Preparation for the Season Ahead...
Before entering the Colts League we suggest you look inward and ask the following questions of your Whole Team (Managers, Coaches, Players, and Parents). If the answers add up to a positive YES then we look forward to receiving your entry for next season.
Please be realistic. Answer these questions truthfully and fully consider the implications or you may end up entering the Colts League improperly prepared for next season !!
If your answers don't add up perhaps you should seriously consider a joint effort by combining your age-groups at Senior U18 Colts.
Amalgamated Teams from two different neighbouring Clubs have also proven successful.
Make sure you have the full backing of your Senior Club Committee for Colts Rugby. They can often help you, and know that investing in the Colts has secured the future of many Clubs throughout the North West. Don't be afraid to ask them for help !!
REMEMBER to put the date of the AGM in your diary NOW !!
NB: There are sanctions for non-attendance.
- Do you have the right Management and Coaching Team to take your Team forward ?
We recommend a minimum of 1 x Manager and 1 x Coach, but more bodies would be better !!
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...
- Do you have enough Parental support, and the support of your Club ?
You will need assistance to provide transport for all your Players to ALL your away games.
Fixtures must be honoured above all else and "we didn't have enough cars to get there" is not an acceptable excuse. In previous seasons Colts League Teams in certain areas have obtained financial assistance towards travel costs from their Local Authority.
- 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, and many quite rightly prioritise their A levels...
Schools 1st XV Rugby, Academy Rugby, County or Divisional Rugby are all pressures your Players can succumb to thereby depleting your Team !!
It takes a well organised 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.
Experience tells us a Squad Size of 25 Players can be too small !!
At least 5 trained Front Row is recommended.
...Any less and with injuries and the afforementioned distractions you will struggle to complete the League and Cup season.
- Have you made arrangements for Physio, Medics, or First Aid ?
Ask your MJ Section or Senior Club for help.
These are important considerations which differ from Club to Club.
- Ensure your Entry Application is submitted in time...
Late Entries are will not be accepted...
Timescales need to be observed to achieve Equitably Seeded Leagues and prepare the fixtures.
- ALL Players must be registered pre-season per the Squad Registration Regulations.
Squad Registrations must be submitted at the same time as your Entry Application...
Additional Players can be added throughout the season, however the bulk of your Squad must be registered to allow the Seeding Panel to judge whether Teams have sufficient Players to survive a meaningful competitive Colts League season.
- Ensure you provide Feedback per the Seeding Regulations.
Seeding Feedback must also be submitted at the same time as your Entry Application...
Teams who do not contribute to the Seeding Process will have their Application seriously scrutinised and may well be denied Entry into the Leagues.
- Familiarise yourself with the Referee Protocol.
All games must be officiated by a Society Referee...
Ensure your Club pays a Membership for your Colts Teams and that you know how to arrange for a Society Referee to be appointed to all your Home games.
- Make the necessary Pitch arrangements for you Home League matches.
You should consider how you will provide Technical Areas and Suitable Barriers on all pitches where you are likely to play a League game.
See the PreMatch Regulations...
Speak to your Senior Committee to ensure your Groundsman is briefed to provide markings for the Technical Areas ?
NB: Does your Club have a Ladies Team that takes priority on the 1st XV pitch ?
- Kit Regulations - Shirts Must be Numbered with traditional Large numbers to the back.
Our Referees prefer the traditional positional numbers on shirts so they can identify transgressors.
- Managers & Coaches should please read the ETHOS. To remind us what we are all doing, how, and why.
- Please ask ALL Parents and Players to read and observe the Code of Conduct to remind Parents and Players how they should conduct themselves.
Remember, Managers, Coaches, and Parents are all subject to the disciplinary regulations and if they transgress it may have an adverse effect on your Team or Club.
- Managers are reminded of Constitution Regulations 10.8... regarding the AGM and Pre-Season Managers' Meeting.
ALL TEAMS must send at least one Representative to the AGM & Pre-Season Managers Meeting who MUST be involved with the day to day running of the Team; on penalty of a 2 point deduction for not attending.
Mandatory attendance of the AGM and Pre-Season Managers' Meeting is a mark of the importance the League places on all Teams being represented.
Previous experience has taught us the apathy of non-attendees make them the Teams most likely to struggle, to cause their League Secretaries problems through lack of preparation, and potentially most likely to fail and withdraw...