Crusader Mini Program
The Crusaders Minis Program (U7, U9 & U11) is the largest and most successful in North America, producing many past, current and, most certainly, future Ontario Provincial and Canadian International players!
Join the Crusaders Minis program and become part of an inclusive playing and socially active volunteer based club that has been leading the way in Canadian club rugby since 1968!
The Crusaders Mini Rugby Program is a fun way to introduce and develop the joy of rugby in a friendly and safe environment. By developing the principles of love of physical activity, team work, and the skills of rugby at early ages, we are aiming to ingrain strong values and skills that can be used throughout a lifetime and career.
Mini rugby is the start of a long term development model of a successful rugby player, or for some, simply the beginning of an enjoyable and healthy fulfilling lifestyle.
We are proud of our committed volunteer coaches that work hard to create a fun and respectful learning environment whilst at the same time giving our Minis players a solid grounding in the wonderful sport of Rugby, one of North America’s fastest growing grass level sports.
Throughout the season CRU runs many social events, from Victoria Day Fireworks display to BBQ’s, touring team games to watch and a very socially vibrant clubhouse and deck where players and family are welcome to enjoy hot summer days and warm evenings watching rugby activities.
At the Crusaders you will be part of a club, not just a team!
U7 & U9 Flag Rugby Program
The U7/9 program provides a safe environment where kids can begin capturing great rugby memories. U7/9 Flag puts FUN in rugby fundamentals.
Flag Rugby is a fun and exciting form of non-contact rugby suitable for boys and girls of all ages and abilities. There are no scrums, line-outs, or tackling allowed in flag rugby. Flag rugby is an excellent way of being introduced to some of the basic skills of rugby such as running, passing, and catching in a fun and safe environment.
Flag Rugby has the following advantages over traditional games:
- It gives a real incentive for defenders to defend
- It momentarily takes the ‘tackler’ out of the game as would occur in full contact rugby, allowing more time and space for the attacking team
- It encourages defenders to attack at the hips, as is required for solid proper tacking in later stages of rugby
- It encourages the correct lines of running required for success in the full 15 per side game
- And, most importantly, Flag Rugby is a fun game that can be played by everyone
The focus of the program is on fun, physical movement, and teamwork, with an overarching goal of developing an understanding of the game.
Skills that will be focused on throughout the year will be running, passing, catching, creating space on attack, and alignment on defense. These requirements mean that every player must move with and follow the play in order to be involved and support their teammates in order for the team to succeed.
In rugby, at any level, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport and needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and team work in order to succeed.
These skills will be developed in training, fun exercises, game simulations, and through the various festival tournaments that we will be involved in.
In order to ensure a child’s best chance for success, our coaches are provided with appropriate training and resources. Many of our coaches are former or current senior players – they volunteer their time because they are passionate about teaching children this great game
The Crusaders U7/9 program is an excellent place to increase a child’s overall skill development and knowledge of the game in a risk free environment.
Our objectives are for kids to:
- Have fun!
- Participate in safe, healthy, active living
- Learn the fundamentals of rugby and competition
There are 5 principles for the teams:
- Run forward
- Pass backward
- Stay in Bounds
- Listen to the coach
- Have fun!
We are part of great rugby community and show our support by participating as spectators and honour guards at home games for Team Canada.
What you need to participate:
- Must enjoy having fun! Fun is as much a part of the game of rugby as the spin pass.
- Enjoy running around and around and around…
- Own a comfortable pair of cleats to run around in. Cleats need to be rubber or plastic without a toe cleat.
- Have black shorts and long black sports socks. Rugby shorts are short. Basketball and soccer shorts are longer and baggy. Wear what feels comfortable but if you can be comfortable in rugby shorts, that’s ideal.
- Possess a mouth guard. The mouth guard is primarily for concussion protection so it’s the right habit for the kids to develop. However, some kids can’t find one that is comfortable. For a comparison, the U9 flag rugby risk is a lot like kids playing tag in the playground.
