NZ JUNIOR GIRLS RUGBY FESTIVAL

The NZ Junior Girls Rugby Festival in Christchurch will be an exhilarating event that brings together young rugby enthusiasts from across the nation. Hosted at the prestigious Christchurch Football Club, one of our country's most esteemed clubs established in 1863, the festival guarantees an extraordinary experience as clubs from across the nation's unite for a thrilling weekend of grass roots footy, celebrating our girls in rugby


Christchurch, renowned for its resilient spirit and captivating landscapes, provides the perfect backdrop for an awe-inspiring rugby journey. From the iconic Canterbury Plains to the majestic Southern Alps, teams will be immersed in awe-inspiring natural beauty that ignites passion both on and off the field.


In addition to the exhilarating matches, Christchurch offers a myriad of attractions and activities for teams to relish. Discover the vibrant city center adorned with bustling markets, diverse culinary delights, and a rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourselves in the renowned hospitality and embrace the genuine warmth of the local community.


Prepare to be part of the NZ Junior Girls Rugby Festival in Christchurch, where the unwavering love for rugby and the breathtaking beauty of the South Island harmonize, creating an indelible experience etched in your memories forever.

GRADES


U10/11s

Born 2013 or after


U12/13s

Born 2010 or after

FORMAT

At these age groups, we should always prioritize fun and development, both on and off the field. Winning games is a bonus, but it should never be at the expense of a child’s enjoyment and growth. Unfortunately, in the past, some teams and clubs have prioritized winning at all costs, which goes against the spirit of the festival and ruins the experience for others. Global Games events are for non-rep selection teams.

To ensure that all players have a great time, we have made some changes to the festival format from 2022. Instead of championships or grand finals, games will be arranged in a way that allows teams to play against as many new teams as possible from different regions. Each team will play 5-6 shorter games, with halves lasting between 10-15 minutes. The focus is on fun, enjoyment, and fair play for all involved, while still providing opportunities for development and growth. 

We believe that these changes will help to reinforce the values of rugby and provide a positive experience for everyone involved. We encourage all teams to embrace this new format and to prioritize fun and fair play above all else. Let’s work together to make this year’s festival a success and ensure that all players leave with memories that will last a lifetime. 

SCORE BLOWOUT

In the event that scores become one sided, (more than 20 points lead) both coaches should meet at half time with the referee to find a solution for a more enjoyable game for both sets of players. There are no extra/bonus points for teams who beat other teams by big scores, so once the game is won, make it fun.

GAME SHEET

Game Sheets will be required to be filled out online before each match, via Sporty. Games sheets not only inform us who played in that match, but also help us select team of the festival, MVP’s, best and fairest and age group prizes. Team managers submit final game sheets at the end of the match and data is collected live, removing the old paper based system.

SCHEDULE

An update will be emailed out to managers with all timings closer to the event, but the following pages are a good outline of the schedule and areas to think about

THURSDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER

3:00pm
Teams can register and collect their event packs. (Closes at 5pm)

FRIDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER

7:00am
Grounds open & Teams can start packing in

8:00am
Compulsary Coaches Meeting for all teams

8:30am
All teams must be at grounds

8:45am
Opening Ceremony commences

9:30am
First Game

5:30pm
Games conclude

SATURDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER

Rugby Experience Day
TBC
Morning


TBC
Afternoon

SUNDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER

8:30am
First game

3:30pm
Games Conclude

3:15 - 4:00pm
Prize Giving

ELIGIBILTY

ENTRY FEE 

The cost of entry to NZJGRF festival is $45/player with proceeds raised going back to run the event, sponsor junior teams and help Global Games deliver on our mission of giving 100,000 children a world class experience by 2030.  


Entry fees Due 1st June  

2023 AGE RESTRICTIONS

All players must be registered with NZRU to participate. 

All players must be within the age restriction as of 1st January 2023.  ​​​​​​​

Note: Any player that have been dispensated by their provincial union to play down a grade can still play with their team at the festival, as long as they have played in the same team all year and have not played any rugby in a higher age group than the one they are playing in during the NZJGRF.  

It is up to club and team management to  ensure players meet the age requirements.  It’s heartbreaking for the players to come all  the way and have no idea that they are going to be told they can’t play.  

TEAM SHEETS

For the 2023 NZ Junior Girls Rugby Festival, we require all participating teams to complete team sheets via our online form.  


Each player’s full name and date of birth must be provided. It’s essential to ensure that all players are registered with NZRU, and coaches have completed Small Blacks via your club before the 1st of July 2023.  


Only three changes to the team sheet will 
be permitted once initially submitted, due to injury or family circumstances. Teams that fail to submit their team sheet by the deadline will receive point deductions towards major prizes.  
If you are unsure of your team’s availability for the tournament, we recommend aiming for the 2024 event. 


