September 25, 2020

Dear SoCal Youth Rugby Members —

Southern California Youth Rugby has been analyzing the structure, the positives, the challenges, and growth opportunities of SCYR High School Rugby since the close of the 2020 High School season. This review included several surveys as well as multiple Zoom meetings. During this process, the Coronavirus Pandemic ensued curtailing the Olders Club season, which typically launches in March following the conclusion of high school play.

With the many months of Covid-19 lock down and youth sports thus not permitted to play per the State of California, it was necessary to take a hard look at the 2021 High School and Olders Club seasons. The SCYR High School Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Club Presidents, as well as other key contributors were invited to participate in Zoom meetings to review schedule and competition models for 2021. The main challenge in scheduling the 2021 play is the movement of CIF High School sports to differing seasons due to the Coronavirus. The Zoom meeting participants had extensive discussion sharing the pros and cons of specific schedules and competition models, and then placed their vote on a preferred format. This occurred for both the Boys and the Girls High School and Olders Club side rugby.

As well, the SCYR Board of Directors participated on the Zoom calls, reviewed the specific 2021 options in their BOD setting, and ultimately, voted to support the majority vote outcome, which is detailed below. In addition, the SCYR BOD outlined parameters for the Youngers 2021 season — also explained below.

For the Board and all stakeholders, the ultimate goal was to have as many kids playing rugby as possible in 2021. With that said, a certain degree of flexibility is needed by all to execute these altered seasons and competition models.

High School and Club rugby will be played concurrently in the Spring of 2021 with a mid-March start date. A new variety of competition models is available as noted below. New for 2021 only, players may choose to play in multiple formats such as 7’s and 15’s as well as High School and Club. Programs should not make minimum registration numbers including these crossover players as schedules may preclude players from playing in both each weekend. Therefore, these players should be additions to rosters as to avoid the possibility of forfeits. SCYR maintains the discretion to monitor all registrations to ensure the integrity of this allowance.
High School 15’s: Depending on the number of teams registering, this may be broken into two competitive divisions, which could have differing non-core allowances.
High School 7’s: 100% core and weekly round robin formats as per normal.
Open Division: This is a new model for 2021 allowing both High School teams and Club teams to compete against one another. The structure will be specifically defined once the number of teams is determined. 
Olders Club Only Division: This the normal Olders Club play, but divisions will be dependent upon the number of teams registered.

High School 15’s – Play will commence in January as per normal. The allowance for non-core players was increased from four to six. A determination as to the viability of this January play will be made by November 13. If January is not feasible, the schedule will pivot.
High School 7’s – Play will commence in January as per normal. 100% core and weekly round robin formats as per normal. A determination as to the viability of this January play will be made by November 13. If January is not feasible, the schedule will pivot.
Olders Club – Play will commence in Spring as per usual. However, the schedule may have to shift a bit due to field availability and activity with the Boys HS/Club and Youngers play.

Since counties in the wide SCYR geographic area are at differing Covid activity levels, the SCYR BOD took a pragmatic approach in order to get young ruggers active as soon as possible. Once again, there were multiple options reviewed as the challenges are varied. Spring will be field and resource congested and there will be strong competition with traditional spring sports such as baseball. The winter time may see competition with Pop Warner depending on the area, but field space will be less congested for many areas giving us a better chance for rugby to be played. These challenges will be constantly monitored over the net six weeks and contingency plans ready.
Orange County and San Diego County – Plan to play in mid-January, which is a few weeks later than normal to allow time for practice and preparation. A determination as to the viability of this January play will be made by November 13. If January is not feasible, the schedule will pivot.
Los Angeles and Tri-Counties – Plan to play in March. However, Tri-Counties may be able to play in January with the Orange and San Diego Counties timeframe. This will be determined by November 13.

Allocation of Resources for 2021 Play
With the congestion of fields and resources, particularly in the Spring, SCYR may need to develop an allocation plan for each division defining specific blocks of scheduled play. This will assist with referee and athletic trainer allocations. In addition it may help players competing in both the High School and Club Olders divisions or both 7’s and 15’s..  

We will need all member flexibility and understanding to make these seasons successful. In saying that, we strongly urge programs to have referees on hand and we will work with our senior referees to run courses prior. This will be an all-hands-on-deck approach.

SCYR is very thankful to those who participated in the surveys, Zoom meetings and appreciate their diligence to work effectively towards solutions aimed to help everyone through this tough period. The SoCal rugby community’s strength has been on display more than ever and we are very grateful for this collaborative approach.

SCYR 2021 Schedule — Covid dependent (note Boys and Girls schedule tabs at bottom)

Best wishes, 
Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

September 4, 2020


Inaugural Implementation – Youngers 2020

Age and Weight parameters for the youth rugby game in Southern California were implemented in 2020 at the U10 Coed, U12 Coed and BU14 levels.  After multiple years of research and discussion, the end goal was to maximize safety and minimize injuries.  SCYR Clubs presented their own age/weight research and proposals for the program. The club input alongside the SCYR Board of Directors created the following age/weight thresholds for 2020:

U10:  Ages 7-9 as of August 31st, 120 lb maximum weight

U12:  Ages 9-11 as of August 31st, 145 lb maximum weight

BU14 Light:  Ages 11-13 as of August 31st, 180 lb maximum weight

Ensuring an inclusive environment, a Maximum Cap Waiver was introduced as well. This waiver was created solely to review athletes with extenuating circumstances. No first year player at an age division would move up two “steps.”  For example, a 135 pound 7-year-old playing their first year at U10, would not be bumped up to play U12 with a Max Cap Waiver.

