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nottheorgangrinder
09-04-16, 11:04
Hi chaps

I wonder if I could pick the collective brain regarding the NRoP for U12s, please? We still play the under the old continuum variations, however, we will be playing a fixture in a couple of weeks' using the NRoP.

I've been spending a bit of time reviewing the new rules (happily, and in keeping with RFU tradition, they appear to have been thrown together randomly by a team charged with including as many contradictions as they can get away with, just for the craic. Which is nice...), and I'd love to get some pointers/tips from anyone who has been reffing them this season.

Thanks in advance
NTOG

Wert Twacky
10-04-16, 17:04
NTOG.

Try this section on the ER website: http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players/age-grade-rugby/

I can assure you they have not been "thrown together randomly..."

If you're still confused about the philosophy or interpretation of the NRoP, you could try contacting your club's RFU Community Rugby Coach, or your area's RFU Player Development Officer. The are also age-group specific workshops/CPDs being developed that your club CRC can assist with.

OB..
10-04-16, 18:04
Having watched my grandson playing in several U11 matches and competitions this season. I can tell you that there are some NROP that are never enforced. In every game, teams put the same three players into the scrum, even though the rules say it should be the nearest three players.

Most of the referees are coaches rather than qualified referees, so there are considerable differences in interpretation. In very few matches was the rule limiting the number of players in a ruck properly enforced. It was very nice in the Landrover Cup to have local PE students refereeing, because they had been specifically trained in in the manifold variations.

nottheorgangrinder
10-04-16, 23:04
Thanks for the responses, chaps - maybe I should have been a bit clearer (and also not let my natural cynicism creep out when penning the original post...); it's not the philosophy behind the new rules I'm worried about, more what the expectation is from the participants when being refereed. Looking through the U12s NRoP throws up one or two questions, regarding how to referee certain situations, the answers to which are unclear and nothing really to do with the philosophy or interpretation.

For example; a free kick is awarded for various offences like offside, whereas a free pass is awarded for high tackle - but what's the sanction for a hand off to the face? Or for a tackler not rolling away? Do we use the NRoP in conjunction with the law book and assume anything not mentioned in the rules are refereed as per law book (for the example above, does that mean we award a penalty kick for not rolling?)?

5.a)v states free kick awarded if a team contests, pushes or strikes for the ball in the scrum. 12.e) says only hookers may strike for the ball. I presume we ignore the first statement as lazy cut and pasting...

8.g) states that once the standing tackle-thingy's forward momentum has been stopped, the ball must be played away from the contact area - does this mean the tackler must let the ball carrier play it away, or do we penalise the ball carrier if he fails to do so? Do we treat it as a maul and award a turnover scrum, or is it a free kick (or a free pass?) to the ball carrier for not being allowed to play it.

8.i) suggests the tackler is able to contest the ball or block the pass - does that imply that they may deliberately knock on in that situation?

13.a) doesn't make any provision for an offside player in general play to be put onside other than retiring behind the team mate who played the ball - no mention of onside runners putting them onside, for example; is that right?

Similar to OB's observations of his grandson's U11s matches, we played in a NRoP tournament at the beginning of this season, and not one team obeyed the 'nearest 5' rule for scrums (surely the coaches weren't making sure their star backs didn't get caught up in a scrum, were they?), and it struck me that all the games were refereed as if they were under the old U12 variations - ie, penalty kicks rather than free kicks (gain in ground AND possession at the subsequent throw in), no offside lines during the tackle, just at rucks and mauls, that sort of thing.

I just presumed that everyone was still trying to get to grips with the NRoP so early in the season, hence was interested to hear the views of anyone who has spent a season refereeing the new rules at U12s. I'm keen to hear how it has worked out, any interesting experiences, things you would recommend looking out for - that sort of thing. Any anecdotes gratefully received!

OB..
11-04-16, 10:04
We did not excercise the discretionary option of playing the U12 NRoP this season, so I cannot offer practical experience. Maybe they will be modified for next season, based on feedback?

Flish
11-04-16, 11:04
Can't help with U12s, as I'm only U9s but the important thing to remember is that these are just variations from the 15 aside game, so if not explicitly covered then work backwards - eg Offside et, contest the pass. As alluded to above though, the reality is that fans, players, and coaches do not get the games refereed consistently correctly each week as intended, which is frustrating.

I've had more than one 'discussion' this season as to why I didn't call offside when a pass is intercepted in open play, I know I was correct in law but people think he must be offside as opposed to good defensive pressure. The bodies in a maul / ruck is another one, we're supposed to be 1 on 1 at U9 (and no mauls) but you still get half the team piling in, and no one calls it. I try and talk to coaches before the game, and explain how I'll handle it, and basically warn, warn. Luckily at U9 once held for 3 seconds it's a tackle so they have to release, I guess if to many bodies in and driving up the field you'll have to ping as becomes an unfair advantage.

Good luck!

