Junior Program FAQs


Question about our Junior program? Check out our FAQs below. For more information feel free to contact us at info@buccaneersrugby.com

  • How much is registration?

    Junior dues are $150, which include full season registration, team shorts, team socks & Bucs t-shirt. The club provides team jerseys to play in on game day.  Players may also qualify for reduced registration fees via the TIRF program (visit tirfrugby.ca for more details). 

  • How do I pay?

    Payment is done online via the Rugby Canada Club Payment portal. Click on the ‘Senior/Junior Registration 2018 Season’ button on our homepage (will become available towards the end of March).  Registration & payment can also be made directly with the club, cheques made payable to ‘Toronto Buccaneers RFC’.  Ask your coach.

  • What do I need for equipment to play?

    Mouth guard & cleats. We recommend soccer cleats (molded plastic studs) – you can usually get a pair cheap at any sports store.  We do not recommend players buy ‘rugby cleats – with removal metal studs’ until they are a senior men’s player.  We also highly recommend bringing a full water bottle to practice.  Team water bottles are supplied during games.

  • I’ve never played rugby before. Can I join and learn?

    YES! Most junior rugby players, no matter their age, start rugby for the first time in their teenage years (13 – 17).  The Buccaneers rugby program is designed to teach the basics of rugby to players with little to no experience, while at the same time we also offer more challenging training to skilled/experienced players. 

  • When do we train?
    Tuesdays & Thursdays from 5 – 6:30 pm at Sunnybrook Park, Toronto (1132 Leslie Street). Training starts June 5th.
  • Are there tryouts?
    There are NO tryouts.  When you join the Buccaneers Rugby Team you join as a member of the club.  Before each game the coach will select a team, with subs.  EVERYONE gets to play.
  • If I join the Buccaneers Rugby Club for the summer, am I expected to attend every practice and every game?
    It is not mandatory to be at every practice & game.  However as the saying goes ‘you get out of it when you put into it’, so we encourage all players to attend as many practices and games as possible, but we understand players have vacations, trips and family events throughout the summer – we want all our players to enjoy rugby, but also enjoy their summer!
  • How are players selected for games?
    The coach will pick players for each match, and will announce the team usually a day or two before the game. The Buccaneers club uses the ‘TEAM SNAP’ application where you can note your availability for each game.  Selection is based on attendance at practice, working hard, having a positive attitude, and, skill & ability.  We ensure brand new players will get playing time during games, and that it is done with the utmost concern for their safety.
  • How many games will there be?
    There are usually 6 games during the regular season, plus playoff games.  We also hold exhibition games, and, have hosted touring sides for games as well.  Most recently the Buccaneers hosted a touring side from England in 2017 and a touring side from Trinidad & Tobago in 2016.
  • When are games played & where?
    The league schedule has not been released yet, however, league games are usually played Wednesday evenings. The U16 & U18 teams will normally play back to back at the same field, for instance at 6 pm and then 7 pm.  Games are usually an hour long.  Games are sometimes played Thursday or Friday evenings as well, and the odd Saturday afternoon.  Games are played at our home field at Sunnybrook Park, and other team’s home fields across the city of Toronto.
  • When do the first games start, and when does the season finish?
    Although the league schedule has not been released yet, players can expect our first league game to be likely Wednesday June 27. Our last games, depending on playoffs, will be mid-August.  Games are NOT held on long weekend holidays.
  • Who coaches the Buccaneers junior teams?
    The Buccaneers RFC have multiple coaches for our junior programs. Our Junior Head Coach is Drew MacPherson who is an N.C.C.P. level 3 coach, and I.R.B. certified coach instructor & assessor.  Drew has coached for over 20 years in senior men’s & junior rugby, both at representative and club level.  Drew has twice won Ontario Coach of the Year. 
  • Help! My son wants to play rugby!?!

    So your child has decided to play rugby, DON’T PANIC!

    Rugby is a wonderful game, with a rich tradition both in Toronto and around the world. It is the contact game of choice for countries such as England, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Scotland and Wales. Rugby is truly a “Life Sport” because, unlike American-Football, players continue to participate in the rugby throughout their lives by joining local men’s clubs. Some clubs even boast “Old Boys” teams composed of players over 35 years of age!

    The Toronto Buccaneers RFC began in 1976 when two teams, the Toronto Pirates RFC, and the Toronto Police rugby team merged.  We play in the Toronto Rugby Union A division and field three men’s teams.  We field U16 & U18 boys teams, and will also be starting a Rugby Mini’s program in the summer of 2018.

