Major League Rugby (MLR) announced today that its inaugural Grassroots Development Incentive (GDI) program had a very successful year.
Introduced in 2021, MLR teams aggressively promoted rugby participation within their respective markets, solidifying local player pathways and building further community engagement. The GDI program provides additional salary cap for teams that invest in the long-term future of the game.
“I could not be prouder of the strides our teams have made in their communities,” said George Killebrew, Major League Rugby Commissioner. “But this is only the beginning, and I cannot wait to watch our teams continue to spread their love for the game as our league expands and gains further prominence.”
Major league rugby’s grassroots development incentive program makes strides
To receive additional salary cap, teams were encouraged to grow rugby youth participation, create a high school academy and form a development academy in their respective markets. The youth rugby incentive required teams to support the development of players under the age of 14 by fully operating or funding programs in their market. The high school academy incentive required the formation of a competitive team for players under the age of 18. Lastly, all teams were encouraged to start developmental academy teams that would serve as a pathway into MLR squads.
“I am pleased to announce that every team that could execute was awarded salary cap for 2022 Grassroots Development Incentives,” said Killebrew. “Every team established lasting relationships with their community partners that will take the game of rugby to the next level.”
The Toronto Arrows were unable to complete Youth Development Initiatives due to COVID restrictions, and the Dallas Jackals did not participate in any of the GDI’s because they didn’t compete in the 2021 season.
View the 2022 Grassroots Development Incentive results here: MajorLeague.Rugby/Grassroot-Development-Incentives
Fans can stay tuned to MLR channels for more exciting announcements about competitions for MLR age-grade teams throughout the 2022 season and beyond.