PS: Edit - We've been running NROP for two years now so a little more experience than most, a little!

crossref
11-04-16, 11:04
we played in a NRoP tournament at the beginning of this season, and not one team obeyed the 'nearest 5' rule for scrums (surely the coaches weren't making sure their star backs didn't get caught up in a scrum, were they?),!

it could also be that
- some kids instinctively like the scrums and are drawn to them
- some kids instinctively like the open field, and keep clear of scrums

It could also be that a rugby field is quite chaotic and kids like to be given a role, or a clear job to do (rather like adults!) and this 'five nearest' is actually non-intuitive and quite hard to do.

I recall that the first thing Eddi Jones said was that each England player needed to be given a very clear and specific role to play ... and that would make them all happier and the team more effective :-)

Flish
11-04-16, 11:04
it could also be that
- some kids instinctively like the scrums and are drawn to them
- some kids instinctively like the open field, and keep clear of scrums


It's all of those reasons and more, ultimately as 'Gamecoaches' (not a fan of the phrase but the RFU seem to want it) it's the Refs job to ensure nearest take part so that all players get coached in all aspects

crossref
11-04-16, 12:04
I dunno. I don't have any involvement in junior rugby now, and have never worked with the NROP, so I am not really entitled to an opinion.

But when I was invovled with age-group level, this always struck me as a non-problem: out in the day to day world coaches were always willing to consider changes in position: some times prompted by gaps in the line up, eg from injuries, also be changes in body-shape development, weight loss and gains etc, changes in boy's inclination, or just for the sheer fun of a change.
It's not as if most coaches are overwhelmed with numbers, they don't have a spare at every positions, and when boys are injured, or away, they have to juggle positions.

But all the time the RFU seemed to be completely convinced that this flexibility didn't exist, and determined to solve the problem of pigeon-holing.

my experience was that kids DON'T like to be chopping and changing all the time from game to game - let alone within a game - as it's too confusing, and they don't settle in, but over time they DO like to change, and were able to -- many enjoyed the fact that over two or three seasons they had played in several positions, and over time found the ones they liked.

AntonyGoodman
11-04-16, 14:04
Hi NTOG.

So I ref U12's NROP and have had the joy of interpreting the new rules each year as we get them for the first time. I agree with you, could be so much better if they put a bit of effort into the presentation and wording of the rules. I have also in the past clarified a couple of the points you raise with the RFU. So to take them one at a time:


a free kick is awarded for various offences like offside, whereas a free pass is awarded for high tackle - but what's the sanction for a hand off to the face? Or for a tackler not rolling away? Do we use the NRoP in conjunction with the law book and assume anything not mentioned in the rules are refereed as per law book (for the example above, does that mean we award a penalty kick for not rolling?)?

There are no penalties in the game, only free kicks or free passes. There are two occasions where the rules say you should award a free pass - ball in touch and a high tackle. Everything else is a free kick.


5.a)v states free kick awarded if a team contests, pushes or strikes for the ball in the scrum. 12.e) says only hookers may strike for the ball. I presume we ignore the first statement as lazy cut and pasting...

As you say, just poor proofing of the document. At U12 there a contested hook for the ball, only the hookers may hook. The scrum is uncontested in the sense that there is no pushing.


8.g) states that once the standing tackle-thingy's forward momentum has been stopped, the ball must be played away from the contact area - does this mean the tackler must let the ball carrier play it away, or do we penalise the ball carrier if he fails to do so? Do we treat it as a maul and award a turnover scrum, or is it a free kick (or a free pass?) to the ball carrier for not being allowed to play it.

The 'tackler(s)' have no obligation to release the player. Yes, we treat it like a maul, turnover. Worth noting that you very rarely have to give this as it quickly becomes a maul (or tackle) in most circumstances.



8.i) suggests the tackler is able to contest the ball or block the pass - does that imply that they may deliberately knock on in that situation?

Again poor choice of words here, what it really should say is that you must release the tackler and get to your feet before playing the ball or intercepting the pass. There are no ignored knock on's.


13.a) doesn't make any provision for an offside player in general play to be put onside other than retiring behind the team mate who played the ball - no mention of onside runners putting them onside, for example; is that right?

No, you can be put onside by your onside teammates. BUT it is worth noting that in the U12 rules we have offside at the TACKLE.

13. b) At the tackle, there are two offside lines at the hindmost part of the tackled player and tackler. All other players from the defending team must retire towards their own dead ball line until they are behind the hindmost part of the tackled player and tackler.

Although you didn't bring this up, I agree with OB that most refs do not enforce 'nearest 5' scrum rules (including myself), but most refs do say that if five players don't get sorted in the scrum sharpish, they will just point to the nearest ones to come and join in.

Just to offer a different point of view to OB on coaches as refs. We may be just lucky where we are, but with the odd exception, most of the coaches/refs that officiate at our games do a pretty good job, as they play these rules week in week out. We have the opposite view of those that do a lot of the Land Rover Cup competitions, they often don't know what rules they should be using.

