Let’s talk about Rugby , a team sport that bases its foundations on athletics to encourage the growth of individuals, to help their correct integration within the game system and to activate collaboration with teammates, from very tender age.
In fact, we will see in this article how minirugby has become a very powerful tool to help children develop their character, to socialize, to learn to face the contact with the ground and other children, to take responsibility and make choices quickly in the field, during the game. In Italy, the topolino tournament is the most important minirugby tournament in our country.
The birth of Rugby
Rugby is an ancient sport born from the same quarrel of football, in 1823 in a town in the middle of England. Legend has it that during a football game the student William Webb Ellis picked up the ball with his hands and start running towards the opposing goal in spite of all the rules in force, scoring the first half of the story in front of the dismay of all his colleagues and friends. That day, in that bourgeois college frequented by the offspring of the King’s military hierarchy, Rugby Football was born, the ball game with the rules of the Rugby school in Warwickshire.
How to play Rugby?
Rugby is a team sport , combat and situation .
Although it is understandable to understand the first two characteristics of the discipline of the oval ball, it is useful to define what is a sport of situation:
“A sport in which the outcome of the action, then the result (ie: scoring the goal), does not depend exclusively on the technical gesture and physical performance, but on the ability to find the right responses to adapt to different stimuli.“
This means that in addition to the technical gesture and physical performance, each player of the team has to make choices depending on the situation in which it is based on the final result he wants to achieve. An old fox of this sport, trainer and trainer Franco Ascantini , says that there are no right or wrong choices a priori. The choices become right or wrong only after the action, depending on the result you get.
In a nutshell: it does not matter whether you are a dwarf or a giant, if you make rounds around your opponent to make goals, dribble it, or step over it.
The important thing is that once you have taken the information, solve the game situation with the resources you have available, completing your goal, that is to make a goal!
So much so that the sport of situation is opposed to the sport of performance , a feature that includes all sports whose result depends exclusively on a performance, be it technical or physical and that can be measured with a score, or with a physical quantity ( es: the 100 meters run).
The basic principles and rules of Rugby
An ancient sport, full of habits and constantly evolving. All this complexity is resolved with a series of rules and principles that administer the sport of the “ordered kaos”. The basic principles of Rugby are:
- forward progress;
- the pressure in defense;
- the support;
The first principle is advancement , and the rule that determines it is to mark the goal . If the objective of the game is to make a goal, ie to crush the ball in the area under the opponent’s poles, at any time of the game you have to think about advancing. Both in the attack stages, when you have possession of the ball, finding the spaces and weaknesses to pass in the trench put on by the other team.
This is why the same principle applied to defense is pressure , and the rule that allows pressure is plating . When the ball has it they repel each other and send back to the sender all offensive opponents with effective tackles and therefore … advancing!
The third principle, that of support , is determined by the rule of off-game and by the fact that in the Rugby the ball is passed only with hands backwards . This principle is important for maintaining possession of the ball and always having play options. Without support, in fact, the player remains isolated and loses possession of the ball.
The fourth fundamental principle of Rugby is continuity , and the rule that determines it is the one held on the ground . In Rugby, in fact, a player on the ground must leave the ball immediately to allow his teammates or opponents to continue playing the ball. This is why continuity is essential, to move from one phase of play to another in an attempt to reach the goal or make points to the foot.
The effective player, therefore, is the one who:
- is able to understand the situation and solve it, in advance of the adversary and according to criteria of effectiveness;
- knows how to use both the technical skills of the role and, in a multi-purpose, technical skills common to all, dictated by the need of the game itself;
- he is athletically and muscularly prepared;
- Perfectly integrated into a team project for a
high level game.
The Topolino Trophy and minirugby in Italy
The Topolino Trophy, now Trofeo Città di Treviso, now in its 40th edition, is the most important minirugby tournament in Italy.
Since 2017, Walt Disney Italia has decided that it will no longer organize youth sport events called the Topolino Trophy, including the historic Treviso event reserved for Rugby. The tournament of the great tradition, however, continues to live under another name and under the aegis of companies and local authorities.
Yes, it was the end of the ’70s when the minirugbistica manifestation started in Treviso, conceived by Dott.ri Antonio Munari and Gianni Raccamari, born in the beginning with the intention of bringing together in a couple of days all the Italian teams that during the sporting season they had not had the chance to meet.
To give an idea of the size of this tournament today just think that the 2015 edition was attended by 340 teams and 6200 minirugbisti, from Under 6 to Under 14. In addition to all of Italy, in the 340 teams represented, were present formations from Croatia, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Luxembourg and Lithuania.
The minirugby is the sport of Rugby declined for children and serves to introduce them the discipline and values of rugby. It is the team sport par excellence. In terms of character, it facilitates the ability to socialize and teach respect for others, opponents, comrades, referees, educators. Loyalty is an essential part of the game. The more timid and fearful children teaches to be more confident with themselves and others, to the more aggressive teaches to contain and channel their exuberance in the regulated game. Rugby helps to give awareness of oneself and safety. Moreover, mini rugby is a game that promotes integration: girls up to 12 years play with boys; and you will also see your child play with disabled children.
Journalists and Italian blogs on Rugby
In Italy Rugby has had a prodigious development since 2000, year of entry of the Italian National Team in the 6 Nations Trophy, in terms of the growth of practitioners and in terms of general awareness of this sport that makes team play, sacrifice and discipline its strengths.
To tell the stories of the oval ball in Italy there are many TV and print journalists and some reference blogs. Among the most authoritative it is right to report:
- The duo Vittorio Munari and Antonio Raimondi;
- Paolo Ricci-Bitti on the Messenger;
- Marco Pastonesi on the Gazzetta;
- Paolo Wilhelm and his Grillotalpa;
- Duccio Fumero on Rugby1823;
- Daniele Piervincenzi, Rugby Social Club;
- Sebastiano Pessina and On Rugby;
- Andrea Papale and the Delinquents lent to the world of the oval ball;
- Valerio Tavano and SPQRugby , for the oval ball in Rome;
- NPR – Non Professional Rugby by Valerio Amodeo and Davide Macor.