Once again thank you all for a very special (and muddy) tournament last month! The standard of rugby continues to improve across all age groups and, with a sunny 2024 already forecast, we can expect even more flair on the field next year! We were delighted in being able to live-stream two pitches with commentary, offer VEO video analysis across the tournament and also enhance the playing and spectating experience with an enlarged exhibitor village.
Next year’s tournament dates are now set and will start on Monday the 18th of March and finish on Friday the 22nd of March 2024. We are pleased to announce that registration will open on Thursday 27th April 2023.
Following the pandemic, we kept 2023 entry fees at the 2019 amount of £225 per team having reduced fees by 10% over the pandemic period. We understand, value and respect the tournament’s importance in the school calendar and our role in protecting this for future years. Consequently, we chose not to raise entry fees from the 2019 level despite our costs jumping significantly since then.
For 2024 we do need to increase our fees. We want to let you know what is changing and why it is happening. The entry fee for the tournament will increase to £255 per team for those entering the two-day competitions and remain at £225 for those in the one-day competitions.
Fees need to increase because the cost of running the tournament, particularly in the last two years, have increased dramatically. Our operational costs have increased by over 30% from 2022 to 2023 alone, and I’m sure you appreciate that costs across all sectors have increased significantly for all businesses and events.
In alignment with the RFU, we are constantly seeking to increase participation in the tournament and in particular to encourage participation from traditionally non-rugby schools. For 2024 we are working on a number of exciting initiatives in this area, as well as offering discounted entry fees for schools that meet the criteria set by the RFU based on absentee levels and free school lunches amongst other elements.
For those schools who meet these criteria, the entry fee is set at £225 per team. If your school meets these criteria, then please contact us directly.
Multiple Team Entry Discount
We also understand that several schools register multiple teams each year and in order to recognise that financial commitment we will now be discounting schools entering more than five teams.
Your 5th entry and any subsequent team entries thereafter will be discounted by 10%, this will be reflected and detailed in the invoice produced after completing online registration.
Registration Enhancements and Changes
Last year we made some changes to the registration. You can now register multiple teams in one session, add competition specific contacts and financial contacts for invoicing purposes. We have also improved the invoicing system, and the primary and financial contact will receive instant email acknowledgement of your submission as well as an invoice email. The invoice can be paid online instantly by card via the link on the invoice, BACS transfer or cheque. Please reference the invoice number on your payments as it helps us a great deal.
We are aware that contacting me directly was difficult at times for schools, particularly those on the reserve list. We are looking at improvements and will make the communication quicker and more efficient as we build up to 2024. Thank you for your patience in last tournaments cycle.
As always, please check your spam and junk inboxes as schools often filter out auto-responses.
Schedule for 2024
Here’s a summary of the running order – please note, the format and running order of the tournament is subject to change but we will communicate with all parties prior all changes.
Monday 18th March
U18 Vase Boys Commences
U16 Girls – One-day competition
Tuesday 19th March
U18 Vase Boys Finishes
U14 Boys Commences
U14 Girls – One-day Competition
Wednesday 20th March
U14 Boys Finishes
U16 Colts Boys Commences
Thursday 21st March
U16 Colts Boys Finishes
U18 Girls Open Commences
U13 Preparatory Boys – One-day competition
U18 Cup Boys Commences
U18 Girls ACE – One-day Competition
Friday 22nd March
U18 Girls Open Finishes
U18 Cup Boys Finishes
U11 One-day Competition
U13 Junior Boys – One-day competition
You should have received our post-event questionnaire through email. Please do complete this as we want to hear your opinions and feedback as we move into the next few years of this amazing tournament.
Please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Higgins, Tournament Director, if you have any questions