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Steve
09-11-14, 18:11
Hi,


I currently referee at U10 level in Somerset and have referee'd our team since U7s. I apply the NRoP as consistently as possible (at least I like to think I do!) but I am confused by the regional variances between counties even when the NRoP have been adopted.


Today would be an ideal example - we played away against a Devon team who allowed 3 or players from their team to ruck over although my understanding of the NWoP was for ball carrier, tackler plus 1 from either team to ruck over the ball. We have followed this so far this season with equal understanding from other Somerset opponents but today, it was referee'd and allowed with 3 on 1 or even 4 on 1; I could understand more if the referee allowed an even contest, say 2 on 2 etc but we lost the ball in the ruck frequently. Would it be considered acceptable to allow an even contest with more than the 'allowed' standard number if players?


Also, more an observation really, but is there an obligation for teams to provide a referee for each age group as I have frequently been asked to referee on away games? I am more than happy to referee home games and festivals but really like the opportunity to watch my son and the team as a whole when possible; although you see the whole game when refereeing, there is no chance to follow your own child which is very frustrating.


Any comments most welcome. Great forum by the way!
Steve

crossref
09-11-14, 19:11
Welcome to the site, Steve. You are not the first person to arrive this season looking for clarity on the NROP.... Hopefully this will prove a good site to discuss your question.

The short answer to your question on providing referees is 'no' !
Of course it's customary for the home team to referee, and when your age group is older they might play in organised leagues where there will be a league regulation obliging the home team to sort out a referee. But at U10 you are no doubt playing friendles... you are being very public spirited.

JJ10
09-11-14, 19:11
Wow. Only 2 players allowed to ruck at U10? I don't remember ever playing by those rules (it wasn't that long ago!) I would really struggle to go and referee that I think. After so much mens rugby it would probably end up being the free for all i remember at that age!

As for being asked to ref away from home - i think at junior/mini rugby the home team really should cough up a ref. I'd probably have my boots and gear in the car though for emergencies.

Finally, you are right - this is a great site. I don't post all that much but read frequently, and its very informative for referees at all levels.

AntonyGoodman
09-11-14, 19:11
Hi Steve,

To take your question on who is refereeing in your away games: We are lucky in the sense that we have 30+ boys and 5 coaches, this allows us to specialize somewhat, I get the joy of the refereeing :). When we play other clubs we frequently have more than one match on the go at the same time, and quite often have time for two games. So I will referee one game while one of their coaches referees another, if time allows for more than one game, we might then swap the refs/teams around. When we visit some smaller clubs, I quite often get asked to referee, and I have no problem doing it as we have other coaches to help out. I completely understand your point of view if you are the only coach visiting a club, they should definitely be providing the main ref.

On the question of numbers, they should be sticking to the numbers limit at the breakdown. If I find a rule being played inconsistently, I will always check with the opposition and confirm an agreed point of view before the games. It is unfair on the boys otherwise, and I feel a bit sneaky of the opposition. Usually it is these coaches who think the boys should be playing full 15 a side adult rules, not some sort of 'watered down' (in their mind) version of the game :) Any discussion on numbers you are going to win, as there is no disputing that bit of the NRoP.

Thanks,

Antony

Browner
09-11-14, 20:11
Hi,


I currently referee at U10 level in Somerset and have referee'd our team since U7s. I apply the NRoP as consistently as possible (at least I like to think I do!) but I am confused by the regional variances between counties even when the NRoP have been adopted.


Today would be an ideal example - we played away against a Devon team who allowed 3 or players from their team to ruck over although my understanding of the NWoP was for ball carrier, tackler plus 1 from either team to ruck over the ball. We have followed this so far this season with equal understanding from other Somerset opponents but today, it was referee'd and allowed with 3 on 1 or even 4 on 1; I could understand more if the referee allowed an even contest, say 2 on 2 etc but we lost the ball in the ruck frequently. Would it be considered acceptable to allow an even contest with more than the 'allowed' standard number if players?

