Nov 1, 2016
RUNNING FOR TOUCHDOWN - "GET INTO RUGBY"
Many parents feel concerned about their kids playing rugby. Usually, they think rugby is a very brutal sport and they worry about injuries as break some bones or even worse situations. As to the kids, when practicing for the first time, they become very enthusiastic and want to repeat the practice over and over.
It is certain that rugby is a very physical, rough and demanding sport, regarding tactics, agility, speed and, mainly, with respect for the opponent. Probably, that is why is common to say that, "football (soccer, if you prefer) is a gentleman's game, performed by ogres, and rugby is an ogres game, performed by gentlemen".
Thinking, yet, the parents' concern about injuries, it is important to point that in these trainings for the younger, rugby is played in the Tag Rugby shed. Which means there are almost no contact. This kind of rugby uses a Tag Belt and the main goal for the players is to steal the tag from the opponent belt. Once the tag gets stolen, the player must pass the ball to another player of the team, thus reducing the need for physical contact such as clashes or tackles. This allows the young players to get acquainted with the movements for later use during the matches.
Rugby has become a popular game in the 18th Century (recognized since 1880), and it is presented in the History as being born from football. However, some reports from ancient Rome refer a very similar game and, also, in Italy, back in the years 1580, there are references to a game called Calcio, a sort of evolution from the roman version which is in the origin of rugby as we know it today.
Get Into Rugby
The World Rugby Association is the main international federation for all the local rugby associations. It complies six regional associations (Africa, Asia, North America, Europe, Oceania and South America) involving 118 countries.
In order to grow the practice of rugby around the world, World Rugby Association created the "Get Into Rugby" program, which is destined to younger. The main idea of this program is to encourage children all around the world for the safe practice of rugby, as well as making them grow respecting the game´s values. The program is divided in three stages: try, play and stay. These stages are specifically designed to take the player from an introductory level to being a fully trained player, able to enjoy all parts of the game. Only educated coaches, teachers and officers can deliver this program to have as fewer injuries as possible. Each country is free to decide the proper approach, considering the characteristics of their own people and the path for the sport´s development.
Values of the game
The main purpose for this world program is to pass on to the new generations the values of the game, which are: play for fun, know the laws of the game and stick to them, never argue the referee's decisions, encourage those who make mistakes, play the game as a team, greet your opponent for a good piece of play, congratulate and shake hands with the other team and the referee at the end of the match. The program also encourages everyone involved to respect the laws and physical integrity of the opponent, thus taking more pleasure in the game. The respect for every participant rights, encouraging the relationship between players and being responsible with professional standards are a benefit which allows the maximization of the benefits and minimize the risks for the players.
These values teach all the stakeholders to embrace courage, loyalty, sportsmanship, discipline and team work. Undoubtly, good values for the game as well as for life.
Due to the physical confrontation during the match, it is also very important that all the team staff be prepared to act, including coaches, club administrators, officials and medical staff. According with the practitioners of this modality, and only by curiousity, «football players suffer more injuries than rugby players since rugby players are better prepared physically and do not need both legs to manage and control the ball».