The Boston Irish Wolfhounds Youth Rugby (RFC) is a non-profit youth organization founded in 2002. We play home games and hold trainings at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton MA. Practices are held Wednesdays and Friday starting in the spring from 5:30pm to 7:00pm and run into early summer. Following Friday practices, many families retire to the ICC's outdoor tent for a casual dinner, drinks, and live music. What a great way to start the weekend as a family!
The Wolfhounds Youth U9 and U12 teams play with no contact in what is known as "Rookie Rugby," while the U15 team adds more complex techniques and some limited contact to what they previously learned. The high school team plays rugby.
Youth rugby builds character and athleticism while fostering sportsmanship and community in a fun, safe and inclusive atmosphere. Youth from elementary to high school are welcome. Our coaches foster camaraderie, sportsmanship, integrity, respect, having fun, and place an emphasis on TEAMWORK.
Our coaches are certified at a minimum of Level 1 Coach through USA Rugby. USA Rugby certifications emphasize safety on and off the field and require criminal background checks of participants.
Players play a flag version of rugby known as "Rookie Rugby."
Players continue playing the flag "Rookie Rugby" version but gain proficiency in their skill set.
Players add scrumdowns and lineouts to the game.
Players play the full version of rugby which includes tackling.
Kids age 6 through high school can play in the Hounds Youth Rugby program. Kids generally play in age groups of 6-9 (U9), 10-12 (U12), 13-15 (U15), and high school.
For practices, all that is needed is shorts, a t-shirt, a mouth guard (required), and sneakers or cleats (preferred - molded plastic soccer cleats work best for youth rugby. Cleats cannot have a single center front cleat.). For games, each player wears the "kit": a Wolfhounds jersey, rugby shorts, rugby socks, cleats or sneakers, and a mouth guard. Rugby shorts (about $25) and socks (about $10) can be ordered separately through our team supplier, Ruggers.com. Please leave watches or jewelry at home. Don't forget your water bottle! See the Equipment section on our Play page.
No problem! Most kids come to our team without any kind of experience. We welcome all newcomers to the sport!
Absolutely! Girls are awesome ruggers, and colleges are increasingly recruiting women rugby players. Rookie rugby is a co-ed sport until age 13 when tackling begins.
While you don't have to be Irish to play on the Wolfhounds, it is certainly not frowned upon! The men's team embodies the international nature of rugby, bringing together the closely linked communities of Boston and Ireland, with players from all over Ireland, the United States, New Zealand, England, Australia, Argentina, Canada, South Africa and Venezuela. We embrace that on the youth team as well!
"Rookie Rugby" is played through the age of 12 with flags and is touch only. Tackling in rugby begins when kids turn 13 and is carefully taught to always ensure safety about all else.
In Rookie Rugby, players do not make contact with each and are not allowed to dive on the ground - even when attempting to score.
All rugby coaches must undergo training certification developed by USA Rugby, the US governing body of the sport, which includes training on safety in the game.
Middle school rugby begins to include some contact but still has modifications to the game to provide less contact for the younger players. High school rugby is a contact game.
With all contact games there is always some risk of injury. However, player safety is paramount. The laws prohibit deliberate contact with the head or neck of player, making contact with a player while the player is jumping other than to compete for the ball, and tacklers are responsible for the safety of the player they are tackling. Referees are empowered to sanction, sin bin or send off players they deem to be playing dangerously or recklessly. These same instructions are used all the way through rugby to highest professional levels.