By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

YHS Quarterly Newsletter Q1 2024

April 10, 2024

Dear USA YHS Members,

Throughout the first quarter of 2024, we have witnessed strong growth in registrations across many SYRO’s and the various age groups. To date, YHS registration has grown by 18%. In particular, we have seen the Youth category grow by 39% in comparison to the same stage last year, underscoring the growing momentum that rugby is gathering nationwide. 

Rugby is in a very exciting phase as we work collectively towards hosting two hugely significant World Cups in 2031 and 2033. These events present a unique opportunity to grow the game in the country and we are working closely with various stakeholders such as USA Rugby, Major League Rugby and The U.S Rugby Foundation to create initiatives and opportunities for the game to grow. The uptick in registrations is the beginning of these growth initiatives taking shape. 

Ignite Club Fund

The Ignite Club Fund is a YHS initiative to provide seed funding to new programs that are starting up. We have many passionate and devoted volunteers all over the country that would like to grow the game and the largest hindrance to starting any new program is funding. Ignite is aimed at aiding and assisting this growth potential. Having launched this year, we look forward to this initiative going from strength to strength.

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Ignite Grant funding for the 2023/2024 season.

Portland RFC (ME)

Cape Cod Youth Rugby (MA)

Catahoulas Youth Rugby Club (LA)

Stamford Rugby Club (CT)

Skagit Valley Rugby Steelheads (WA)

Forsyth Youth Rugby FC (GA)

Congratulations to all the recipients and we can't wait to see the progress these clubs make within their communities!

Imagine Rugby Success

The partnership with Imagine Rugby continues to go from strength to strength. Since launching the program in 2021, we now have 19 SYRO’s implementing the program and utilizing the equipment grants to bring rugby into After-School programs or PE Flag Programs in schools. There have been many success stories within the 19 SYRO’s, but for this edition, we would like to highlight Rugby New York's efforts. 

Rugby NY has fully embraced the efforts of Imagine Rugby to bring non-contact rugby to Physical Education classes throughout the State.  Even before Imagine Rugby, Rugby NY visited schools and attempted to have these schools add rugby to their PE curriculum.  This was met with limited success at least partly because schools lacked the resources necessary to play rugby and teachers were not confident that they could teach an unfamiliar game.  Imagine Rugby has done much to bridge this gap.  With the initiative providing the necessary equipment needed for implementation – rugby balls, flag belts, and educational resources – opens a gateway to connect with PE teachers and leaves them with the knowledge and equipment to bring rugby to their students. 

A strong emphasis on the YHS and SYRO’s role within the overall partnership is making the connection point of putting a rugby ball in the hands of kids but then providing the link to further participation in the sport amongst the local youth rugby clubs. 

Rob Sliwinski, Executive Director of Rugby New York, commented “In the last year, Rugby NY has visited more than 30 schools and has so far scheduled more than 25 school and community center visits in the coming year.  This translates to introducing our sport to about 25,000 young people.  We also provide PE teachers with connections to local youth teams to distribute to their students.”

We are delighted to see this partnership working as intended and excited that the SYRO uptake has been positive. This partnership will continue to drive the number of participants up within the game over the coming years. 

Upcoming Judicial Officer Training
In collaboration with USA Rugby, we are working on providing Judicial officer training to our SYRO’s and their subsequent Disciplinary Committees. 

These training sessions equip committee members with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively adjudicate disciplinary matters and ensure SYRO DC efforts are in line with USAR and World Rugby Standards. There will be several of these training sessions across the country upcoming over the next few months leading into the 2024/25 season.

Thank you for your continued support, and here's to another successful quarter ahead.