Hope this all helps, let me know if you have other questions.

Thanks,

Antony

nottheorgangrinder
11-04-16, 19:04
Thanks, guys, loads of interesting (and really useful) points; it's good to know what the expectation is with things like the nearest 5, for example, as it would be quite easy to rock up and come across as the Jobsworth Ref who hasn't bothered to do his homework! Really appreciate everyone's input, thank you all.

Going off on a slightly different tangent (and this might well be one for the U13-U19 area of the forum), I'm a little disappointed that the Powers That Be are aligning all U13s with the NRoP from next season (assuming I read that bit on the RFU website correctly) - I feel our boys are really ready for the step up to 15 a side.

The oddest thing is, because we play under the old continuum variations, we have a pack of forwards who have been contesting line outs for 3 years now, but won't do so again until the 2018/19 season. Hookers who have invested time and effort on their line out throws could, quite justifiably, become pretty disillusioned. I sincerely hope that doesn't happen.

Pegleg
12-04-16, 07:04
I just wish the home unions would get together and agree a way forward instead of 4 different approaches.

crossref
12-04-16, 08:04
I just wish the home unions would get together and agree a way forward instead of 4 different approaches.

Indeed.
and don't forget we have eight different approaches as things are different in schools and clubs (although I beleive in England things are converging)

OB..
12-04-16, 13:04
Indeed.
and don't forget we have eight different approaches as things are different in schools and clubs (although I beleive in England things are converging)
I am told that in England they have now converged.

didds
12-04-16, 13:04
... except of course where they haven't....


My children's secondary school (two now left, one still there) still play full 15 a side rugby from year 7 to year 11, albeit AIUI with no lifting in lineouts (which I see more of a logistical coach timing thing than any nod towards the youth regs)

didds

OB..
12-04-16, 15:04
... except of course where they haven't....


My children's secondary school (two now left, one still there) still play full 15 a side rugby from year 7 to year 11, albeit AIUI with no lifting in lineouts (which I see more of a logistical coach timing thing than any nod towards the youth regs)

didds
AIUI my information refers to agreement for next season.

crossref
12-04-16, 16:04
I have to say I do wonder if the focus of the RFU is all wrong, at many grass roots rugby clubs there are, literally, 100s of children playing rugby every Sunday [one club I know has 200 kids at U7 and below], while a struggle to raise three adult teams on a Saturday.

so the problem is not how to change the rules to make the game more attractive kids -- we have loads of kids! - it's keeping them interested when they become adults.

Rushforth
12-04-16, 19:04
I have to say I do wonder if the focus of the RFU is all wrong, at many grass roots rugby clubs there are, literally, 100s of children playing rugby every Sunday [one club I know has 200 kids at U7 and below], while a struggle to raise three adult teams on a Saturday.

so the problem is not how to change the rules to make the game more attractive kids -- we have loads of kids! - it's keeping them interested when they become adults.

A few years back I refereed an (a? OB..) U17 touring team from Tring (Hertfordshire, "Tring R.U.F.C., which won promotion to London Division One in 2008" according to Wiki). Apparently the club had 400 youth members.

But their opponents were the best/remaining players from two Dutch sides that had just played a competition match against each other, some 50-0 down at half time, at which point they were given a number of (good) players to keep the match fun. And those two clubs also have dozens, scores even, of U12s.

U13s, children and preteens, typically have multiple activities their parents would like to get them busy/exhausted with. Once the kids become teenagers, they may develop their own personalities, preferences, and ability to look after themselves. I know this only from my own experience, but those who are parents confirm that teenaged children can be pains in the backside. Some of them are angels at times, even I was.

Anyway, I am glad that I know how to play cricket, tennis and squash. My brother also played hockey, golf, fives, even rugby on occasion (in fact he was an international U15 despite not playing it except for P.E.). But I dropped those sports, and played rugby for almost thirty years, because I kept interested in it more than the others.

Retention between ages 13 and 18 is impossible (at the level of an individual). What is possible is making U12 rugby as safe as possible, so that parents needn't be scared to send their precious darlings out, and after that they will either get the bug or not. But we should focus on handling skills in that precious time, so that if a kid who gets bored of rugby aged 14 because he always is last sub out (simply due to size and a poor coach) picks it up again at Uni, the basics are there.

Anyway, I have dated a long time ago - about the time I started playing rugby as a U12 - an umpire diploma for tennis. I did it once - aged 11 or whatever - and the players were annoyed that the umpire, despite keeping the correct score and making the correct decisions - was not very audible. Make of that what you will ;)

My apologies for the long rambling derailment. The U12 game is different to full-contact adult rugby, and there are many other priorities people have. Fin.

OB..
12-04-16, 20:04
so the problem is not how to change the rules to make the game more attractive kids -- we have loads of kids! - it's keeping them interested when they become adults.
AIUI the main aim is not so much to make the game attractive as to provide a gradual introduction to the many complexities of the game and thus ensure they learn the basics properly.