Protective Gear & Boots
While there is much that is optional with protective gear, there are two immovable constants:
- All players U8 and up MUST have a mouth guard
- All protective gear MUST be IRB approved
Before each game, refs will check for mouth guards, compliance of protective gear and safety of boots.
For Wallas (U6 & 7), a mouth guard is not compulsory but most parents tend to buy them.
For the tackling ages (U8+), they are compulsory. A do-it-yourself guard starts around $15 and custom jobs go up to $200 or so. A generous sponsor of the club over the years is Gary Tejcek, who does custom guards and would be happy to provide you a quote (Ph 0409-290-153).
Boots can have studs of any type, the only restriction is that there is not a single toe stud: there must be two. Also, keep an eye on the stud edges - refs will run their hands over the studs before the game looking for burs and sharp edges.
Head gear, shoulder pads, etc, can be used but must be IRB approved. Whether or not you purchase these for your child is a matter of personal choice of the child and, to a degree, the position they play. Most front rowers and forwards generally tend to have head and shoulder guards but backs tend to give the head gear a miss. Check the label for the IRB logo - if it doesn't have it, your child will not be able to play with it on. The key difference between League and Union shoulder and chest protectors is that League ones can extend down the arms, Union ones cannot. There are also differences in thickness and density of foam used. In short - check for the IRB logo!