All registered children will be given a Sai Kung Stingrays rugby shirt, shorts and socks. In addition, he/she will be required to wear studded rugby boots and a fitted mouthguard. No mouthguard – no play. Jewellery and watches are forbidden during play and please ensure that all earrings are taped or removed.
Many HK sports shops (eg Escapade, Marathon Sports) sell mouthguards, which can be easily moulded and fitted at home. If you wish your child to have a more precisely fitted mouthguard, please consult your dentist.
Plenty of water, sunscreen and a positive attitude. Parents of minis are required to be present at all times.
The big question is "who deserves more game-time"?..... and the simple answer is "no-one".
Tell a parent that their child should expect a less fulfilling Sunday than someone else's and you could be in trouble! Everyone has paid their subs and is entitled to exactly as much enjoyment and development as the next player. The real question is, "how do we manage it"?
Here's a few thoughts and tips from a Stingrays perspective:
- "We want to make the Final and points-difference may be important". Victories are a nice feeling and can occasionally be a good tool for validating the training-ground efforts, but it is not the be-all and end-all. Successful development and enjoyment is more important than victories.
Points difference is a nonsensical statistic which should not be used in junior rugby, and we are actively campaigning with the HKRU to remove it. All coaches should be looking to restrict excessive victories... it benefits no-one.
- "Too many players coming on will spoil the teams flow": True. Therefore stagger their introduction. Put a couple of weaker lads in the starting lineup.. it will make their day!
This means you can introduce a couple of stronger kids later in the game.
- "My better players will become disillusioned if they are subbed". Not true.... if they are well managed and informed. The better kids are the most invested and enthusiastic. It is the more challenged players that are more likely to drift away from the game. We must teach our players the wonderful spirit and selfless ethos of rugby. Everyone is part of the team and may need to occasionally sit-out for the good of the team. If any child (or parent) is not prepared to accept occasional bench-time, then they must look for an individual sport!
-"This player mucks around at training and shows a bad attitude". This should have no effect on game-time. They are children, even the Youth! Some have attention and learning difficulties and some don't have rugby-mad parents to guide and encourage them. It is our job to inspire and engage them, and bring enough focus and enjoyment to training to hold their attention.
-"Their training-attendance is sporadic". This may be considered in some cases. A player who can't be bothered to train shouldn't have playing precedence over a reliable attendee. However this approach must be tempered by mitigating factors: Does their school location or finishing time make attendance difficult? Are they having to make their own way to training, and/or not lucky enough to have a rugby-mad parent pushing them and driving to every venue?!
-"Can a player improve his own gametime". Yes. Have fun, but work hard, focus, and show dedication to the team's cause. Coaches should make players aware of the following tenet; Not all people are blessed with the same skills, but this can be overcome by hard work and application, not just in rugby, but in life!.
- "Players have told me they are Backs, so it's hard to get them on when we are short of Forwards": Don't ask them what position they play... tell them! Every player should experience every position to be a better rounded and more knowledgeable player. If you are winning comfortably this is a great opportunity of giving everyone a different experience. And please don't tell me it's for safety reasons...... are we saying that our stockier lads have all been away at a specialist front-row clinic all summer?! They are beginners like everyone else.
"Wing is not a development position". Too often I see developing players stuck out on the wing. They are not confident enough to seek the ball, and are left isolated in one-on-one defensive situations. Put them closer to the action where they can be guided by the stronger ones. You'll be amazed how often the balls gets wide when the dominant players are out there screaming for it!
- "It is easier to sub kids with quieter parents". No-one likes to admit to this but it is true. It is our duty as coaches to temper the remonstrations of our "enthusiastic" parents and make sure that everyone is treated equally and fairly.
And a final thought.........
- "It's a tight game and I think we can sneak it with our best players": Sure, everyone likes to win and any coach can be forgiven for slightly favouring their better players in a tight situation. Buy yourself some wriggle-room! If you have given all the boys/girls plenty of game-time and enjoyment in the previous games, you may get away with a a slightly stronger line-up in the tighter ones!
The HKRFU in conjunction with sponsoring clubs run regular tournaments throughout the season for all mini age groups (apart from the U5s). There is no training at Sai Kung Stadium on the day of a tournament. See Tours & Tournaments for further information.
Our aim at Sai Kung Stingrays is to ensure the children enjoy their rugby in a safe environment and players are coached at all times to a suitable standard for safe and enjoyable competition. However, accidents happen. In addition to our Medical Officer, Adele Brunner, there are qualified First Aiders in every age group, who can help with injuries.
If you think the injury is serious (eg concussion, broken bones, deep wounds), please take your child to your doctor or nearest hospital and send a follow-up email to Adele Brunner at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that Sai Kung Stadium has an air-conditioned sick bay, which is located on the left-hand side in the “tunnel” just before you enter the stadium.
See also Concussion Statement, Heatstroke and Hydration and Wound Management under the Safety First heading on this website.