- Under 18 as of Sept 1st
- Full Contact
- Ball Size: 5
- Mouth Guard compulsory
Match Pitch Size
The maximum pitch size is full size field (100 meters by 70 meters, plus 10 meters for each in-goal area).
Reduced pitch sizes are acceptable provided this is agreed between the referee and coaches of both teams, and smaller pitches do not materially increase the risk of injury to players.
Adjacent pitches should be no closer than 5 meters.
- U18 Rugby is played between teams of 15-a-side players on the pitch at any one time.
- Substitutions can only take place when the ball is dead and always with the referee’s permission.
- Up to 90 minutes playing time
- The object of the game is to score a try by placing the ball with a downward pressure on or behind the opponent’s’ goal line. A penalty try will be awarded if a try would probably have been scored but for foul or prohibited play by an opponent.
- Only infringements that affect the opposition’s play should be sanctioned.
Rules of game
- The ball may only be passed sideways or backwards. If the ball is handed to another player who is in front or passed or knocked forwards towards the opponent’s’ dead ball line then a scrum is awarded to the non-offending team, unless advantage occurs to the non-offending team. In order to keep the game flowing, referees should play advantage wherever possible.
- Where the ball has been ripped from the ball carrier, whether by a teammate or opponent, the ball must be passed immediately away from the contact area.
The Tackle, Maul & Ruck
- A “tackle” is deemed to be any contact below the armpits of the ball carrier which results in the ball carrier being held by the opponent of the ball carrier. Where the ball carrier is taken to ground, the referee will call “Tackle-Release”.
- A “maul”is formed when the ball carrier and tackler are joined by one additional player from either team. No more than two players from either side (including the ball carrier and tackler) can be involved in the maul. Open play has ended.
- A “ruck” is formed when one player from each team, is on their feet, in physical contact and close around the ball on the ground. Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play. Open play has ended.
- Only the ball carrier can be tackled.
- The tackler must grasp the ball carrier below the neck.
- When the ball carrier grounds the ball on or over the opponent’s’ goal line, a try will be awarded.
- When the ball carrier is held in contact and remains on their feet they may continue to progress forward. Once forward momentum has been stopped, the ball must be played away from the contact area.
- When the ball carrier is not taken to ground, the tackler may contest the ball by grabbing it.
- When the ball carrier is taken to ground, the tackler must immediately release the ball carrier and must get to their feet as soon as possible before they are permitted to contest the ball or block the pass
- If the ball carrier is taken to ground and the referee calls “Tackle Release”, the ball carrier must pass the ball immediately, roll away or place the ball towards their own team.
- When a maul is formed the ball must be made available within 5 seconds. The referee should call “Use it” and the ball should be moved away from the contact area. If neither team can pass the ball away, a free pass should be awarded to the defending team.
- When the tackle is made the attacking team may only support from behind.
- When the tackle is made and the ball carrier is on the ground, ONE supporting player may: i. Rip the ball from the ball carrier but must then pass the ball immediately to a teammate; or ii. Pick up the ball and pass away from the contact area; or iii. If a ruck is not formed, pick up the ball and run; or iv. Join to form a ruck but must do so from their own side (i.e. from the direction of their own goal line) and attempt to drive over the ball, taking their immediate opponent away from the ball o) If m)iii. above has taken place, the next arriving player must pass the ball to another player. p) When the ball has been clearly won by a team at a ruck and the ball is available to be played the referee will call “Use it”, after which, the ball must be played within 5 seconds. If the ball is not played within 5 seconds the referee will award a free pass to the team not in possession of the ball at the ruck.
- Support players must not stand either side and in close proximity to the ball carrier to prevent defenders from making the next tackle.
- Dangerous play can cause injury. Coaches and match officials must be particularly vigilant to prevent it.
- There will always be knocks and bumps in rugby, but if dangerous play is eliminated, then many serious injuries will never happen.
- After a stoppage for injury, restart play with a “tap and go” to the team that had possession of the ball immediately prior to the stoppage.
- A scrum will be awarded for: i. Forward pass; or ii. Knock on iii. To restart the game for minor infraction.
