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Sunday 27th April - Staffs Festival at LICHFIELD

4 years ago By Yogi Jones

2 teams going to the festival! The Grizzly Bears and the Polar Bears!!!!

Hi all, on Sunday 27th April the Staffs Festival will be held at Lichfield Rugby Club, Cooke Fields, Tamworth Road, Lichfield, WS14 9JE. We are entering 2 teams (confirmed), so all registered players will be involved.

The players registered who will be making up the 2 squads of the The Grizzly Bears and The Polar Bears will be -
Jack Gillett, Rhys Jones, William Checkett, Ben Woodfield, Matthew Pugh, Freddie Pace, Cian Hennessy, Maxwell Vaughan, Jack Atkins, Hendrik Christoffersen, Sean Florence, James Powell, Matthew Holder, Noah Beaty, Daniel Lewis, Jonathan Guest, Lucas Daniels and Jude Malsbury.

As I don't have everyones email, I have copied and pasted the details of the festival and the rules for you to have a read of. Any issues, please let me know ASAP. Please note, if any of your children have special dietary requirements (i.e can't have hotdogs, let me ASAP so I notify Lichfield by Wednesday at the latest.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Invitation Letter / Details -
Thank you for confirming your club’s attendance at the County U8 Festival that is being held at Lichfield. This letter sets out details on the running of the day. I have also attached the Festival Rules and Player Registration sheets. If you have any questions in advance, please let me know.
Basis of the competition
At this stage Staffordshire clubs have asked to enter between them 22 teams for this year’s Under 8 County festival. If clubs have players who fall outside of their 10 permitted squad players per team, please let me know as there is scope to create 2 barbarian sides.
Age grade regulation 15 stipulates a maximum of 5 games may be played at a festival, based on games lasting 5 minutes per half. No extra time should be played.
Based on this and the need to allow for semi finals and finals, the competition will start with 4 pools under which each team will play 3 games. Not all teams in each pool will therefore play each other. Pools and fixtures will be created based on drawing names from a hat, with the exception of clubs who have asked to enter 2 teams, where the teams will be placed into separate pools.
In order to determine standings within each pool, teams will be awarded points based on the result of each game as follows;
Win 4 points Draw 1 point Loss No points
Bonus 1 point if 4 or more tries scored by a team
Based upon the results of the pool fixtures, the top 3 teams from each pool will play for the following trophies;
County shield Cup
1st placed team in each pool 2nd placed team in each pool 3rd placed team in each pool
In the event that teams are tied on points at the end of the pool fixtures, placing’s will be determined by tries scored and conceded. In the event teams are still tied, the position will be determined by the toss of a coin.
Staffordshire Rugby Union will supply Certificates for players. Medals will be provided for all finalists.

Registration will run from 09.00 until 09.30 in the club office located in the clubhouse. Each team will be provided with the details of their fixtures for the day and pitch location. In addition each club representative will be provided with meal tickets for their players.
The rules for Staffordshire County Festivals require clubs to submit completed player registration forms in advance of the festival. Please can you send these no later than 25 April to
Please make every effort to ensure that all players have their RFU cards with them. Otherwise, please ensure you have RFU registration numbers and a form of photo ID in case of any dispute over a player’s age.
Parking and Admission
Gates will open at 08.30. It is not permitted to charge to park at a County festival. However, please can I ask all clubs to encourage car sharing as parking space will be at a premium.
All cars are parked at the owner’s own risk. Please keep your property safe at all times. Lichfield Rugby Club accepts no liability for damage or loss however so caused.
There will be an A5 colour match day programme available for purchase at a cost of £3. We would appreciate it if all clubs could encourage their parents and supporters to purchase a copy.
If any club or its supporters would like to place messages of good luck into the programme, the cost of producing each page is over £30. We will make a charge of £20 for each page a club wishes to take for messages of good luck, or as a business advertisement.
Anyone wishing to take pages needs to provide me with copy before 22 April by email.

Timings on the Day
 08:30 Gates open
 09:00 til 9:30 Registration
 09:50 Coaches meeting in the clubhouse
 10:10 tip 11:20 Pool games duration
 11:30 Semi finals for County Shield, Cup and Plate
 11:50 Finals for County Shield, Cup and Plate
 12:00 Presentation of Shield, Cup and Plate by John Aitken Food service commences for players

Club Location
The club is located on the A51 Tamworth Road, just outside Lichfield. A location map can be found at The club is accessed off the road that leads from the A51 Tamworth Road, adjacent to the Horse and Jockey public house.

