Community Rugby COVID-19 Updates

by Rugby Australia

27 March

General

On behalf of Rugby Australia and the Member Unions, we’d like to thank our Rugby Community for your continued efforts and patience as we continue to adapt to this rapidly evolving situation.

Safety and welfare

Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our Rugby Community which includes players, coaches, referees, volunteers and staff.

To support this, Rugby Australia has produced guidelines around what to do if there are suspected cases within your Rugby Community and how best to communicate this.

The document can be accessed here 

Just a reminder that following the decision by Rugby Australia and the Member Unions to postpone all Rugby activities until May alongside the restrictions introduced by the Federal Government on March 23, all gym facilities within Rugby Clubs must remain closed indefinitely.

Further information on public gatherings can be found here 

Coaches

Rugby Australia wants to ensure Community Coaches feel prepared and confident once the Rugby season returns.

Over the coming weeks all accredited Coaches will be invited to join an online forum to keep up to date with all things coaching and access useful resources.

In addition to this, a quick reminder that Smart Rugby accreditation expires on April 1. We would also encourage anyone who’s interested in coaching to complete the free online course. Please click here for further details.

Referees

The Game Management Guidelines are now available in three mediums (video, PDFs and PowerPoints) via the Rugby Australia website here.

Rugby Australia will regularly share educational videos on ‘Refereeing Best Practice’. The first video around ‘Half Time Game Plan’ can be viewed here.

Furthermore, we are now using the application Zoom to run online referee conferences. The course schedule will be finalised within the next week. In the meantime, the Zoom app can be downloaded for free here 

Club Admins

A reminder to make sure you have completed the latest Rugby Xplorer administration courses. You will receive your accreditation via the Learning Centre once completed.

Furthermore, Rugby Xplorer version 3.2 is now available for download and the latest updates can be read here.  

Final Note

Whilst the Rugby Community may not be able to connect in person at the moment, we encourage you to remain connected to the game through our social media channels where we are sharing daily content to keep you informed and entertained.

 

20 March

General

Rugby Australia and the Member Unions are committed to providing a regular Community Rugby update each Friday morning via our website to ensure everyone involved in the game is up to date with the latest rugby-related information.

As the situation is evolving, please know these updates might change however we will do our best to keep you informed and ensure our Rugby Community remains connected throughout these tough times.

The Rugby season remains postponed until the first week of May. This continues to include all Rugby games and training sessions across all age groups and formats as well as face-to-face coaching and match official courses.

Coaches

This week Rugby Australia had planned to launch National Coaching Week which involved hosting dozens of workshops across the country.

This campaign has been postponed until May and we will endeavour to keep you updated on the new dates, times and locations.

The good news is that we’ve still been able to launch around 350 educational videos for coaches across all age groups and formats which can be viewed here.The videos are free and a fantastic tool to help plan for the season ahead.

A reminder that Smart Rugby accreditation expires on April 1, 2020 so please ensure you’re up to date. The course takes just a short time to complete and the steps are outlined here.

Referees

An educational video on ‘Refereeing Best Practise’ will be shared each week on the Rugby Australia’s Referees page here. The first video will go live early next week.

Rugby Australia’s Referees webpage has been updated to provide a more user-friendly experience with all the relevant and up-to-date information.

A new platform called GoTo Training is being trialled to help connect referees and run meetings.

Further updates on this will be provided in the next week. Furthermore planned face-to-face courses will now be made available online over the coming weeks. More information around confirmed dates and times will be provided within the next week.

Safety and welfare

We have been receiving questions around what people should do if there are suspected cases of rugby participants, coaches, match officials, club administrators or volunteers. Our advice is to follow the directions of our Government and Health officials.

Rugby Australia and the Member Unions are also working on a ‘Return to Play’ checklist for clubs, associations, coaches and players. This means when the season recommences our participants are ready and conditioned to play, our coaches are well-equipped for training and clubs are providing a safe environment for their Rugby community to enjoy.

This document will be made available in the coming weeks.

Club Admins

All the latest information and updates on Rugby Xplorer can be found here.

Final Note

While these are challenging times, we know the spirit of the Rugby community is incredibly strong and we encourage you all to check in with each other and keep connected online. We will soon be sharing new content including ‘online challenges’ through the Rugby Australia Facebook page so make sure to keep an eye out!

 

16 March

General

Today, following a meeting of the National Development Panel, Rugby Australia along with the State and Territory Member Unions have unanimously agreed to postpone all Community Rugby until the first week of May, effective immediately.

This recommendation covers Rugby matches, Rugby training and face-to-face Rugby education courses. Although this decision has not been made lightly, it has been made with the interests of the participants, families and the broader community as the priority.

In arriving at this decision, Rugby Australia and the Member Unions have considered public health information and the advice of the Rugby Australia Chief Medical Officer, Dr Warren McDonald. The group acknowledges that this decision is a more conservative approach then has currently been recommended by the Australian, State and Territory Governments. However, it has been made to provide clarity to the Rugby community in a challenging and disruptive time.

Rugby Australia and the Member Unions are fully committed to supporting the game through this difficult time and the decision will allow for six weeks of planning to deliver a modified season which will commence, at this stage, at the beginning of May. The modified season will vary at a local level to best support the needs of our local Rugby communities.

It is acknowledged that there are a variety of Rugby competitions underway and Rugby Australia will work closely with Member Unions to minimize this disruption.

It is not the intention for this decision to interfere with the non-rugby related activities of our Rugby clubs, such as operation of licensed facilities. Government advice should continue to be followed in this regard.Rugby Australia and Member Unions will also work to increase the opportunity for people to engage in online education to ensure our critical workforces are ready for the recommencement of community Rugby.

The National Development Panel will meet weekly for the foreseeable future and will review this position and communicate any updates regularly.