Rugby teams are popping up around the country for kids of all ages. You can help provide greater opportunities by starting a team in your community today! Just follow these steps and you will be on your way:
Step 1: Contact Your State Rugby Organization
- State Rugby Organizations (SROs) are responsible for the development of rugby across the country. These entities are great resources for starting teams in your area. Notify them that you are interested in starting a high school program.
- Your SRO can provide resources for securing coaches and referees, as well as provide best practices for running your team. Click here to locate your SRO.
Step 2: Recruit and Register Volunteers
- Recruit volunteers through local men’s and women’s teams, collegiate teams, parents, teachers, and other supporters.
- Register all volunteers, coaches, and referees at USARugby.org, which includes a background check and insurance coverage.
Step 3: Recruit Players through Rookie Rugby
- Kids are four times more likely to play a sport if they experience it in P.E. class first. Contact the Physical Education teacher at your local High School to set up a Rookie Rugby session.
- Download free Rookie Rugby resources and curriculum at RookieRugby.com in order to prepare for your in-school sessions.
- Create and print promotional fliers for advertising the new team including practice times and locations, as well as contact information.
- Run non-contact Rookie Rugby sessions in P.E. classes to promote your new team.
Step 4: Plan and Organize Your Team
Planning and organizing your team includes a season budget, a parent association, practice schedules, and more!
- Budget: Build a team’s budget around the projected number of players, team expenses, and team income. Check with your SRO for an example team budget. Fundraising and securing team sponsorships are great ways to bring in money. Check with your SRO and school Athletic Director to make sure that your fundraising and sponsorship efforts fall within their guidelines.
- Parent Association: A parent association can build support for the team as well as establish good communication between the coach and the parents. Parents can be great resources and can manage fundraising efforts, team social gatherings, and carpools. Your SRO can provide you with an example of a parent association structure.
- Practice Schedule: Schedule practices and communicate the schedule with your team. Space can usually be reserved at community or school fields by contacting the parks and recreation department or school. Make sure to prepare properly before arriving at practice. If you turn up at practice and “wing” your session, the players will soon realize that you are cheating them out of a terrific learning experience. Visit RookieRugby.com and USARugby.org for great practice resources.
Step 5: Register Your Team
- Register your new team through your SRO or USA Rugby to ensure compliance and appropriate insurance coverage. Visit USARugby.org for more information on USA Rugby Membership.
Step 6: Hold a Pre-Season Meeting for Parents and Players
- Coaches are encouraged to establish effective lines of communication with team parents and players early in the season by holding a Pre-Season Meeting. This meeting will set the tone for your team for the entire season. During the meeting, review team rules and goals, review league rules and structure, assign parent roles, and address any concerns of the parents.
Step 7: Register and Play
- Be sure to register all players with your SRO and USA Rugby to ensure appropriate compliance and insurance coverage. Visit USARugby.org for more information.
- Refer to your SRO Manual for more information on running your High School rugby team.
- Most importantly, make sure your players are safe and having fun with the newest Olympic sport!