Friday Feb 16, 2018 Australia adopts guidelines to enhance safety and minimize mismatches

Australia adopts guidelines to enhance safety and minimize mismatches
16
Comments

Rugby Australia have announced that they are to make significant changes to Junior and Senior rugby, adopting a Size for Age policy aimed at ensuring maximum safety and enjoyment for all participants. They will also introduce a Blue Card concussion management system.

The new guidelines, similar to what New Zealand have in place at junior level, will enable individual players to be moved into a different age group following an assessment of physical and personal development factors including height, weight, playing experience, fitness and maturity.

The current participation policy allows for a player to be moved across any one of four age grades (including their true age group, one age group below, or up to two age groups above their true age group).

All Under 10 to Under 15 players deemed to be below or above an accepted height and weight range will now be subject to mandatory assessment by a qualified, independent Coach to determine which age bracket they are most suited to playing.

Prior to the introduction of these guidelines, there was no standardised approach to mandating the assessment of individual players for size and age dispensation.

The changes are being implemented in 2018 following an extensive research project conducted by Rugby Australia in partnership with Sydney Junior Rugby Union, Brumbies Rugby and the Australian Catholic University.

The study, which has been completed over a two-year period, found that weight alone was not a strong enough factor to consider moving a player up or down in age group.

BLUE CARD – concussion management tool for Junior, Schools and Senior Rugby

Another new change is the adoption of the Blue Card system, which was trialled in 2017. It will be rolled out across all competitions nationally in 2018.

Team management, medical staff and match officials have always had the responsibility to remove a player from the field if they are presenting signs and symptoms of concussion. The new Blue Card ensures the recording of such an incident, and formally triggers an off-field process to begin.

HOW IT WORKS

Once a player is shown a blue card by the match official, they cannot participate any further in the match and are required to undergo a mandatory medical assessment and then follow a set program before returning to Rugby.

Rugby Australia Head of Rugby Services, Lachlan Clark said: “The Blue Card system will be in place across all Rugby nationally from under 13 to National Rugby Championship (NRC) level, enhancing Rugby’s commitment to protecting players from the rare occurrence of concussion.

“There will be ongoing structured education of match officials, medical attendants, coaches and team managers in the signs and symptoms and management of concussion.
 
“Our commitment to protect players from head injuries is reinforced with strict high tackle laws with the understanding that the head is sacred across all levels of the game. The Blue Card system reinforces that player safety is paramount in our game.”

The Size for Age Guidelines mean that we will no longer see these type of mismatches in Australia

16 Comments

  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    That is the point where you decide your future. Like Iron Mike said, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the jaw. Do you accept failure, or do you accept that your opponent is only human, and as long as you put the work in... nothing is stopping you from being as good or better?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    "one summer of that and you will be in the shape of your life." Or will feel like you're in cardiac arrest and decide that perhaps being a forward in 15's is where your future lies...

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    I can see weight limits translating to League a lot more easily than Union. Positions in Union tend to be build specific... To put it into perspective, look at the Italy highlights. Minozzi is around 85kg. Compared to the England backline, he looks like a ballboy from the local U16s. Conor O'Shea knows what he is doing though. He champions intelligent play over physicality, we all saw what happened to England last year! For now, there is always 7s. The average age is a lot lower, the play is quicker, and at the higher levels. players are actually smaller... big lumps can't hit the line speed requirements for 14-20 minutes solid up to 8x a weekend. You also have the space + time to give them 2m and take down from the side... one summer of that and you will be in the shape of your life.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    He has some awareness you're right, but I sort of view this video like watching someone shadow box... They can look brilliant against nobody... But who knows what they'll look like against an equally matched opponent... He side steps sure, but a lot of those kids look as committed to the tackle as a club prop to a non alcoholic beer... And looking at the size mismatch, I can't say I blame them...

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    As much as the boy in the video has such a weight advantage he does have some skills. He puts in a sidestep, runs at space many times rather than just straight at the defender and also transfers the ball away from the tackler in anticipation of the tackle so that he can get the hand off in. Rugby at age group level (up to 16 maybe) should have weight limits. If you are too heavy that's unfortunate, but you can still train and play with older age groups. And when you are older, the skills you will have learned rather than just smashing through players half your size will pay dividends.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    We might find out soon enough. Ibitoye has been named on the Quins bench for this weekend.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    *dropped phone.. meant to delete "rather than just"... *Rolls eyes*

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    10/10 I think we've discussed the failures of club rugby and it's old large coaches preaching smashing rather than tactical aversion and offloads etc.. I think one of the big issues in club rugby is the attitude with some of those who play... I remember coming through the U13's sort of ages and there were beardy sort of children who took great pleasure in 'dominating' the little ones of us (myself included) just because; I guess they were bullies and it made them feel good... But all this did was knock confidence of the less developed lot (myself included!)... You sort of think, "yeh, great you can run through us all, perhaps help us work on tackle techniques etc, rather than giving yourself kudos points"... ...I had the benefits of getting growth spurts and filling out, but some guys never did so much... As team mates (looking back now), players would be much better assisting their less able team mates in improving their tackling techniques/confidence/abilities, rather than just

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    Honestly, I wouldn't be against weight category rugby in the adult game. It's just getting silly with some of the guys now. Keep weight down and skill levels up - it might be a better game to watch.

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    That was the point I made on the video. As impressive as that try was, will he be making that sort of impact in the Premiership? I just quite like the idea of the 85kg category because people are on a relatively level playing field when it comes to the contact area. By all accounts it also results in a very fast paced game overall, which makes sense. On a personal level it would also mean I finally get a go at playing flanker regularly, which has always been my dream position.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Like that Ibitoye video... is he a steamroller, or just the biggest fish in the current pond? The first season in open age group is a scary experience. All 16 yrs and 8 stone of me vs men with 20+ years gym behind their belly, and a dislike for rapid young whippersnappers. Our mens 2nd and 3rd XV consisted of the Age group lads over 16 who weren't getting a 1st team age group game. Always being the smallest/lightest, I never learned how to properly dominate an opponent in contact. Big lads get it too, so many get exposed when they are no longer the biggest on the field, so used to physically dominating that they are lost when they get put on their arse a few times.

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    Ditto. I know the collisions are part of the game, but coming off second best on every single occasion does get wearing after a while. Just for once, I want to run through someone...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Yeh, but generally speaking, you guys tend to be faster and trickier to catch... I suppose the reality is that whilst you guys may avoid a good percentage of big tackles each game, the big ones might end your game quickly...

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    DrG, now imagine someone a minimum of 25% heavier than you, quicker, and 4" taller... in every single position across the park. That is the reality of being a <5'10" low BMI player. You only have to look at boxing to see the difference in physical power a few kgs make.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I hope it doesn't!!! At over 105kg's I'd be forced to tackle people my size instead of the little ones!!!!!

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    This probably makes me sound like a massive wimp but I wish more of the world would introduce the under 85kg rugby that they have in NZ.

    Reply

Great Tries

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

View All

See It To Believe It

View All

Funnies

View All

Training Videos

View All

Player Features

View All
Australia adopts guidelines to enhance safety and minimize mismatches | RugbyDump