Champion Schools

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Champion Schools
Champion schools logo 2010.png
Sport Rugby league football
Inaugural season 1981[1]
Number of teams 1,678[2]
Countries  England
 Scotland
 Wales
Website championschools.co.uk

The Champion Schools tournament (known as the Carnegie Champion Schools due to sponsorship) is a full contact knock-out rugby league football competition open to every secondary school in England, Scotland and Wales and is the largest rugby league tournament in the World "RFL-13-05-07"[3] The competition is operated by the Rugby Football League (RFL) and the English Schools Rugby League (ESRL). There are competitions for boys and girls in school year groups 7-11, pupil ages 11–16.

The competition began in 1981 and was re-launched in 2002 by the RFL in partnership with English Schools Rugby League.[3] The ESRL credit the Champion Schools tournament with having "rejuvenated schools rugby".[4] The RFL believe "this competition has played a vital role in introducing Rugby League to an ever increasing number of young people throughout the United Kingdom".[5] The Champion Schools tournament is the largest knock-out rugby league tournament in the world.

Most of the finals are held at RAF Uxbridge, but the Year 7 boys finalists have the privilege of playing the curtain raiser at Wembley ahead of the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final. The Year 7 boys finals have also in the past been played at the Millennium Stadium and Twickenham.[6] National finalists from all age groups parade around Wembley in their school uniforms and watch the Challenge Cup Final as guests of the Rugby Football League.[7]

Rules[edit]

In the event of a drawn match in a knock-out round before the final, the team that has scored the most tries will be declared the winner.[8] If both teams have scored an equal number of tries the visiting team will progress in the competition.[8] If a final is drawn, the trophy will be shared by both teams with each having it for 6 months.[8]

Boys[edit]

All boys games are played at 13-a-side.[8] Year 7 and 8 competition matches are played with two halves of 25 minutes duration.[8] Years 9, 10 and 11 play for 30 minute halves.[8]

Size 4 balls are used for year 7 and 8 games.[8] Size 5 balls are used for years 9, 10 and 11.[8]

Girls[edit]

Girls play 9-a-side rugby league.[8] The girls matches at years 7, 8, 9 and 10 are played with 20 minutes for each half.[9] All girls competitions use a size 4 ball.[8] No conversion attempts are made, the games are tries only.[8] Kicking is allowed in general play, for example punts and grubber kicks, but secondary kicking, such as dribbling, is not.[8] Passive scrums consisting of 5 players per team are used.[8] One-on-one tackles are not permitted.[10]

History[edit]

The present Champion Schools competitions began in 1981.[1] Before that, Regional Champion School Competitions were held.[1] Many of the Yorkshire Schools' competition records have been lost but the Lancashire Schools' (North West Counties) records go back to the beginning of the Champion School Competition in 1926.[1] St. Patrick's (Wigan) played St. Bede's (Widnes) in that 1926 final at Central Park before a crowd of 20,000.[1] St. Patrick's won 6–3 to become Lancashire's champion school.[1]

In academic year 2006/7 over 1,500 teams and 25,000 players competed.[11] Andy Harland, the RFL's National Development Manager, stated: "Since 2002/2003 season more than 80,000 pupils have played in this tournament, so this year we expect to break the 100,000 barrier which is a huge achievement not only for rugby league but sport in this country".[11]

In 2007, the ESRL fixture secretary, Ron England, noted how the tournament had provided a focus to spreading the sport to more schools.[4] The link to Wembley is cited as one factor in the success of the competition.[4] Another factor highlighted is the enthusiasm of teachers which is considered a driving force.[4] The schools are linked into their local service area and professional clubs.[4] Mr England was positive about the future performance of Welsh and London schools: "They're at a terrific standard".[4] England stated his belief that the best boys' schools teams were playing to a higher standard than in the past, "I think the best individual schools now are at a level that the old district teams were at four or five years ago. Schools have got more ambitious and there's a strong link with the service areas and professional scholarships ... as for the girls, we are seeing the talent emerge and we are now attracting a whole new concept and depth to the development of girls quality competition."[4]

