Rugby Union has become the first major contact sport in Australia to bring in comprehensive weight and height grading for juniors.
The move is designed to protect the safety of children and allow them to develop skills against players of a similar size.
Because when it comes to rugby, size does matter, as parents increasingly embrace sports like soccer over the rugby codes because of at-times huge differences in physical builds of junior players.
The Size for Age policy will this year be applied to players in the Under-10 to Under-15 grades, whereby an initial identification of ‘outliers’ based on weight and height is followed up with an assessment by an independent coach of a player’s experience, skill level, overall fitness and maturity.
Players can then be sent down an age group or up to a maximum of two grades.
The exact parameters that will prompt an assessment will be released in the coming weeks.