The Essential Guide to Rugby

Is your child or grandchild about to start playing rugby?

Are you terrified about what may happen to them playing such a rough game?

I know how you feel!

I felt the same way until I started watching the games and talking to the coaches, parents and players.  The more I learned about the game, the more my hesitation melted away.  I started this site for parents and players just like you. It is a place for those who want to watch, learn and support rugby, explained in language for the beginner. Welcome to RugbyFreak!

Rugby is a contact sport similar to hockey and football and injuries are part of the game, but that doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t play. There are too many physical, social and psychological benefits to children who participate in sports so it is an important element in becoming a well-rounded person. 

Rugby is a sport that emphasizes safety first while teaching sportsmanship, integrity, respect and self-discipline.  This is evident when you speak with other parents and the players. Players can be fierce rivals on the field and best friends off the field. I have witnessed this first hand. 

If you’re new to the game, the best thing you can do is talk to the coaching staff and get to know the safety protocol in place for the team.

Does the coach teach in a respectful manner?

Is there a team trainer or medical therapist?

What level of experience do they have?

When you see the priority that player safety takes at the team level, you can be confident your child is in good hands. Injuries can still happen – but they can and do happen in every single sport. I have personally broken 3 fingers and an ankle playing volleyball. No sport is immune but it is the precautions that are in place before something happens that is important. 

Rugby Canada takes player welfare very seriously, especially concussions. They have implemented a program called PlaySmart which is aimed at everyone involved in the game to educate them on rugby safety. Of particular interest to parents and guardians is knowing that all coaches and match officials must be registered with Rugby Canada and are required to complete training modules annually. Modules include World Rugby RugbyReady and Concussion Management for the General Public. Match officials also complete the Laws of the Game. In rugby the rules are called the “Laws”. Parents are encouraged to complete these modules as well. 

Now that your child is playing, it’s time to learn a little about the game. Rugby is not easy to follow at first as there are many rules and plays that just don’t seem to make sense. When one team scores, play resumes with the other team kicking the ball right back to the team that just scored! Wait….what? Yep, you read that right. The team that just scored gets a chance to take possession again and march back down the field and score again. That is of course if they actually get the ball back in their hands – which is not necessarily an easy feat! 

There are lots of twists and turns to this game and non-stop action, making it a fun spectator sport and a super workout for the athletes. 

Whether you are a parent, athlete or spectator, this site is the place to learn the basics of the game such as the different codes, rules of the game, positions on the team, tips to help pick the right cleats, mouthguards and other playing apparel, how to support the sport and a directory to help you find a local team.

Interest in this sport is growing at a rapid pace across this great country of ours and will continue to attract new players and fans with the introduction of Major League Rugby (MLR) in the spring of 2018. We’ll be here to help you understand it all - let’s get ready for kick off!

 If you find this information helpful, please share my site with others. If you have ideas, suggestions or comments, please contact me.

Proud rugby mum enjoying a local rugby 7s tournament - with the field reflection in my glasses!