An example of a coaches assessment

Player assessment [date] – The player has been training with other U11 girls alongside the U12 girls’ team. The differences between these two age groups have also been taken into consideration. These are currently: 

  • Maximum numbers on the pitch (U11s 9 players and U12s 12 players)
  • U11s – 3 person scrum (strike, no push); U12s – 5 person scrum (strike, no push)
  • Ruck / Maul; U11s – 2 supporting players only. U12s Unlimited – U11s no fend off, U12s allowed to fend off (below armpit) 
  • The pitch sizes are the same but the player numbers inside that playing area has increased. This increases the chances of contact. 

The player being assessed has the skill level expected of the age to be able to tackle correctly and safely. This has been observed during the training sessions using appropriate training aids and physical tackling of another player. The player also has the knowledge of how to be tackled and adopt a safe body position during the ball presentation phase. The player has good knowledge of the “tower of power” body position expected during the rucking and scrummage phases of the game. 

The physical size differences between U11 and U12 girls is marginal, and this is demonstrated by some of the U12 girls being smaller than some of the U11 girl players wanting to play up. 

The rugby they have already been exposed to with boys presents a higher risk of injury due to some of the physical size differences of boys and girls already at that age level. 

The psychological elements of playing up at this age level remains minimal. Most of the girls have already been playing rugby at a mixed level. However, they do have concerns relating to their physical development through puberty, which can be significantly reduced when playing with peers and their older counterparts. 

The emotional elements of playing up are observed by the coaches and parents. The player has reflected that she is more comfortable playing with other girls. As always, this development can improve or be reduced dependent upon many external factors. The coaching team is in contact with parents and if there is a reduction in skill/safety level, then the player will be given time to improve and be limited to U11 contact only. Once deemed safe, they will be assessed and given the opportunity to play up again.]