Scottish Rugby Club Youth Rugby

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1 Jed Thistle, National Youth League Cup Final 2015 Scottish Rugby Club Youth Rugby Update & Application forms June 2015

2 Introduction Following the circulation of the Club Youth Rugby Update April 2015 and the subsequent national youth conference held at BT Murrayfield on Wednesday 18 April there has been a further round of meetings with clubs, on an individual and regional basis, to discuss the main issues raised by the clubs, namely: The consultation process The impact of the two players playing once, not one player playing twice concept The logistics around the longer-term aim of all youth and school rugby being played on a Saturday Investment in, and the financial impact of, the new structure on clubs The proposed format of Tier 4 regional competition Timescales too short to implement in season 2015/2016 Current Situation Having reflected on the feedback received from the club roadshows throughout May 2015, the Scottish Rugby Council agreed to support a graduated implementation of the Club Youth Rugby update as presented to clubs in April This graduated implementation of the Council & Board approved policy is designed to allow clubs to work towards achieving the aims of the policy by the start of the 2017/18 season. As a result, during the next two seasons, Scottish Rugby is looking for clubs and schools to work together to grow the game and improve the standard of play through the implementation of new playing structures in the autumn term, designed to bring a focus on growth and player development. As such, Scottish Rugby is looking for its member clubs and affiliated schools to create growth environments across their age group programmes where the focus and emphasis is firmly on the development process. This will enable clubs and schools to grow sufficiently over the next two years to be in a position to implement fully the Schools and Youth policy by the start of the 2017/18 season. Current Issues & Proposed Solutions The consultation process Scottish Rugby staff will work with the Scottish Rugby Council to establish an appropriate forum through which the graduated implementation of this policy will be reviewed and progressed The impact of the two players playing once, not one player playing twice concept Over the next two seasons we will have a more flexible approach to managing this issue The logistics around the longer term aim of all youth and school rugby being played on a Saturday Club rugby will continue to be played over the weekend 2

3 Investment in, and the financial impact of, the new structure on clubs This will continue to be monitored over the next two years as clubs opt into the structure The proposed format of Tier 4 regional competition Local arrangements will be put in place to accommodate clubs who don t have a team at each age-grade Timescales too short to implement in season 2015/2016 Application process and playing structures to be completed and cirulated by end of June 2015 Updated proposal for youth club rugby, June 2015 Scottish Rugby will proceed with a graduated implementation of the schools and youth structure, which means that the following will be put in place for the start of the 2015/16 season. Following an application process, clubs capable of fielding five male teams, (one at each age group) will be grouped into playing conferences based on a mix of ability and geography. Please complete the application forms included in this document and return to Sam Parlane, at by Wednesday 17 June 2015 For the next two seasons we will relax our proposal that male players can only play in a school or a club conference. During this period we will allow male players from Teir 1 3 schools and clubs to play for both schools and clubs. In doing so, all involved in age-grade rugby must recognise that player welfare is paramount and, as such, Scottish Rugby recommends: S1 (U13) S2 (U14) and S3 (U15) rugby: one game per weekend but will allow flexibility for players to play 90mins in a 24hr period in either club or school or both U16 and U18 rugby: players can only play one Tier 1-3 school or club game in a weekend (i.e.) U16 and U18 players can play for both club or school but not in the same weekend. Clubs are expected to act responsibly and we will investigate any examples of bad practice that are brought to our attention From the start of the 2015/16 season, clubs will play in their allocated conferences during the autumn of 2015 to a fixture list set by Scottish Rugby, with clubs playing clubs at all age groups over the course of a weekend. Please note this will mean that, in any given weekend, teams in clubs will be playing home and away The Borders clubs will play as part of the integrated schools and clubs, town v town Borders integrated conference Each conference will have three different competitions running at the same time namely: The whole club competition: all teams will play for points to make up a club total, which will be reflected in a conference league table The U18 competition: U18 results are recorded in a conference U18 league table The U16 competition: U16 results are recorded in a conference U16 league table Clubs with less than five teams: please complete the relevant application form included in this document and return to Sam Parlane, at by Wednesday

