IN THIS month’s Rugby World we asked former England centre Simon Halliday and Walcot under-10s coach Dave Parsons if winning should be scrapped from kids’ rugby, in our Big Debate.

With high numbers of young adults giving up the game, the RFU researched some new ways of teaching rugby to youngsters, with the aim of emphasising the fun of taking part. A Kids First programme has subsequently been set up, which scraps competitive matches – ie, no results are recorded, and no trophies are up for grabs.

Parsons is using the Kids First programme in his coaching at Walcot, while Halliday argues that kids need the opportunity to play under pressure, and to learn how to lose. Halliday worries that taking the competitive aspect out of rugby will see kids turn to other sports.

The full debate is out in this month’s Rugby World, which is on sale now. Read the full feature and then tell us what you think by voting in our poll below, or by tweeting us @Rugbyworldmag or posting on our Facebook page Rugby World Magazine.

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  • Dave DB Beal

    The question as it stands is too simplistic. I don’t think the concept of winning should be scrapped. I do think it should be widely accepted (i.e. by all coaches and the majority of parents/players) that the match score is only one measure of how the game went. However, it is the one measure that, if used as the main criterion of success for a squad, will inhibit players’ development, reduce their enjoyment of the game, and drive them away from rugby as they get older and other demands on their attention impinge.
    The question I would have posed would have been ‘Is winning so important in kids rugby that the entire focus of the squad should be geared towards achieving that aim?’ To which any person with kids’ interests truly at heart would have to answer ‘NO’. To frame the question as it has been above actually hinders progress because it divides people into two opposing camps and fosters confrontation between two mutually-exclusive points of view.
    I have no choice other than to vote yes to the above question, though that doesn’t reflect my actual view.