Any comments most welcome. Great forum by the way!
Steve

Welcome Steve,
U10 NRoP 6. does not appear to have any restriction on 'rucking' numbers, instead it prescribes the 'forming' minimum. Maul is different.

Accordingly , I'd say the Somerset restrictions are the inaccurate interpretation.

AntonyGoodman
09-11-14, 21:11
It was worded better in last years version of the U10 rules, but it is definitely 1 vs 1. Have a look at the key elements section at the top of the U10 NRoP. Also see 6.m) mentions only ONE player.
Thanks,

Antony

Steve
09-11-14, 21:11
Thanks Antony. I was about to post this but was logged out!


'Many thanks for the prompt replies everyone, much appreciated.

Referring to Browner's comment, the NRoP does state -


The key elements of the Under 10s Rules of Play are:
• Team numbers: 7 or 8-a-side
• Maximum pitch size: 60 metres x 35 metres
• Ball Size: 4
• Introduction of uncontested scrum
• Nearest 3 players in scrum (all players trained, late specialisation)
• Contest for the ball (1 player v 1 player)
• Introduction of Maul
• Introduction of Ruck


The more I read this, the more unsure I am about what it is actually specifying. Is it simply stating the contest is one player from either side only to contest the ball or is it stating as long as there is one player from either side, the contest can be 1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3 v 3 providing it is an even and fair contest?


Just for reference, the reason I feel certain the laws read as ball carrier, tackler plus 1 from either side contesting in the ruck is because I, and a number of other coaches / volunteer refs attended an RFU workshop on the NRoP recently in September. Its seems different clubs interpret the same laws differently but it doesn't help the players from either side when inconsistency is apparent.


Incidentally, I do enjoy the refereeing (in case I gave the impression I didn't) and it feels very rewarding albeit a steep learning curve with every season and its new additions to the rules. I have been working on getting one of my parent helpers (an ex player) to take the Referee course to ease the reliance on one person to referee, particularly difficult when in festivals with 2 teams and we only supply one referee.


Thanks again, Steve'

AntonyGoodman
09-11-14, 21:11
Sorry Steve, think we cross posted. See U10s regulation 6.m) (I edited the post above). Clear it should only be 1 vs 1. And as you say, on RFU workshops we have been on, it is clear that this is what they have been told.

We played a full season last year, we didn't have anybody disputing that regulation.

Thanks,

Antony

AntonyGoodman
09-11-14, 22:11
One thing I find useful is to look at the rules for the age group progression and see what it says there, U11 NRoP says 2 vs 2, U12 NRoP says unlimited. These all are things that might help see what progression the RFU had in mind for these regulations, help work out what they are trying to achieve, and what the regulation at your age group should be.

Thanks,

Antony

Browner
10-11-14, 06:11
Sorry Steve, think we cross posted. See U10s regulation 6.m) (I edited the post above). Clear it should only be 1 vs 1. And as you say, on RFU workshops we have been on, it is clear that this is what they have been told.

We played a full season last year, we didn't have anybody disputing that regulation.

Thanks,

Antony

You're right, 6 (m) makes it clear.

Apols ....etc

Phil E
10-11-14, 09:11
The purpose of this rule is to stop all the players diving into a ruck (bees and honey pots) and:

a. probably making it unplayable
b. higher risk of injury
c. keeping formation, keeping space, keeping the ball in play.

Its a progression thing and Antony is right, reading the rules above and below the grade you are interested in will help explain the intent of them.

Dan_A
10-11-14, 09:11
I've experienced both old and new u10 rules but I'm mainly refereeing u10s at the moment. Working with the coaches we've come up with an approach that seems to work. When the ball carrier is brought to ground I call "Tackle, release" then as soon as then next player gets there its "Ruck, only one in, no hands". Or for a maul then as soon as the maul is formed its "Maul, only one in, no collapsing"

One interesting aspect thing that has cropped up is when, as a supporting player, you can and can't "pick and go". Our reading is that after a tackle the first supporting player can make a ruck or pick and go or pickup and pass. However, if the first player joins the ruck then the next supporting player has to pickup and pass (not ruck and not pick and go).

