Lawrence Almagno – A Short History Of the American Youth Rugby League Association

2011 started out with a plan to start the Rebellion in the USARL and leverage that to jump start youth development of the sport in the USA. As the only way to make sure rugby league is stable in the USA is to have youth playing to sport in Schools as there is not a club/community model for sports in the USA like there is in NZ, AUS, ENG.

In Fall 2011 the First Middle School Rugby League Programs were launched and by spring had turned into full blown competitions, we continued the program into the summer. Since 2011, the Rebellion Juniors program now formed into a 501(c)(3) Federally Recognized Non-Profit called the American Youth Rugby League Association it has been running Fall, Spring and Summer Middle School Rugby League Competitions.

In February 2012 AYRLA began working with 15-19 year old boys who were incarcerated at the Rhode Island Training School. The program started off flag and then transformed into full on tackle. In 2013 Spring the Training School entered two teams into the AYRLA U23 Competition, those teams won the Cup and the Plate defeating the other teams comprised of players 18-23.

In 2012 Spring/Summer the Philly Fight supported by the Amity Township Athletic Club in the Daniel Boone School district, launched an AYRLA youth touch rugby league program. Which not only involved youth but also their parents teaching them the game as well.

In 2013 launched AYRLA launched a U23 Rugby League Competition that involved college players from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island (Players on the teams were from all over the USA as far as Michigan and Washington State). The program is continuing in 2014. This program saw many players carry over to play or associate with the USARL Teams in Boston and Rhode Island. It also saw Noel Bulson a player who moved back home to Seattle Washington, set up a Rugby League Team that is slated to enter the British Canadian Rugby League Competition in 2014. Noel also represented the Western USA team that faced the British Canadians. Furthermore the U23 Competition saw a select side called the U23 AYRLA Americans travel down to the USARL 9s competition.

Now Spring 2014 High School, this is when a lot of kids play sport for the only time in their life outside of youth recreational leagues. Most kids do not go on to play in college or clubs after high school, however they do remain active fans. The only way for the sport of Rugby League to take off in the USA is to get people to play the sport at a young age. Not everyone will play the sport in College or for a semi-pro side like the Rebellion, Fight, Axemen, Blues, Wildcats, Knights, Eagles, Slayers, Dragons, Raiders, Sharks, Bulls, Warriors or Boston 13s, however, people will know what the sport is and hopefully be a fan. That is why the NFL, MLB, Basketball and Even Soccer are popular. Because massive amounts of people were exposed to them during school when they were kids. Thus making them familiar with the sport thus making them future amazing players or the best sports fans anyone could hope for.

The Future besides the High School Program: This summer we are slated to launch an AYRLA Program at one of the largest and oldest summer camps in the USA in Connecticut having abridged summer competitions for kids aged 6-16 years of age. We are working on setting up a Dallas chapter and one hopefully in California.

Please help us take these programs to the next level and get HIGH SCHOOL Rugby League off the Ground in the USA. Unlike afterschool funding for middle school programs, there is not much out there for High School programs because schools themselves offer activities, so now we are turning to the fan. Any donation size is welcome. (Min is 10.00 USD for the website.) However we do have certain gifts for donations over $100.00. Any questions email or – Thank You

To donate, click this link:


Liked it? Take a second to support League Freak on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

2 thoughts on “Lawrence Almagno – A Short History Of the American Youth Rugby League Association

Leave a Reply