- The scrum will consist of 8 players from each team
- The referee will call “Crouch” and then “Bind”. The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop must bind onto the back or side of their opponent. Following a pause, the referee will then call “Set” when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then engage.
- The scrum is contested and the team awarded the scrum will throw the ball into the scrum. Both teams may strike for the ball.
- Front rows must not charge at each other. If they start to set too close together and with their necks and backs bent, the scrum must be stopped and the scrum reformed. Props’ body positions must be parallel to the touchline, their head and shoulders must be no lower than the hips and there must be no downward pressure exerted. Shoulders must never be below the level of the hips. The back line of both teams must remain 5 meters behind the scrum until the ball emerges or the opposing scrum half lifts the ball from the ground. Until this happens, the scrum half of the non-throwing team must remain directly behind his scrum, in the pocket edged by the two props.
- If a scrum is awarded within 5 meters of the goal line, the scrum is to be taken at a mark such that the middle line of the scrum is 5 meters from the goal line. In this case the backs of the defending team must stay on or behind the goal line.
- The two teams must stand adjacent to each other between the 5 meter and 15 meter hash marks.
- There are no more than 8 players in the lineout standing at least 1 meter apart.
- Line out numbers must be matched by the defending players (i.e. if the offensive team has 4 people in the lineouts, the defensive team can only have 4 people as well). The rest of the forwards have to be back behind a 10 meter radius.
- Lifting in the line outs is allowed. Teammates must be lifted and supported under control and then brought safely down to the ground.
- Opposing teams cannot interfere in any way with the jumper or supporters while the player is in the air. Once the player is down on the ground, the opposing team can contest for ball but have to go through the middle of the set maul and cannot swim up the side to get to the ball carrier.
- Ball must be thrown in down the middle tunnel between the 2 teams and must travel at least 5 meters.
- The opposing hooker stands between the touch line and the 5-meter mark.
- The scrum halves of both teams are allowed to stand within a 10-meter radius while the rest of the the team has to be back 10-meters until the line out is over.
- The lineout is deemed to be over once the ball has been recovered and a rugby move has been initiated.
- In general play, anyone who is in front of a teammate who has played the ball is liable to sanction unless they return to an onside position (i.e. behind the teammate who played the ball).
- At the tackle, the offside line is the hindmost foot of the hindmost player of each team. All the other players must retire towards their own goal line until they are behind the hindmost part of the tackled player and tackler.
- At the maul, the offside line is the hindmost foot of the hindmost player of each team in the maul.
- At the ruck, the offside line is the hindmost foot of the hindmost player of each team in the ruck. Defenders must stay between their own try line and the tackled player until the pass is made.
Tap-a-Go (free kick)
- Tap of the ball on your foot is used to restart play after an infringement from where the referee makes a mark when an infringement has taken place.
- At a Tap and Go, the opposition must be 7 meters back from the mark. They cannot start moving forward until the ball is tapped on the foot. The player must start with the ball in both hands and, when instructed by the referee who will call “PLAY”, pass the ball backwards through the air to a member of their team.
- If an infringement takes place or the ball goes into touch over the goal-line or within 7 meters of the goal.
RULES OF CONDUCT & EXPECTATIONS
Good Players's conduct
- Recognize and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administrators in providing the opportunity to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
- Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and team mates.
- Recognize that every player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
- Understand that if an individual or group of players feels they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then they should tell an adult either at the Club or School or outside of the game.
- Play because they want to do so, not to please coaches or parents.
- Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
- Be attentive at all training and coaching sessions.
- Work equally hard for themselves and their team – both will then benefit.
- recognize good play by all players on their team and by their opponents.
- Be a sportsman – win with dignity, lose with grace.
- Play to the Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees’ decisions even if they appear to make a mistake.
- Control their emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of teammates, opponents, coaches, match officials or spectators is not acceptable.
- Treat all players, as they would like to be treated themselves. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.
- Wearing of mouth guard is compulsory in case of accidental collision. Ideally mouth guards should be custom made from a dental impression of the teeth.