In 2008/09, a 1,678 teams took part in the tournament - an increase of 175 from the previous year.[2] 27,537 students participated.[2] Castleford High School has been a dominant force in the tournament since its re-launch, in 2009 the school fielded 6 teams in the national finals for the third year in succession.[7]

Format[edit]

Boys[edit]

Teams play in local competitions before playing regional ones if they qualify, followed by national stages.[12]

Girls[edit]

Teams progress from regional stages to a national festival for which qualifiers are divided into two groups.[13] The groups play round-robin matches with the winners and runners up from each group progressing to the competition semi-finals and then final.[13]

Subsidiary competitions[edit]

Local and regional stages of the competition decide champions titles at those levels, City Champions for Birmingham at each age group, will for example, progress next to the West Midlands Finals stage.[12] Later, the West Midlands champions will meet their East Midlands counterparts before the winners of those encounters move on to the competition's national stage.[12]

Wales Schools Cup[edit]

One of the major subsidiary competitions of the Champion Schools is the Wales Schools Cup.[14] All schools in Wales entering the Champion Schools competition also compete for this Cup during the Wales Schools Finals Day.[14] At each age group, both finalists for the Wales Schools Cup progress to the national stages of the Champion Schools.[15]

The inaugural Wales Schools Cup was held in 2008, the finals were played at Brewery Field in Bridgend.[15]

2005/06 National Finals Results[edit]

Gender Year Winners Score Runner–up
School Location School Location
Boys 7 Wade Deacon Widnes, Cheshire 20–4 Abraham Guest Orrell, Wigan, Lancashire
Boys 8 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 16–14 Brynteg Bridgend, Glamorgan
Boys 9 St John Fisher Wigan, Lancashire 26–10 St Wilfrid's Featherstone, West Yorkshire
Boys 10 Malet Lambert Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire 20–10 Outwood Grange Outwood, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Boys 11 St Peter's Wigan, Lancashire 30–14 Airedale High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Girls 7 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 48–8 South Craven Cross Hills, Keighley, North Yorkshire
Girls 8 Holy Family Keighley, West Yorkshire 16–12 St John Fisher Wigan, Lancashire
Girls 9 Cardinal Newman Warrington, Cheshire 24–12 All Saints Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Girls 10 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Girls 11 N/A N/A N/A N/A

2006/07 National Finals Results[edit]

Gender Year Winners Score Runner–up
School Location School Location
Boys 7 Normanton Freeston Normanton, West Yorkshire 12–10 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Boys 8 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 22–6 Wade Deacon Widnes, Cheshire
Boys 9 Airedale High Castleford, West Yorkshire 26–12 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Boys 10 St John Fisher Wigan, Lancashire 19–18 Great Sankey Warrington, Cheshire
Boys 11 Whitehaven High Whitehaven, Cumbria 24–22 Malet Lambert Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire
Girls 7 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 24–4 Lowton High Lowton, Lancashire
Girls 8 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 4–0 Cardinal Newman Warrington, Cheshire
Girls 9 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 8–8
Shared trophy
Holy Family Keighley, West Yorkshire
Girls 10 Cardinal Newman Warrington, Cheshire 20–16 All Saints Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Girls 11 N/A N/A N/A N/A

2007/08 National Finals Results[edit]

Gender Year Winners Score Runner–up
School Location School Location
Boys 7 Standish Standish, Lancashire 58–8 Pickering Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire
Boys 8 Freeston Normanton, West Yorkshire 18–10 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Boys 9 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 24–4 Wade Deacon Widnes, Cheshire
Boys 10 Airedale High Castleford, West Yorkshire 28–10 Great Sankey Warrington, Cheshire
Boys 11 Great Sankey Warrington, Cheshire 16–14 St Wilfrid's Featherstone, West Yorkshire
Girls 7 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 12–12
Shared trophy
Holy Cross Chorley, Lancashire
Girls 8 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 28–4 Lowton High Lowton, Lancashire
Girls 9 North Halifax Halifax, West Yorkshire 16–12 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Girls 10 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 20–4 St John Fisher Wigan, Lancashire
Girls 11 Cardinal Newman Warrington, Cheshire 28–12 All Saints Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

2008/09 National Finals Results[edit]

