The NLD Youth Structured Season for 2015-16 is now available to view here.
As you may be aware there has been a lot of issues around NLD U17/18/19 Rugby. We have reviewed, looked at, studied, and debated what will be best for NLD. Quite simply there is no easy solution to meet all of our varied aspirations. What we hope to achieve is that NLD takes the lead with this competition in helping to retain and recruit young players into Senior Rugby. The new ‘competition’ is very much designed to be as flexible and less regulated as possible, and has more emphasis on a less formal structure encouraging that flexibility. The fixtures can be played when it suits the clubs (or more importantly the players), Midweek, Friday Evening, Saturdays, or Sundays, with the default being 11.00am on a Sunday. We would ask you to notify both the Office and Referee’s Society as early as possible about your Fixture schedules to help with allocation.
For Season 2015-16 and onwards the NLD Competitions Committee are offering a Colts (U18) competition. Once the CB knows how many Clubs intend to enter the competition, it is proposed that it will be split geographically to make a season long league competition. There are no finals at the end of the season.
Clubs will be encouraged to fill the gaps with traditional friendlies if they so wish. As fixtures become more spread out towards the end of the season, older colts would be encouraged into senior games to assist with the player pathway into senior rugby. Clubs with large numbers would be encouraged to provide a senior and junior fixture. Such dual fixtures could take the form of one competition fixture and one friendly. The NLD Youth Structured Season is attached. While there are 22 fixture dates shown for this league the number of fixtures will not be known until the entries have closed in the summer so it is likely that not all of the dates will be used.
1) Players in the U19 age grade will only be permitted to play down in U18s games if a completed Playing Out Of Age Grade form has been submitted to the NLD office and the club has received written approval of the dispensation request from the NLD Safeguarding team. Forms and guidance are available here https://nldrfu.co.uk/resource/playing-age-grade/. (15.4.3)
2) Players receiving such dispensation will not be allowed to play U19s or adult rugby during the season. Players who have played in U19 or adult rugby during the season are not eligible to play down subsequently. (15.4.2)
3) U16s and U17s playing up into the U18s league must have submitted a Playing Out Of Age Grade form to the NLD office. It is not necessary to get approval from the Safeguarding team. The parents or carers of U16s must have received written warning that the dispensation may result in the player playing with or against an U19 playing down under a dispensation. (15.3.6)
4) U16s playing up in the U18s league must not play in the front row of contested scrums. (15.3.6)
Under 17 Competition
For Season 2015-16 and onwards the NLD are offering an Under 17’s Competition played pre-Christmas for those Clubs wishing to challenge for nomination into the National Colts Competitions. It is intended that seeding would take place at the end of December/early January in order to determine which National competition individual Teams will be entered in.
Pilot Turbo Tens
From an initiative within the RFU, and in an effort to promote greater participation and better player retention within the game, the NLD is proposing to run, initially on a trial basis, a midweek Turbo Tens Colts competition. This is a fun format where clusters of clubs can come together to play a hybrid game. The format of this Turbo 10’s is intended to be entirely flexible and could include awarding different points values dependent on where a try was scored, different points for where a conversion is taken from, as well as possible Power Plays where teams were alternately required to reduce numbers on the pitch etc etc.