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Date of Eligibilty

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Date of Eligibilty

Postby UlsterJock » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:41 pm

The following is a copy of a document (less tables) currently being circulated by IRFU, the implications of its implementation are yet to be discussed


The focus of the IRFU Strategic Plan (2008 to 2012) is to create a quality game across all levels aligned with the IRFU Long Term Player Development Pathway (LTPD). A quality game will increase the transition of players from Youth and School Rugby into the Adult Game and after consultation with the Irish Rugby stakeholders the following policy will be implemented from the start of the 2009/10 season across both Men’s and Women’s Rugby/

Date of Eligibility

From September 2009, the IRFU will implement the International Rugby Board (IRB) date of eligibility, which is defined as the age of any player on the 1st January of that season (in 2009/10 an U15 player will be defined as a player “Under 15 years of age on the 1st January 2010”) viz born in 1995 or later.

After consultation with the relevant Branch and Union stakeholders regarding the most appropriate age bands, to maximize transition of players through youth and schools rugby to the adult game, the following age categories has been agreed:

Leprachaun Rugby 7s
Mini Rugby 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s, and 12s

Youth Rugby 13s, 15s, 17s and 19s (Branches have the ability to operate intermediate ages at 14s, 16s and 18s if there is appropriate numbers)

Schools 13s, 14s, 15s, 16s and/or 17s and 19s

Leprechaun and Mini Rugby

In Line with the IRFU LTPD Pathway, Leprechaun and Mini Rugby should encourage skill development, participation and enjoyment: therefore, the IRFU policy is that clubs and teams do not engage in leagues or cups emphasizing results. Clubs should only participate in blitzes and or club days whish are operated according to the IRFU National Mini Blitz framework, which allows for the ethos as set out in the above paragraph, and this policy will be enforced by the IRFU from the commencement of the 2009/10 season.

Branches will be responsible for arranging competitions at 13s/15s/17s and 19s Level and the current All Ireland U16 and U18 Club Competition will be replaced by a National 17s and 19s Club Competition from September 2009. Branches will have the flexibility to determine the appropriate competition structures to support the numbers of players at each of the age categories as well as the development of the Adult game at the age bands above 19s.

Branches will be responsible for administrating schools competitions in line with the IRFU policy as follows:
1. Schools Senior Cup will become a U19 (1st January) Cup, Branches to decide in exceptional circumstances whether players repeating their Leaving Certificate should be ineligible.
2. Branches will have the discretion to implement regulations at the pre-U16 Cup Level to maximize the development and participation of players.

Player Development and Representative Rugby

16s Development Squads
17s Development Squads
18s Development Sessions/Squads and Representative Matches
19s Development Sessions/Squads and Representative matches

Provincial and International Matches will take place at U18s (Inter-Provincials and Internationals/Tournaments) and 19s (Inter-Provincial and Internationals) level as per the current arrangement.

Transition from schools/youth to adult club game
This is the area where there is an unacceptable level of drop out and the future of the adult club game depends on a successful transition from underage rugby into adult club rugby. At the present moment a number of Branches run U20 competition with an U20 IRFU National Competition. However with the change in the eligibility date ti will be up to the Branches to determine whether an ‘age band’ [in line with 1st jan] in adduolt rugby will assist the increase with the transition of players into Adult Game. A national competition at 20s or 21s level could take place should the majority of Branches elect to run a league competition.
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Re: Date of Eligibilty

Postby UlsterJock » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:46 pm

Just beginning to understand what this will mean to age groups across Ulster if this policy is implemented and it would seem there is little discussion on that fact. Some of the implications are:

- Instead of sections in mini rugby being run along school intake years (P3, P4 etc) it will starting 09/10 season, be shown as age 7, 8 etc. However the application of age criteria (i.e. the age as of Jan 1st ) will mean for example "old" P4's (i.e. those whose birthday is before 31st Dec 09) will be going in to Category 9. Amongst other things this will have an impact on breaking school friendships and potentially children will give up as a result.

- This will also cause major issues at Youth level, players will be jumping from Under 16 to Under 19 - playing boys over 2 years older than them.

- Under 13s will be made up of what would have been the mostly Maxis.

Change is all well and good, but it should be for the better, this may solve issues at the older end of the spectrum but for the P3 to Maxi sections there could be trouble ahead... >TM
Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.
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Re: Date of Eligibilty

Postby fuzzylogic » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:06 pm

This all seems rather silly to be honest. Changing the schools and youth structure to an U19 level seems rather silly considering the IRB have dropped the U19 WC and U21WC in favour of an U20 JWC.

Also making the schools system to U19 is going to give schools like Campbell and Methody etc an already bigger advantage than they already have as it is generally only the bigger schools who offer Upper 6th who fail the chance to repeat in school, most other just kick you out to Tech or work unless you happen to be very young for your year group and very lucky!

You also have to feel a bit for the kids in the youth structure, the schools is fine still running 13/14/15(medallion) is fine but under 16/17 will hurt the smaller schools who now possibly wont be able to fill out a 2nd XV or have replacements for the 1st XV up to the task because there still playing weekly against guys their age, not 3years older! Back to the youth system with running 13s and 15s and 17s especailly 13 to 15 there is a hugh difference in the physicallity and size of the kids. Guys at 13 are normally just starting puberty and the 15year old kids are right slap bang in the middle jammed full of testosterone and starting to develop muscles etc at least with the previous 14 and 16 system the 16s had a bit more of a level head about them and the kids turning 15 are able to cope with the differences.
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