4 Thereafter, the relevant Schools and Youth Managers and competitions administrators will arrange regional fixtures meetings towards the end of June to help clubs arrange fixtures on a club v club basis Each regional youth committee (four) will nominate, by mid December 2015, two clubs at U18 and two clubs at U16 to represent their region in the national youth league cup It is up to each regional committee to agree, with their respective clubs, the process for this decision and to seed each team 1 & 2 The eight nominated teams at each age group will be joined by the finalists of the National Bowl competition, to make this a ten-team competition at each level The Youth League cup will take place on four allocated Saturdays in the spring term, with a preliminary round, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final at each age group The regional teams seeded 1 will be rewarded with a home quarter-final and the regional teams seeded 2 will join the National Bowl finalists in the draw for the preliminary round Each regional youth committee will continue to run a regional cup competition in the spring term (2016) in which all clubs can opt to play Scottish Rugby staff will work with the Scottish Rugby Council to establish an appropriate forum through which the graduated implementation of this policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis Stirling County v Ayr 4

5 Scottish Rugby Youth Conferences - Season 2015/16 Following on from the recent National Club Youth Rugby Conference and subsequent regional meetings, Scottish Rugby is now opening the application process for clubs to play in the 2015/16 Youth Conferences. The conferences will replace the Scottish Rugby and Regional Youth Leagues and will provide more compeititve playing opportunities for S1 (U13), S2 (U14), S3 (U15), U16 and U18 club players. Clubs will compete on a club versus club basis, playing at each of these age groups across the same weekend. A scoring system will be adopted to reward participation as well as results, with all matches contributing to the overall ranking of the club within the conference table. Specific conference tables will also be produced for results achieved within U16 and U18 matches. As discussed at national and regional meetings the new conference structure will include one national (President s) conference and a number of conferences that will be based on a mix of ability and geography. Dependant on the number of entries following completion of the application process, clubs will be grouped based on their conference preference, recent performance within youth competitions and their location. It is important that clubs carefully consider all the factors before deciding if an application to the new Youth Conferences is appropriate to their playing needs. Clubs must be confident that they have the player numbers, playing standards, coaching/ management teams and resources, to play on a weekly basis throughout the autumn term, and to compete over a number of year groups. Prior to completing an application, please consider the following: The emphasis of the new Youth Conferences is to get more players to play more competitive games more often. As such, clubs will be expected to make every effort to fulfil matches on a weekly basis as per the conference fixture schedule. Conferences will run between the end of August and December. For the next two seasons, we will relax our proposal that male players can only play in a school or a club conference and during this period we will allow male players from Tier 1 3 schools and clubs to play both school and club rugby. In doing so, all involved in age-grade rugby must recognise that player welfare is paramount and as such Scottish Rugby recommends: S1 (U13) S2(U14) and S3(U15) rugby: one game per weekend but will allow flexibility for players to play 90mins in a 24hr period in either club or school or both U16 and U18 rugby: players can only play one Tier 1-3 school or club game in a weekend (i.e.) U16 and U18 players can play for both club or school but not in the same weekend. Clubs are expected to act responsibly and we will investigate any examples of bad practice that are brought to our attention The new Youth Conferences may involve considerable travel over the first half of the season. Travel budgets are under review to ensure an appropriate subsidy is available to support clubs involved in the conferences Traditional fixture days will be used for the 2015/16 season (U18 on Saturdays, S1 U16 on Sunday), or at days/times agreed by both clubs The cut-off date for each age group is Tuesday 1 September For the avoidance of doubt; cut off for S1 is U13, and S2 is U14 on the same date 5

