Mini Rugby at Wensleydale RUFC


The Game

Mini Rugby is a game based on the full 15 a side game we see on TV. In the Mini game the rules have been designed to make the game safer and to encourage the development of skills. The rules of the game change as players get older, gradually preparing young players so that when they reach secondary school they are ready to play the full 15 a side game.

Mini Rugby is fast, rough, muddy and enormously good fun to play. It's a real team game where new players are quickly incorporated according to their abilities and where fun is more important than winning.

Many people watching Rugby on TV find its tactics and rules complicated and difficult to understand. Mini Rugby is a much simpler, safer and shorter game. As players develop over the years more components are added to this basic game.

Teamwork is an integral part of Rugby and understanding its laws and tactics is a big part of the game. This for some children adds to the challenge and interest of the sport. Rugby is not just a physical sport, thinking is as much a part of the game as running.


Mini rugby teams are selected by age with a child's primary class number deciding what team the play for. As an example a child in Y6 at school will play for the U11 team.

Mini Rugby starts at U7 (school year 2 or as soon as child is 6 years old) and finishes at U12 (year 7). Once children leave the U12 age group they progress onto the first year of junior rugby, the U13s. Children in Y2 & 3 (U7 & 8s) play "Tag Rugby' (non contact) which emphasises fun and fitness as much as Rugby. From Y4-Y7 (U9-U12) each year group usually trains separately with their own coaches and equipment although from time to time older mini groups will train together to help develop particular skills.

Who can play rugby?

Many people believe all rugby players are huge men, which is of course not the case. Mini and Junior Rugby have a place for every type of child and young person, be they tall or short, skinny or solid, boy or girl. As you get older whatever your build there is a position in rugby just for you. By the nature of the game Rugby asks players to take on specialist roles within the team, particularly in later years. Certain body shapes are particularly suited to particular positions. For example, forwards tend to be solid and strong. Backs on the other hand are generally agile and fast. Scrumhalves are often small and wiry. In short, Rugby has a position just for you no matter what size or shape you are, heavy or light, tall or short, girl or boy.

Can girls play?

They most certainly can! Girls and boys play Mini Rugby as equals in mixed teams. Girls are given no special treatment; nor at this age do they need it. The physical differences are irrelevant at Mini Rugby ages and girls have proved that they are valuable members of the team and are well able to compete with boys on equal terms.


We have a dedicated team of coaches and assistant coaches who aim to make rugby fun for everyone. They have enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance and undergo RFU coaching courses to at least RFU Rugby Ready. They are all volunteers, many are parents or carers, and we are always looking for new helpers and coaches.


For insurance purposes Minis players are required to become members of Wensleydale RUFC, with at least one parent or carer as a non-playing adult member.

Our registration system ensures our database of players is up to date with a list of contact numbers and identification of any medical conditions we need to know about while your child is with us.

As a new recruit, you will be given a registration form when you register for the first time. If not, please ask your team coach to supply one.

Helping Hands

We are lucky enough to know we can rely on a team of parents, grandparents, carers and friends helping behind the scenes. We are always delighted to welcome parents who would be willing join a pool of helpers to assist with coaching as required under the direction of the main coach.

We do not envisage this to be a week-in, week-out commitment but to give assistance if required, though anyone gripped enough to go on to take an official coaching course will be encouraged to do so. It's great fun and does wonders in reducing your waistline and stress levels!

Please talk to your age-group coach as soon as possible if you are keen to get involved. It is compulsory for all volunteers who have regular contact with or access to data about young players to be DBS cleared. We are also looking for volunteers who can help behind the scenes.Just let your lead coach or Team Manager know!

What to wear and bring

All equipment (balls, cones etc) is provided for players but it is the player's responsibility to ensure they are appropriately clothed for the conditions. When it does get cold and wet please make sure your child is suitably dressed, both for their comfort and to avoid interrupting training sessions. Clothes can be removed to cool down but once players are cold their training or match is over as an enjoyable experience.

We have found that Mini Rugby players do not usually change at the club but are brought "ready to go' by parents. Most minis seem to have an aversion to showers but we do insist that they are clean before coming into the club. This usually means pulling a track suit on over the mud! In the unlikely event that your mini isn't averse to showers there really are showers at the club! A towel and soap for showering will be needed but at least ensure your child has a change of clothing and footwear.

As a guideline, players should dress in layers - rugby/football boots and socks, shorts, T-shirt; tracksuit bottoms, rugby shirt; sweatshirt/tracksuit or waterproof top, woolly hat.

It is best not to wear your favourite sports gear, as it is liable to get wet, muddy and ruined. Always bring a change of clothes.


Players should wear boots that have aluminium (kite marked for Rugby) screw in studs or rubber moulded sole boots. Some blades are allowed but please check with your lead coach before you buy new boots.


Please send your child with water or a non fizzy drink.

Thermal undergarments

Increasingly popular in cold weather, again not obligatory but it is your responsibility to ensure that your child has adequate clothing and spares for playing and training especially on cold wet days.

Shin pads

Players can wear shin pads if they choose but it is non essential.

Rugby Sticky Mitts

These are allowed for playing in and are particularly effective in very cold weather when young hands can get very cold.

Mouth Guards / Gum shields

All players from U9s upwards must wear a gum shield during matches and training. We strongly advise U7s and U8s to wear them. Gum shields cost as little as £2 from most of the sports superstores and are effective at protecting teeth. Most dentists will supply a professionally fitted mouth guard for about £25.

Protective Clothing

Many players wear head guards. Just check that the head guard you buy is RFU approved. Shoulder pads may be worn (again RFU approved). confidence.

All items of jewellery must be removed before training or playing. This includes necklaces, rings and bracelets plus the coloured rubber and cord wrist bands that are currently popular.

Sports Goggles / Contact Lenses

Contact lenses may be worn (although hard to find if lost on a muddy pitch). The RFU allows use of certain types of corrective vision sports goggles.Please check with your lead coach as to suitability as the regulations here are subject to change.

We hope you enjoy the experience of Mini Rugby at Wensleydale RUFC.