Managers' Pre-Season Guide...
In preparation for the season ahead we suggest you again look inward and ask yourselves the following Questions...
(Q1). Do you have the support of your Club ?
Make sure you have the full backing of your Senior Club Committee for Colts Rugby.
They can often be persuaded to help you…
Investing in Colts has secured the future of many Clubs throughout the North West.
Don't be afraid to ask for help !!
(Q2). Do you have the right Management and Coaching Team to take your Team forward ?
A competitive League structure brings new pressures which you may not have encountered in Mini/Junior Rugby. Running a Team in the Colts League, with competitive fixtures every weekend, is too much for one man alone...
We recommend a minimum of 1 x Manager and 1 x Coach, but more bodies would be better !!
(Q3). Do you have enough Parental support ?
You will need assistance to provide transport for all your Players to ALL your away games.
Fixtures must be honoured above all else.
"We didn't have enough cars to get there" is not an acceptable excuse.
Financial assistance towards travel costs may be obtainable from your Local Authority.
(Q4). Do you have enough Players, including Front Row ?
Colts Players are young men on the verge of discovering Cars, Wine, Women and Song, and taking part time jobs (at the weekend) to fund such debauchery !!
Some have pressures put on them by the Rugby Master at School not to play Club Rugby.
Many prioritise their A level studies... Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and Skiing Trips…
These are all pressures your Players can succumb to thereby depleting your Team !!
It takes a well-organized Management & Coaching Team to keep things together, motivating ALL your Players, developing and keeping those on the fringes interested, and recruiting and adding players where possible.
Watch out for the approaches of 2nd & 3rd XV Captains to your players.
Carefully manage their introduction to the Senior Game or they could be injured, or dazzled by Saturday Rugby and lost to your Colts side.
Recommended Squad Size ?
At least 5 trained Front Row is recommended.
Any less and with injuries and the aforementioned distractions you may struggle to complete the League and Cup season.
Experience tells us a Squad Size of 25 Players can be too small !!
(Q5). What Do Managers Need to Do EVERY WEEK – Before the weekend of Each Game ?
(1). Confirm games at least a week in advance with your Opposite Number.
(i). Speak to them personally - as messages sometimes aren’t passed on.
(ii). Exchange Mobile Numbers and have them handy on Matchday.
(iii). Confirm times, kit colours, directions, and other arrangements…
NB: Regulation Kick Off times are :~ Junior Colts - 12:30hrs / Senior Colts - 14:00hrs.
Team contact details are shown on the Table & Fixtures page for each League.
The Website eMail system is a very useful method of Managers contacting each other but it should not be relied upon as being foolproof.
If you don't have the answer you need in time - RING !!
(2). Arrange a Society Referee for all Home games per the Referee Protocol Regulations.
(i). At the beginning of the season, by providing the Society with Your Fixtures.
(ii). Weekly in advance of your Home games.
(iii). Update your Society with re-arranged games, Cup games, and venue switches.
(3). Confirm with your appointed Referee at least a week before the game.
(i). Speak to them personally.
(ii). Exchange Mobile Numbers with your Referee and keep to hand on Matchday.
(4). Prepare your Match Card in advance… and don't forget to take it with you on Matchday.
(i). Hand your Match Card to the Referee before the game.
(ii). Don’t just leave it in his changing room.
(5). Update your Squad Registrations per the Squad Registration Regulations.
(i). Carry a copy of your latest Squad Registration Form as submitted to the League.
(ii). Update your RFU Player Registrations Cards and keep them to hand on Matchday.
(6). Carry a latest copy of the Matchday Regulations to resolve any queries or disputes.
(7). Remember Each Weekend, as you leave your house on a Sunday Morning…
(i). Home Teams - Referee's Contact Details (Name & Mobile Number).
(ii). Opposite Number’s Contact Details.
(iii). Match Card + RFU Reg Cards + Squad List + Matchday Regs.
(Q6). What Needs to Be Done...Before the Game ?
(1). Ensure your Pitch is properly prepared;
(i). Marked out, Technical areas, Barriers, Post Protectors, Flags...
(ii). Early pitch inspection and communication with Opponents and Referee if needed.
Speak to your Senior Committee before the season starts to ensure your Groundsman knows to provide markings for the Technical Areas ?
Enlist the services of Parents to help set-out your pitch / post protectors / etc…
Does your Club have a Ladies Team who may take priority on the 1st XV pitch ?
You should consider how you will provide Technical Areas and Suitable Barriers on all pitches where you are likely to play a League game – per Code of Conduct Regulation (2) to (4).
(2). Assigning a Responsible Adult to look after and host your Referee can pay dividends...
(i). Manager or Referee Host should welcome the Referee and offer him his expenses.
(ii). Your Referee is a Guest of your Club and should be afforded Courtesy and Hospitality.
