GROUP Nine Junior Rugby League will forge ahead with plans to introduce non-competitive games this year after it was ratified at a Zoom meeting with clubs on Wednesday night.
While a couple of clubs reaffirmed their opposition to the move, GNJRL insist the move is a solid stopgap for a season significantly shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.
GNJRL president Bernie Delaney said the focus is getting all children back playing, regardless of their ability, with youngsters desperate for a return to sport.
"We have such a shortened season and we just wanted to get them playing," Delaney said.
"There's a little bit of opposition to it, obviously. We made the decision for them, they didn't get a chance to vote.
"NSWRL have got behind it as well and there are a couple of clubs (unhappy with decision), but I won't mention them."
Delaney said some clubs are concerned players will quit the game and play other sports this year who are running competitive leagues with grand finals.
"The big thing with some of them is they're frightened about losing kids to Aussie Rules or soccer or whatever, but from the competitive age divisions they lose kids anyway," Delaney said.
"For example, the Kangaroos won the under-15s last year, and can't field a team in under-16s this year.
"We're catering for all the kids out there who want to get in there and have a game. These are the ones not looking to be the rep players of the future, they just want to have a game of football.
"It gives new coaches in the ranks a chance for them to learn without parents giving them a hard time about winning.
"Also with only nine games, the kid who hasn't quite got the ability isn't going to get any game time if we go competitive, the coach is going to say we can't afford to drop a game.
"In the next two years those kids will grow an extra leg."
Only the under-13, 14 and 15 divisions were going to play competitive games before coronavirus delayed the season.
The New South Wales Rugby League have recommended leagues adopt a non-competitive schedule where possible to ensure as many children as possible to resume playing the game.
"It's recommended by NSWRL, I know all the junior leagues in Penrith are non competitive," he said.
Last season in some Queensland and Victorian competitions players weren't able to tackle until under-8s, while divisions under-12 and younger played non-competitive matches.