Vancouver, BC - August 13, 2018: In an effort to ensure athletes of all abilities and ages have the opportunity to play the sport of rugby, BC Rugby has made the decision for 2018 to allow a triple age band at the U19 level this Fall Club Season. This is a change from previous years where the league operated as a U18 League with a dual age band (grouping U17 and U18 players together). In years past exemptions have always been made for U19 players to be involved in the league.
Every year rugby athletes are lost in the transition between Jr. Club Rugby and Sr. Club Rugby because they are not physically or developmentally ready to join Senior rugby. This decision has been made with player welfare as the top priority and BC Rugby has put the following measures in to ensure safety and integrity of the competition:
- Athletes born in 2000 will not be allowed to play Junior and Senior Rugby Concurrently. Individual athletes and the club must decide what is best for a player’s development.
- Players that are born in the year 2000 and have the size and ability should be making the transition to Sr. Rugby.
- Those who are not physically able or do not have the experience can remain in Junior rugby for one season.
- BC Rugby will be utilizing the SportLomo player tracking system to ensure that this rule is monitored.
- Universities will not be involved in the age-grade club season. The majority of junior players that continue to play the sport do so in a University setting. These athletes are most often the bigger, stronger and more experienced rugby athletes within the Province of BC.
In summary, athletes that are born in the year 2000 that are physically matured, rugby experienced and continue to play the game will either transition into Senior Rugby directly or go on to play in a University setting. Athletes born in 2000 that are less physically developed or have less experience will be allowed to play from September – December as part of the U19 league which will give them more time to develop.
Athletes born in 2002 that are not physically developed, do not have much prior rugby experience or are not comfortable playing in the U19 league may apply for an exemption to go down a level. These applications will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
If there are any parents of players that would like to talk further, please contact the relevant staff member below:
Male rugby: Tony LaCarte - firstname.lastname@example.org / 250-661-4869
Female rugby: Darcy Patterson – email@example.com / 604-839-1864