6 Scottish Rugby Youth Conferences - Season 2015/16 Application Process Only clubs that can provide evidence that they can meet the increased demands of these conferences, through providing details on the following, will be eligible to take part. All Conferences President s and Regional Sufficient player numbers to field teams at each age group (we recommend a minimum of 25 registered players in each squad) A track record of running teams at each age group and participating within previous youth league and cup competitions Number and qualifications of coaches and other volunteers Evidence of a strong link and partnership working with local schools Additional for President s Conference: A track record of strong performance within previous youth league and cup competitions. Please note that if the numbers of applications are high, priority will be given to the clubs that best meet the core entry criteria outlined above. This is to ensure that the integrity and intensity of the conferences are maintained. Clubs should complete the attached application form, have it signed by both the lead youth/midi organiser and club president, and return it to Sam Parlane, at by Wednesday 17 June It is our intention to communicate the outcome of the application process, confirming the conference structure and fixtures for the 2015/16 season, before the end of June. Please note all clubs and schools participating in the new competitions will be invited to kick-off meetings that will take place in August. Tier 4 - National Youth Bowl and Regional Fixtures Clubs that do not meet the entry criteria for the Youth Conferences are invited to enter a national knock-out competition that will run on set Saturdays during the autumn phase of the season. The Bowl competitions are open to all under-18 and under-16 club teams that are not participating in the newly formed Scottish Rugby Youth Conference structure. The competition will follow a straight knock-out format with a regional flavour to Round 1. Finalists of the Bowl will progress to the National Youth League Cup that will take place in the second-half of the season. The first round of the Bowl will take place on Saturday 5 September. s for all subsequent rounds will be scheduled when the total number of entrants and the exact number of rounds can be confirmed. To enter, please complete and return the relevant application form enclosed to by Wednesday 17 June Scottish Rugby s Schools & Youth Managers will also be working in conjunction with regional administrators and youth committees to facilitate the organisation of Tier 4 fixture programmes in each region. Fixture meetings will be arranged in each region over the coming weeks. If your club would like to attend please return the Note of Interest form enclosed and provide an indication of what youth teams you will have next season. Please return by Wednesday 17 June. 6

7 Scottish Rugby Youth Conferences - Application Form Presidents & Regional Conferences Club name Key contact 1 Key contact 2 Competition Preference (delete as appropriate) President s Conference Regional Conference* * Please note these conferences will be based on a mix of ability and geography and may not align with traditional Scottish Rugby regions Teams at club for 2014/15 S1 S2 U15 U16 U18 Teams at club for 2015/16 Registered players No. of Season 2014/15 Season 2015/16 U18 U16 S3 S2 S1 Details of League and Cup performances for U15 U18s in season 2013/14 Details of League and Cup performances for U15 U18s in season 2014/15 Please also provide the fixture list for your S1 and S2 teams for the last two seasons (submit as appendix) 7

8 Details of coaches and managers involved with teams e.g. names, role in youth section, qualifications and experience etc. How does your club support and work in partnership with local schools in your area? Please detail the main schools you work with. Any other information We agree to participate in the Scottish Rugby Youth Conferences for season 2015/16 and agree to fulfil fixtures on a weekly basis as scheduled by Scottish Rugby Signature of Midi/Youth Organiser Signature of Club President 8

9 Scottish Rugby Youth Bowl - Application Form Club name Key contact 1 Key contact 2 Age Group (delete as appropriate) U16 U18 We agree to participate in the Scottish Rugby Youth Bowl for season 2015/16 and agree to fulfil fixtures on a weekly basis as scheduled by Scottish Rugby Signature of Midi/Youth Organiser Signature of Club President 9

10 Scottish Rugby Tier 4 Regional Fixtures - Note of Interest Club name Region Key contact 1 Key contact 2 Teams at club for 2014/15 S1 S2 S3 U16 U18 Teams at club for 2015/16 We would like to note interest in the Tier 4 regional playing structures for season 2015/16 and would like to attend the Tier 4 fixture meeting in our region. Signature of Midi/Youth Organiser Signature of Club President 10

11 SCOTTISH RUGBY BT MURRAYFIELD EDINBURGH EH12 5PJ scottishrugby.org

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