players).
Training is on Wednesday nights during school term, from 5:15pm to 6:30pm (this may vary for some teams depending on player and coach availability). The SJRU schedules some competition rounds at the beginning and end of school holidays, so that should be taken into account in holiday planning.
Parent volunteers are essential to a rugby club such as Manly Roos. The following roles are important for each age group to run smoothly:
- Coaches. All coaches are required to be Smart Rugby qualified. The Club will cover associated costs with qualification. All coaches are also required to comply with Working with Children requirements.
- Team Managers. Responsible for communicating game details to parents, handling match day duties such as sign on sheets, player ID and water bottles and submitting results to the SJRU. All team managers are also required to comply with Working with Children requirements.
- Age Manager. Whenever there are two or more teams in an age group, an age coordinator is required to liaise with the team managers.
- Assistant referees. All teams are required to provide a qualified assistant referee (touch judge) at both home and away games. The Club will cover associated costs with qualification. Under the competition rules now in force, teams that provide a qualified touch judge will be awarded a bonus point at the end of each round. We do not want our U10 teams to miss the finals series by not achieving this requirement. That would be very difficult to explain to a ten year old!
- Ground marshalls. All teams are required to provide a ground marshall at both home and away games. The ground marshall is responsible for ensuring that spectators adhere to the code of conduct.