A Parents Guide to Rugby

Nov 10, 2016 11:25 AM

Season Start

From questions about rules to questions about safety, there are thousands of things as parents that we consider to make sure the programs, sports or activities our children are interested in are right for them. Also with so many resources available to us now a days via internet and social media it can be overwhelming to say the least to find the exact content we need to help answer our questions.

Hopefully in the following Frequently Asked Questions and links provided we can help alleviate some of the questions and worries you many have about Rugby in general.

  1. What is Rugby? 

    - Rugby is a game in which the object is to carry the ball over the opponents’ goal line and force it to the ground to score- but there is one catch. In order to go forward, the ball must be passed backwards!

    The ball can be kicked forward (at certain ages), but the kicker’s team mates must be behind the ball at the moment the ball is kicked.
    This creates a need for fine teamwork and discipline. Only by working as a team can players move the ball forward towards their opponents’ goal line and eventually go on to win the game.

  2. What will my son/daughter need to play Rugby?

As with so many sports, cost for equipment can be an overwhelming thought.  But this is not necessarily the case for Rugby. A pair of sturdy rugby cleats, a mouth guard and a great attitude are must haves for players. Now this does not mean you have to go out and purchase specialty cleats, soccer cleats that fit well can be rather inexpensive as well as mouth guards and can be found at any sports store.

3. I’m not sure my son/daughter is built for a sport like Rugby?

  • Rugby is a game in which the object is to carry the ball over theopponents’ goal line and force it to the ground to score
  • Rugby is a game for all shapes and sizes and that is one of the sport’s main strengths and attractions because the sum of a team’sparts is always greater than any one individual.

In rugby there are forwards, whose role and job it is generally to win the ball from the opposition and compete at most of the more contact-driven areas such as the scrum, the line-out, the ruck and the maul. Forwards tend to be heavier, more powerful players and also taller for winning the ball at the line-out and the restart.

There are also backs, who tend to be a bit faster and whose game is based more on taking advantage of the space created by the forwards’ hard work. Even among the backs there are players who need to be better at passing, kicking, strategizing and simply running, so whatever size or shape, age or gender you are, there should be a position ready-made for you.

4. Rugby seems like a really dangerous sport, is that the case?

Rugby is a physical sport, yes, so everyone will get their share of bumps and/or bruises. Player welfare is the number one priority for our club and education of techniques to train and play properly is important for being physically and mentally prepared. You also need to understand how to play safely. This is the main reason rugby players have a relatively low level of injury. Without the aid of protective gear, players are taught to have more regard for their head, neck and shoulders when tackling and breaking through tackles.

  1. What are some benefits to playing rugby?

  2. I’ve heard Rugby as described as “football without pads”- is this accurate?

Football is a sport that originated from the game of rugby, but it a much different game. Rugby is a very controlled game with a lot of rules in place to keep all players safe on the field. Although rugby players do not wear pads and protection, they are taught the necessary skills to stay safe and successful on the field.

7. How can I as a parent learn more about rugby and it’s rules?

8. What sort of medical assitance is available during games and training should someone get hurt?

During all home games Texas Children's Hospital will be present on the sidelines and prepared for any and all types of injuries. During practises, there will be a medical kit available to coaches and parents for minor injuries, such as bumps and bruises or cuts and scrapes. Any more significant injuries would be directed to an Emergency/Urgent Care type facility through the injured parties parent/guardian.

9. What is the difference between Touch Rugby and Tackle Rugby, and at what age does that change?

In the Third grade or around the age of 8 is when most players are introduced to Tackle Rugby.  Touch rugby used to be called non-contact rugby to distinguish it from tackle rugby. We simply call it touch rugby now to recognize that the players do bump into each other and fall to the ground, but the emphasis is on the two-hand tag (replacing the tackle) and purposeful collisions between players are against the rules.

Tackle rugby is played under rule modifications designed to promote safety in consideration of the player’s age, size, and physical and mental maturity. Both tacklers and ball carriers are taught how to tackle and be tackled safely. In particular, rugby tackles are quite different from football tackles. Like touch rugby, as paradoxical as it no doubt sounds to those new to rugby, tackle rugby is safe, even to the point of a lower injury rate than other sports. Both coaches and referees emphasize safe play during practices and games

10. What can I do to help my child and team?

Parent involvement goes without saying. We could not have a functioning club with all that it offers for our children without our parent volunteers. Here are some of the ways you can help:

  1. Being a practise helper- Ask your coach if they need an extra hand during practise, whether you know anything about rugby or not, this is a great way to interact and learn.

  2. Team Parent(s)- There is a lot of work that goes into coordinating each age group, and our coaches already have their hands full. Items such as parent communications, travel information/ accomodation planning for away games, social functions, picture sharing and team supply needs that can be coodinated by a team parent(s) is a great help to coaches and organizers. Please inquire to your coach/club organizers if you are interested.

Rugby is definitely a team sport! From the players on the field to the coaches, parents, fans, supporters, our volunteers and club organizers. The most important thing any of us can do in the game of Rugby is to be confidence boosters. By being positive on and off the sidelines with our children and players, we can all help instill the confidence they need to start, and continue to grow their skills and knowledge!

*****Did you know.......... The USA Olympic team is the most successful team in Rugby in the Olympics! From 1900-1924 Rugby was featured as an olympic sport and in 1920 and 1924 the US Olympic team won!

External links are provided for reference purposes. The Woodlands Youth Rugby Club is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

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