Under 11s

The Under 11 age group sees a continuation of the principles of child development and the incremental introduction of new rules which are within the capabilities of the players, enabling them to be successful. This sees an increase of the numbers competing for the ball in the ruck & maul.

Personal and Social Physical and Movement

Give and take feedback

The child:

  • Is able to self-reflect
  • Can provide feedback on their own and team performance
  • Can accept constructive and positive feedback from coach and others.

Set personal goals

The child:

  • Challenge him/herself and set reasonable realistic and achievable goals through selfreflection and received external feedback.

Perform a range of skills with good control and consistancy

The child is more successful than not when:

  • Passing the ball over varying distances using varying techniques (wrist, spin, pop, off-load)
  • Passing the ball while moving, changing pace and changing direction.

The child is more successful than not when:

  • Receiving the ball from a pass, pop, kick or the ground
  • Receiving the ball while moving, changing pace and changing direction.
  Game Understanding   Skill Focus

Make sound decisions

The child can:

  • Understand and explain when to run, pass or kick, depending on the actions of a) the support and b) the defence.

Adapt and adjust to changes (use
different skills and tactics) to outwit

The child:

Adapts quickly to a change of:

  • Numbers of players
  • Rules
  • Pitch size

Can apply appropriate changes in pace, space and support.

Contest for the ball

The child can:

  • Support the ball carrier
  • Demonstrate and maintain the correct body position in a ruck and maul.

Range and selection of pass and receipt, kick receipt

The child can:

Attempts to:

  • Pass, pop, spin, off-load, push pass
  • Kick (grubber, punt, cross-kick)
  • Receive (soft hands, targets, high ball, low ball)
  Rules   Competition Framework
  • 9 v 9
  • Half Pitch
  • No line-out
  • Size 4 ball
  • Competition for the ball – ball carrier + 2, tackler + 2
  • Nearest 3 in the scrum and contested strike
  • Introduction of: Kicking “MARK” call anywhere on pitch. If a defender knocks on from a kick scrum to the defending team.
  • Inter-club
  • Triangular
  • Festival: round robin, rock up and play. No leagues or knock-out.

9-a-side Transitional Contact game

  1. Pitch size 35 x 60
  2. 3 player scrum (nearest 3 players) uncontested
  3. No line-out (restart with drop kick)
  4. Drop kick from centre to start the game and after a score


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Rules of Play

1. General

  1. The object of the game is to score a try by placing the ball with a downward pressure on or behind the opponents’ goal line. A penalty try will be awarded if a try would probably have been scored but for foul play by the defending team.
  2. Only infringements that affect the opposition’s play should be penalised.

2. Teams

  1. Under 11 Rugby is played between teams of equal numbers of players, containing seven, eight or nine players from each team on the pitch at any one time.
  2. Rolling substitutions are permitted and substituted players can be re-used at any time. Substitutions can only take place when the ball is dead and always with the referee’s knowledge.

3. Pitch Size

  1. The maximum pitch size is 60 metres by 43 metres, plus 5 metres for each in-goal area.
  2. Reduced pitch sizes are acceptable provided this is agreed between the referee and coaches from both teams, and the smaller pitches do not materially increase the risk of injury to players.
  3. Adjacent pitches should be no closer than 5 metres.
  4. Provision should be made to indicate the position of the line 15 metres out from each goal line, serving a similar purpose to the 22 metre line in the IRB Laws of the Game

4. Starts and Restarts

  1. A drop kick from the centre of the half way line will be used to start the game, the second half, and for all restarts after a score. After a score, the team which has been scored against will have the option to receive the kick or kick to the opposing team.
  2. The kicker’s team must be behind the ball until it has been kicked and the non-kicking team must be at least 7 metres back from the half way line.
  3. If the ball does not travel 7 metres but is first played by an opponent, play continues.
  4. If the ball does not travel 7 metres or is played by the kicking team before reaching 7 metres or is kicked directly into touch, the non-kicking team will have the option to have the ball kicked off again or to have a scrum at the centre of the half-way line and the throw in to the scrum.
  5. Where players of the kicking team are in front of the kicker at the kick-off the non-kicking team shall have a throw in to a scrum on the half way line.
  6. If from the kick-off the ball is kicked into the in-goal, without having touched or been touched by a player and is then immediately touched down or made dead, or the ball goes into touch in goal, the non-kicking team has the choice of:
    1. A throw in to a scrum by the non-kicking team at the centre of the half way line
    2. The kick to be re-taken.

5. Free Kick

  1. Following the infringement from the following offences a free kick will be awarded to the non-offending team:
    1. Foul Play
    2. Offside
    3. Where a fend off or hand off has been used
    4. In the event that a ball carrier uses the “squeezeball” technique
      Note: Squeezeball” is a technique where the ball carrier goes to ground, head forward (touching or close to the ground), irrespective of immediate contact with opponents, usually keeping parallel to the touchline, holding and protecting the ball close to the chest and, when on the ground, pushing the ball back between the legs.
    5. If a player voluntarily falls on or over a player lying on the ground with the ball in his possession or voluntarily fall on or over players lying on the ground with the ball between them, or near them
    6. If a player is prevented by the opposition from passing the ball when the ball has gone to ground
    7. If a team contests, pushes or strikes for the ball in the scrum
  2. A free kick is a kick from hand. This can either be a tap by the player to himself, or a kick to gain ground. The opponents must be 7 metres back, towards their own goal line.

