Smaller fields, less players and more tackles per set are among the exciting new changes set to transform Junior League, which kicks off this weekend (22-23 April) along with the inaugural Harvey Norman NSWRL Open Women’s Conference.

NSWRL will join QRL in introducing rule adjustments based on a long-term research project, with alterations to field size, team numbers, game duration, tackles per set and number of passes for each play for boys and girls in Under–6-8 competitions.

NSWRL Head of Football Barrie-Jon Mather believes the changes allow for a more enjoyable experience as boys and girls are given more opportunity with the ball in hand.

“We’re very excited about the subtle rule changes and the opportunity for our participants to compete in an environment that will allow for free-flowing Rugby League,” Mather said.

“The recent participation research conducted by NSWRL revealed that positive experience and on-field interaction was a major factor in participation numbers.”

For the first time the revamped Open Women’s second division competition, now known as the Harvey Norman NSWRL Open Women’s Conference, will be played as the traditional 13-a-side, an increase from nine-a-side.

The Conference features teams right across Sydney in districts including Penrith, Parramatta, Balmain and South Sydney.

The state’s elite women’s competition (Harvey Norman NSWRL Women’s Premiership) will kick off next weekend (Saturday, 29 April). The plan is to bring the competition in line with NSWRL’s premier state men’s competition, the Intrust Super Premiership NSW).

Click here for Junior League rule changes