Takes some getting used to, be we are now seeing some long periods of open play with a lot of running and passing. And its certainly better than what I experienced under the old rules with mauls and rucks being v messy and therefore nowhere near as much clean ball to run and pass.

AntonyGoodman
10-11-14, 10:11
Yep Dan, you have it spot on. Exactly the kind of calls we used to help manage the game.

You are correct on your reading of the players arriving at the breakdown regulations.

Thanks,

Antony

OB..
10-11-14, 13:11
The key elements of the Under 10s Rules of Play are:
Team numbers: 7 or 8-a-side
Maximum pitch size: 60 metres x 35 metres
Ball Size: 4
Introduction of uncontested scrum
Nearest 3 players in scrum (all players trained, late specialisation)
Contest for the ball (1 player v 1 player)
Introduction of Maul
Introduction of Ruck'
I was at a U10s competition on Sunday (grandson was playing) but am no expert on the NROP.

The referees were all provided by the host club, and the ones I saw were consistent in allowing 2 players from each side to be in a ruck (not counting the tackler and tackled player). There were many penalties for "Three in".

Nobody enforced the "3 nearest" rule for forming a scrum. All teams had a regular front row, and would call them in from wherever they happened to be. No referees reacted to this at all.

Dan_A
10-11-14, 16:11
I was at a U10s competition on Sunday (grandson was playing) but am no expert on the NROP.

The referees were all provided by the host club, and the ones I saw were consistent in allowing 2 players from each side to be in a ruck (not counting the tackler and tackled player). There were many penalties for "Three in".

Nobody enforced the "3 nearest" rule for forming a scrum. All teams had a regular front row, and would call them in from wherever they happened to be. No referees reacted to this at all.

I can understand using "Three in" as shorthand but I would be including the ball carrier and tackler as the "first in" then allowing one more from each side.

Stormkahn
11-11-14, 07:11
Nobody enforced the "3 nearest" rule for forming a scrum. All teams had a regular front row, and would call them in from wherever they happened to be. No referees reacted to this at all.

In all our games the refs use this to keep the game flowing rather than as a specific rule to be applied, if a scrum is called for and 3 lads are forming up pronto the ref will always let it go; if they're fannying about then he will point out players to chivvy the game along.

Of course the more organised teams will make sure their forwards are front and center....

What we do keep a close eye on is the defending scrum half being off-side, they must stay in the pocket until the ball is called out.

cheers,

Dave.

AntonyGoodman
11-11-14, 07:11
Yep, agree Dave. All about the pace of the game.

Antony

Steve
11-11-14, 17:11
Many thanks to all for your input and experiences.


Different interpretations of the same rules between counties seems to produce inconsistency week on week resulting in a rather demoralising effect on the kids as they try accommodate yet another interpretation. Certainly, in my experience, there is enough confusion about the rules because of the players varying experiences with Rugby in schools, we need clarity in our club Rugby. For some of the lads it's their first season of any kind of Rugby, others play Tag in the state schools and some even play two different sets of rules in their private school, resulting in 3 different rule sets within any given week.


I am getting off topic now but it frustrates me that there seems to be no real commitment from some schools to follow the RFU recommendations and introduce the NRoP although I am aware some do; there is definite logic behind the progressive introductions of new elements for each age group. The inconsistency in schools makes coaching quite a difficult task sometimes as competency and confidence levels are so varied throughout the squad but no doubt, this is for a different thread entirely!!


Thanks again.
Steve

crossref
11-11-14, 18:11
Steve - yes, we have all been there. The organisation of youth rugby in clubs v schools is nothing short of farcical, and it's appalling (in my mind) that the RFU can't sort this out.

