Mod Games Review & Changes

The NRL and State Leagues have agreed to a series of changes to the Modified Games in 2015, following the ‘Participation Pathways Review’ commenced in 2009.

Why are changes being made to the Modified Games?

Modified Games Review

The last time a comprehensive review of the junior game was completed was in 1982, 32 years ago, so the review was instigated to evaluate modified games by taking into account modern scientific principles and issues raised by key stakeholders, from the grassroots volunteer to the elite coach.

In 2009, the Participation Pathways Review arose from discussions by the Rugby League Research Board and Australian Rugby League Development Council that centred on modern growth and development principles, as well as long-term athlete development.

Subsequently, the Research Board and ARL Development Council instigated a review of the junior game, focusing primarily on the recreational and broad-based playing pathways, but also obtaining information on a range of key areas including: coaching, refereeing, administration and parent/volunteer engagement.

The scope of this review was refined to become a Modified Games Review.

What were the aims of the Review?

1. Provide safe, enjoyable and community friendly participation opportunities that encourage and foster lifelong participation in Rugby League;
2. Maximise the development of the necessary technical and tactical skills to enable players to progress along the pathway and reach their maximum potential;
3. Develop a game most tailored to pre-teen children at different stages of growth and maturation, from chronological, physiological and psychological perspectives;
4. Improve recruitment and retention of all involved in the junior game. In short, the aim is to create a fun game, where kids focus on the fundamentals – more touches, more runs, and scoring more tries.

What process did the Review undertake?

* A literature review of scientific and academic literature into growth and development principles, skill development theory, and educational curricula.
* A review of best practice in other sports – both in Australia and world-wide.
* A consultation process including 21 regional stakeholder forums, 8 targeted forums, 150 public submissions, discussions with 12 NRL clubs, State and National team coaches.
* 4 meetings of both the Pathways Review Committee and Key Stakeholder Committee.
* Trials and analysis of modifications in Junior Leagues across Australia.

* No conversion attempts (5, 6 & 7 years): provides more “ball in hand” time
* Zero tackle to be implemented as per International Laws (all ages) for standardisation of Law
* No scrums in 6-9 years (rarely applied and a safety consideration for the developing player)
* “Chances” for KO/Forward Passes (6 years only)
* Tap re-start to nonscoring team (all ages) to balance possession / less one-sided matches

* Tap re-start (place kick) to non-scoring team to balance possession / less one-sided matches
* Two Pass Variation with vests or armbands indicating exemption for First Receiver & Dummy Half (no handover if these players tackled from nominated positions)
* No Scrums (to provide more “ball in hand” time)
* Zero tackle to be implemented as per International Laws (standardises this Law)

See attached flyer for more information.


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