- If a player appears injured, the referee must blow the whistle and stop play immediately. Obviously the referee must use judgment – players don’t want to stop for every slight knock – but it is usually possible to tell when a player is hurt. Where possible, invite the player to get up. If it hurts them to move, let them stay where they are (if this will not worsen their injury) and send for expert help. In all cases it is essential that other people/players are stopped from rushing in and hauling the player to their feet. They may mean well, but they could make the damage even worse. In summary, take no chances: act fast but act with caution.
- If referees find themselves in an injury situation, they must concentrate on the vital things. If there is difficulty breathing remove the player’s mouth guard and ensure the player hasn’t swallowed their tongue: if they have, hook it out at once. If they seem stunned, they may be concussed: if so, they must leave the field and have a medical examination. If there is any bleeding, the player must leave the field for treatment.
- If the referee decides that a player must cease to participate in a match, they must stop the match, call the individual player aside from the other players and invite the coach of that player on to the field. The referee must explain to the coach and the player why they feel the player’s behavior is unacceptable and instruct the coach to provide a substitute player. That player is to take no further part in that Festival or Fixture. It is the responsibility of the coach to speak to and educate the player as to why such action was taken. Clubs and Schools complying with Section 2 of the Rugby Continuum will have both a Child Protection Policy and a player disciplinary procedure. While player indiscipline (including physical and verbal abuse and actions contravening the Rugby Continuum) will in most cases be dealt with in accordance with the player disciplinary procedure it should be recognized that there will be some instances where the relevant actions also fall within the scope of the Child Protection Policy.
- In the case of actions on the part of adults involved Touch Rugby which contravene the Codes of Practice (for parents, spectators, match officials or coaches) contained in the Rugby Continuum, the recommended procedure is as follows:
- The match or training session should be stopped and the match officials and coaches should confer and agree on a course of action appropriate to the circumstances. This may include the match officials and relevant coach warning the adult concerned or requesting the relevant adult to vacate the vicinity of the pitch before recommencing the match or training. In extreme cases or where the adult refuses to cooperate, the match or training should be abandoned.
- The match officials and coaches should notify the incident to the Chairmen of the Mini-Midi Sections of their respective Clubs or to the Head of Games in the case of Schools for further consideration. In extreme cases this may include banning the relevant adult from attending matches and/or training sessions for a period and/or submission of a complaint to the relevant Constituent Body.
- Where the relevant actions fall within the Child Protection Policy, Clubs and Schools should also institute the procedures contained in such policy.
- In all cases where a disciplinary matter has been referred to a Constituent Body, the Constituent Body may require either Club or Schools to provide additional information on the incident including confirmation of the action taken and May in exceptional cases refer the matter to the RFU for further consideration and sanctions.
Parents & Coaches
- Recognize the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players.
- Understand that most learning is achieved through doing.
- Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
- Be a positive role model.
- Keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
- Respect all referees and the decisions they make, even if they appear to make a mistake, (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognize that they must do the same.
- Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner to all players, both during coaching sessions and matches.
- Provide rugby experiences which are matched to the players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and behavioral development.
- Ensure all players are coached in a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily to hand.
- Avoid the overplaying of the best players by using a squad system which gives everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
- Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
- Ensure good supervision of players, both on and off the field.
- Recognize that players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold or unacceptable risk of injury.
- Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle management.
- Recognize that it is illegal for players under 18 to drink alcohol or for those under 16 to smoke. Coaches should actively discourage both.
- Ensure that their knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
- Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU recommended procedures for taking young people on residential tours at home and abroad.
- Be aware of and abide by the policies and procedures outlined in the Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in Rugby Union.
- Coach to the rules laid down in the Rugby Continuum and keep them updated on rule changes.
- Recognize the importance of fun and enjoyment when officiating players.
- Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner during games.
- Emphasize the spirit of the game.
- Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
- Understand the physical and behavioral development of players.
- Be a positive role model. Set an example, and as such, comments should be positive and supportive.
- Look to self-improvement e.g. participation in training courses.
- Recognize that the safety of players is paramount.
- Explain decisions – all players are still learning and parents will understand the game better.
- Always penalize foul play.
- Play advantage whenever possible in order to let the game flow.
- Show empathy for the age and ability of players.
- Be consistent and objective.