I can't believe they are spending money implementing the NROP without bothering about the burning platform : getting one of set of Laws that work across independent school, state school and club

the schools don't actually belong to the RFU they belong to the ESRFU - the English Schools RFU who are technically a constuent body of the RFU, but seem to be a force of their own.

U11 I rember as being the very worst year with state primary schools playing tag, prep schools playing 15 a side and clubs playing a restricted contact game.

AntonyGoodman
11-11-14, 19:11
U11 I remember as being the very worst year with state primary schools playing tag, prep schools playing 15 a side and clubs playing a restricted contact game.

Hasn't changed. You can see the look in their eye as they realise they have made a mistake in one game that would have got them a round of applause in another.

Browner
11-11-14, 23:11
Hasn't changed. You can see the look in their eye as they realise they have made a mistake in one game that would have got them a round of applause in another.

Crazy.... ,the people involved need to find a way for this information to get fedback to the RFU ......

That said it starts to prepare young players for a lifetime of non uniformed approach to our Laws :shrug:

Foggy-Balla
12-11-14, 15:11
I empathise thoroughly! My boy plays U9 NRoP at our Club and Prep School Continuum 9-a-side at School. I have to spend all morning before Club matches saying, "don't rip the ball, don't rip the ball," so he doesn't end up in bother.

The "Three In" thing for Scrums was explained to me by an RFU chap at a recent Youth Committee Meeting thing at our Club as part of getting children used to playing all over the pitch and not specialising too early. Today's Prop might be tomorrow's winger! Certainly I started at U7 on the wing, went through all positions less Scrum Half to Tight Head for my School in the Sixth Form, only to be put on the wing for my own safety in my first senior game before ending up a back row (and occasionally second row because at 5' 11" I was one of the tall blokes) in my final Club.

The biggest thing about the NRoP vs Continuum to me is how the RFU let Clubs have a choice over what they would adopt. We are a NRoP Club in a Contiunnum desert and find it hard to get fixtures within a reasonable distance. It's complete cake & @rse IMNSVHO...

crossref
12-11-14, 15:11
Sigh, For me while I appreciate the 'don't specialise' argument, it should be over the season that kids play in different positions -- not all in one game.

Lee Lifeson-Peart
12-11-14, 17:11
it should be over the season that kids play in different positions -- not all in one game.

Pah! You've obviously never played 5th team rugby in the late 80s! :biggrin:

OB..
13-11-14, 16:11
Pah! You've obviously never played 5th team rugby in the late 80s! :biggrin:

In my time I played every position in the book, and a few that don't occur in training manuals.

(5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...)

crossref
13-11-14, 17:11
:)

but being serious rugby IS a game for specialists, it's part of the fabric and beauty of it, part of what makes it attractive to people of different characters and different body shapes.

at the kids level the specialisation can be a wonderful thng, it brings some structure that the kids can work around, they know what their job is, it's a great alternative to football where a kid has no special role and can end up lost not knowing what to do, left out. In rugby you can give that kid a particular job to do, and suddenly he has a purpose and enjoys it.

I think the current fashions underestimate the value of specialist positions, and over-egg the dangers of kids being pigeonholed. My experience of followiing an age group from U7 to u18 is that very very many players have changed positons often several times, dictated by body shape, size realtive to the others (which changes) attitude, relative speed and fitness (which changes) choice and the needs of the team - often the needs must of the team :)

As just one example I can think of a player who went from second row (he was quite heavy) to hooker (everyone else got bigger than him), to scrum-half (a combination of the existing scrum half leaving and him having suddenly skinnied down and gone from plump to actually quite fast) to winger (the team have two other scrum halves now and he was a late developer - now he is tall, skinny and fast) I don't think that's particualrly unusual.

And I think that's typical. I really DON'T recognise this awful vision of 100s of kids trapped palying in a position they don't like.
What is other people's experience?