Lichfield RUFC’s photographic policy permits parents or carers to take photographs of their own child for their own personal use. Videos may also be taken subject to these being recorded without sound.
Clubs are asked to make their parents aware of this policy.
First Aid
Lichfield RUFC Under 8s has 2 RFU qualified First Aiders. They will be able to support clubs own first aid provision, if required. Clubs are asked to ensure they bring with them a suitably qualified first aider and their own medical kit.
Should you need to call an ambulance the Club address is Lichfield Rugby Club, Cooke Fields, Tamworth Road, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 9JE and phone number is 01543 263020.
Festival co-ordination
All teams are asked to supply a referee to assist with the pool, semi finals and finals. Ideally this should be a Level 1 or Tag qualified coach. Please can you ensure they are familiar with the accompanying rules, so that all refereeing can be consistent across the day.
If they can bring a whistle, pencil or pen and watch, that will help with the efficient running of the festival.

Other matters
Every child will receive a player’s meal which is a hot dog. If any of your players are vegetarian, or have a reason why the prescribed meal would be unsuitable, please advise me before Wednesday 23 April and as a club we will endeavor to provide a suitable alternative.
Please note that no dogs are allowed at the Festival.
In case of late cancellation, or some other unforeseen eventuality, I will email all those on the distribution list that have received this correspondence. Where I have mobile phone numbers I will also text to confirm cancellation. Beyond that it will be for clubs to communicate around their age groups.
If any player, coach or team supporter demonstrates unsporting or unacceptable behaviour that is contrary to the RFU Core Values, rules and guidance, a zero tolerance policy will be applied. This could lead to the person or group being asked to leave the grounds. Again, could clubs ensure they make all involved aware of this before arrival.
Coaches are responsible for ensuring that their players abide by RFU rules and guidelines for protective clothing and boots.
Tents & gazebos should not be pitched within 5m of any playing area, including the dead ball areas.
Spectators should remain at least 1m from the pitches. Please ensure any pushchairs or other equipment is kept well away from the playing area.

