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Junior rugby based on weight classes

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by p.Tah, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. p.Tah John Thornett (49)

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    From today's SMH
    http://m.smh.com.au/rugby-union/uni...e-sport-is-too-dangerous-20160610-gpgoxi.html

    Having teams/ divisions based on weight seems logical. Bigger kids become more game aware and skilful by playing against similar sizes rather then just bashing their way through a game.

    Apparently they have a system based in weight in NZ. Does that work/solve the issues?

    I don't recall it being much of an issue when I played, but there does appear to be some very big kids in general these days.

    As a parent, as much as I love rugby, if I felt it was getting too dangerous for my kids I too would move them to a different sport.
    MHCS likes this.
  2. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Rugby has had age/weight dispensations for many years, whereby small kids are permitted to play down an age group.
    This is a subject that's been discussed many times,but IMO the best way is to continue is to allow small kids to play down,and at the same time,have weight caps in each age group.
    If a kid is well above the norm,they play one year up.
    I've seen many large kids play up a year,and while quite often,still dominant,the dangerous mismatch is substantially reduced.
    Interestingly,having watched many play in their age group,then back up immediately in the higher age group,many actually play better football in the latter games.
  3. p.Tah John Thornett (49)

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    Ok, thanks. Then why the need for the article and Brad pulling his son from rugby? Do they want it more formally recognised or is there something more to this?
  4. liquor box Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    I agree somewhat but I wonder if we will lose some of the bigger kids because they are fat and not big build?

    The lack of fitness and playing against older boys might lead to a lack of enjoyment.
    Highlander35 likes this.
  5. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Small kids playing down,is currently an option.
    Making monster kids play up,is my idea.
    There are plenty of small/average kids that quit both league & Rugby in 12-14 age groups due to size mismatches.
    It's a real issue.
    Highlander35, Mustafa and p.Tah like this.
  6. RugbyReg Phil Waugh (73)

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    I don't like the idea of big 13 year olds playing with 15 year or 16 year olds just because they've matured a bit physically.
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  7. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Me either,but no one has suggested that here.
    Huge 13yo's will still not struggle with 14yo's.
  8. JJJ Vay Wilson (31)

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    I imagine that if it isn't compulsory there would some social stigma associated with playing down an age bracket. I'd think a lot of kids would rather quit than do it. And it doesn't help the bigger kids get any better.
  9. neilc Syd Malcolm (24)

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    My kids play juniors - U9 and U10 currently and I referee U9's. Neither of them are particularly big and yes they do come up against some big kids at times but if they and their team mates tackle correctly - i.e. low, then big kids go down. It is when they tackle around the ball, like so often they see on tv especially if they watch league, that they bounce off the big kids. Once we get them focused on tackling low they can bring down the bigger kids and when they do it and realise it works then they keep doing it.

    The kids need to learn the right skills and some of the big kids are lazy when you would expect them to be effective - e.g. the breakdown. Some of our most effective breakdown exponents are small and least effective are big. It is more of a mental thing, especially from the parents. In juniors it is the teams with speed and good breakdown skills who are most effective - nothing to do with size.
    MHCS, USARugger and RugbyReg like this.
  10. Lindommer Andrew Slack (58)

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    Posted elsewhere before I noticed this thread.

    Interesting this weight issue's reared its ugly head ATM. As a junior village club secretary in Sydney during the late 1990s I raised this at both AGMs of Sydney and NSW JRUs. There was a dispensation in the registration regulations for small players (in my club's case, all boys) to be able to play down an age group if they were below a certain weight on registering. Most did, sensibly, often at the urging of their parents, but some wanted to stick with the group they'd played with previously. I argued if smaller boys were allowed to go down bigger boys should be made to play up, the vast majority of these larger boys weren't being tested against smaller ones in the round comps and at times their weight advantage was dangerous. But, more importantly, I could see the concern parents had watching their sons get smashed by much larger opponents and the long-term damage this could cause to rugby's fabric. I added a codicil to my "playing up" suggestion: those larger boys should be allowed to play in their correct age groups for all rep rugby.

