Union reviews School's rugby structure

The Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) is moving to identify areas which require more attention in the development structure of schools rugby in Samoa.

It is doing this through review workshops planned for Upolu and Savai'i next week.

The Upolu Schools review workshop will be held on Tuesday 20 October at the SRU Office - Tuanaimato, while the Savai'i Schools review workshop will be held on Thursday 22 October at Don Bosco College Hall - Salelologa

Seiuli Salesa Seiuli, S.R.U. Events, and Competitions Coordinator, said the workshops are designed to engage students and school rugby administrators to review the current system and structure.

"Their attendance in our Review process is of great importance so that each and every school addresses/pinpoint any weaknesses or deficiencies in the current structure and schedule of the Samoa Schools Rugby Competitions and identify options/solutions to strengthen and improve our tournaments; as we continuously mould and frame a structure and schedule that works for all participating schools in Savaii and Upolu," Seiuli said.

The current structure consists of four regional zones. Zone A (consists of schools in the East of Upolu), Zone B (consists of schools in the center of Upolu), Zone C (consists of schools in Savaii), and Zone D (consists of schools in the West of Upolu). 

They are also divided into three divisions, they have the U14, U16, and U18.

"In the current structure, the rugby season kick starts with the Rugby 7s competition. Each regional zone will hold their individual rugby 7s qualification tournament in the first week of Term 1, where the top 4 from each zone will qualify to play in the National school's sevens championship in the second week of Term 1. And as for the Rugby 15s competition it kicks off straight after the Rugby 7s competition in the third week of Term 1, which lasts for approximately 4 to 5 weeks depending on the number of participating schools in each age group," he said.

After the completion of their regional zone qualification tournament, the top 2 teams from each zone will qualify to play in the National Schools Rugby championship which is a 3-day tournament in one week. The top 2 from each zone will go straight into the quarter-finals on Day 1, semi-finals on Day 2, and Finals on Day 3.

According to the SRU they see that Term 1 is not enough and some kids will have clashes with their other sports too.

"Term 1 is not a sufficient time frame for the proper competition to developing players, coaches, and match officials. The days assigned for rugby during the week, whether Thursday and Fridays are still suitable to participating schools or is their room for change and look at Saturdays as an option," he said.

"Look at Home and Away games for participating schools. This gives schools the opportunity to host matches and specializes in hosting games by meeting hosting requirements. Age grades review and have both and girls competitions in each age grade. Girl's competition for review due to threat from sports like Netball, especially with regards to scheduling girl's competition to avoid clashes with netball schedule," he added.

The SRU pushes participants to attend the Schol Rugby courses such as Coaching, S & C, FAIR, and Match Official. They also encourage schools to seek assistance from SRU Coaching Stuff when needed and their continuous Professional Development.

"Our competition requirements are Field dimensions, host Requirements such as corner flags, goal pads, run-offs, technical zones, changing rooms, running water, electricity, field marking, tables, and chairs. They also need a Match Commissioner, security (school committee, village council, and Police. Also thank you to the Medical & Emergency Services," he said.

The competition rules are the Law variations for age grades like the contested scrums and lineouts, and also a player's profile - birth certificate to be provided.

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