Under Age Rugby Child Protection Guidelines

The Rugby Committee has adopted the principles of the Child Welfare Policy Document as produced by the I.R.F.U. Ulster Branch. This policy defines roles and guide clubs and volunteers on these issues ensuring best practice in all rugby activities.  They should be followed at all times.  If members or parents have any queries, please contact a member of the Rugby Committee.

Declaration of Intent

Every rugby club is required to act in accordance with the regulations and guidelines in this document and a sign a Declaration of Intent to that effect.

All age grade volunteers (coaches/managers/referees and/or any team assistants) to receive a copy of the Child Welfare document and after reading the document sign the Declaration of Intent page and hand it to the Club Child Welfare Officer for record keeping in the club.

All age grade volunteers (coaches/managers/referees and/or any team assistants) working in Northern Ireland or in clubs affiliated to the IRFU Ulster Branch must adhere to the requirements as specified by the IRFU Ulster Branch and Sport NI. (Information & requirements available from the IRFU Ulster Branch.)

What to look for when you join a club
•    Recruitment of leaders
•    Child Welfare initiatives
•    Safety and Best practice models in the club
•    Adult to player ratios
•    Training & playing schedule
•    Selection, inclusion, playing and development
•    Player registration and membership
•    Codes of Conduct for players, coaches, spectators, parents and referees

What do we expect of our players?
•    All players to be registered and to have their registration cards with them at matches.
•    Membership fees to be paid on time as part of the player insurance.
•    To be committed to the training and playing schedule of the club.
•    To have the right attitude towards training, playing, team mates, leaders, selection and representing the club.
•    To respect the Ethos, Laws of the Game and traditions of rugby.
•    To have the appropriate training and playing kit:
For matches:
Club jersey/ shorts and sock and gum shield (properly fitted)
For training:
Jersey/ socks/ shorts/ gum shield – ensure kit is warm and safe (no zips/ strings or sharp edges etc.)

What do we expect of Leaders?
•    Should be recruited through the club recruitment policy.
•    To go through relevant screening re: child welfare & vetting.
•    Be appropriately qualified.
•    Plan and prepare for matches & training sessions .
•    Be fair when dealing with players and particularly when dealing with selection and inclusion issues.
•    Set the right example and be approachable at all times

What do we expect of parents?
•    Always support your child in his/her efforts – don’t let your ambitions rule their experience.
•    Ensure your child(ren) have required kit whether training or playing.
•    Attend matches and training as much as possible.
•    Volunteer to assist the club when available.
•    Ensure you and your child are on time for sessions/ matches and especially when collecting your child after such events.
•    Respect the club and volunteer efforts – join the club!
•    Adhere to the Code of Conduct of the club.

What is expected of clubs?
•    Have a policy on child welfare, recruitment, best practice, selection, training and fixtures.
•    Ensure adherence to all Codes of Conduct.
•    Ensure all coaches are appropriately qualified.
•    Appoint a Child Welfare Officer and ensure access for appropriate training.
•    Committees (youth and mini) to meet regularly to ensure adherence to all club policies.
•    Strive to create a safe environment for all rugby activities  

The value of a Child Welfare Policy
•    Sets policies to ensure enjoyment; inclusion and fair play.
•    Promotes properly recruited and qualified coaches.
•    Allows the appointment of Child Welfare Officers to represent the interest of the players.
•    Supports the policies and initiatives regarding child awareness and children in sport.
•    Recognises the importance of the player registration scheme.
•    Highlights the Codes of Conduct.
•    Encourages respect and dignity for all participants.
•    Supports sportsmanship and fair play


Download a copy of the IRFU Child Welfare Policy - Click here. (.pdf version, Adobe Reader required)

Declaration of Intent (.pdf version, Adobe Reader required)

Code of Conduct - Understand the ethos of the game.