    As I understood it then there was some sport of size grading in NZ junior rugby at the time. It's disappointing this issue is only being addressed now.
    p.Tah likes this.
  11. Lindommer Andrew Slack (58)

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    There were a few instances when the coach of the team one year older than my son's asked for a couple of the bigger boys to back up for his team, ie, under 12s playing in 13s, etc. No problems, the more skilful 12s enjoyed being tested in the older age group matches. 13s playing 15 or 16 year olds is taking the playing up suggestion a bridge too far.
    Hairy Test Eagle and RugbyReg like this.
  12. Bledisloe Peter Burge (5)

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    I am a huge fan of this idea..it would only be a handfull of boys that would be required to play up the next age group accross a number of clubs...and its really only for the kids that are so much bigger than the others..i have witnessed the injuries first hand at our club from some of these extra large lads just pulverizing the average boys over.does nothing for either of them except inflate the parents of the large lad ego...and i am only referring to the extra extra large ..
    gel likes this.
  13. The_Brown_Hornet David Codey (61)

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    As a bloke with a son who is generally the smallest on the field and having to tackle some of these gorillas I endorse a move towards weight for age. I think Lindo's suggestion is an excellent one. The real big blokes playing up an age group and testing themselves against guys more their size and vice versa for the younger ones.

    My boy doesn't lack courage and for a kid in his first season playing schools footy he's doing really well, but some of these blokes he plays against seem like they're twice his size.
  14. RugbyReg Phil Waugh (73)

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    But isn't the whole point of junior rugby - and I'm sure this has been reported as one of the biggest reasons kids play any sport, let alone rugby - is to play with their friends?

    So unfortunately the bigger dude no longer gets to play with his mates? He has to go up a level?

    And this is from someone, as a few on here are aware of, has boys who are generally close to the smallest on the field.

    One isn't fantastic in contact (but we focus on it in trying to improve technique and attitude) and one who just bloody well loves getting in there and loves to challenge of taking on the bigger guy.

    Once again the solution, and it's a lot harder than just saying it, comes down to better coaching of our kids. Particularly at the tackle.

    The whole volunteer as Jnr coaches thing is obviously the biggest hurdle here. Coaches at this level are generally just the guys willing to put their hands up. Not always the best equipped not best supported.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. The_Brown_Hornet David Codey (61)

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    It's a fair point Reg and I don't pretend to have all the answers, but having enormous kids smashing the small ones every week and having them eventually leaving the game isn't great.
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  16. p.Tah John Thornett (49)

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    Improved tackling technique is helpful but even the professionals get it wrong and knock themselves out or injure themselves.
    Also being 40kg at the bottom of a ruck with a 80kg kid on top if you isn't great either.
    Joe King likes this.
  17. RugbyReg Phil Waugh (73)

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    But is it happening every week? I don't think it is. I think this is all just a bit of a beat up that now has the mums in my Facebook feed going nuts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  18. The_Brown_Hornet David Codey (61)

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    Can't speak for rugby, as my son has only started this year, but it is an issue in Aussie Rules. A lot of our bigger boys at the club my son plays at play up a grade (and are willing to do so) and seem to enjoy it. Our team has always been a bunch of midgets and do pretty well, but a couple of bigger blokes coming into the squad this year has made them a top two or three team.
  19. Rugrat Larry Dwyer (12)

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    The size difference is absolutely an issue that needs to be dealt with by the ARU. So sick of hearing the line Kids want to play with thier friends as a reason not to have grading or not to have weight for ages. I havnt meet a kid yet that can't make new mates in about one hour. In fact one could argue the great reason to play rugby is to make new friends. As of the line about better coaching, as a junior coach give me a break. I have one hour a week to teach them many aspects of the game not just do tackling drills. On the weekend I got to watch one lad in under 12s who weighs about 30 kilos get run over by a kid that was easily 80 kilos and the crowd roared support and praised the 80 kilo kid! Seriously if you think that's awesome get the kid to do it to someone his own size then start patting him on the back. Same team also demanded uncontested scrums and then ran 2 very large lads bigger than any of our forwards in the centres. Great sportsmanship.
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  20. Lindommer Andrew Slack (58)

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    +1, R. My young bloke knew NO ONE when he rolled up at his junior club for under 7s. Played juniors then school rugby and back to the same club to play colts. Some of them came from his school, most didn't. And they're now all his mates.
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