Under 10s


*Born 2013, or after

Under 11s


*Born 2012, or after

Under 12s


*Born 2011, or after

Under 13s


*Born 2010, or after

Taupō, the vibrant heart of New Zealand's North Island, invites junior rugby teams on an unforgettable tour. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, this destination epitomizes rugby camaraderie.

Lake Taupō, a majestic inland sea, sets the stage for adventure. Discover snow-blanketed ski fields, ancient forests alive with birdsong, thrilling trout-filled rivers, and the mighty Huka Falls. Relax in steaming geothermal valleys with rejuvenating hot springs and pools against the backdrop of three towering volcanoes in Tongariro National Park's awe-inspiring and otherworldly landscape.

The town centre offers a multitude of activities. Explore vibrant shops, savor delicious restaurants and cafes, and immerse yourself in local culture. Taupō offers thrilling experiences beyond rugby for your team.

The NZ Junior Rugby Festival in Taupō attracts over 100 teams annually, both local and international, having hosted teams from Japan, France, South Africa, America, and Australia.

Register your interest early as spots fill up quickly and experience Taupō's magic.


Under 10s


*Born 2013, or after

Under 11s


*Born 2012, or after

Under 12s


*Born 2011, or after

Under 13s


*Born 2010, or after


The main reason kids play rugby is to have fun. While it's natural to want to win and be competitive, which we support, it shouldn't come at the cost of a child's enjoyment and development. The festival format has been designed to ensure that teams don't get knocked out and every team gets to play the same number of games. 5-6. Each game will last 25 mins. We'll do our best to keep teams from the same union apart, giving clubs a chance to meet and play teams that they would never normally have the opportunity to play. Global Games events are for non-rep and selection teams. 

“The purpose of the NZ Junior Rugby Festival is to give all junior players the opportunity to participate against clubs from around the country and the world on a foundation of sportsmanship, enjoyment and friendship, all the while creating lifelong memories with their mates on tour.” 


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 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.


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


10am - 2:30pm
Teams are allowed to start setting-up marquees on fields

​​​​​​​1pm - 3:30pm
Teams can sign-in and collect their event packs

1:00pm - 4:00pm
Onsite weigh-in open
(for teams that have booked in)

Compulsory manager's meeting for all teams in downstairs room of event HQ (Only 1 rep from every team)

Opening ceremony commences

Exhibition match


6:30am- 8:15am
Teams allowed onto the fields to set-up marquees. (No vehicles allowed on fields)

Games start

Games conclude


Teams are allowed to arrive at ODP

First game

Games conclude


Teams are allowed to arrive at ODP

First Game

Games conclude

2:30pm - 3:30pm
Prize giving


The New Zealand Junior Rugby Festival is played in accordance with World Rugby & NZRU “Laws of the Game: Coaches attending must have completed the compulsory NZ Rugby’s Coaching Small Blacks Course.

Our rules are played in accord with Small Blacks Rugby Development Model, which covers all rugby Under 6 to Under 13s.

The philosophy is that the game must be safe and enjoyable for all participants.

The rules and format are based around ensuring the players have as much fun and as possible and a focus on development. It’s ok to go out to win, however it is the responsibility of management, referees, parents and supporters to assist all players in developing the fundamental skills required to play the game safely and in accordance with the Laws of the Game.

Adapted from the NZRU Small Blacks Rugby Handbook, these guidelines are to be followed by all participants and spectators at the New Zealand Junior Rugby Festival.


Field: ½ size field
Ball: Size 3
Players: 10 per side (5 forwards/5 backs). 5 subs
Coaches/Management: Must be behind dead ball line during matches with reserves
Subs: Teams can make subs at 1/4 time intervals, no rolling subs and ALL PLAYERS must play half a game.
Tackle: All tackles must be below the sternum
Scrums: 5 players, no contesting or pushing. Opposition backlines back 5m, halfback must start and stay at the tunnel of scrum until the ball has been cleared from the locks feet. Locks cannot pick and go.
Lineouts: Uncontested. 2.5m in from touch. 5 players – No lifting, lines from 1m apart, backlines back 5m, no player to cross the line of touch (LOT) until ball in halfbacks hand.
Kick-Offs: The scoring team will restart play with a punt or drop kick from halfway, and can only do so when referee is ready to restart the game. Teams need to be given a reasonable chance to get into position for kick offs
Penalties: Tap and pass. Opposition 5m back
Conversions: No conversions
Hands off: Players may fend to the body but not to the face or neck region.


