GRFU targeting Tag Rugby as means of gradual restart
Rugby is a contact sport and given the strict guidelines with regards to COVID-19, it is highly the discipline will not resume competitive action anytime soon, when compared to non-contact sport.
Whenever that clearance is given to resume on-field play, it is the intention of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) to commence with Tag Rugby.
Tag Rugby is a minimal contact team game in which each player wears shorts with two tags attached to them. Basically, instead of the robust tackles or close contact, a simple tap suffices.
According to GRFU President Ryan Dey, the benefits of playing Tag Rugby would be two-fold, as apart from setting in motion a gradual restart for the sport, it would also help to attract new faces.
“We are actually going to start Tag Rugby first as being a new way of introducing new people to rugby so they can see it start out as Tag and it goes into contact. So that is our way of having people to join Rugby, but not only in Region Four, but we will try to do it in Regions Five and 10,” Dey explained.
In June, World Rugby released its ‘return to play’ protocols which were tailored to be line with respective countries’ evolving rules on handling the pandemic.
From the local end, Dey said they are putting plans in place to safeguard players.
“We are trying to find safer ways to play Rugby; there is an app you can use to track your COVID systems as well. We are trying to get sports mask and anyone who comes into Rugby will be safe and we can help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
But while the Union puts plans in place, the president said it is simply a “waiting game” before anything on field can be done as permission would be needed from the Ministry of Health.
In the interim, Dey indicated players are urged to keep fit and sign up for online coaching courses.
The Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens tournament, originally slated for later this year was cancelled.
The tournament was scheduled for November in The Bahamas.