Please note that team sheets must be completed by the deadline to ensure a smooth and efficient registration process.​​​​​​​

RULES

RIP RUGBY RULES

Players: 7 Aside games with up to 5 subs.  There is no limit on squad size traveling to the event, but maximum 12 per match.  
Mouthguard: Compulsory
Field size: Half field
Ball size: u10/11 size 3   u12/13 size 4
Length of game: 2 x 15 minute halves
Subs: Under NZRU laws for small blacks development model, all players must play half a game. Substitutions may be made at quarter-time, half-time or three-quarter-time. 
Scoring/restart: Scoring team to drop kick from halfway. Opposition to be 10m back.
Rips: Four rips before handover. Only the ball carrier can be ripped. After an attacking player has been “ripped”, they look to offload immediately to a supporting team member. The attacker has 3 steps in any direction after having their tag removed to offload the ball. After the ball carrier has passed the ball the ripper must hand the tag back or place straight on the ground. All players must always have their 2 tags on their belts and the belt must be worn outside the clothing and tags positioned one on each hip. A rip will be counted where a player only has one.If a player is ‘ripped’ before the try line and they don’t pass before they get over the line, they restart play 5 meters out from the try line with a free pass. 
Scrum: 3 person. The side feeding the ball into the scrum wins the ball (no contest, no pushing). The opposing halfback must not advance past the tunnel. The opposing backline must be 5 metres behind the hindmost feet of the scrum and cannot advance until the halfback has played the ball. Scrum ends when ball comes out of the scrum or when half back passes the ball (half back cannot run with the ball) 

Lineout: 3 players in lineout, uncontested u10/11, contested u12/13. No lifting any grade, two lines of players to be 1 metre apart. A lineout participant, who catches the ball, may then run off with the ball. If the throw is not straight advantage applies to the non-offending team. Backlines must stand 5 metres back from the centre of the lineout. Players can advance when the receiver catches the ball. Penalty: the defending team will be 5 metres back from the infringement mark. All infringements start with a tap and pass “free pass”. 
Offside: Offside only occurs at the rip. When a rip is made, all players from the ripper’s team must get back 2metres from where the rip has been made. If a player is offside and they intercept, prevent, or slow down a pass, a free pass will be awarded to the non-offending team
Penalty offences: Offside. Pushing, tackling, fending. Shielding or hiding tags. Running after rip. Not handing back tags, or placing fairly on ground 
Kicking: Yes can kick during play, if a kick in general play crosses the dead ball line it is a free pass at the mark of where the kick was made. If you are ripped, you cannot kick the ball. Normal offsides from kicking situations apply. Kick chasers must stay behind the kicker or be put on side by the kicker 
Conversions: No
Score blowouts: Score blowouts have a detrimental effect on both teams. If the score is 30 plus at halftime both coaches must meet to find a way they can generate a more even contest. This is a festival of rugby, there are no championships or finals 

U10/11 TACKLE RULE

Players: 10 Aside games with up to 5 subs. There is no limit on squad size traveling to the event, but maximum 15 per match.
Mouthguard: Compulsory
Field size: 1/2 Field 
Ball size: 3
Length of game: 2 X 15 minute halves
Coaches/Management: Must be behind dead ball line during matches with reserves 
Subs: Under NZRU laws for small blacks development model, all players must play half a game. Substitutions may be made at quarter-time, half-time or three-quarter-time. 
Scoring/restart: Scoring team to drop kick from halfway (opposition to be 10m back )
Tackle: Tackle must be below the sternum, no fending to the head/face or neck regions. A player must not tackle an opponent whose feet are off the ground. The tackled player must release the ball when either the player or the ball is grounded.
Scrum: 5 Person. The side feeding the ball into the scrum wins the ball (no contest, no pushing). The opposing halfback must not advance past the tunnel. The opposing backline must be 5 metres behind the hindmost feet of the scrum and cannot advance until the halfback has played the ball. Scrum ends when: ball comes out of the scrum or when half back passes the ball.

Lineout: 5 Person uncontested, no reduced numbers are allowed (all forwards to be part of the line out). No lifting and the two lines  of players to be 1 metre apart. A lineout participant, who catches the ball, may then run off with the ball. If the throw is not straight advantage applies to the non-offending team. Backlines must stand 10 metres back from the centre of the lineout. Players can advance when the receiver catches the ball.
Ruck and maul: Players must not join from the side; players must be bound to the maul or behind the last player; players must not collapse a maul.
Penalty: The defending team will be 10 metres back from the infringement mark. Kicking for touch is allowed.
Kicking: Yes
Conversions: No
Score blowouts: Score blowouts have a detrimental effect on both teams. If the score is 30 plus at halftime both coaches must meet to find a way they can generate a more even contest. This is a festival of rugby, there are no championships or finals.

U12/13 TACKLE RULE

Players: 10 Aside games with up to 5 subs. There is no limit on squad size traveling to the event, but maximum 15 per match.
Mouthguard: Compulsory
Field size: Full field 
Ball size: 4
Length of game: 2 X 15 minute halves
Coaches/Management: Must be behind dead ball line during matches with reserves
Subs: Teams to use rolling subs in order to achieve satisfactory game time for all players 
Scoring/restart: Scoring team to restart. Opposition to be 5m back.
Scrum: 5 Person. The side feeding the ball into the scrum wins the ball (no contest, no pushing). The opposing halfback must not advance past the tunnel. The opposing backline must be 5 metres behind the hindmost feet 
of the scrum and cannot advance until the halfback has played the ball. Scrum ends when: ball comes out of the scrum or when half back passes the ball .

