Mini Rugby at the Harlequins
Minis rugby at the Harlequins is a lot of fun. It's fun for the parents , it's fun for the coaches and most of all, it's fun for the players.
Of course, as well as fun, there is an extraordinary amount of player development. In amongst the chaos there is a well thought through, development pathway for the players.
We welcome boys and girls to the club
Mini rugby covers the 4 age groups from Under 6 to Under 9 with specific goals and milestones at each age group.
Games are played across the Northern Beaches on a Saturday morning. There is no competition and no scores are kept (officially, anyway).
Below is an overview of the U6 to U9 experience. However, if you want to dive into the details, download the full document
Under 6 rugby is 7 a side, is played on a quarter size pitch and involves no tackling. Instead we focus on the foundation skills that will help with ongoing player development:
- Catch and Pass
- Tagging (instead of tackling)
- Basic defence tactics
- Basic attack tactics
- Basic game rules
- And did we mention fun?
The skills, knowledge and attitude are developed during weekly coaching sessions and weekly matches. Coaches stay on the field to support the players and guide as they play. Coaching sessions are centred around fun activities that develop the skills. By the end of the season, the players are typically playing as a team, catching and passing well and have a great understanding of the basics of the game. Parents often remark at how amazed they are at how far their children have come in only one season. Players and parents alike have also made what can turn out to be some life long friendships.
In U7s the fun continues. It's still 7 a side game and still on a quarter sized pitch. In the first half of the season the the same core skills are developed and refined and non contested scrums and line outs are introduced. At about half way through the season, tackling is introduced at training to get the players ready for the last 4 games of the year which includes tackling and all that goes with it. Whilst there is a big focus on tackling itself, which most players love and cant wait to do, tackling introduces the players to many other areas of the sport, such as clearing out, rucking, driving and more. Time is spent ensuring that the contact areas of the sport are carried out safely. Mouth guards are required whenever there is contact and we recommend head gear for all players. By the time contact starts, both players and parents are ready for this new dimension to the game, which dramatically increases the playing and the spectating fun
Under 8s is still 7 a side, but the pitch doubles in size, giving the players much more room to expand their game. The game is full contact and coaching will continue to focus on how to succeed in the contact areas of the game, as well as the ongoing development of other game related skills. Players may be introduced to key positions, although typically for game at a time. Under 8s is a really great year, the small teams means that everyone gets lots of action, the game is generally making more sense and it's really great to watch.
In Under 8s, the players also get the chance to play some competitive rugby in a Gala Day or two. This is a great opportunity for the players and these days are a lot of fun.
In Under 9s, the pitch stays the same size, but the team size increases to 10 a-side. More players bring complexity to the game and players will typically have refined roles for a game. Again, these are rotated across the season, it much too early to pigeon hole players! The pace and intensity of the training and the games also increases. The matches are slightly longer too. Coaching covers all aspects of the game and through the season, teams typically develop really well in Under 9s. Whilst there is no competition through the season, players are starting to take their rugby more seriously, whilst the coaches still make sure that training and matches remain fun.
The players, again, do get the opportunity to compete in Gala Days through the season, which is great preparation for Junior Rugby where they will be playing competitively.