Rugby VA

Rugby VA

Rugby Program Information

SYA Rugby – A fun, positive sports experience for boys & girls

Youth Rugby is the fastest growing sports in the United States.  To meet this growing demand SYA Rugby is excited to offer a Spring program for 2022! 


In 2021 when SYA Rugby returned to play we incorporated several changes along with our governing body, Rugby Virginia. The first change was that Virginia tag programs began to incorporate the rule set from the Federation of International Touch (FIT Rugby).  After some growing pains, as players (and coaches) became accustomed to the new rules it was found that these rules provided an opportunity to learn , be safe, and maintain a fast paced, exciting game.  Most importantly, it was fun!


The second change over previous years is embracing 5th - 8th grade Tag.  Virginia Rugby learned what we already knew, with our experiments with offering tag at those ages in the past two years:  Players who love Rugby but aren’t ready for a contact sport need a place to play.  Rugby programs from around the region will be embracing 5-8 Tag providing for more competition across the board, with FULL support from Rugby Virginia. 


SYA will be offering both FIT Touch rugby and tackle rugby in the spring. We follow all COVID protocols to ensure our children's safety!   

  • Coed TAG rugby is offered for boys and girls currently in Kindergarten through 8th grades.  
  • Boys and Girls TACKLE rugby is offered for boys and girls currently in 5th through 9th grades.  Teams will be co-ed at the 4th/5th/6th grade level, and separated at the 7th grade onwards.   
  • Spring tackle will be played in the 15s format (15 players on the field for each team at the same time vs. 7-a-side during the summer).  Unlike in the summer, where multiple games are played throughout the day, with games only being 14 minutes long, 15s games will be 80 minutes long and will only be one game.  With tournaments, games might be condensed to 40 minutes (20 minute halves) to allow for multiple games.
  • More serious tackle players at the 7th grade and above will also get the opportunity to travel to top-tier weekend tournaments throughout the country such as Charlotte, NC, and Tampa, FL, where hundreds of teams converge for a weekend to play multiple matches and compete for championships.
  • SYA is also always looking for opportunities to develop new youth coaches.  We plan to implement weekly webconferences for interested parties to learn rugby (no experience needed!) as well as to learn how to structure practices and game strategy.


Games in the Spring Season will be held on Saturdays and/or Sundays with practices held during the week.  Once signed up there will be an additional registration needed through USA Rugby (more on that later).  USA Rugby Registration will be good for both Spring AND Summer if you choose to play both seasons.

Practices during the Spring season:

  • Location: Poplar Tree Park
  • Date/Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5:45-7:00pm
    • Conditioning begins January 11th for Tackle (5th-8th grade tag players are welcome to join).
    • Tag will start a few weeks later (more information to come)​​​​​​
  • Who’s it for: tag rugby (current grades K-8) and tackle (current grades 5-9)
  • Description: This is for boys and girls alike and we encourage everyone to bring friends to try it out!
  • All practices and most games are at the same locations for both tag and tackle. Perfect for families with multiple players.

SYA and CYA are the only non-profit, youth organization offering rugby to families in Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, and Fairfax!  Needs-based scholarships are available.  Registration is open for kids in kindergarten through 8th grade (current school year, 2021-2022).

SYA Welcomes CYA Families: In a bit of a departure from traditional rivalries, SYA and CYA have formed a joint sports venture to enable families in Centreville, Clifton, and Chantilly to participate in the game of rugby. CYA hasn’t had a rugby program in a couple of years yet many kids have expressed an interest in playing. Our family-friendly program works for each community as practices are conveniently located on fields between Centreville & Chantilly. Bonus for families with multiple children: all practices are held at the same time/location.

Be on the leading edge of the fastest-growing team sport in the US over the last five years, try rugby, and bring it back to CYA! #GrowingTheGame


Your family's safety remains our primary concern. We are proceeding with seasonal play this spring and summer and will be following all CDC, VA, and Fairfax County guidelines. If during the season, any of these above entities change their policy on competitive play, SYA will continue our sport play with modifications to adhere to the policy change.  We want to give all our players an opportunity to be outside, exercise, and interact with their teammates and friends. Since this is an ever-changing situation we are all experiencing, SYA is working hard with our volunteers to continue to provide all our players with a sports outlet. 


Kinders & 1st-2nd Grade “Tag”

3rd-4th Grade “Tag”

Co-ed teams are formed for two-hand touch games that introduce the game of rugby using a number of fun, age-appropriate games and activities.  The biggest challenge at these grade group(s) is eye-hand-coordination (catching) and avoiding the “swarm” mentality (you’ll know it when you see it!).

These co-ed, two-hand touch teams start to be more competitive as kids have developed better coordination, body control and the mentality of team-based sports. The biggest challenge at this grade group is spatial awareness (field IQ) and communication (teamwork).  This is where rugby starts to excel in youth development as these are focuses on the game. 

Tackle Rugby


Now in our sixth year offering tackle rugby, we're excited to continue to grow our program at the 5th-6th and 7th-8th grade levels.  The focus of early season practices are conditioning, safely initiating contact, keeping the head protected, and letting players become comfortable to gain the confidence required for playing.  Fall sports benefit tremendously from players that participate in rugby each spring and summer.


two handed

The two-hand touch variety of the game, called “Tag”, is sevens-style rugby for boys and girls in elementary school.  Two-hand touch is a fun and exciting form of non-contact rugby that requires no prior knowledge of the game – just a willingness to learn and have fun! Making its debut in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rugby Seven’s is a high-scoring game that emphasizes teamwork, communication and mutual support.

boys and girls

The tackle rugby program is for boys and girls currently in 5th-8th grade who are ready for the more physical, traditional form of the game.  At SYA, we teach the “shoulder leverage tackle” method, a technique which takes the head out of the tackle and is rapidly being adopted by football programs to teach better tackling and help avoid injury.  (Learn more…)  


Playing either version of the sport is an exciting opportunity for boys and girls to get outside and stay active, be exposed to a seriously fun activity in a competitive environment, develop abilities that will carry over to other sports, and develop positive character attributes. Compared to other sports, rugby emphasizes technique and teamwork over power and individual abilities.

Library school

Is the next Big Thing already here?  In preparation for the 2017-2018 school year, approximately 100 FCPS PE teachers participated in rugby-based training to bring the great sport to their classrooms.  The PE teachers, representing elementary, middle, high school and special needs schools across the county, went through a series of fun, rugby-based activities that showed the progression of skills development and gave them an idea of which activities to incorporate in their curriculum.  (Learn More…)

Brace yourselves, #RugbyIsComing


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Contact SYA
Office Location:
5950 Centreville Crest Lane
Centreville, VA 20121
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 471
Centreville, VA 20122
Phone: (703) 815-3362
Fax: (703) 815-2180