Format and Regulations

The format at various ages ensures that young players play the right rugby at the right time. These formats are supported by the regulations of the Age Grade game and have been developed by scientific research and studies on player development in sport.

The principle behind the Rules of Play is to provide a playing format with building blocks to the 15-a-side game that allows players time to get to grips with the basics of running and catching the ball before contact and specialism is gradually introduced – which positively impacts on player safety.

The Under 19 Law Variations remain at the scrum and the phased line out introduction starts at Under 14.  The rules ensure there is one consistent game format at each age group in clubs and schools.

The Regulations for Age Grade Rugby are contained in Regulation 15 of the game and these are supported by the Codes of Practice.

These regulations should also be read with Regulation 21 (Safeguarding) and Regulation 9 (Player Safety).

Regulation 15 includes everything required to support the playing of the game to the right rules in a safe and supportive environment and should act as the first port of call for delivery of Age Grade Rugby.

Code Of Practice

The Age Grade Codes of Practice provide practical support and best practice to those delivering the Age Grade game.

The Codes give practical advice on how to adopt a player-centred and holistic approach to rugby and support the application of Regulation 15.

There are seven codes in total, covering a number of topics ranging from playing and training frequency to the grouping of players and key information on player welfare.

If you are involved with Age Grade Rugby, read and commit to following the Codes of Practice. Then tell others about it. It’s in the interest of our players and their livelong enjoyment of the game.


The playing calendar provides a model which supports inclusivity of all players, guards against overplaying and underplaying and limits conflict between club and school/college rugby maintaining choice for players to play with their peer groups.

It also supports dialogue between clubs and schools at a local and county level in the interests of player.

This national calendar ensures that competition and representative rugby is delivered across the country at a consistent time and is divided into “competition windows” during which clubs and schools can deliver competition. Clubs and schools can play friendly or block fixtures at any time within the season and as such this isn’t a “priority” calendar.

To ensure to agree a balanced playing programme based on the needs and motivations of the young player the following annual process is observed:

  • National competition dates and windows added
  • CBs, CSUs and Academies work together to add County competition
  • Approved calendar is released to clubs and schools. Locally organised competition will need to be in correct window
  • Local clubs, schools, academy, parents and players agree appropriate playing and training programme

The Playing Calendars for the 2020-21 are: