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The Rural Livestock Rugby Tournament is played annually.
The tournament is for players aged under 15 as at January 1.
This year, the tournament will run from Monday, August 29, to Wednesday, August 31, in Mosgiel.
The emphasis of the tournament is on participation and development of players. A final is normally played, but this is not mandatory. The main award goes to the best allround team and this is the result of points allocated for winning, fairplay (by referees) and attitude (opposing coaches).
The tournament began in 1986 from an idea put forward by Lee Smith, of Bayfield High School, that co-educational schools needed a tournament of their own. Originally called the South Island Under-15 Tournament, the name was changed so the tournament was not confused with ‘‘closed shop’’ under-15 tournaments.
Since 2010, Rural Livestock Ltd has been involved.
Some years, North Island teams have participated and in recent years two single-sex schools have entered due to the ‘‘closed shop’’ rules of other tournaments leaving them with no tournament to enter.
If a school could not complete one year, it was welcome back the next. Originally, all visiting teams were billeted by the local schools, but following 25 teams attending the tournament in Christchurch one year, it became clear this was no longer practical.
With billeting removed, it became more practical to have the tournament played at a central venue. Once this occurred and more than 16 teams participated, the finalists were required to play six games. Teams not in finals contention play games against teams they would not normally meet in regular weekly competitions.
If more than 20 teams enter, consideration is given to starting the tournament in two sections but this can result in limited numbers in the top section.
If the tournament begins in one section, rules are introduced to give dominating teams defensive positions at restarts after certain scores have been reached and a winner has been found.