Playing out of Age Grade: Important Information
The priority is always for age grade players to play in their defined age/year group, with their peers/friends and where those that support them are most closely connected. Playing out of age grade is the exception. For any player to do so, the circumstances, conditions, assessments and approvals required in regulation must be in place beforehand. The ultimate consideration must be the welfare and safety of all the players involved.
Playing Up, Down and Adult Rugby is about individual players for whom it is appropriate. Combining is applicable to groups of players joining another age group. Please note, there is a separate form for England Academy Players.
Please read Regulation 15.2 and 15.5 in detail before completing this form.
Please read the accompanying advice in the Age Grade Codes of Practice
Group Player Assessment
To include a summary of your risk assessment of bringing two years of players together (ie. Differences in skill levels & ability, physical, emotional, social development and how this was measured). It is recommended that a coach of at least England Rugby Coaching Award level (previously Level 2) makes this assessment. The Age Grade Codes of Practice provide guidance on supporting evidence and measurement.
Please note the combining of teams is NOT applicable to the Girls game as they have the new dual age bands.
The Combining of Teams Due to Player Shortage
Regulation 15.2 states
15.2 Combining of Age Grades
15.2.1 Certain age grades are permitted to be combined together for training and playing as set out in the table at Regulation 15.5.
15.2.2 If Age Grades are being combined, the following conditions must be met:
(a) the school or club does not have a sufficient number of players to make up a team in the single age grade;
(b) the school’s principal or the club’s Constituent Body provides written approval (such approval to be valid for up to one season only);
(c) no more than half the players on the pitch at any time can be from the older age grade;
(d) the team plays to the rules of the younger age grade;
Festival & Match Day Management
Club Sign Off
Please note once signed off, notification will be sent to other clubs within county so they are aware that they may be working with a combined team and can make relevant provision.
It should also be noted that if you plan to play any teams from the SRU, they run different age bands to the RFU. Before agreeing to any fixture and submitting any cross border forms (applicable to ANY matches against teams from the Borders), please make sure you are able to play within the bounds of RFU Regulation 15 – if in any doubt please consult your Chair of Age Grade / CSO.