Devon Junior Festival Guidelines

Devon RFU Junior Festival Guidelines 2017

Background

This document covers the U7 to U16 age grade Festivals. Clubs need to be aware that if they wish to run their own Mini/Midi Rugby festivals or waterfall tournaments throughout the season, approval must be sought from the Devon RFU through the Festival / Competitions Administrator. It is expected that Clubs would follow these guidelines for running their own festival/tournament and to adhere to the new RFU Age Grade Rugby (AGR) Regulations that came into force in September 2016. Please note; playing in Non-CB approved festival/tournaments may indemnify your insurance.

Principles

Within Devon we strive to make our festivals/waterfall tournaments (Herein referred to as ‘Festivals’) to be fully inclusive to all children and to be player-centred. They are run to provide an opportunity for all Devon Clubs to participate in a County Festival each year. The aim of a Festival is to provide a county-wide highlight of the season where all Devon clubs gather to celebrate Mini/Midi Rugby. The festivals are restricted to Devon Clubs only and we will strive to encourage all clubs with Junior Sections to attend in some capacity.

We will now therefore strive to accept as many team entries as possible to enable all abilities of players to take part. This means that we must all (Devon RFU, Host Clubs and participants) work together to create the best experience for the young players as possible.

Whilst the Festivals will always have a competitive edge, the value and importance of team spirit, sportsmanship, Rugby’s 5 Core Values and of course FUN should always be to the fore, developed, acknowledged and encouraged.

Format

The date and hosts of the Festivals will be decided by the Devon RFC Mini and junior sub-committee. Each individual age grade is treated as a separate Festival and Hosts should note that there is to be NO streaming of players (i.e. A/B competitions). Club Coaches will be encouraged to play mixed-ability, balanced teams in line with the Core Values. Safety is of primary concern and as such the Festival Organisers should carry out a risk assessment prior to the day as well as providing suitable (see later in this document) First Aid cover. The Devon Mini & Junior Committee wholly sub-contracts the running of each Age Group Festival nominated host clubs with the nominated local Festival Chair being responsible for on the day decisions. There is a right of appeal to the Devon Mini and Junior Committee as set out in this document.

Festival Structure

The new Age Grade festival format means that in Devon we will strive to provide the opportunity for all players in the U7 – U13 age groups to participate in a festival. The aim is for there to be mixed-ability, balanced teams to get all players equal game time and enjoyment.

Please Note:

· It is the responsibility of the coaches to ensure that they are playing mixed-ability, balanced teams.

· In the event of the entries received exceeding the capacity of one Festival the organisers reserve the right to have a second age group Festival and to decide which teams play at each venue.

· In some circumstances 2 or more clubs may decide on the day of a Festival to combine to create a Barbarian team. It is important that these Barbarian teams have a nominated coach and ‘manager’ to ensure continuance of welfare and safety responsibilities.

1. General Rules

1.1. The tournament will be known as the Under xx Devon Festival and will be played under the agreed rules of the Devon Mini & Junior Committee and within the terms of the RFU Continuum Regulations and RFU Schools and Youth Regulations as appropriate.

1.2. The aim of the festival is to encourage boys and girls to play rugby football in enjoyable circumstances. Whilst a festival is by its very nature competitive, this must not be the over-riding consideration for coaches. Winning and losing are to be kept in context.

1.3. Each club affiliated to the England RFU and Devon RFU is allowed to enter at least one team for each festival. Clubs which have not paid their affiliation fee to the Devon RFU Mini & Junior Committee will not be eligible to enter any team into a Devon festival.

1.4. Clubs are permitted to enter as many teams per age group as wanted. Teams can be entered, on receipt of payment by the Administrator of the Junior Competitions/Festivals.

1.5. Clubs with small squads may combine with another club to form a team to play in a Devon festival.

1.6. Clubs from outside the Devon RFU CB area are not permitted to enter a Devon Festival.

1.7. All teams entered into a Devon festival will comply with the Schools and Youth Regulations or Continuum Regulations in terms of the age grade of players participating in that Festival.

1.8. A player can only play in one Devon RFU festival per year.

1.9. A payment for each team entering a festival will be agreed by the Devon RFU Mini & Junior Sub-Committee each season. This will be paid on application to enter a festival, and then forwarded to the festival organisers to be used to meet the costs of hosting the event. If a team does not attend the festival, the payment will be forfeited.

1.10. Festival organisers are to ensure adequate first aid facilities are provided, and that coaches and team managers are properly briefed about the first aid arrangements at the start of the festival. Festival organisers are to ensure a designated welfare officer is appointed to the festival, and that coaches and team managers are properly briefed on the welfare arrangements at the start of the festival.