Field: Full Field
Ball: Size 4
Players: 15 per side, with numbered jerseys
Coaches/Management: Must be behind dead ball line during matches with reserves
Subs: Teams can make subs at 1/4 time intervals, no rolling subs and ALL PLAYERS must play half a game.
Tackle: All tackles must be below the sternum.
Scrums: For under 12’s and above, scrums can be contested with a push up to 1 1⁄2 metres. Scrums cannot be intentionally wheeled off the square. It is accepted there is usually a natural bias which cannot go more than 45 degrees. For all scrums opposition backlines 5m back from hindmost foot of scrum, halfback must start at the tunnel of the scrum and cannot move forward of the tunnel. Once the ball has entered the scrum can then move back to the No.8 feet and stand anywhere along the off side line (No.8 feet).
Lineouts: Contesting is allowed, lines 1m apart      - No lifting. Backlines back 10m
Kick-Offs: The scoring team will restart play with a punt or drop kick from halfway, and can only do so when referee is ready to restart the game. Teams need to be given a reasonable chance to get into position for kick offs.
Opposition back 10m Penalties: Normal. Opposition 10m back
Conversions: No wider than the 15m line.           

Hands off: Players may fend to the body but not to the face or neck region.
Number 8 running from back of scrum: No. 8 will be allowed to run from the base of the scrum, providing he detaches legally (i.e. the ball must be at this feet) and he picks the ball up correctly.
Line out quick throw ins: There are no laws listed restricting quick THROW Ins consequently these are permitted. A quick THROW IN cannot occur if a lineout has been formed. A lineout is considered formed if two players from either team have lined up along the line of touch.


Set a positive example for children by respecting that rugby is a sport played for fun and enjoyment.

Never harass players, coaches, or officials. Anyone deemed to be abusive will be asked to leave the grounds immediately.

Applaud the performances of both teams and be positive towards the referees, acknowledging their efforts.

Let the children play their game, not your game and praise the actual efforts of players, rather than just the results.

Do not criticize or put down players, coaches, or referees.

Applaud the performances of both teams and be positive towards the referees, acknowledging their efforts.



Team weigh ins can take place at your club, by either a Club chairperson/president or union delegate, who can sign off the team weigh in sheet the week of the festival. They must sight each player on the scales and take full responsibility of ensuring that each player meets the weight guidelines.

We can also do onsite weigh ins, for those not able to have an official weigh their team/s.


  1. Organise a date with your club official or union delegate
  2. Print off and fill out the weigh-in sheet (emailed to clubs in June)
  3. At the weigh-in hand write weights Date an signature from the official or delegate on the weigh-in sheet
  4. Scan or take clear photo and send it to carla@globalgames.co.nz
  5. Also bring the copy to take to the festival


The day before the festival starts (Thursday 14th September), teams who haven’t been weighed in before arriving, need to come to the club rooms at Owen Delany Park to get their players registered to be eligible to play in the event.

This will be running from 12pm - 4pm. Please email carla@globalgames.co.nz to book a time slot.


Managers or coaches can come to Owen Delany Park to sign-in their team and get their event packs from 1pm - 3:30pm Thursday 14th September. Coaches meeting will take place at 4pm downstairs of HQ under the grandstand. Due to the size of the event, only one team coach per team to attend.

Most rugby unions in NZ play under different weight and grading systems, so there is no way we can create a model that suits everyone. We do our very best so that as many players can take part in a safe environment against teams of similar size and age.