Practice Saturday mornings starting on May 5th from 9-10:30, except when there is a tournament or a long weekend
What you can expect from the season:
- Seven or more tournaments involving other clubs
- Caring adults coaching your child to develop their rugby skills
- Participation-based coaching that encourages equal playing time. Kids would rather play on a losing team than be on the bench for a winning team.
- Open door for parents to participate and to share their observations. We can talk all you want before or after practice and games. Let’s keep the focus on the kids during practice and games.
U11 Modified Contact Rugby Program
The Crusaders Mini Rugby Program is a fun way to introduce and develop the joy of rugby in a friendly and safe environment. By developing the principles for the love of physical activity, team work, and the skills of rugby at early ages, we are aiming to ingrain strong values and skills that can be used throughout a lifetime and career. U11 rugby is the start of a long term development model of a successful rugby player, or for some simply the beginning of an enjoyable and healthy fulfilling lifestyle.
The U11 modified contact rugby program is co-ed welcoming boys and girls and will build on the development gained during the U7 and U9 programs. It introduces more of the aspects and skills of the full game in a controlled and graduated manner. We welcome children who are new to rugby. This is a perfect age to start and they will find that, within a very few weeks, they are able to fully participate in the training program, scrimmages, games and tournaments.
While the focus of the program is on fun, physical movement, and teamwork, with an overarching goal of developing an understanding of the game; we also want children to have the opportunity to develop strong fundamentals for rugby through knowledgeable coaching. In order to ensure a child’s best chance for success, our coaches are provided with appropriate training and resources, and many of our coaches are former and current senior players.
In rugby at any level, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport and needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and team work in order to succeed. These requirements mean that every player must move with and follow the play in order to be involved and support their teammates for the team to succeed.
Skills that will be focused on throughout the year will be running, passing, catching, creating space on attack, and alignment on defense. These skills will be developed in training, fun exercises, game simulations, and through the various festival tournaments that we will be involved in throughout the season. The Crusaders U11 program is an excellent place to increase a child’s overall skill development, knowledge of the game and level of fitness.
Training & Game Times
- Training – 6:30 – 8:00 PM Thursday evenings
- Training – 9:00 – U11:00 AM Saturday mornings. Training starts Saturday May 5th
- Festivals – Saturday / Sunday Mornings (schedule to be confirmed, approximately two per month)
- The last festival is at end of August, but additional rugby is planned for the fall.
- Mouthguard – mandatory for training and games
- Cleats – rugby or soccer. NO METAL STUDS
- Jersey – Club provided
- Shorts – black
- Socks – black
- Water bottle – named
Mouthguards are mandatory for all training sessions and games. Low cost home molded mouthguards can be obtained from any sports shop for approximately $10 – $40. A dental technician or doctor fitted custom mouthguard is highly recommended. They are far less bulky, fit precisely and stay in place (cost approximately $45 – $80).
Rugby or soccer cleats are required. Soccer cleats are most common. Please avoid or replace metal studs as they provide no advantage on hard fields and frequently injure other players.
The Crusaders will be providing club jerseys, please be patient with our suppliers.
No glasses / eyewear or jewelry are allowed at training sessions or games as they can potentially cause injury.
Tentative tournament schedule:
|May 26th||Burlington Centaurs|
|June 10th||Toronto Nomads|
|June 17th||Toronto City|
|July 22nd||Cobourg Beach|
Exhibition game on a weeknight with Burlington FC possibly the week of May 14th
|Age Grade||Head Coach|
|U9||Erika Procter||U9 email|
|U11||Angela Jackson||U11 email|
All players must be registered to participate in any activities (Training, Tournaments, Festivals, etc.)
Registration information can be found in the registration section of the website.
For more information on the Mini program please refer to the Rugby Canada “Rookie Rugby Guidebook” below: