Inclusive Rugby

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Inclusive rugby is an approach to sport participation that engages everyone, no matter their age, ability or experience level. It involves programming that is intentionally designed to remove barriers to sport participation for traditionally under-represented groups and create a supportive and welcoming environment.

In the fall of 2023 World Rugby introduced a new non-contact variation of the game, T1, that better reflects the characteristics of the union game including scrums, lineouts, and breakdowns, and is designed to be fun, inclusive, time efficient, safe, and simple to play. T1 aligns with Rugby Ontario’s vision of Rugby for All and, as such, we are recommending the use of T1 touch rugby as the basis for all non-contact rugby programs and competitions beyond U10 flag rugby beginning in 2025. 

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Minor Rugby in Ontario encompasses all age groups from U12 down to U4. Click here to see a visual breakdown of age groups by year of birth. U4-U10 run non-gendered, non-contact, flag rugby with an emphasis on having fun and staying active while learning fundamental movement skills and developing physical literacy. At the U12 level, programs are still non-gendered and there is the option for the introduction of contact with laws modified from those used at the senior (adult) level to help athletes learn the game and develop their skills in contact.

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Mixed Ability Rugby (MAR) follows an inclusive approach to sport as a Mixed Ability Sport. The focus is on engaging everyone, no matter their age, ability, or experience level. Mixed Ability Rugby is played in both contact and non-contact variations using only minor variations to the traditional laws of the game and increased flexibility to support mass participation. With the aim of Mixed Ability Rugby being to create a fully inclusive environment, teams are made up of individuals with a mix of abilities and experience levels with rugby. 

Rugby is a unique sport and prides itself on a broader sense of belonging for all connected to the sport. Our member clubs offer a range of programming to fit the needs of anyone interested in getting involved in rugby. Some clubs, however, are doing things a little bit differently. Follow the links below to learn about some of these inclusive-by-design programs.

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