There's talk about weight or age for junior rugby players in Sydney and it's so noticeable that boys and girls who are about twelve years old are not all the same height and weight. Particularly Islander kids, so Westmead Hospital in Sydney is doing a study on age and weight for the Under 12s. This seems a great idea as we've noticed that some players are as big as the Dads of other kids!
Little league sizes up the issue
EXCLUSIVE by Paul Kent
From: The Daily Telegraph
June 25, 2011 12:00AM
UNDER-12s rugby league players will have their height and weight measured from today as officials consider ending age-based divisions because of startling differences in the size of kids.
With parents increasingly worried about their children getting hurt, details are being compiled as part of a major study between the Children's Hospital at Westmead and the NSW Rugby League.
Anecdotal evidence suggests hundreds - perhaps even thousands - of junior footballers are turning away from the code because they consider themselves too small against the increasing number of Polynesians playing the sport.
Between January 2010 and April this year, 66 youngsters were admitted to the Children's Hospital with head injuries or concussions from playing AFL, rugby union and rugby league.
After years of debate, NSW Rugby League coaching and development manager Martin Meredith believes real decisions have to be made. (They will be ) weighing and measuring every player in the under-12s Penrith junior league. The results will be used to determine if the junior competition moves to weight-based divisions.
"We've got a significant Islander population in some of our more popular areas, " NSW Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr said.
"And there has been a lot of work done in trying to sort out the weight issue."
Mr Meredith said a scientific approach was essential.
"Rather than go on hunch and opinion, we're getting actual data," he said.
"The hospital is going to help us ... they're going to compare players' weights and heights against the national norms and get a position on do we have a problem in regard to height and weight, big kids and little kids. If the data shows that we have got a problem we'll sit down with the hospital. We have to work out what the right age and what the right weight are."
While a switch from age-based divisions to weight-based appears to be the most agreeable solution, it could lead to new problems.
For instance how does a 12-year-old Polynesian boy, weighing 70kg, fare against a 16-year-old Caucasian boy who also weighs 70kg?