The 2015/2016 season was tremendous for youth rugby around Atlanta, with the beginning of the GRU and new sides forming in all age groups. Many players are new to the sport, and we must standardize rules enforcement as well as proper training of tackling techniques.


To help achieve these goals, as well as safety awareness and prevention of unsafe play, AYR will build on our past achievements (trainers at every contact scrimmage, increasing the use of certified referees, baseline concussion testing, etc.) to create a new SafePlay approach that all our sides will follow. A key component is the ‘Law of the Week’, taken from World Rugby and adapted to our curriculum. All GRU teams will be encouraged to focus on training the top ‘Laws’ properly, and referees told to enforce them.


Created with input from AYR coach Samantha Ellmore, Colton Cariaga and others from Life University, as well as input from USA Rugby President Kurt Weaver and International Rugby Board (IRB) certified referee Russ Wofford, we hope the AYR SafePlay approach will serve as a model for the GRU and beyond.


A summary of the SafePlay approach is as follows:


The purpose of the Safe Play program is to maintain the highest possible standards of youth rugby safety through the annual implementation of a multidimensional, best practices curriculum.