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Rules for Under 11's

Under 11 Midi Rugby

11.1 The object of the game is to score a try (five points) in accordance with the Laws of the Game.

11.2 Teams will be made up of twelve players; five of whom and no more will be forwards with the remaining seven forming the back line.

11.3 At this age, the game will start with a KICK-OFF from the centre of the field. The kicker's team must be behind the ball until it has been kicked and the receiving team must be at least 7 metres back from the ball.

NOTE: See Laws of the Game if the ball is kicked off directly into touch and in-goal.

In all other situations, the Laws of the Game of Rugby Union Football apply with the following exceptions:-


(a) The locks forming the second row must bind to each other with their inside arm and with their outside arm around the hips of the front row (props).

(b) Under no circumstances is (a) the scrum to be pushed more than 1.5 metres. (Penalty: A free kick against the side which pushed the scrum at the original spot) or (b) wheeled more than 45 degrees. (Penalty: The scrummage will be reformed).

(c) The scrumhalf not putting the ball in must remain directly behind his/her own scrum until the ball has emerged from the scrummage. In the event of a strike against the head, the scrumhalf who has put the ball into the scrummage must not follow the ball until it is out.


(a) The line-out will be made up of two, three or four players from each side plus the player throwing the ball in and the latter's immediate opponent who must stand within the 2 metre area and one player from either side in a position to receive the ball (i.e. scrum-half). Both the thrower-in and his/her immediate opponent are able to take an active role in the game as soon as the ball has been touched by one of the players contesting the lineout. A quick throw in is NOT permitted.

(b) The lineout will extend from between 2 - 10 metres from the touchline.

(c) The ball must be thrown INTO the line out (i.e., between 2 and 10 metres) and not beyond it.

(d) Lifting and supporting is prohibited at this level (i.e. a player may not bind to a jumper until he/she returns to the ground).

(e) The offside line for all players not participating in the lineout (all players other than those described under Rule 11.5 (a) above) will be 7 metres back from the line of touch parallel to the goal line and they must remain behind that offside line until the lineout has ended.

NOTE: See Laws of the Game for when lineout ends.

11.6 All offside lines and retiring distances by the opposition in relation to those offside lines shall be 7 metres.

11.7 Any player who has the ball and is on his/her feet (except in a maul) can be tackled as laid down in the Laws of the Game. (Penalty for illegal tackle: A penalty kick). A player so tackled must play the ball immediately.

NOTE 1: Any tackle level with or above the armpit is to be considered a high tackle. (Penalty: Penalty kick).

NOTE 2: The scrag type tackle (i.e. swinging a player round by the shirt) is to be considered dangerous play and penalised accordingly.

NOTE 3: The referee should encourage tackler and tackled player to get away from the ball IMMEDIATELY so that the game can continue. Where a ruck or maul occurs, the offside line for players not in the ruck or maul is at the hindmost foot on their side of the ruck or maul. (Penalty: A penalty kick).

At all penalty kicks, the offending team must retire 7 metres towards their own goal line from the place where the penalty kick is awarded.

11.8 If the ball is not playable IMMEDIATELY after a tackle, a scrummage is awarded. The scrummage is awarded to the team designated under Laws 21 and 22 of the Laws of the Game.

11.9 A player must not hand-off or fend-off an opponent in any way. (Penalty: A penalty kick to the opposition), {A hand-off or fend-off is defined as "any movement of the hand, arm or ball to ward off a would be tackler" }.

NOTE: Players are recommended to carry the ball in two hands.

11.10 All the Laws of the Game pertaining to kicking in open play will apply, except that players may not kick the ball other than out of their hands. Fly hacking is not permitted (Penalty: A penalty kick).

11.11 After a try has been scored, the team can attempt to covert the try into a goal. The kick at goal will take place from anywhere in front of the posts.

11.12 After a try or goal has been scored, the game will restart with a drop kick.

11.13 When an infringement occurs as per the Laws of the Game, a penalty or free kick will be awarded. The opposition must retire at least 7 metres back towards their own goal line from the place where the kick is awarded.

11.14 After any stoppage not covered in the Rules, the game shall restart with a scrummage to the team who were moving forward, or, if neither team were moving forward, by the team who were last in possession of the ball.

11.15 A game will be made up of two equal halves, each of not more than twenty minutes. During the interval, coaches should take adequate time to talk to, encourage, coach and explain the game to players.


l. A size 4 ball should be used.


3. The formation of the scrummage must be introduced in a progressive way following the stages described in "Even Better Rugby" with great emphasis placed on body position, foot placement, binding, putting the ball into the scrummage and hooking techniques.

4. In order to give a balance between coaching and playing, fixtures should be arranged to allow at least one Sunday coaching/training session between matches. At this age, players may play a maximum of fourteen fixtures and not more than three festivals in any season (one in the CB and two others). The emphasis remains on providing the children with an enjoyable introduction to the skills of the game. Competition is of secondary importance.

5. If there are insufficient players to play Midi Rugby (12-a-side), they should play Mini Rugby (9-a-side) still in their Under 11 age group. Where clubs are obliged because of small numbers to combine age groups, U11's and U12's may play together utilising the U11 game format. Where clubs have large squads, additional fixtures/festivals might be arranged provided that no player plays in more than the above.

6. Definitions

(a) Fixture/Triangular Fixture: The playing of Mini Rugby between teams of two or three different schools/clubs, not more than three schools/clubs being involved together on any one day.

(b) Festival/Competition. The playing of Mini Rugby between more than three teams of different schools/clubs on a league basis, normally to establish a winner, all games taking place being part of one event.

At festivals, no player plays in more than five games.

U11/U12 number of minutes to be played
Fixture: 20 minutes each way - 1 game - 40 minutes
Triangular: 15 minutes each way - 2 games - 60 minutes
Festival/Tournament: 7 minutes each way (14 minutes) max. of 5 games - 70 minutes

7. Games should be shortened if one side is scoring too freely (i.e. no more than 30 points' difference).

8. The emphasis should be on enjoyment. The children should be encouraged to enjoy the physical side of running, passing, evasion and coached according to the material available in the Start Coaching Rugby Pack.

9. A practical coaching session that includes talks and videos etc., should last no longer than two hours including a maximum of forty minutes devoted to match play.

10. On match days against outside opposition, a coaching session should normally precede the match. Matches should be used as an extension of the coaching session, with the emphasis being on the quality of performance rather than the result.

11. All players are advised to wear gum shields.

12. Coaches are advised to check studs before training sessions, games or tournaments in accordance with the Laws of the Game.



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