(iii). Ensure your Referee has separate changing and showering facilities from the players.
(3). Ensure you have access to a Change of Strip.
(4). Carry a copy of the Colts League Regulations - to help resolve points of law / regulation.
NB: It is not advisable to enter into discussion on points of law whilst the match is in progress.
(5). Carry Contact Numbers - for emergency Matchday Contact with your Opposite Number and your Referee - Traffic problems and Breakdowns can happen at any time of the year / season.
(6). Both Managers should prepare a Match Card and hand it to the Referee before the game.
(7). Carry copies of all your RFU Youth Registration I/D Cards.
(i). Check Player I/D Cards in line with RFU Guidelines at least 30 minutes before kick-off.
NB: Disputes regarding Players RFU I/D or Match Cards should be resolved between Managers.
Your Referee should not be asked to resolve such disputes.
Speak to your LeagueSec for advise if needed.
(8). LATE Decision on GAME OFF through either pitches unfit, or Visitors short and won’t travel…
(i). Inform your Referee even before you advise the Cook.
(ii). If your Referee travels and attends a penalty may be levied by your Referee's Society
(9). Your Opposition arrive with 11 and you have more… What Next ?
(i). Consider evening sides up for the benefit of Player Development.
(ii). The side who are not short can only play with one player more.
(iii). Review the League Reg’s for “Reduced Numbers Games" with the Referee.
(Q7). What Needs to Be Done... During the Game ?
(1). Replacements must all wear HI-VIZ tabards.
(2). Coaches and Replacements MUST stay within the marked Technical Area per Code of Conduct
(i). Coaches and Replacements must not follow the game up and down the touchlines.
(3). Manage your Spectators - or ensure a willing adult volunteer will do this for you.
(i). Spectators must back from the touchlines behind suitable barrier.
(ii). Spectators must never enter the field of play.
(4). Managers and Coaches should ensure Players and Spectators observe the Code of Conduct.
(i). Refrain from inciting Players or abusing Referees from the touchline.
(ii). Offenders will be held to account by their CB Disciplinary Committee.
The actual “Points Total” in the Table at the end of the season is immaterial. Therefore; Once a game is obviously won Teams are encouraged to rotate their Squad and develop their peripheral players, rather than focus on achieving a cricket score. The development of such players may well be critical as the season progresses; with injuries and other calls on core players.
Teams who co-operate with their opponents who are short on numbers, perhaps by lending players to make a game of it, will earn FairPlay Points towards the FairPlay Trophy. These will be used in any determination between Teams level on League Points at the end of each section of the season.
(Q8). What Needs to Be Done… Immediately After Each Game - ALL Managers ?
(1). Check the scores with the Referee and TEXT the Result to Your League Secretary
before 6pm Sunday.
(2). Ask the Referee to complete and sign the Match Card you gave him prior to the game.
(i). Counter-sign your Opposite Number's Match Card.
(ii). Tick all boxes on the Match Card, inc’ RFU Card Check, Loaned Players.
(Q9). What Needs to Be Done …Immediately After Each Game - Home Team Managers ?
NB: This is a Safeguarding Issue and must be observed…
(1). If you have communal showers ensure the Referee can shower before the Players.
(2). Ensure Referees are hosted fed & watered - Your Guest is as a Stranger in a Foreign Land !!
(Q10). What Needs to Be Done On Matchday... Later on, but still the Day of the Game ?
(1). Send-in your Match Card per the Post Match Regulations before 6pm Monday.
(i). In the event of any personal difficulties try to make your League Sec aware.
(ii). Plan ahead by delegating who else could communicate with your League Sec.
(iii). Ensure Your Deputy has your LeagueSec’s Contact Details for TEXT and Match Card.
(2). Report Red Carded Miscreants to your Club Secretary per the Disciplinary Regulations.
(i). Know your responsibilities if one of your players has been Red Carded ?
(ii). Immediate Suspension applies to ALL Players until a Disciplinary Panel has heard the case.
(iii). Such Suspension includes ALL RUGBY - Including from Schools Matches.
(Q11) Where Do You Check The Fixtures ?...
(1). On the League Website under Fixtures & Tables for your League…
(2). Refer to the Structured Season now and again to remind yourself what's coming up...
(Q12) What Happens after the League Season (Late Feb) ?...
(1). League Cup Competitions: CUP / BOWL / PLATE / SHIELD
Encourage your Parents to take & Post PHOTO’s on the Colts League Facebook Page
(1). Ethos - The primary focus shall be on Club based Colts Players playing Rugby Union Football.
(2). Fixtures Must Be Honoured : above anything else.
(3). Communication is KEY : with your League Secretary, your Opposite Number, and your Referee.
(4). RESULTS : Must be in ON TIME – By TEXT, then By EMAIL.
(5). Help is Always at Hand : Don’t be afraid to ASK !! Your League Secretary will help you.