Age Grades are established at the start of a season as set out in RFU Regulation 15.2. The cut-off point is midnight on 31 August, so, a 7 year old on 1st September (the start of the season) is an U8; the child will have their 8th birthday during that season.
Children must play within their own birth Age Grade although limited dispensations exist within RFU Regulation 15 to allow some flexibility, subject to satisfying the conditions of those dispensations.
Below is a table which sets out the Age Grades in relation to school year groups as well as those for girls showing when they move from playing mixed rugby to girl's teams.
|Key Stage||KS 1||KS 1||KS2 ||KS 2||KS 2||KS 2||KS3||KS 3||KS 3||KS 4||KS 4||KS 4||KS 4|
|Year Group ||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13|
|Age Grade ||U6||U7||U8||U9||U10||U11||U12||U13||U14||U15||U16||U17||U18|
|Girls’ Age Grades ||Mixed||Mixed||Mixed||Mixed||Mixed||Mixed||U13||U13||U15||U15||U18||U18||U18|
A few of the the “Golden Rules” :
- Children and young people must play rugby in their correct age grade;
- Children must not play in any matches or festivals until they are 6 years old;
- There is no “playing up” an age grade until U12 (for boys);
- There are no dispensations in the girls’ game due to the age banding which already exists;
- U7s and U8s must not play contact rugby under any circumstances;
- Children must not play with adults until they are 17 (boys) (with conditions)or 18 (girls) ;
- Only in exceptional circumstances may children “play down” an age grade.