Due to this fact, there are no longer any heartland or international weight dispensations our age and weight restrictions are as follows: There are now 2 grades for each age group.

+ up to 1 Dispensation on the field
Teams can only play 2 dispensations per game, and only one can be on the field at a time (both must play half a game each)​​​​​​​

Age groups means under the age as of 1st January 2023.

It is up to club and team and club management to ensure players meet the weight restriction for their age group before arriving. If players are near the weight restriction during the season, it is your responsibility to inform them and their families they may be unable to enter. 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. If any opposition puts in a formal complaint about size of player/s, those in question will be weighed in again.

If clubs or teams play players above the limits, they risk losing points towards major prizes and receiving a club wide ban from attending for two years. Due to some teams and clubs not following these rules, we have set up a separate team to manage this area during the festival. Its just not worth the risk, as not only will the player/s in question have to sit out the rest of the event, but it can affect the whole club returning.

Note: Any players that have been dispensated by their provincial union to play up or down a grade can still play with their team at the festival, if they have played in the same team all year, have not played any rugby in a higher age group than the one they are playing in during the NZJRF and they meet the weight requirement.


To engage the players more prior to the event we have come up with a few competitions to get players pumped for the upcoming festival. Prizes for these 3 competitions will be announced at the prizegiving on Sunday. From 2023 all Prizes will be given out at the event, and not the start of the following season.


We would love to know more about the background and history of your rugby club and/ or team and what makes it unique and special within your community. So we ask all teams attending to please send us a blurb about your club along with your clubs logo and a photo of your team coming to our festival! Please know this is just one blurb per club not per team.

The most likes on a club blurb will receive a
$500 Rugby Kit Prize Package!

Email carla@globalgames.co.nz to submit your
club blurb/logo entry before 1st June.


This year we are wanting teams to send through their best buddy team photo over the weekend.
It could be at the event, in and around Taupō or an action shot. Team photos will be marked on creativity/ action/ excitement and could be individual or team photos. Please send these through during the festival to
carla@globalgames.co.nz or via our FB page and the team with the best photo during the festival will win a prize that will be awarded at the prizegiving.


We invite all clubs and teams to take part in our flag and banner competition. These are similar to what you would see at the opening ceremony’s of international events that countries walk in to the arenas with, except your welcome to have any designs on your flag or banner you like. Teams are encouraged to bring them throughout the festival including registration, the opening ceremony, games and the closing ceremony. This competition allows players to get creative before the festival kicks off!

Prizes for these three competitions will be
announced at the prizegiving on Sunday.


Please note that the event map could be subject to change in the leadup to the event



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


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.


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.


All team marquees need to be set-up 10:00am - 2:30pm, Thursday 14th. If at any time you are driving onto the fields to set up, you must:

  • Drive below 10km/hour
  • Have your hazard lights on
  • Follow directions from our marshals in high vis vests
  • Be extremely careful of kids running about.

There are a few rules that we have with the marquee set ups:

  • Don’t set up your marquee within 5m of any of the playing fields
  • Avoid putting large pegs onto any ground markings. These indicate where the drainage pipes run and power lines run.
  • Follow the direction of any of our marshals. If you have any questions about it on the day, please don’t hesitate to ask our team.


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 all
team 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.


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.


We have 3 marquee hire packages for teams that want them. Please book these by the 1st August!

  • Option 1: $1395.00 - 6m x 9m marquee - Team Name Sign - 2 trestle table - 10 chairs - 1 BBQ & Gas Bottle - Fire Extinguisher
  • Option 2: $1095.00 - 6m x 6m marquee - Team Name Sign - Trestle Table - 6 Chairs - BBQ & Gas Bottle - Fire Extinguisher
  • Option 3: $685.00 - 6m x 3m marquee - Team Name Sign - Trestle Table - 6 Chairs

Links to book and purchase will be sent out in April.


There will be a good range of vendor food trucks consisting of a variety of food and beverages to keep you all energized during games. Eftpos is available at most vendors. We encourage players and supporters to bring water bottles as there will also be a free water station at the festival.