AntonyGoodman
13-11-14, 19:11
All I can say @Crossref is that we have lads of all shapes and sizes who come along every week and seem to have a good time :) They all know each others areas of strength and weakness, and all play in positions of the field that make best use of those strengths relative to the team (no coaches have told them where to play). Kids are just clever like that :)

For me the NRoP are much more about bringing in the rules in a phased and controlled approach. If you came and watched our games after looking at the rules, you might come along thinking you were going to be watching some sort of 'wrapped in cotton wool' version of the game, it is not at all! Tackles, Rucks and mauls are very physical and the tempo of the games is very high. I have not experienced what came before the NRoP so I can't compare those two things, but I can say that my experience of the NRoP has been very positive.

[Apart from the fact they are not written very clearly :)]

Thanks,

Antony

Stormkahn
14-11-14, 07:11
Just to concur with @AntonyGoodman and @crossref;

We've not played with specific positions and the lads have always just played in their "natural" spots. Really at the lower levels there's no formation on the field or numbers so it's difficult to really put kids in positions as per the 15 a side game.

Prior to this year we've always played with 2 wingers (quick lads) and the rest. Late last season for a festival i designated 2 of the lads as "inside wingers" because we needed somebody to provide better support for the wingers who're getting isolated so I guess outside center-ish. I should point out that we have some lads who you could only describe as stupid fast; one is nicknamed the gingerbread man because of the nursery rhyme and because he's ginger...he's never been chased down, ever.

This year with kicking we do have more of a formation and are edging towards positions; some of the bigger, slower who love to be in the ruck are forwards and will always be front and center when the ref shouts scrum. We haven't put them there as such, they've naturally fallen into a role they're suited to and enjoy.

Equally we have lads who're clearly backs, they're quick, good hands, kick well etc.

Obviously we have guys in between too, the floaters if you will.

What we don't have yet is a scrum half/half back, 3rd man to the ruck moves the ball; it has been discussed just because sometimes we have 2-3 fannying about at the base of the ruck all expecting the other to clear it out.

The only reason a lad is in a position is because that's we're he can best contribute based on his ability and the requirements of the team. It changes, fact.

@crossref has it spot on, I don't see any kids trapped in positions.

cheers,

Dave.

Foggy-Balla
14-11-14, 09:11
Luckily I'm still at U9 NRoP for Club so we don't really have a problem about positions, although I do try and urge that the first receiver from a FP is one of our lumps. I then try and get the quick boys outside.

Did this at the Farnborough Development Festival at the weekend and it turned out the lump, a new boy who hasn't had much ball this season*, is also actually blooming fast. Think a white, eight-year-old Steffon Armitage and you get the picture. It seemed the oppo were scared to tackle something so relatively large and fast, and he scored about four or five solo tries! It won't last as eventually someone will take him on, but it's jolly good while it does.

For Anthony, I also see the Pre Schools Continuum format at my boy's School (I work there so have a good excuse to go off and inspect the games fields frequently, it just so happens his year are playing on those days) and it seems to be a slightly, but not much, watered down version of the game I played in the late-70s. Where we are lucky is that certainly in the School A team we have had not problems with boys being put off by being hit. At Club level I can think of several who would not now be playing if they had been tacked at U7 or even U8.

*May start another thread about making sure newcomers aren't excluded. However that's more a coaching than refereeing thing, so probably not right here...

Stormkahn
14-11-14, 10:11
We don't have a problem with the schools vs club regs just yet....

The U13 (current yr8) are playing old rules so there's no difference, more so because my lad plays up fairly regulary with the yr9s.

The U11 (current yr6) in theory play tag at school in our area but our school doesn't have a team, having said that when I've mentioned it they've looked at me like I'm mad!

Next year however will be an issue when the current yr6s head off the the comp, if school are basically playing continuum and ours will be NRoP. They won't have played with line-outs, contested scrums ETC. That will be messy.
Dave.