Schools reject rule changes

Published : 9:28 am  April 21, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (421) reads | 



By Shehan Daniel 
Not for the first time this season, the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) has gone back on proposed rule changes after several schools rejected a recommendation to amend the playing conditions of the ongoing Under-20 Schools Rugby Tournament. 

The recommendations made to the SLSRFA by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) were aimed at bringing the Schools Under-20 Tournament in line with the regulations for Under-19 Rugby as per the World Rugby regulations. 

“There will be no changes to the rules for the second half of the tournament because the schools have rejected these recommendations. They wanted to continue the tournament with the rules that were in place for the first-round. However, the tournament will be known as the ‘Under-19 Schools Rugby Tournament’ from next season,” SLSRFA Secretary Denzil Darling told the  yesterday. 

The  last month reported that changes were in the pipeline, including a reduction in the playing time and a restriction of players under the age of 18 lining-up in the front-row of the scrum among other changes. 

This is not the first instance that the SLSRFA had gone back on proposed changes this season highlighting the arbitrary nature of some of the decisions taken by the association.

In the lead up to the Under-20 Tournament originally slated to be contested among 12 teams, the SLSRFA were forced to include a 13th team, after Courts issued an Enjoining Order against the SLSRFA for denying D. S. Senanayake College who finished in the top half of the Plate Championship last season, a place in the top division this season. 

By including a 13th team the SLSRFA had to then amend the points system, which was only done after the tournament had begun. 
There was also no proper rule book in place when the tournament began, with the Sports Minister even threatening to intervene and postpone the tournament. With schools rugby a cradle for the next generation of national players, and considering the superior interest it has compared to club rugby, the lack of professionalism shown by the SLSRFA risks tainting the sport and creating further chaos.