10. Actions Inside the 22 Metre Line (the “22”)

  1. If the ball is kicked from within the 22 by the defending team and goes directly into touch, a free pass will be awarded to the non-kicking team 5 metres in from where the ball crossed the touchline unless it has been passed back into the “22” and there has been no subsequent ruck, maul, tackle and touching of the opposition player, in which case a restart will be from where the ball was kicked.
  2. A drop out “22” will be awarded:
    1. When the ball is kicked into in-goal by the attacking team and grounded by a defender; or
    2. When the ball is kicked, sent or carried into in-goal by the attacking team and the ball touches or crosses the in-goal touchline or dead ball line.

11. Ball to Ground

  1. Players must play rugby on their feet, with the ball in hand.
  2. If the ball goes to ground, players should be encouraged to pick it up. If they dive to recover the ball they must either get up or pass the ball immediately and be allowed to do so by the opposition.
  3. If the ball is lost forward, a scrum is awarded to the non-offending team unless advantage occurs to the non-offending team.
  4. If the ball is passed other than forward and goes to ground, play will continue and either side may pick up the ball. If the passed ball rolls into touch a scrum will be awarded 5 metres from the touchline level with where it crossed the touchline to the non-offending team.

12. Scrums:

  1. A scrum will be awarded for:
    1. Forward pass; or
    2. Knock on; or
    3. Where the ball does not emerge from a maul or ruck; or
    4. Where the ball becomes unplayable.
  2. The scrum will consist of 3 players from each team, i.e. a prop on either side of the hooker. They will be the nearest 3 players from either side, with the fourth nearest acting as scrum half.
  3. The referee will call “Crouch” and then “Bind”. The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop must bind onto the arm of their opponent. Following a pause, the referee will then call “Set” when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then engage.
  4. The scrum is uncontested and the team awarded the scrum will throw the ball into the scrum. Neither team may contest or push and only the side throwing the ball in may strike for the ball.
  5. Front rows must not charge at each other. If they start to set too close together and with their necks and backs bent, the scrum must be stopped and the scrum reformed. Props’ body positions must be parallel to the touchline, their head and shoulders must be no lower than the hips and there must be no downward pressure exerted. Shoulders must always be above the level of the hips.
    Note to referees: Although unlikely at this age, referees and coaches MUST be aware of the following: If the scrum collapses, the whistle must immediately be blown and the appropriate sanction awarded or the scrum reset. If a player is persistently involved in collapsing or illegal binding, they must not take any further part in the scrum or if a player’s lack of technique or strength is a danger then they must be replaced. All players, including replacements, should be suitably trained and experienced.
  6. The back line of both teams must remain 5 metres behind the scrum until the ball emerges or the opposing scrum half lifts the ball from the ground. Until this happens, their scrum half must remain directly behind his scrum, in the pocket edged by the two props.
  7. If a scrum is awarded within 5 metres of the goal line, the scrum is to be taken at a mark such that the middle line of the scrum is 5 metres from the goal line. In this case the backs of the defending team must stay on or behind the goal line.
    Note to referees: Referees should pay particular attention to ensure that the scrum half throwing the ball into the scrum is not “feeding” his own players: the scrum half must hold the ball with both hands, with its major axis parallel to the ground/the touchline, midway between his knees and ankles. The scrum half must release the ball from outside the tunnel so that it lands midway between the two front rows and beyond the width of the nearer props’ shoulders.
  8. The scrum half must pass the ball from the base of the scrum. He/She cannot run with the ball.

13. Offside

  1. In general play, anyone who is in front of a team mate who has played the ball is liable to sanction unless they return to an onside position (i.e. behind the team mate who played the ball).
  2. At the tackle, offside occurs at the time of the tackle where the offside line is the hindmost part of the tackled player and tackler. All the other players from the defending team must retire towards their own goal line until they are behind the hindmost part of the tackled player and tackler.
  3. At the maul, where contact is made and the ball carrier stays on their feet and a maul is formed, the offside line is the hindmost foot of the hindmost player in the maul.
  4. At the ruck, the offside line is the hindmost foot of the hindmost player in the ruck.
  5. At the scrum, a player is offside if they are less than 5 metres from the scrum before the ball is out of the scrum, unless the player is the scrum half or participating in the scrum.
  6. When kicking, a player is offside if they are not behind the ball when it is kicked or behind a line 7 metres in front of the non-kicking team (or the place where the ball will land).

14. Prohibited Play

  1. The ball carrier can run and dodge potential tacklers but cannot fend or hand them off .
  2. The tackler can only make contact with the ball carrier below the armpits.
  3. No player shall use the technique known or referred to as “Squeezeball” and no person involved in the teaching or coaching of rugby may teach or coach to encourage to use the “Squeezeball” technique.
  4. No player shall voluntarily fall on or over a player lying on the ground with the ball in his possession or voluntarily fall on or over players lying on the ground with the ball between them, or near them.Note to referees: No advantage shall be played: A player is assumed to have fallen voluntarily unless the referee is absolutely certain the fall was accidental. In the very rare instances when the fall is accidental, play must be stopped and a scrum awarded to the team previously in possession. The object is to keep players on their feet and to prevent them from falling to the ground, thus removing a dangerous area of play. This will create proper rucks and mauls through encouraging players from each team to remain on their feet.
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