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NSW Rugby League introduces a “no-contact” version for junior players

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The NRL has been struggling to attract teenage boys to the sport.

Over the last few years, membership has been on the decline, with many preferring to play AFL and soccer.

While there are a number of reasons for this, the biggest influence has been concerns over player safety. With professionals frequently suffering from broken bones, concussions and other serious injuries, it’s no wonder that parents of growing boys want to prevent such injuries as much as possible.

Well, to address this, the NSW Rugby League has decided to bring in a “no-contact” version of the sport for teenagers, to operate alongside the normal game. It comes after a pilot of weight based teams rather than age based, failed to produce results.

General Manager of Football, Barrie-Jon Mather, says this will help introduce players who may be hesitant about injuries, to the sport, and truly making it a family game.

He says “tackles” will be represented by a pulling of tags.

But when asked if that means there’ll be no difference from Oz Tag or Touch Football, Barrie says all other rules will remain the same: