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CANTON AREA FLAG RUGBY TEAMS

Canton Area Flag Rugby was established in 2016 with the Little Pups flag rugby. Our flag rugby league is open to kids from Stark County, as well as adjacent counties/schools who have no rugby team established. Our Flag Rugby league participates in conjunction with Rugby Ohio and USA Rugby and/or the local Parks and Recreation Department. We are seeking to increase the number of flag teams in the Stark/Tusc area, and will assist any area school in establishing a program by providing coaching, resources, and other needs which may arise. Our goal is to have at least three (3) additional teams in the Stark/Tusc area by 2025.

Flag Rugby is a spring sport that runs April-May. Reach out to the main contacts below for registration and age information. The programs generally include kids in grades K-5, however, some teams are reducing that span due to limited coaching staff. If you are interested in coaching, please let us know. All coaches must go through a background check process before they are able to participate. 

To all interested parties,

As the spring rugby season has started, Canton Rugby is excited to share some updates and additional information regarding youth rugby opportunities within our organization and neighboring communities as well.

At the High School level, Perry's rugby program continues its forward momentum with a few recent milestones... proving once again, that persistence is key when working to build a rugby program within a school district! To continue working toward their goal of becoming a varsity sport, Panther Rugby, who has operated entirely under the governance of its own bylaws and elected Board of Trustees since 2018, established its own 501(c)3 organization at the end of 2023. Perry has obtained additional practice locations and has been provided with the opportunity to utilize school facilities to weight train together this year. Perry intends to field a full high school boys and high school girls team again this spring.

The Canton Rugby Middle School league anticipates additional growth for the 2024 spring season. We're excited to welcome the South Akron Snipers to the boys league this year. South Akron is a well-established team comprised of athletes from the Lake and Green areas. Additionally, we are excited to announce Jackson Rugby is in the process of forming a boys middle school team, and we hope to see them complete in their inaugural season this spring! Perry and Dover will again be fielding established middle school boy's teams. Perry will also field a full middle school girls team, and Dover has seen an uptick in interest from the middle school girls, leading us to believe they will be returning to league play this spring as well.

After last year's massive growth in the K-5 Canton Rugby Flag League, our club was required to explore changes for the 2024 season to ensure that all teams were provided equal amenities, and that all coaches, referees and players were fully insured during all league sponsored activities. The Canton Rugby Executive Committee and Board of Directors extensively researched all options, including successfully negotiating a reduced pricing structure with Rugby Ohio. Meanwhile, the flag coaches pursued some additional and different competition with teams that do not operate under the USA Rugby and Rugby Ohio umbrella, as well as options to further reduce costs for the youth teams this upcoming spring season. However, due to time constraints, as well as uncertainty with some of the organizational elements of this decision, the Canton Rugby Executive Committee and Board of Directors decided by a majority vote in January, and a majority re-vote in February - after considering additional information and research into organizational requirements which included consultation with an attorney, that it would be in the best interest of the club to structure our flag league under the administration and governance of USA Rugby and Rugby Ohio, and to disassociate from teams who are not registered or in compliance with Rugby's national and state governing bodies.  

So, the teams formerly under the Canton Youth Flag League, will now be competing under a newly established entity, Stark County Flag Rugby, LLC. This entity/league was not started by, nor will it be administered by, or associated with, the Canton Rugby Football Club this Spring. While we are disappointed in having to disassociate with the flag teams this season, we wish them the best of luck this spring, and we trust they will provide an awesome experience for all participating athletes! We look forward to coming together after the spring season to further collaborate on the best path forward.

Canton Rugby remains committed to growing youth rugby within local communities, even if things look a little different this year. For your convenience, we'd like to share a list of contact information for each of the local rugby programs. We encourage athletes who are interested in playing spring rugby to contact the appropriate coach/administrator to inquire about practice locations, match schedules and the overall time commitment.

Perry - all programs K-12: Ashley Grace 330-933-9824
Dover - middle school boys and girls: Austin Archinal 330-365-7508
Jackson - coed K-5th grade flag, and middle school boys: Ryan Cooper 330-808-8720
North Canton - coed 3rd-5th grade flag: Matt Carmany 330-605-2126
Canton Area/Plain Township - coed K-5th grade flag: Joe Doyle 330-224-0922
South Akron Snipers - middle school boys: Bryan Rector 330-819-5312

Additionally, Joe Doyle serves as the Canton Rugby Youth Commissioner, and he is happy to field any questions related to youth rugby opportunities within our community.

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LOOKING TO START A TEAM?

We can help! If you are looking to field a youth rugby team for your particular area or school district within the Stark/Tusc area, please contact our Youth Commissioner Jason Doyle via text/call at 330-412-2967,  or email  bulldoyle@gmail.com.  
Jason will let you know if there's  already something in the works for your area, or he'll put you in touch with the appropriate person to get the ball rolling. You may also contact us here. 

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