New Zealand Junior Rugby Festival

Rules 2016

The New Zealand Junior Rugby Festival, is played in accordance with IRB & NZRU “Laws of the Game”, incorporating the Small Blacks Development Model guidelines.

NZ Junior Rugby Festival Ethos

It is our goal to be, not only the best junior rugby tournament in NZ, but the world; running a tournament that sets the bench mark for enjoyment, sportsmanship and fair play. We do not want teams entering whose only goal is to win at all costs. Clubs and teams put a lot of hard work into getting to the festival and regardless of results; every player deserves to have an incredible experience.
It is important that every team which intends to travel under your club banner, including supporters, is aware that the whole club is affected by their behavior. If you have known trouble makers in your team, leave them behind. It's not worth it.
It is up to team management to ensure that players and supporters are representing your club and union positively. Any players, management or supporters who bring the event in to disrepute through bad sportsmanship at the festival or during a match, will have 2 points docked from the game in question and will also have to attend a disciplinary hearing, which can result in the team being removed from the event.

Key Points for Players, Coaches, Managers and Supporters

Have fun regardless of results
Ensure only positive support is given on and off the field
Take time to meet and interact with other teams, that’s what it’s about

Player Eligibility / Age Grades / Weight Grades

Every player must be:
- Registered to NZRU or if an international player must be IRB sanctioned to tour.
- All NZRU players must meet the regulations for age and weight and can only play for the club they are registered.
- International teams must play for the team that has been IRB sanctioned.


Age grades
All players must be within the age restriction as of 1st January 2017

U9 = Born in 2008 or after
U10 = Born in 2007 or after
U11 = Born in 2006 or after
U12 = Born in 2005 or after
U13 = Born in 2004 or after

Weight Grades
Players will be weighed when the team signs in at the start of tournament. They must be below the weight limit that corresponds with their grade or else they won't be allowed to play

U9s = 39kg
U10s = 43kg
U11s = 49kg
U12s = 59kg
U13s = 72kg
Girls are allowed to have an additional 3.9kg allowance above the regular weight in their grade.

Basis for Weights and Age Gradings/ Heartland Team Rule

Weights and Grading for the NZJRF were recommended by club delegates from North and South Island rugby clubs that have taken part over the last six years. They follow similar trends set by a number of unions to allow children to play rugby with other children of similar age, weight and ability in the safest environment.

Heartland teams:
May apply for special dispensation of up to two players, due to being from smaller unions. i.e bring in an extra player from another club, and/or weight dispensation of up to 3.9kg. This needs to be applied for in writing and will be judged on a case by case basis.

Registration and Weigh-in

Every club must complete a registration form when confirming their intention to attend the tournament. ( one per club )

Each team must complete and complete an online team sheet once event management has confirmed the team(s) place in the draw. This must include full names, DOB and NZRU numbers. ( one per team )

Managers must complete a team card for each game. These must be handed in to management after each game

Every team must arrive between 3pm-6pm Thursday before the tournament starts to attend weigh-in and registration.

Squads

U9 and U10
Ideally have a squad of 15 players. Must be at least 13 players to enter

U11, U12 and U13
Ideally have squads of 23. Must have squad of 20 to enter

Dispensations

Younger players who are above the weight limit can apply to play up the grades, with a dispensation
• Children one year younger up to 4kg.
• Children two years younger up to 8kg weight dispensation.
* Up to two players over limit per match

Game Times

Pool play: 10 minutes halves
Quarters, Semis and Sunday games: 15 minutes halves
U12/U13 finals: 20 minute halves

Buddy Teams

Each team will be matched with another team in the same age group, this team will be your buddy team. We ask you to make an effort to get to know and support your buddy team where possible. The event is built on the friendship vaules of the game of rugby and we want to promote this to young players coming through.

Player Safety

It is important that players can enjoy the festival and play in the spirit with which the game of rugby is intended.

The below rules apply without negotiation:
- All players must wear mouth guards.
- Should a player be injured, play must be stopped immediately and the player attended to.
- Players on the field who are injured in any way that results in bleeding must be immediately removed. A substitute can be played while they are being attended to blood nose, etc for up to 5 min. Jerseys should be changed and the injury attended to and cleaned properly.
- Players who receive head injuries must be checked properly and remove the player from the field.
- Should a player suffer concussion he/she must be attended to properly and is not allowed to play for the remainder of the tournament
- Coaches and parents must not put the player’s health at risk in any game.

Rules that differ union to union

Number 8 running from back of scrum
8 will be allowed to run from the base of the scrum, providing he detaches legally (i.e. the ball must be at this feet) and he picks the ball up legally (i.e. he doesn't reach in and pull it out of the scrum).

Line out quick throw ins
There are no laws listed restricting quick THROW INs. Consequently these are permitted.
A quick THROW IN can not occur if a lineout has been formed. A lineout is considered formed if two players from each team have lined up along the line of touch.

Under 9s and 10s restart
Non scoring team to tap off, but only when the other team is ready, Ref to signal

Travel to Venue

All non-local teams must travel collectively to and from the stadium by bus or mini vans. It is a safety issue to not allow hundreds of cars dropping off kids each morning. (Only team buses will be allowed in to the grounds until 40 min before kick-off, when the gates open for public).

No Representative Teams

Part of the NZ Junior Rugby Festival event framework is that we don’t allow any representative teams take part in our festivals.

This includes teams that are comprised of players who:
- have been selected for the team based on skill
- haven’t played together for the season
- play for another club during the season
- play for another team in the same club for the season

The reason the NZJRF has this rule is because the emphasis at our events is fair play and sportsmanship rather than competition. Some other initiatives we have to promote the fair play and sportsmanship culture are having ‘Buddy Teams’ (matching teams up with teams outside their region and encouraging them to support each other); gift exchange between buddy teams & opposition; and our major awards being the Best and Fairest Awards.

If a team does not adhere to this rule, it is up to the discretion of the festival management whether or not the club may return to the festival in following years. This will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Rulings for different grades

Under 9's and 10's


Field: 40 metres wide - goal line to 10m line (the sidelines become the try lines)
Ball: Size 3
Players: 10 per side (5 forwards/5 backs). Only 15 players per squad for Sunday finals.
Subs: Rolling, but only at stoppage in play i.e. scrums, lineout, tries
Tackle: All tackles must be below the nipple line.
Scrums: 5 players, no contesting or pushing. Opposition backlines back 5m, halfback must start and stay at the tunnel of scrum until the ball has been cleared from the locks feet. Locks cannot pick and go.
Lineouts: Uncontested. 2.5m in from touch. 5 players – No lifting, lines from 1m apart, backlines back 5m, no player to cross the line of touch (LOT) until ball in halfbacks hand.
Kick-Offs: Tap & Pass by non scoring team to be rotated through all players. Opposition 5m back
Penalties: Tap and pass. Opposition 5m back
Conversions: No conversions
Hand off: Players may fend to the body but not to the face or neck region.

Under 11's


Field: Full Field
Ball: Size 3
Players: 15 per side, with numbered jerseys
Subs: Rolling, but only at stoppage in play i.e. scrums, lineout, tries
Tackle: All tackles must be below the nipple line.
Scrums: 8 players, no contesting or pushing. Opposition backlines back 5m from hindmost foot of scrum; halfback must start at the tunnel of scrum and cannot move forward of the tunnel. Once ball has entered the scrum can move back to the No.8 feet and stand anywhere along the off side line (No.8 feet)
Lineouts: Can be contested, lines 1m apart - No lifting. Backlines back 10m
Kick-Offs: Drop kick by scoring team. Opposition 10m back
Penalties: Normal. Opposition 10m back
Conversions: No wider than the 15m line.

Under 12's/13's


Field: Full Field
Ball: Size 4
Players: 15 per side, with numbered jerseys
Weight: Refer Junior Grades Chart
Subs: Rolling, but only at stoppage in play i.e. scrums, lineout, tries
Tackle: All tackles must be below the nipple line.
Scrums: Can be contested up to ½ metre push and 45° turn. Opposition backlines 5m back from hindmost foot of scrum, halfback must start at the tunnel of scrum and cannot move forward of the tunnel. Once ball has entered the scrum can move back to the No.8 feet and stand anywhere along the off side line (No.8 feet).
Lineouts: Contesting is allowed, lines 1m apart - No lifting. Backlines back 10m
Kick-Offs: Drop kick by scoring team. Opposition 10m back
Penalties: Normal. Opposition 10m back
Conversions: No wider than the 15m line.