ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 36

Discipline a vital factor in schools rugby

Vimal Perera

The scrum down 2007 exploded with the Mercantile Sevens. The ball rolls on with the schools sevens in February and then it passes on to the club season for the sevens at Radella on the 3rd and 4th of March.

Ahead of the season discussion should get underway to make the game enjoyable to all. The players, coaches, parents, spectators and officials should have consolation in the thought they are involved in a game that encourages a high degree of sportsmanship. It will be reasonable to expect that a best practice of behavior be adopted by those involved. Specifically these norms should be adopted at the school level.

It was sad that known schools have been relegated because of them not sticking to the expectation as laid down in the tournament rules. It is useless to point a finger at others when you have been found fault with. The best would be to control and minimize the damage already inflicted than to justify by drawing reference to other incidents.

Behavior guidelines should evolve within; if rugby at school is to provide a better citizen of tomorrow. Expectations of best behavior should be a simple outline for all those involved in the game. Specifically to those vociferous adults of school games who do not seem to have grown up to recognize the damage they are doing to the younger constituents of society.

The guidelines should be a simple outline for parents, teachers, coaches, players and well-wishers to ensure everyone is given the opportunity to maximize their enjoyment. Rugby has always been a game that prides itself on fair play and enjoyment for all. It is for those involved to safeguard those traditions. People must strive to maintain the elements of enjoyment and satisfaction in Rugby. Adults should be aware that young people play to satisfy themselves and not necessarily to satisfy adults or members of their own peer group. You have to improve the physical fitness of youth by encouraging participation in rugby by making it attractive, safe and enjoyable for all young people. It is necessary to constantly remind administrators, coaches, teachers, referees and parents that Rugby must be administered, taught and provided, for the good of those young people who wish to play the game. It is their game.

Players must play for enjoyment, specifically, at school level. It is just not to please parents, teachers or a coach. They must ensure that they play by the laws of the game. They should never argue with the referee's decision. Let your captain ask any necessary questions or may be leave it to the coach to discus it after the match. Control your temper there should be no room for ‘mouthing off'. Everybody has to work equally hard for themselves and the team. Then the team’s performance will benefit and so will your own. Be a good sport. Applaud all the good play, whether it is done by your team or your opponent. Shake hands with all of the opposing team at the conclusion of the match, and clap them off in the spirit of good sportsmanship. Treat all players as you yourself would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player. Treat everyone equally regardless of sex, disability, ethnic origin or religion. Remember that the goals of the game are to have fun, improve your skills and feel good. Co-operate with your coach, teacher, team mates, referee and opponents, for without them you do not have a game.

All this must be equally applicable to the old boys who too play an important role in school rugby and their responsibility too will help a lot to achieve these expectations.

Guidelines of the Australian Rugby Union have been helpful in sharing these thoughts with you.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.