Festival rules -

Staffordshire U8 County Festival Rules 2014
All Laws are taken from the IRB Laws of the Game, RFU Regulation 15 – Age Grade Rugby
 Score a try by placing the ball with a downward pressure on or behind the opponent’s goal line
 A penalty try may be awarded if a try would probably have been scored but for Foul Play by the defending
 When a try is scored, the game is restarted by a free pass from the centre of the pitch by the non-scoring team
 Teams of six players on the pitch at any one time
 Rolling substitutions are permitted and substituted players can be re-used at any time
 Substitutions can only take place when the ball is "dead" or at half time and always with the referee's knowledge
 Coaches are not permitted to be on pitch when the game is in play
 Referee is encouraged to advise and guide the teams and players
Pitch Size:
 45 metres by 22 metres, plus 5 metres for each in-goal area. Passing:
 The ball can only be passed sideways or backwards through the air and cannot be handed to another player
 If the ball is handed to another player or passed or knocked forwards then a free pass is awarded to the non-
offending side, unless advantage occurs to the non-offending side
 In order to keep the game flowing, referees may play advantage wherever possible
Free Passes:
 A free pass is used to start the match at the beginning of each half from the centre of the pitch, from the side of the pitch when the ball goes into touch at the point where the ball went out of play and from where the referee makes a mark when an infringement has taken place
 At a free pass, the player must start with the ball in both hands and, when instructed by the referee who will call “PLAY”, pass the ball backwards through the air to a member of their team
 For safety reasons, no player may run until the pass is made
 The player taking the free pass must pass the ball when the referee calls “PLAY”.
 At a free pass, the opposition must be 7 metres back from the mark
 They cannot start moving forward until the ball leaves the hands of the passer
 If an infringement takes place or the ball goes into touch over the goal line or within 7 metres of the goal-line, then the free pass must be awarded to the non-offending side 7 metres from the goal-line
Staffordshire U8 County Festival Rules 2014
The Tag:
 Tag belts are to be securely fastened and any excess belt is to be tucked away so that this cannot be pulled by mistake
 Tag belts are to be worn outside of shirts and not obscured in any way
 Referees are to be watchful for tags being wrapped around the belt preventing them from being pulled off
 Tags must not be the same colour as the players’ shorts or shirts
 Tags must be positioned on the side of the hips (not at the front or back)
 Only the ball carrier can be tagged
 The ball carrier can run and dodge potential taggers but cannot fend them off using their hands or the ball and cannot guard or shield their tags in any way
 The ball cannot be pulled out of the ball carrier’s hands at any time
 If a player does not have two tags on their belt, one on each hip, they will be penalised if they become a ball carrier or if they tag an opponent and a free pass will be awarded to the non-offending side at the place of infringement
Actions by the ball carrier:
 When the ball carrier is tagged the ball must be passed to a team mate within 3 seconds, this includes stopping time
 The ball carrier must attempt to stop as soon as possible; within approximately 3 strides, but the ball can be passed in the act of stopping
 If the pass takes longer than 3 seconds or the player takes more than approximately 3 strides they must be penalised and a free pass awarded to the non offending side at the place where the tag occurred
 After the ball has been passed, the player must go to the tagger, retrieve their tag and place it back on their belt before re-joining play
 If the player continues to play and influences the game without collecting their tag, they must be penalised and a free pass awarded to the non-offending side at the place of infringement
 Players are only allowed one step to score a try after being tagged
 If the ball carrier is tagged whilst standing inside the goal area they must ground the ball immediately in order
to score
 Referees may help this part of the game along by advising the ball carrier “Touch the ball down and I’ll award the try”, or similar
 The side in possession of a ball will only be allowed to be tagged a maximum of 6 times before scoring a try
 At the 7th tag, the referee will stop the game and give the ball to the other side by awarding a free pass at the
point that the tag took place
 If the 7th tag takes place one step from the try line and the ball is grounded, the try will be disallowed and the opposition will be given the ball for a free pass 7 metres out from the goal line, in line with the point the goal line was crossed
Staffordshire U8 County Festival Rules 2014
 Offside only occurs at the time of the Tag where the offside line is through the centre of the ball except for the tagger for whom it is 1 metre further back
 When a Tag is made, all the other players from the tagger’s team must attempt to retire towards their own goal-line until they are behind the ball
 If a player, in an offside position, intercepts, prevents or slows down a pass from the tagged player to a team mate, a free pass will be awarded to the non-offending side
 A player can, however, run from an onside position to intercept a floated pass before it reaches the intended receiver
Ball on the Ground:
 Players must be encouraged to stay on their feet, with the ball in hand
 If the ball goes to ground, players can pick it up, run and pass but they must not dive to the floor to recover
the ball
 If the ball is passed other than forward and goes to ground, play will continue and either side may pick up the ball
 If the passed ball rolls into touch a free pass will commence from the touchline to the non-passing side
 If the ball is passed or knocked forward (other than as set out below), a free pass is awarded to the non-
offending side unless advantage occurs to the non-offending side
 Where the ball is on the ground over the try line:
• If the team defending the try line have dropped the ball over the try line, and their opponents fallen on it or touched it down a try shall be awarded to the attacking team
• If the team defending the try line have dropped the ball over the try line, and then fallen on it or touched it down a free pass shall be awarded to the attacking team 7 metres from the try line
• If the team attacking the try line have dropped the ball forward over the try line, and there is no advantage to their opponents, a free pass shall be awarded to the defending team 7 metres from the try line
• If the team attacking the try line have dropped the ball backwards over the try line and then touched it down or fallen on it a try can be awarded
• If the team attacking the try line have dropped the ball backwards over the try line and their opponents touch the ball down or fall on it, a free pass shall be awarded to the defending team 7 metres out from the try line
 The ball carrier can run and dodge potential taggers but cannot fend them off using their hands or the ball and cannot guard or shield their tags in any way
 Similarly, the ball carrier or a potential tagger must not deliberately make contact with an opponent
 If such contact is made the game must be stopped, the offender spoken to, reminded of the non-contact rules
of tag and a free pass awarded to the non-offending side
 If the ball is pulled from the ball carrier’s grasp, a free pass is awarded to the ball carrier's side
Staffordshire U8 County Festival Rules 2014
No Contact:
 The only contact allowed between the two teams is the removal of a tag from the belt of the ball carrier
 Any other type of contact on the ball carrier, such as shirt pulling, running in front of or barging the ball carrier, forcing the ball carrier into touch, etc. must be penalised with a free pass and the players concerned reminded of the rules
Prohibited Play:
 no tackling or contact beyond Tagging;
 no scrummage;
 no line-out;
 no kicking of any kind
 no hand off/fend off
 no ripping of the ball and
 no passing forwards.

Hope this all makes sense!

Updated 19:08 - 22 Apr 2014 by Yogi Jones

Where next?

Walsall Under 8's first tour to Burnham On Sea Well done boys on coming runners up of the Bowl Final


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