The primary school rugby ceiling age-group is normally under-13.
A while back in an effort to improve safety in primary school rugby, SARU declared that primary school students turning 14-years-old during the calendar year were not longer permitted to play primary school rugby. They are not even meant to attend rugby practices with classmates who are under-13 and therefore qualify to play.
SARU’s decision about these under-14’s still in primary school had good intentions behind it. Nevertheless it has been a bitter pill to swallow for some parents who’ve been in that boat and who’ve found it to be a form of exclusionism their son didn’t deserve.
The only recourse for parents in these case (and their are some schools that have been very supportive in the regard), is to let their primary school son play under-14 rugby at a nearby high school.
Obviously it helps when there is a close relationship between the primary school and high school or if the boy is able to play for the under-14 team of the school he will most likely attend the following year. It’s also an adjustment bonus if the youngster is able to play alongside friends or even just former primary school teammates, as he is pretty much a foreigner to the high school he represents in every other respect.
It’s not ideal. It’s known to can cause unwanted stress. Thankfully it’s not the norm.
Under 13 (U13) = Players aged 11, 12, or 13, with these players turning 12, 13, and having turned 13 respectively during the year in question
Under 14 (U14) = Players aged 12, 13, or 14, with these players turning 13, 14, and having turned 14 respectively during the year in question
Under 15 (U15) = Players aged 13, 14, or 15, with these players turning 14, 15, and having turned 15 respectively during the year in question
Under 16 (U16) = Players aged 14, 15, or 16, with these players turning 15, 16, and having turned 16 respectively during the year in question
Under 17 (U17) = Players aged 15, 16, or 17, with these players turning 16, 17, and having turned 17 respectively during the year in question
Under 18 (U18) = Players aged 16, 17, or 18, with these players turning 17, 18, and having turned 18 respectively during the year in question
Under 19 (U19) = Players aged 16, 17, 18, or 19, with these players turning 17, 18, 19, and having turned 19 respectively during the year in question
Age‐grade: An Age‐grade is determined by the maximum age, as determined on 31st December of that specific
year, of a player allowed to participate within the prescribed Age‐grade. For example, the oldest player in the
U13 Age‐grade, would still be 13 years old on 31st December of the specific year in question
Minimum Age: The minimum age allowed in an Age‐grade is determined by the age that you turn during the
specific year in question. For example, if the minimum age is 11 on the 1st of January, then on the 31st of
December of the same year, you would have to be 12 years old, having turned 12 years old during the specific
year in question. You cannot have turned 11 on the 1st of January, as you would still be 11 by midnight on the
31st of December of the same year.
B ‐ Regulations:
In School Rugby in South Africa, schools may set their own Age‐grade divisions, but the following stipulations have to
1. In “Primary School Rugby”, no player, who on the 1st of January in any given year, as defined under Minimum
Age, is more than two (2) years younger, than the prescribed maximum stipulated age within an Age‐grade
category, may participate within that Age‐grade during the year in question.
a. For example, if you turn 11 on the 1st of January or are younger than 11 (e.g. 10) on the 1st of January,
you cannot be allowed to play in the U13 division within that year, as the oldest player in the U13 Agegrade,
as defined above, would be 13 years of age, and having turned 13 during the year in question.
b. The player may not be older than the stipulated Age‐grade e.g. in the U13 division, a player may not
be 14 years old or be turning 14 years old during the year in question