Gender Year Winners Score
[2][16][7]
Runner–up
School Location School Location
Boys 7 Outwood Grange Outwood, Wakefield, West Yorkshire 20–12 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Boys 8 Brooksbank Elland, Calderdale, West Yorkshire 32–14 Standish Standish, Wigan, Lancashire
Boys 9 Freeston Normanton, West Yorkshire 32–12 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Boys 10 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 20–6 Wade Deacon Widnes, Cheshire
Boys 11 Airedale Castleford, West Yorkshire 30–16 Great Sankey Warrington, Cheshire
Girls 7 Hollingworth High Rochdale, Greater Manchester 36–0 De La Salle St Helens, Merseyside, Lancashire
Girls 8 Settle Middle Settle, North Yorkshire 20–12 Holy Cross Chorley, Lancashire
Girls 9 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 20–4 Wade Deacon Widnes, Cheshire
Girls 10 Settle College Settle, North Yorkshire 16–8 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Girls 11 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 20–12 Deanery High Wigan, Lancashire

2009/10 National Finals Results[edit]

Gender Year Winners Score Runner–up
School Location School Location
Boys 7 Dowdales School Barrow, Cumbria 24–6 Temple Moor Leeds, West Yorkshire
Boys 8 Outwood Grange Wakefield, West Yorkshire 38–8 Brentwood County High Brentwood, Essex
Boys 9 Brooksbank Calderdale, West Yorkshire 32–24 St Benedict's Whitehaven, Cumbria
Boys 10 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 32-6 St Peter's and St Paul's Halton, Cheshire
Boys 11
Girls 7 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 46-10 Settle Middle School Settle, North Yorkshire
Girls 8 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 64-4 Feltham London
Girls 9 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 38-6 Holy Cross Lancashire
Girls 10 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 24-18 Settle High Settle, North Yorkshire
Girls 11

2012/13 National Finals Results[edit]

Gender Year Winners Score Runner–up
School Location School Location
Boys 7 Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire 44-4 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire
Boys 8 Honley High School Holmfirth, West Yorkshire 24-6 St Cuthberts
Boys 9 St Edmund Arrowsmith Wigan, Greater Manchester 24-22 St Peter and Paul Widnes, Cheshire
Boys 10 Dowdales Barrow, Cumbria 34-10 Bruntcliffe Leeds, West Yorkshire
Girls 7 St Peters 32-18 Sirius Academy Hull, East Riding
Girls 8 Deanery High School Wigan, Greater Manchester 30-12 Ossett Academy Ossett, West Yorkshire
Girls 9 Leigh Academy Kent 30-6 Outwood Grange Academy Outwood, West Yorkshire
Girls 10 Castleford High Castleford, West Yorkshire 24-18 Abraham Guest

New Champion Colleges competition[edit]

The successful growth of the Champion Schools tournament has led to the creation of the Carnegie Champion Colleges competition for Years 12 and 13. The regionally based competition was introduced in 2008 and started in January.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

In-line[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f ESRL, 2007: 34
  2. ^ a b c d "Outwood Grange crowned year 7 boys champions at Wembley". Leeds Metropolitan University. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Carnegie Champion Schools". Rugby Football League. 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g ESRL, 2007: 43
  5. ^ "Carnegie Champion Schools Finals 2009". Rugby League European Federation. 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  6. ^ Bill Marshall (2008-02-19). "Holy Family girls enjoying spotlight". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  7. ^ a b c "The futures bright the futures CAS!!". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m ESRL, 2007: 44
  9. ^ "Girls Carnegie Champion Schools National Festivals". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
  10. ^ ESRL, 2007: 45
  11. ^ a b c "Carnegie Champion Schools". Rugby Football League. 2007-05-13. 
  12. ^ a b c RFL (2008). "Carnegie Champion Schools Tournament In Birmingham". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 2009-09-12. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b RFL (2008-05-21). "Year 7 Carnegie Champion Schools National Girls Festival". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  14. ^ a b RFL (2008). "regional focus - Wales". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 2009-09-12. [dead link]
  15. ^ a b Ian Golden (2008-02-20). "Wales Schools Finals Day". Cymru Rugby League. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  16. ^ "Carnegie Champion Schools - Year 11 Boys". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]

General[edit]