2020 Results

A total of 1,571 youth rugby athletes playing U10, U12, BU14 participated in the 2020 Youngers season and thus weighed in with the new Age/Weight program.

U10:  366 players, average weight of 81 lbs, 15 Max Cap Waivers granted

U12:  552 players, average weight of 103 lbs, 49 Max Cap Waivers granted

BU14:  653 players, average weight of 126 lbs, 11 Max Cap Waivers granted

A total of 19 SCYR Clubs were granted a Max Cap Waiver(s).

SCYR has contracted with InjureFree for several years, which is injury tracking handled on game day at the pitch.  There was a 35% decline in injuries year over year from 2019 to 2020 per the InjureFree data.

2020 Review

Following the Youngers 2020 season, SCYR conducted surveys and hosted Zoom meetings to receive extensive member club feedback and input on the new Age/Weight program.  As well, the SCYR Board of Directors reviewed the program in detail each month.

2021 Youngers Age/Weight Program 

For the upcoming 2021 Youngers Season, the following parameters have been agreed upon by the SCYR Board of Directors and with input from participating clubs as noted during the recent spring and summer review process. The Youngers will continue with the current weights and competitive structure of max cap limits at the U10 and U12 divisions with BU14 continuing to operate with separate Open and Light divisions. 

While moving through the review process, the policy’s success in 2020 has continually been measured against the goals of original implementation: 1. Increasing player safety; 2. Increasing player participation. With these goals in mind, the policy has been successful in year one with a decrease in injuries and an uptick in playing numbers. 

It was evaluated to add Open/Light to other divisions for 2021 beyond BU14. However, it was decided to remain with the current 2020 competitive structure for 2021. There are considerable concerns from the medium to smaller clubs in moving to Open/Light across all age brackets as it could be detrimental to their teams in player development and safety. In review of the total playing numbers at all age brackets for our member clubs, this notion is supported as there is a larger player pool in the U14 age brackets, which allow for a more successful Open/Light distinction. Considering many clubs grew in registration numbers with this new age/weight implementation, keeping course at this time and promoting even more growth will allow us to collectively get to a point that Open and Light weights would be more accessible to additional Youngers Divisions (U10 and U12) in the near future. 

2021 Age/Weight Program – Policy Continuation 

  1. 2021 Weight Thresholds —  No change
  • The maximum weight at each division will stay the same.  U10=120 lbs, U12=145 lbs, BU1 Light=180 lbs.
  1. Open/Light Divisions –  No change
  • BU14 will remain the only division with an Open and Light distinction.

2021 Age/Weight Program – Policy Adjustments

  1. Max Cap Waiver Threshold – Adjustment  
  • Athletes applying for a Max Cap Waiver must be within 10% beyond their division’s weight maximum to be eligible.
  1. Number of Max Cap Waivers Granted Per Team – Adjustment
  • Max Cap Waivers are limited to three (3) per team.  Clubs with multiple teams per age division need to designate Team A, Team B, etc.
  1. Number of Max Cap Waiver Athletes Allowed to Play at One Time – Adjustment
  • A maximum of two (2) Max Cap Waived athletes may be in the game/on the pitch at one time.
  1. Age/Weight Regional Reps – New/Adjustment
  • Each of the four main SCYR regions (Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Tri-County) will have three designated Age/Weight representatives to assist in impartial weigh-ins, Max Cap Waiver reviews and provide support as needed.  
  • The Regional Age/Weight Representative term is for one year.  

August 31, 2020

We are excited to announce SCYR is moving to a new software system called Sportlomo. Sportlomo is a fully integrated sports management software system designed specifically for national governing bodies, state governing bodies, leagues and teams/clubs. Sportlomo is the new software choice of USA Rugby and the entire nation is transferring to this model.

You may have received an email from USA Rugby and/or Sportlomo requesting you to update your member information. Please note this email was generated for the whole country, but is a bit premature for SoCal Youth Rugby given our restricted Covid-19 no play situation. SCYR is not open for athlete, coach or referee registration at this time. With that said, we are beginning the Sportlomo onboarding and training for our SCYR Member Clubs/Teams. This starts with those that utilize Sportlomo the most extensively — the Club Administrators. 

REQUIRED Next step for all Clubs and High School teams
Please complete this CLUB ADMINISTATOR form asap.  I will set up the Sportlomo log-in access for this designated Club Administrator. Each Club/HS Team can appoint ONE Club Admin, however, this admin can add others admin access as the team needs.  

After I’ve set the Club Admins in Sportlomo, I’ll next share how to set up your team’s banking information, set-up other admins as noted, and learn a bit more about Sportlomo.  

Changes like software can be a bit challenging, but we’re looking forward to this unified Sportlomo system across the US and amongst our teams.