Updates made to Age Grade regulations for 2019-20

11 Jul 2019 10:26 | Devon RFU

THE RFU have updated a number of the Age Grade regulations for the 2019-20 season.

These changes will come into force from August 1.

There has been a change to the original Age Grade season. It will now run from Saturday, September 7 until Sunday, May 10. The reason for this is that the 2020 early May Bank Holiday has been moved from the Monday until the Friday and so the season will be extended until Sunday, May 10 to support the traditional tours/activities on the long weekend.

Another update involves player registration for U7, U8, U16, U17 and U18 age groups. Clubs will be required to register via parents on GMS. Players who are new to the game and who registered online last year also need to re-register using this process. This gives players and parents more control of their own personal data and is GDPR compliant. This process reduces admin burden on volunteer registrars and will provide players and clubs with more accurate data.

In 2019-20 there will be a new two-step process for 17-year-old male and female players wanting to play adult rugby. All clubs will have to a safeguarding offer and they and the CB will have to approve a 17-year-old playing up. Each individual player will have to be assessed by the club and approved by the CB. The reason for this is there have been significant updates by the DBS to the rules on safeguarding children playing in adult sport. The RFU want to safeguard young players and adult clubs/people in line with the level of the revised DBS requirements. This includes having a more robust assessment and neutral approval of the individual player. Full guidance and support is being developed for players, coaches, clubs and CBs.

The final update will allow U17 and U18s to play as a combined age group without needing permission. This brings regulation in line with common practice in the club/school/college game. This also reduces the administrative burden on volunteers who previously needed to follow a permission process for an U17 to play with U18s.

Look out for more details to follow