Age Grade Regulation 15.6.2 Out of Season Activity

To find out more about RFU Age Grade Regulation 15.6.2 for Rugby Out of Season Activity please click in the document below.

Why was this regulation introduced?

This regulation was introduced as a result of the work of the Age Grade Good Practice Group. This group examined the current challenges, research and best practice within Age Grade Rugby with the aim of ensuring that the game provides for the long term participation of those at U18 and younger.

This group addressed the issues of player welfare in the Age Grade Game along with evidence relating to player development.

Numerous evidence-based studies over the last 30 years show that early experience of a wide variety of sports has positive implications for long-term sport participation, does not hinder and may support elite sport development. This scientific research, combined with our analysis of injury risk, participation data and qualitative data highlighted that playing in summer months is not optimal for long term participation, skill development or recovery and can lead to over-playing/burnout for players who have already had a full season of rugby.

By implementing a summer break for U13 players and a June break for U14 players and above we aim to best protect our players and ensure their enjoyment and lifelong involvement in the game.

How does a summer break from rugby, help support the development of rugby?

Evidence shows that a break from rugby will reduce burnout – a common reason cited for leaving the game, and enable rugby players to develop as more rounded athletes/participants by allowing them to experience other sports and develop transferable skills