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24 May 2011


Under-19 rugby is DOA. Lets get these high school rules corrected.

Single school high teams where ever this makes sense and multi-school high teams in the other areas is the way forward. Multi-school HS teams need to be comprised of HS students, not foreign students in their 9th-10th semester. What does this prove other than to flatter the coaches win-loss record. Same with junior college students, not in the HS multi-school competition, go start a JC team.

The current USAR administration screwed up this HS eligibility and its the current USAR administration that needs to fix it.

Lets grow the sport by having two national HS championships comprising 100% high aged students!

Lighten up Francis. U-19 is an internationally designated age grade and does not have to coincide with High School age, even though it does. What throws you off, the 'U' or the '19'? Dang near everyone in HS, barring flunking a few times, is under 19. If you picked up a law book, you'd notice in the back the 'U-19' laws variations. Its U-19 for a reason. Nothing needs fixing.

Schultz, the issue is not U19, being understood by international competitions, or the like. U19 in 90% of other US sports is "club" based, not withstanding that most HS Teams are "club" I refer to clubs not affiliated with any school. Kid's or young adults that play on multi-school teams all have different requirments by their school or the teams depending on if they play on a campus, etc. The debate is wheter to include already graduated HS students.
So, neither of you is correct in that it is as easy as one or the other, the decision was made for U19 or HS age rather than HS eligible or attending. Is this inside or outside of where we should be and what imperical data suggests either more kids play because of the U19 designation, how it may or may not affect the building of single or multi-school teams, affect insurance or on campus activities, etc.

Will U19 clubs affiliated with after school programs, mens or womens clubs continue to grow and should they play against multi school teams built in a different way?

This is a good debate regardless.

I graduated from high school at 16. I'm bright but not overly athletically advanced. I'm large, but normally developed for 16. You want me to play for my college (actually a Junior College that doesn't even have a rugby team)? Why? There's nowhere else in the world I'd be forced to forgo rugby or play for a men's team rather than to play with others my age on a community team.

You, sir, are age bigoted. Why do you hate me just because I'm graduated from high school, as if that matriculation changed me into some sort of demon threatening the welfare of my team mates and opponents.

Demon- that's weak. HS is HS. Once you've graduated you are out of HS. This case doesn't happen that often and US rugby will have to live without your services, if you decide to not play for a club or college.

What US rugby needs to grow rugby isn't to make rules around less than likely situations or what a handful of U19 coaches want. US rugby needs to propel the HS game forward, played by HS students in both single school and open teams.

@come on:
There is a HS bracket and a U-19 bracket. If your HS has a team then great. Ohters in that age range can play for a U-19 club. When is U-19 not high school age??? Why make it more difficult for players to play the game? If an 18 year old player graduated high school, he is not going to be on a U-19 club team for very long. If that team functions as a club, then again, who cares if that player is still enrolled in high school?

Q-"When is U-19 not high school age???"

A-When they graduate from HS.

I don't have a problem with U19 or HS rugby the way it is currently situated. What I do have a problem with is more and more college programs securing players that are 25 or more. Some are doing it with the Community College angle where a guy can pay a few hundred bucks to be a student for a semester and play on a CC team, which some people are calling Academy teams. There are also schools with scholarships that instead of giving them to HS rugby players, they find mens club players that aspire to attend college and give them a scholarship. Instead of developing a guy, just find a 6'5" 265lb man to play collegiate rugby. Basically, every college coach is looking for an angle to gain the system. Some are doing the above, others are loaded with South Africans and others are finding other ways yet to be seen.

It will not be long until we have a college team that is an online university (Phoenix, Beck, etc) that is made up of 25 year old players cherry picked from club rugby and paid a few hundred each to be "students" in the eyes of USA Rugby.

A-when they graduate high school? So, 6 months out of high school is just waaay too old of a man to compete with these other little tiny boys still in high school?? C'mon, talk about petty.

High school football forbids guys from participating who are a mere 3 months out of high school. Ridiculous, right?

The US simply needs to do what Canada does - run a high school season in the spring and then have players play age grade with a local club over the summer. People in US rugby keep trying to create a false competition between clubs and schools. The best way to achieve success is to maximize the number of games that players are able to play.

That's high school football. Teams that are school sponsored and represented by students at that school. High School rugby should have the same regulation. U-19 clubs are separate from the school and should only have a birthday cutoff to be under 19 at a certain time in the year to compete for that season.

+1 Adrian. That's exactly the point.

That's what I'm going for...school sponsored, just like all the other sports. Having leagues with post HS kids playing against HS kids only hurts the end game goal.

This is a rehash of an argument that's been going on since USAR changed the U19 eligibility.

To me, the two best arguments in favor of restricting U19 to only HS enrolled kids are: 1) It allows single-school programs and multi-school programs to compete against one another with basically the same eligibility standards; 2) It avoids the ugliness of having college underclassmen getting their rugby reps at the expense of available HS players.

There are relatively few single-school programs available for HS athletes. In NorCal, where there are a lot of youth and HS rugby clubs, if the single-school programs were limited to playing only one another it would greatly limit their opportunities for good competition. Because NCYRA requires HS enrollment as a condition of eligibility, single-school (HS) and multi-school (U19) programs can compete regularly on equal footing, to their mutual benefit. And the game gets stronger.

College players and non-HS players can make an obvious difference to a multi-school (U19) program - at the expense of otherwise qualified HS players (for both the host club and its opposition). It has been mentioned here previously that Highland has played eligible BYU players on its side. USAR eligibility standards allow this, stating that a player for one club, BYU, is eligible to play for another club, Highland, if the player has not participated in a 'Qualifying' match for the former, no matter the level (Section 6.2, USA Rugby Eligibility Regulations). If HS players cannot expect to compete against other HS players, then that is a problem. And the game gets weaker.

@Graduated at 16, I am sympathetic to your situation. My son was a young HS graduate and could have played two more years of U19 rugby after graduation (even if he was a B side player for his college side). But I don’t think that would have been good for him or for the game. I believe it best for the advancement of youth rugby that U19 players be enrolled in HS as a condition of eligibility.

Jury is in...post HS, move on to college or club rugby. In HS play in one of the two competitions.

Grow rugby by investing in HS rugby.

Near sighted rugby mean -

The issue isn't with the teams competeing RIGHT NOW.

To get teams into schools and to gain varsity status they have to be aligned with other sports.

Don't believe me? Walk into your local schools AD office and tell him you want varsity rugby - BUT your hs kids will be competing against some teams who have kids up to 2 YEARS out of HS. Safety and liability issue.

The safety isn't about an 18yo playing against a 19yo. It's about a 14yo freshman playing against a sophomore in college (U19 elegibility is you have to be 19 as of 9/1 in the current year).

If you are anywhere NEAR hs sports you see the developmental difference between 14-15-16-17-18-19 year olds.

And for the kids that graduate and "Aren't ready" It's not worth sacrificing the trust of administrators to let these kids back in.

Bottom line - the decision to allow this was short sited, agenda driven and undermined the efforts of ALOT of people who had attained or were pushing for official school status.

Thank you Kurt Weaver for fixing this problem.


@ anon

No, I really think he meant to say "Men". "Amen" wouldn't fit at all.

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