Tackle: Tackle must be below the sternum, no fending to the head/face or neck regions. A player must not tackle an opponent whose feet are off the ground. The tackled player must release the ball when either the player or the ball is grounded 

Lineout: 5 Person. Contesting is allowed, lines 1m apart - no lifting. Backlines back 10m. No short lineouts. Players can advance when the receiver catches the ball.
Ruck and maul: Players must not join from the side; players must be bound to the maul or behind the last player; players must not collapse a maul.
Penalty: The defending team will be 10 metres back from the infringement mark. All infringements start with a tap off the ground and pass “free pass”.
Kicking: Yes
Conversions: Yes 
Score blowouts: Score blowouts have a detrimental effect on both teams. If the score is 30 plus at halftime both coaches must meet to find a way they can generate a more even contest. This is a festival of rugby, there are no championships or finals.

VENUE

*ADD VENUE MAP*

The Christchurch Football Club is leading  the way in women’s and girls rugby, and this success is largely attributed to the exceptional leadership of Steph Te Ohaere-Fox, their Rugby Development Manager. With an impressive list of accomplishments, Steph has been a crucial figure at CFC since 2004, having played for the Black Ferns, captained the Barbarians International team, and become the most capped Canterbury FPC player. She sets  an example for the club’s female players to aspire to, coaching one of the junior teams and advocating for rugby in all its forms. 

But Steph is not alone in driving the club’s success. Nicola Flint, the Club Manager, oversees day-to-day operations of all the teams and spearheads the club’s junior tour program, giving players opportunities beyond Saturday morning footy. Nicola played a crucial role in getting the girls’ festival off the ground and is unwavering in her commitment to growing the game for girls and women alike. “Together, Steph and Nicola form a powerhouse duo, leading the charge in supporting and growing women’s and girls’ rugby at CFC.” 


The club’s dedication to women’s rugby is palpable in their championship-winning senior women’s team, which features numerous Black Ferns and FPC players. Moreover, the girls-only teams work hand in hand with the senior team, providing a solid pathway for young female players to follow. 


CFC is proud to host the highly anticipated 2023 NZ Girls Junior Rugby Festival, a collaborative effort with the Global Games and Ponsonby Rugby Club. This biennial tournament, which will attract teams from far and wide and will be held at Christchurch Park and feature girls-only teams from across New Zealand and around the world. The 2022 edition was a resounding success, held at Western Springs Stadium during the Rugby World Cup, and the 2023 tournament promises to be even better. CFC continues to lead the way in promoting and developing the women’s and girls’ game in rugby, and their efforts will undoubtedly inspire many more female players in the years to come. 

EVENT INFORMATION

MEDIA EXPOSURE

Please know that there will be media on site and there will be film and camera footage taken at the event. By attending, everyone agrees that these images and videos may be used in promotional materials and possibly in the media. If you do not wish to have your team player/s to be filmed or have photos taken of them, please inform us before the event

NZJRF APP

We are excited to announce that we are developing a new app in partnership with Sporty https://www.sporty.co.nz The app will revolutionize the way team managers and attendees experience the NZJRF. In addition to enabling team managers to stay in touch with event management and coordinate safety processes, our app will also provide access to key event information, maps, news updates, and draw and results.

LOST CHILDREN

With so many kids at the event, the odd brother or sister sometimes goes off to watch their own game. If you have found or lost a child at the NZJRF, please report to the event Portacom. We will send a message out to locate their family as quickly as possible.

With so many kids at the event, it’s important to have a centralized platform that helps us stay connected and informed. The new app will make it easier than ever for team managers and attendees to navigate the event, stay up-to-date on news and results, and report lost or found children. We will be providing login details to allteam managers prior to the event and will offer a tutorial session during the team managers meeting to ensure everyone is comfortable with the app.

We are committed to ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all attendees at the NZJRF, and the new app is just one way we are doing that. We welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have, and look forward to seeing you at the event.

PARKING

As you can imagine, parking can be quite the operation when trying to get 15,000 people in and out of a venue. We always try to get everyone into and out of Owen Delany Park as quickly as we can; please car pool!

Parking Passes

We will be issuing every team 1x full festival parking pass for 1 vehicle to park next to the fields inside the stadium. These will be issued closer to the event

Please show the parking wardens your team pass when you arrive and display in view of front window of your vehicle. Due to how many teams attending, we will only be issuing each team to have one pass. This will allow your team to get into the blue carpark

Parking Passes for sale

We have extra passes on sale that you can purchase online before the festival. Extra Parking Passes are $60 for the whole festival. These always sell fast so please get in quick once they are released.

Disabled Parking

We have disabled parking available inside the festival. All passes will be checked this year, due to several fraudulent passes being used in 2022. Passes must be current and registered to the person using them. Please inform us if someone within your team or supporters requires disabled parking.

HQ/PORTACOM

If you have any queries about the festival during the event, please visit HQ which will be located at the top of the grandstand. A copy of the draw will also be available there.