Re­vamp keeps young play­ers smil­ing and par­ents on track

Pilbara News - - Motoring -

Par­ents and ju­nior rugby league play­ers from the Pil­bara will have a dif­fer­ent league ex­pe­ri­ence this sea­son, with the code in­tro­duc­ing safer rules to en­sure a more fun, friendly and free-flow­ing game for younger chil­dren.

The na­tional changes fo­cus on im­prov­ing the game for un­der-six and seven-year-olds, while con­tin­u­ing to de­velop in­volve­ment for all lev­els.

Chil­dren at the younger end of the play­ing spec­trum will find more fo­cused game time, in­creased op­por­tu­ni­ties with the ball and a pos­i­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment where play­ers are re­warded for ef­fort rather than pe­nalised for mis­takes.

NRL head of foot­ball Brian Cana­van said changes to ju­nior mod­els of the game were de­signed to pro­vide greater in­clu­sive­ness and op­por­tu­nity for par­tic­i­pants.

“This has been a process of many years of li­ais­ing with grass­roots par­ents, clubs and stake­hold­ers,” he said.

“The over­whelm­ing feed­back and di­rec­tion is that at a young age, it is im­por­tant for kids to sim­ply en­joy their footy and build on per­sonal, phys­i­cal and so­cial life skills — and if play­ers con­tinue on with their rugby league, these sen­ti­ments and skills con­tinue.

“Par­ents want to see their kids hav­ing fun and en­joy­ing their rugby league in a safe and friendly en­vi­ron­ment, and it is im­por­tant that those just start­ing out play­ing the game have a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, re­gard­less of how long or how far they go.

“The changes in­tro­duced from this sea­son will en­sure that ev­ery­one is given a greater op­por­tu­nity to have a go, throw the footy around, and walk off the field each week hav­ing had fun with their friends.”

Along with changes on the field, the NRL will con­tinue its pol­icy of ap­pro­pri­ate off-field be­hav­iour among par­ents, spec­ta­tors and par­tic­i­pants.

NRL WA gen­eral man­ager John Sack­son said feed­back on the changes had been pos­i­tive. “It’s great to see these changes, which com­ple­ments the feed­back from our com­mu­ni­ties, com­ing into ef­fect and chang­ing the game for these young play­ers for the bet­ter,” he said.

Ju­nior reg­is­tra­tion for the 2017 sea­son is now open.

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