    Rugby provides an incredible amount of life skills; self-reliance as well as teamwork, building confidence, decision making, even-temperedness and fair play. The relationships formed by playing rugby can last a lifetime, and be some of the strongest and most rewarding a person will have throughout their days.

    Rugby is definitely a “contact” sport, but it is not a brutal sport. In fact, it is much less violent than American Football. There are several very good and logical reasons for this including the fact that contact, while vigorous, is much less dangerous than in American football since neither blocking or rigid protective equipment is allowed in rugby. This means players are not getting ‘blind-sided’ by the unexpected blocker nor striking each other with ‘armored’ shoulders and helmets. Also, dirty or dangerous play is not tolerated, and the offending player may be ordered off the field or even suspended by his club or the local league.

    Rugby places as much importance on sportsmanship as on winning. Here are some other reasons rugby compares favorably with football:

    1) Possession: Rugby is a game of possession, not yardage. Therefore, coaching emphasizes passing the ball before being tackled as well as other skills aimed at keeping the ball in your team’s possession, and not struggling ahead trying to gain a few more yards while the opponent’s entire team tries to drag you down.

    2) No Blocking: Most think a lack of blocking makes the game more dangerous, but the fact is, it makes rugby safer. Defenders are not being blind-sided by some sprinting lineman hoping to open a hole in the defense. In football, space is created for a runner by brute force (blocking). In Rugby, space is created by guile and cunning (passing the ball and using misdirection). In Rugby, nearly all collisions between players are anticipated by both, and thus better prepared for.

    3) Tackling: Tacklers must wrap their arms when tackling. No ‘rolling body block’ type tackles aimed at an opponent’s knees are allowed. Also, NO tackling is allowed above the shoulders. Also known as ‘high tackling’, it is strictly forbidden and quickly penalized if it occurs. This not only makes for safer play but for surer tackling. Coaches teach not only how to tackle but how to be tackled (i.e. how to fall to protect your body and so that your team keeps possession of the ball).

    4) Involvement & Fitness: Every player on the rugby field has the opportunity to run with the ball, kick the ball, and play defense. Because of rugby’s continuous action, it demands both aerobic and strength training. The ball handling skills and fitness gained are quite useful and compliment other traditional sports such as football and basketball.

    Finally, the Rugby community is a unique group of individuals who dare to try something different. It is a legendary game that mixes strength, speed and agility. Rugby is a game that will forever welcome athletes of any and every size and shape. Successful rugby does require fitness, but first and foremost it requires that special person who’s ready, willing and able to give it a go.

    The Toronto Buccaneers are committed to helping your child play one of the greatest sports in the world safely, and enjoyably. We will not tolerate any abuse, bullying or derogatory actions towards its members from anyone, and uphold a strict Child Protection Act.

    We look forward to meeting you in the near future. It is our hope that you, as a parent, can be involved as well. If you are interested in any more information, or have any questions regarding registration or the game of rugby itself, please feel free to contact any of our Youth Development Committee listed below.

    Youth Development Committee

    Brian Crothers
    Barrister & Solicitor
    Club President

    Drew MacPherson
    Toronto Buccaneers Head Coach
    Junior Boys & Senior Mens

    Jeff Dymond
    Child Protection Officer
    Toronto Buccaneers RFC

  • Toronto Buccaneers RFC Junior Program – Additional Information:

    • OUR CHILD-PROTECTION OFFICER is Jeff Dymond, a senior men’s team player, and member of the Toronto Police Service. Jeff can be contacted at any time for absolutely any concerns a junior player, or parent, may have.  Email: safety@buccaneersrugby.com, or telephone: 647-740-1142.
    • THE BUCCANEERS RFC OFFERS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE to players who strive to play representative rugby for Ontario, or Canada. This includes 7s and 15s rugby.  The Buccaneers rugby club offers financial aid for player’s travel, fees, etc.  The awarding of financial assistance is in bursary form, which means the club pays the players’ costs directly on their behalf.  Qualification for assistance is based on the players’ dedication to the club, ability, commitment to the sport, and character on and off the field.  For more information, ask your coach, or contact Brian Crothers, club president: president@buccaneersrugby.com.
    • FURTHER INFORMATION, including our Code of Conduct police & Anti Bullying policy, can be found at our website: http://buccaneersrugby.com/juniors/