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Toi Ohomai Baywide Secondary Schools Rugby Excited to Kick off

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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When the 2020 Toi Ohomai Baywide Secondary Schools Competition kicks off on Friday 24th July, not only will there be some very excited teenage boys and girls running onto the rugby field for some footy, but for the very first time, some familiar Bay Rugby names of old (and not so old) will appear in the competition titles.
Before COVID-19 paused community rugby, the Bay of Plenty Rugby Secondary Schools Executive, headed by Western Heights High School Rugby Teacher in Charge, Carleen James and former Secondary School’s Manager, Ian Parata, did some amazing work to add value to the schools programme.
The first strategy they’ve implemented is to create some local Taonga (Cups for the winners) for all of the various grades which will now appear in the grade and division title:
The Bill Hill Cup will be played for by Division One 1st XV teams.
The Sam Cane Cup will be played for by Division Two 1st XV teams, named after current All Black Captain, Chief and Steamers player Same Cane.
The Aidan Ross Cup will be played for by Division Three 1st XV named after current Steamers captain Aidan Ross.
The Mike Delany Cup will be played for by Under 16 teams, named after former All Black and current Steamers Assistant coach Mike Delany.
The Hika Reid Cup will be played for by Under 15 Premiership teams, named after former All Black and Steamers legend Hika Reid.
The Tony Marrow Cup will be played for by Under 15 Championship teams, named after Former Secondary Schools Stalwart and Volunteer Tony Marrow.
The Nathan Harris Cup will be played for by Under 14 Premiership teams, named after All Black and current Chiefs and Steamers Hooker Nathan Harris.
The Chris Grinter Cup will be played for by Under 14 Championship teams, named after Rotorua Boys High School Principal Chris Grinter.
These divisions have some real meaning attached to their grade which the boys should be able to embrace with passion for their school.
The second strategy is that while they’ve kept their premier grades (U14 & U15 Premiership, Division 2 and Division 1 1st XV) as competitive grades with strict adherence to 22 squad sizes, trained front rows and a minimum of 15 players to start a game without incurring a default, they’ve introduced a number of new initiatives into the remaining grades that encourage participation.
Teams in the U14 & U15 Championship grades, U16 grade and Division 3 1st XV have the following new framework changes:

All competition games will have competition points up for grabs, in other words, no defaults for having less than 15 or no trained front rowers. (Unless of course they can’t field 10 players.
Play 4 x 20 min quarters where all players must play at least 2 x quarters. (times adjusted if games are 10, 11, 12, 13 or 14 a side.)
Unlimited substitutions can be made at the end of each quarter.
No minimum squad numbers.  10 a side is the smallest a team can go to.
No bonus points for four tries.
Uncontested scrums if one team can’t meet the minimum trained front rower numbers.
The philosophy around these framework changes is to encourage teenage boys to just get out and play with their mates, where the scores count, but the rules around trained front rowers and squad sizes are less restrictive.  The Under 16 teams are also scheduled to play Friday after school, just like they did in 2019 and there’s the potential for the U14 and U15 participant grades to arrange mid-week games if this suits the participants.
In the female space, in a much welcomed division (particularly encouraged by mums and dads) Juniors and Seniors will now split during the first section of the rugby season. U16 and U18 10-a-side will be played home/away across four weeks before moving into a 15-a-side window. This change is being implemented to support growth and retention of our junior female players.
Community Rugby Manager Pat Rae comments, “This executive committee has done an amazing job, both during covid-19 lockdown and pre-covid-19 to not only get secondary school rugby off the ground, but to also embrace some of the “Balance Is Better” philosophies into their framework.  Many 15 year-old teenage boys have part time jobs now and enabling them to play on Friday’s after school frees up their Saturday’s to work and save up for their first car.  We are now seeing frameworks being developed, with the participant at the forefront of the decision making process and this is the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union’s Community Rugby Team Mission Statement moving forward.  Everything we do in the community space must put the participant at the forefront of the decision making process. 
Rae continues, “The participants want to play with their mates, be well coached and play to win, but they also don’t want to train hard during the week only to have their game default, because either their team or their opposition can’t field a trained front row, or only have 14 players.”
All draws are now up online here via Sporty and results will be updated on this same website after each game.

Just select the Toi Ohomai Secondary Schools competition from the dropdown list and then the relevant grade (or select all grades) you wish to see.  You can see the draws, results and table standings all in this one convenient place.

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