Cumnock Cougars Festival
Cumnock Rugby club pioneered a new form of competitive mini rugby which focuses on the core principles of player development and in particular the skill base of our youngsters. Whilst matches are still competitive and the result of a game contributes to each teams end result during the festival there are a number of other factors that will determine final placings.
The festival is run on a round robin basis with each team playing all of the other teams entered at their age group. This ensures that each team plays the same amount of games so promoting skill development through game play rather than only rewarding the stronger/bigger teams that progress to the knockout stages in tournament format.
The awards take the form of individual skill awards, coaching awards with ultimate prize being the Team of the Tournament.
Individual Skill Awards
These will be presented on a game by game basis to a player in each team showing the best overall skill set which will include a combination of;
- Running with ball in hand (or hands as the case may be!)
- Support play
The recipients of these awards will be chosen by a member of the opposition coaching team and will be presented at a gathering(organised by the referee) of the two teams including coaches after each game, where players shake hands and, along with the fans watching, applaud the achievers. With this in mind, each age group/team will have a member of their coaching team that will be assigned to the task of selecting a player from their opposition to be the recipient.
Coaching Team Award
This award will be made to the coaching team that is deemed, by the judges and referees, to impart and display the attitudes that we as coaches of young people must champion - positive encouragement in the development and achievement of techniques/skills.
This, being the premier award for the day, will be presented to the team showing the best overall skill set, as detailed above, which has been assessed during the days play. A group of independent judges will be covering each and every game during the tournament and will be awarding points on a game by game basis. In conjunction with these scores the referees of each match will also award points for skills but will also factor in sportsmanship and general team behavior. These results will be returned to the festival office after each match and will be collated to produce an overall result. Both this and the coaching award will be presented at the end of the days play where, due to the round robin format, all teams will be present for the presentation.
This style of tournament will no doubt have its critics and we at Cumnock RFC have a realistic enough expectation that, as this is a change to the traditional tournament format, that not all will like it. However we have been running this format since 2007 and our passion to continue has been fueled completely by the hugely positive feedback from all of the visiting players, parents and clubs.
Finally, a testament to the success of this format, some of the clubs participating in our previous festivals have requested information to assist them to run similar events...so something must be working!
So come along and join in the fun....and maybe even try one of our legendary burgers from the barbeque.