Vancouver, BC – June 4, 2019: BC Rugby is very happy to announce the opening of early registration or the 2019 Fall Season. In conjunction with this, the banding for Age-Grade has been amended to reflect feedback from the BC Rugby community. These changes should provide clubs and players with a structure that better reflects their needs, enabling a smoother transition as athletes progress through levels of competition with each year.
A new version of the Age-Grade Banding document is available HERE or on the BC Rugby Website under Competition Resources. For more information behind the decisions made for the boys’ and girls’ banding in Fall 2019, see below.
Boys’ Age-Grade Banding
This season will see the junior boys competitions return change slightly to double (odd) age bands. Double age banding was the preference of most club representatives that were polled following the end of the 2018 season. Most clubs noted that consistency was key, the odd / even mix was confusing for players and parents within their clubs. BC Rugby listened to a number of clubs that expressed over concerns of players who were graduating from the U16’s and leaving the sport because they did not want to participate in a triple age band (U19), this will no longer be a factor with the double age band.
The general consensus was that the U19 age group was positive and would like to see it stay. Clubs identified that the individual player exemptions to play up or down and age group, if in the best interest of the player, were key and will be reviewed before the start of the new season. On last year’s age banding document sent out to clubs it stated, “Following the 2018 Club Season age banding will be reviewed to assess the impact on player and coach experience along with numbers in growth with the plan to transition to odd banding structure for the 2019 season”. There has been no recorded growth in the male age groups in 2018 due the experimental change. BC Rugby will be looking into how to best structure league play to continue to grow participation in junior rugby in 2019.
Girls’ Age-Grade Banding
Will remain with the same age groupings to continue with the momentum and growth created over the last few seasons. The addition of a U12 Girls Only division in 2018 had positive effects and reviews and we are hoping this age grouping continues to grow across the Province. U19 will continue to provide a bridge between Youth and Women’s divisions while providing a higher level of play.
2018 was the biggest year for youth girl’s numbers across the Province. This was highlighted by 50 female teams at Kamloops 7s and Abbotsford RFC fielding 5 teams within their program. We are looking to grow again this year and will continue to provide structures that promote growth in numbers as well as opportunities to build the level of play.
Thank you to all coaches, managers, club administrators, referees and supporters for contributing to this growth.
Please look at https://www.bcrugby.com/rugby-events/junior-leagues/ for more information on structures at the different age groups and schedule of play.