WHY TEACH RUGBY IN EDUCATION?
As one of the UK’s biggest competitive sports, all schools should consider teaching rugby. There are many physical benefits to children playing rugby as well as mental health benefits, such as fostering self-esteem and confidence in children of all ages, plus building resilience.
The afPE is in full support of the game being taught within our national curriculum, and although there are rules and guidelines that need to be followed as a contact sport, you can introduce the game to primary school pupils and key stage 3 & 4 students in the form of Tag Rugby. A much softer minimal contact version of the game and a great way to get younger pupils interested in rugby from an early age.
What is Tag Rugby
This variation to the game teaches children to understand the rules of the game and prepares them for the ‘contact’ techniques and how to implement them correctly, minimising the risk of injury
Tag Rugby involves velcro patches and two tags being attached to the shorts of each player. It is a similar model for play compared to rugby league/ touch rugby, where attacking players attempt to dodge, pass and avoid a rugby ball whilst defending players try and prevent them from scoring by ‘tagging’. Tagging means pulling the velcro attached tag from the ball carrier.
The attacking team is given six plays or ‘tags’ aiming to take the ball downfield as close to the line as they can or to score a try. Rules and features may differ for ages group and for different gender play.
For full rules and guidance on how to teach tag rugby, there are some great resources online such as this RFU video