5th September 2019, 11:32 | inclusion

Rugby League's 'Grand Day Out'

Rugby League's 'Grand Day Out'

What can you expect?

This weekend will see the ‘Grand Day Out’ takeover Blackpool with the event being the biggest-ever variants festival for Rugby League.  

It is expected that over 600 people will take part included several former Betfred Super League stars and TV’s Adam Hills. 

Throughout the festival of social and inclusive Rugby League, there will be masters, touch, wheelchair, PDRL, LDRL and tag all taking place LIVE on Our League.

Here is what you can expect from each variation of the game:

Wheelchair 

Wheelchair Rugby League is a fast-paced, high-scoring game with both sides having five players on the field at all times, with three disabled athletes on the court per side at one time. There is no gender criteria and the point scoring system is the same as a game of regular Rugby League. 

Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair Team – who recently won the 2019 Wheelchair Challenge Cup – will be taking on North Wales Crusaders as part of the ‘Grand Day Out’.

Wheelchair Rugby League will be part of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup with Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair star James Simpson currently being an ambassador for the competition.

EuroTag

EuroTag involves 7-a-side teams with one point per try. A tag is made by touching the ball while in the opposition players possession – the tackler must then shout ‘touch’ to signify that a tackle has been made. 

In this variation, the dummy half can get touched and can score, which is different from other forms of touch and tag Rugby League. Kicking is also permitted at any time.

Touch

Saturday’s Touch Rugby League offering will see the final stage of the National Touch Series take centre stage with teams from Birmingham to Catterick battling it out for national glory. 

Games involve 6-a-side teams – five on the field at one time - with one point for a try and there is no kicking or tackling which you would see in a traditional game of Rugby League. Touch can be played indoors or outdoors, between mixed genders and is easy to pick up with simple rules.

A legal touch is on any part of the body, clothing or ball and constitutes a tackle. Teams have six tackles in which to score before a handover occurs. The dummy half cannot score or be touched before passing the ball.  

Masters

Masters Rugby League is for over 35s with the social aspect and spirit of the game being paramount – it is etiquette to buy your opposite number a drink after the game.

Rules are modified to cater for the older players and players wear different coloured shorts dependant on their age. 

The National Masters festival features 19 teams and over 300 players.  

Physical Disability Rugby League

PDRL involves 9-a-side teams which consist of seven players with a physical disability and two able-bodied players and includes both full contact and touch variations to cater for those with physical disabilities. 

There is a competitive league system with points being the same as a regular Rugby League fixture. 

The Last Leg TV presenter Adam Hills plays for World Champions Warrington Wolves who also had a guest appearance from Ben Westwood earlier in the season as one of their able-bodied players. 

80 PDRL players from Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves will take part in the ‘Grand Day Out’.

Learning Disability Rugby League 

LDRL is generally non-competitive and completely inclusive with the emphasis on inclusion and enjoyment. It was designed to provide a team-sport experience to those who would previously would not have had such an opportunity. 

The LDRL is sponsored by Community Integrated Care and is an example of community work undertaken by club foundations who organise a series of high-profile festivals and events.

The games are non-contact and generally follow Tag rules with teams being allowed two able-bodied players who play as ‘facilitators’ to ensure the match is both free-flowing and well-balanced. The able-bodied roles are typically taken by current or former professional Rugby League players.

Hull Kingston Rovers, Wakefield Trinity, Widnes Vikings, St Helens and Warrington Wolves will bring 75 players to Blackpool.