2. Format UNDER-16s /15s /14s

2.1. The Under-16s 15s and 14s Festivals will be run as sevens festivals.

2.2 A club can enter a team of up to eleven players. Any seven players can start a match. Any number of rolling replacements can be used during the match at any stoppage of play, with the referee’s permission as long as there is no time wastage.

2.3. The RFU Age Group Regulations will apply and a player may be allowed to play UP one age grade, provided that player has met the requirements as set out. The Club concerned must make the Festival organisers and Devon RFU Mini & Junior Committee Competitions / Festival Organiser prior to the date of the festival..

2.4. Any player playing up under a dispensation must have played regularly for that team during the season, and have not played in any other Devon festival. In addition, any player will then be barred from playing in any other Devon festival during that season.

2.5 The competing teams will be split into pools. The teams in each pool will play each other, with the winners in each game receiving two points. Drawn games will receive one point per team. The top teams from each of the pools go forward to the cup competition, the teams that finish second into a plate competition, and the third placed team will play in a shield competition. This means each team will play a minimum of three matches and a maximum of five.

2.6. Pool matches will be of fourteen minutes duration, divided into two seven minute halves.

2.7. The winners of the pool shall be the Team scoring the most points. In the event of two or more Teams having equal match points:

(a) The side scoring the most tries.

(b) The side scoring the greatest number of points.

(c) The side conceding the least number of points.

2.8. If Teams are still equal after (c) above has been applied, the pool winners will be decided by the toss of a coin.

2.9. Quarter and semi-finals of fourteen minutes duration may be played (two x seven minutes), with the final being of twenty minutes duration, divided into two ten minute halves. If the score is equal after full time, no more than five minutes of extra time is allowed, after which the trophy will be shared.

2.10. Festival organisers can hold semi finals and finals for second, third and fourth place teams if their facilities and resources allow.

3. Format Under 13s and 12s (Boys Only).

The format of the festivals must be player centric and encompass the following criteria:

3.1. Team squads will be:

- UNDER 12 (12 / side - squad 15)

- UNDER 13 (13 / side – squad 20).

3.2. They will be run as a “Waterfall Tournament” providing a competitive playing programme where equal participation/progression is the emphasis. The outcome of the pool games are recorded to enable every team to advance to later rounds for an equal number of matches against similar level teams.

3.3. There will be a maximum of 5 games per team based upon RFU guidelines that limit playing time from a player welfare point of view.

· U12 players can play a maximum of 70 minutes per day (7 Minutes each half)

· U13 players can play a maximum of 80 minutes per day (8 Minutes each half)

3.4. The Pool Stage will where possible mean groups of four teams and each team will play each opposition team in the Pool (3 games).

3.5. Each team will be awarded four points for a win, two points for a draw and one point for a defeat. The teams in each Pool will be then ranked by reference to the number of points awarded, with the team with the highest number of points ranked highest in the pool.

3.5. If at the end of the pool phase two or more teams are level on points the following process will be used to determine their final positions:

a. If two teams are level on points the final position will be determined by the result of the match between the two teams.

b. If that match is drawn the pool position will be determined by the margin between tries scored for and against them in all pool matches (the team with the highest margin will be ranked higher);

c. If the final position of teams level on points cannot be resolved by the above means the teams will be ranked by tries scored (the team with the highest number of tries scored will be ranked higher);

d. If the final position of teams remains unresolved the teams will be ranked by reference to the toss of a coin between the team coaches.

3.7. The 2nd Phase Pool Stage will consist of 3 teams (2 games). No scores will be kept as teams will have been graded in the initials stages. No winners are determined, the only winner is the player who gets to play at a similar level to their team. There will be no overall winners and no trophies will be awarded, as per the new Age Grade Rugby regulations.

3.8. Please be aware that there will be no trophies awarded to any team. Devon RFU will strive to ensure that Certificates will be awarded to every player in the squad.

4. Format U7 – U11

The format of the festivals must be player centric and encompass the following criteria:

4.1. Team will have squads:

- UNDER 10 (8 / side – squad 12)

- UNDER 9 (7 / side – squad 10)

- UNDER 8 (6 / side – squad 10)

- UNDER 7 (4 / side – squad 6)

4.2. There will be 5 games max per team - this is a rule from the RFU to limit playing time from a player welfare point of view with the:

· U7 and U8 players playing a maximum of 50 minutes per day (5 Minutes each half)

· U9 and U10 players can play a maximum of 60 minutes per day (6 Minutes each half)

· U11 players can play a maximum of 70 minutes per day (7 Minutes each half)

4.3. The first and only phase will consist (where possible) of Pools of 6 teams (5 games). No scores will be kept and no winners are determined as there are no overall winners and no trophies will be awarded, as per the new Age Grade Rugby regulations.

4.4. 3.8. Please be aware that there will be no trophies awarded to any team. Devon RFU will strive to ensure that Certificates will be awarded to every player in the squad.

5. Registration of Players and Eligibility

5.1. Ages of all players are taken on 1ST September of the current season (see Devon RFU handbook and RFU Continuum). PLAYERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY DOWN AN AGE GROUP EVEN WITH A DISPENSATION

5.2. Each team manager or coach will submit a list of names, schools, date of birth and RFU Registration numbers for their squad to the festival organisers on the morning of the Festival. On the day of the festival, and prior to the start of the matches, the team coach must register the players at a time and location specified by the organisers

5.3. Changes to the team squads will be permitted prior to the start of the festival with the approval of the organisers, who will allow such a change unless there are good reasons to deny it.

5.4. For the U14, U15 and U16 age groups the registration process must include the presentation of ID cards which contain the date of birth and a photograph to the festival organisers on the day of the festival.

5.5. On completion of the festival, Team sheets will be sent to the Secretary of the Devon RFU Mini & Junior Sub-Committee, together with match results.

5.6. Any team found playing or intending to play ineligible players will be liable to disqualification by the festival organisers.

5.7. No player may play for more than one team during a festival.

6. Referees:

6.1 The appointment of referees is the responsibility of the host club. In the first instance, they should contact the Devon Referee Society.

6.2 If the Devon Referees Society are unavailable to provide sufficient referees, the host club should organise their own qualified referees, preferably experienced in refereeing younger children and independent of the teams participating in that festival.

6.3 If necessary, referees can be appointed by the festival organisers from within the attending coaches. However, a coach should not referee a match involving their own team other than in exceptional circumstances.

6.4 Referees will be briefed by a competent person of the day of the festival to ensure consistency of application of the laws of the game.

7. Trophies

7.1. A trophy provided by the Devon RFU Mini & Junior Sub-Committee will be presented to the winning team and runners up of the cup competition within the U16, U15 and U14 age groups.

7.2. These trophies may be retained by the clubs concerned.

7.3. Other trophies or medals will be provided at the discretion of the festival organisers in these age groups.

7.4. No trophies will be awarded within the U7 – U13 Festivals

8. Additional Requirements

8.1 Festival organisers may impose such additional requirements as reasonably required to ensure the safe and efficient running of the festival.

8.2 These may include requirements for teams to be on the appropriate pitch in time for the kick-off, or else risk forfeiting the game.

8.3. First Aid cover will be provided by the Festival Hosts and proof of this will be presented to the person organising the event on behalf of the Devon RFU Mini and Junior Section.

9. Conduct and Behaviour

9.1. Everyone involved will demonstrate responsible conduct throughout the festival. All players, coaches, parents and spectators must comply with the RFU Codes of Conduct.

9.2. The organisers may require any person or team to leave that festival if their conduct fails to meet the required standard and they fail to respond to an appropriate warning about their conduct.

9.3. Any circumstances where a person or team have been required to leave will be reported to the Devon Mini & Junior Sub-Committee in writing within fourteen days of date of the festival.

9.4. Any dispute in the interpretation of these rules or otherwise should first be reported to the festival organisers. The parties concerned should notify in writing the Secretary of the Mini & Junior Sub-Committee no later than fourteen days after the date of the festival.

9.5. All Festival organisers are required to submit a summary of their festival to the Secretary of the Devon RFU Mini & Junior Sub-Committee within fourteen days of the date of the festival.

9.6. The Devon RFU Mini & Junior Sub-Committee may refuse any Team or Club the privilege of entering any or all of the Devon festivals if they have breached any rule or requirement of the Devon RFU Mini & Junior Sub-Committee, circumstances necessitate the withdrawal of that club or team from any or all Devon festivals for a specified period to preserve the ethos, sportsmanship and good order associated with Rugby Union.

DATES FOR 2017/18 FESTIVALS

Under-7 - April 29 at IVYBRIDGE (squad size 6)

Under-8  - April 29 at  ÍVYBRIDGE (squad size 10)

Under-9 - April 22 at HONITON (squad size 10)

Under-10 - April 22 at EXETER SARACENS (squad size 12)

Under-11 - April 29 at KINGSBRIDGE (squad size 12)

Under-12  - April 29 at TOTNES (squad size 15)

Under-13 - April 22 at TAVISTOCK (squad size 20)

Under-14 - April 29 at PLYMSTOCK ALBION OAKS (squad size 11)

Under-15 - April 22 at CREDITON (squad size 11)

Under-16 - April 22 at TOPSHAM (squad size 11)

Entries for the festivals close on December 1. If your club has not received an entry form, please email trfriend46@gmail.com