Youth rugby in Virginia is played under two distinct and separate sets of rules: touch rugby and tackle rugby.
In VA we use the grade system so all grades PreK up to 4th will play COED Tag rugby. These boys and girls enjoy learning the same values, traditions, and skills without the stress of any physical contact
Note: a younger player who is still in Grade 3 MAY play up to the 5/6th Grade tackle teams (u13), with the express permission of a parent/guardian, and the determination of the head coach that the player is ready physically and mentally to play at this level.
All TAG/touch rugby teams are coed. Again, these teams are broken down as follows:
Children play 2-hand touch “7s”rugby (7 players per team on the field). The 2-hand touch game is mostly the only difference from the standard game. All the other rules apply, with some modifications to ensure the safety of the children. Rugby VA continually reviews the rules and modifies where needed.
While not a full-contact sport, contact between players will occur in order to make a tag (the equivalent of a "tackle" in contact rugby). Players will be taught how to bind in rucks and mauls, and will be instructed how to safely firstly form non-contested scrums, and later in the season if the teams are skilled enough; contested scrums.
All of this will be coached fully in practices, and will be managed closely by coaches and referees during matches. The "contact" aspects of touch rugby are designed as stepping stones toward full-contact tackle rugby.View the full laws here.