Age Grade Rugby (up to U18)
Player Registration, Forms and Record Keeping
Following a range of queries about procedures I hope the following will answer many frequently asked questions.
The regulations state : 15.2 Player Eligibility and Player Registration
15.2.1 Each Club must ensure all its Age Grade players complete the RFU Youth Player Registration Form and are registered on the RFU’s Rugby First system within 45 days of their first joining the Club.
Note : the 45 days is a carry over from the days when original documents had to be sent to the CB and returned by post. With electronic registration via Rugby First such a long period is no longer essential but it does allow youngsters to be sure that they want to play. The CB advice is that all players must be registered on Rugby First before they play a competitive game. They can train and practice before registration is complete
15.1.2 Registration cards and copies of any special dispensations issued by the RFU should be taken to each Club match or festival. Team managers must produce these documents for inspection by the opposition or match officials if requested. 2011-12 Handbook P.191
– The RFU produces a registration form; has provided templates for club forms in the past and many clubs have devised their own. They all contain the same basic information – personal details of the young player; emergency contacts; medical information plus any additional information the club may want to collect. Many clubs include permission for photography statements etc.
note that there is no requirement any longer to send a copy of the from to the CB
some clubs have begun to ask parents to sign all or a section of the form to confirm that they have completed it fully and accurately.
Last season there were instances of some parents who provided a false date of birth for their child so that they could play in an Age Grade other than their actual Age Grade. Some clubs require official documentary proof of D.o.B. such as a birth certificate or passport; other clubs accept the form – if this is so a declaration of accuracy may be required.
There have been instances where parents have not declared a medical condition – childhood epilepsy may go undeclared and can be an issue in cases of head injury. Parents may be hoping their child will grow out of it and do not want it on a form but it can be crucial information. Again a signed declaration of full and accurate disclosure is helpful.
Given the above a signed declaration on the whole form is advised along with a commitment to keep the information updated. (often an issue with mobile phone numbers)
Once a player is registered on Rugby First they are given a unique ID Number which they carry with them from club to club and they do not need to be registered again unless they are de-registered for any reason. Normally their RFU player registration carries forward from season to season.
However, most clubs require players to physically register with the club at the start of each season to show that they are going to continue playing at the club and this allows the club to update their personal details; emergency contact details and medical information each year. These forms are confidential documents and should be retain by the club securely until they are replaced by an updated form or until the player leaves the club. When the form is no longer required it should be destroyed so that the information is no longer available – shredded; burnt. Many clubs attach a second photo to the record they hold.
Photo I.D. Cards
– Yorkshire requires all Age Grade teams playing in Yorkshire to provide photo ID Cards in line with RFU regulations and to check them before the start of competitive games to ensure that all players are properly registered and playing in the correct Age Grade. These cards can be printed from the Registration module on Rugby First; require a photograph of the player and then should be laminated.
Some clubs colour code these for age grades, put the club logo/badge on the back or put emergency contact information on the back – this may limit their lifespan.
There is no need to renew the cards every season; players who have left can be removed and new players added. The RFU advice is that as young players change physically it may be appropriate to change the photograph from time to time and every 3 years is the suggested update point.
So that assuming a young player starts at U7 then the photograph would be renewed at :
Anyone joining the team at intermediate ages would catch up with a new photo in these changeover seasons.
These only last for one season at a time and the documentation confirming the dispensation should be copied and laminated and kept with the appropriate set of ID Cards for checking before the game. Remember dispensations to play down an age grade or to play combined age grade sides in the Continuum (up to U12) are granted by the RFU; dispensations to play down an age grade (U13 to U18) go through Dawn Rathmell the Yorkshire Age Grade secretary.
Player Assessments to Play Up
players in the age grades from U7 to U11 are not allowed to play up under any circumstances.
Players in the U12; U13; U14; U15 Age Grades may play up one age grade with assessments and permissions.
Players in the U16; U17; U18 Age Grades may play up two age grades with assessments and permissions.
Players who have attained their 17 birthday may play up in Adult Rugby with assessments and permissions but not in any of the front row positions
There is an official RFU form on which to record who made the assessment that the player was capable of playing up ( a qualified coach with experience of the target age grade) and the signatures of the parents/guardians to show they understand the situation.
These forms last for one season only and must be retained by the club throughout that season. At the end of that season they should be destroyed under confidential conditions. A new form, new assessments and new signatures must be completed each season.
If a player leaves Club or moves permanently into Adult Rugby - then all their records can be destroyed under confidential conditions although it would be sensible to retain a record of the unique RFU ID Number as if they then change their minds and return their basic registration with the RFU can be recovered.
Storage of Photo ID Cards –
This is a matter for individual club policy. The Photo ID Card does contain some confidential information but mainly comprises a photograph, name, RFU I.D. Number and date of birth so there is no direct contact information on the card. Obviously every effort must be made to look after such I.D. Cards but this could be the responsibility of team coaches or team managers, or they could be centrally controlled by the club. Many clubs recover cards at the end of the season, keeping and reviewing them ready for issuing them again at the start of the following season.
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