1 July Game Management System (GMS) season switch over
*NB this communication relates to the GMS season switchover. Please continue to follow Age Grade Summer Framework Guidance on the pitch.
With rugby union fully restarting less than a year ago, it has been great to see so many players, coaches, match officials volunteers and supporters returning to the game in 2021-22. As the new season preparations begin, and in response to Clubs’ feedback to start affiliation and set-up processes earlier, we are pleased to confirm that GMS will switch over to the 2022-23 season from 1st July.
Affiliated players from this year will automatically be deaffiliated on 1st July, so clubs can begin their reaffiliation processes earlier if they wish to. We stress that this is in GMS only; the 1st August is when the age grade game, regulations, age bands all move over to 2022-23. Please click here for our dynamic graphic outlining these key dates.
Our Age Grade Affiliation Webinar in May was attended by over 100 Clubs and provides support, reminders and tips for getting the processes underway again, ready for next season. You can access the recording here and we have updated our Affiliation FAQs on the Help Portal.
150,000 age grade players were affiliated in 2021-22 – a great effort from everyone across the game. For parents/guardians to renew their child’s affiliation it is as simple as logging into their Game Management System (GMS) profile again and re affiliating to their club. Those new to affiliation will need to log in or create a login and affiliate the player/players to their given club. A full guide can be found here.
Club Age Grade Registrars will be prompted to approve any new player affiliations to their club and will also be notified of all reaffiliations. Notifications will be via their dashboard when they login. Guides are available to help volunteers support and promote affiliation to parents ahead of the new season.
Team managers and fixture secretaries will also be able to input any 15-a-side fixtures for 2022/2023 season from 1st July. By inputting these fixtures now, it gives the match opposition time to approve the fixture, but will also help with your club’s future international ticket allocation. A guide on how to do this can be found here
Reminder of Girls Age Grade Banding changes
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to remind clubs of the changes to the Girls Age Grade banding, which you can find a link to on the Age Grade Rugby Page. The change means that the new U12, 14, 16, 18 girls age bands will appear for clubs in GMS for the 2022/2023 season. Age Grade female players will automatically be assigned to an age group by their date of birth and appear on the All Players List for that Team, so please check these are correct ahead of September.
The old U13, 15, 18 team data (fixtures, results etc) is still useful to keep playing records and numbers/trends available. Therefore the data will be archived, nothing will be deleted. There will be a guide on the Help Portal to help clubs/coaches/team managers to work with these changes in Team Management and instructions if clubs want to “unarchive” the teams should they wish.
Why do we have affiliation?
Every year there is a need to see how many players are playing rugby union in England. By having annual affiliation it helps not only the RFU but also Constituent Bodies (CB) and Clubs put resources where they are needed most. It also helps all parties involved in rugby to see the growth or decline in areas, while also looking at the transition rates year-on-year and those players transitioning into adult rugby. We are also able, as a sport, to demonstrate our safeguarding responsibilities to players and their personal data at all levels.