Postcode/Suburb Club name

Backyard League


Backyard League is an exciting initiative introducing students to Rugby League in a safe, non-competitive and fun environment. The program equips students and teachers with the tools to play a version of our great game in any environment while delivering important education, health and welfare messages. Accredited and professional NRL staff will visit your school to deliver this exciting program to your students.

Your Backyard League lesson may be incorporated into your classroom timetable. Alternatively, we also offer schools the option to run a before or after school program for students. Programs can be conducted over five consecutive weeks or any alternative that is most convenient for you. The Backyard League program comprises your choice of 1, 3, or 5 lessons of 30-45 minutes with activities based on students’ age and ability. All activities are modified to encourage maximum involvement and enjoyment for all participants.

To make a booking for your school, please select the program that best suits (see table below) and contact your local NRL Game Development Officer or email:


NRL BYL Program Options 2014

BYL Options


To view the NRL Backyard League Matrix please click on the link below:

NRL BYL Matrix 2014

BYL Matrix



Seeking a new and innovative way to teach children rugby league

The National Rugby League (NRL) and the University of Wollongong (UOW) have teamed up to investigate a new and innovative way to teach rugby league to primary school children.

Aligned with this, Game Development Officers from the NRL and UOW students participated in a Professional Learning workshop run by UOW School of Education lecturer, Dr Greg Forrest.

The workshop, consisted of a one-hour lecture and a two-hour practical session aimed at enhancing the skills of NRL Game Development Officers to allow them to implement an innovative approach to their Backyard League Primary School teaching program.

The unit, developed by Dr Forrest in conjunction with the NRL, is based on his model of teaching games and sports known as the ‘Grammar of Games’. This approach encourages students to explore the four common concepts that exist in all games and sports (Strategy and Tactics, Decision Making, Movement Skill and Execution and Communication and Concentration) and then apply them to understanding rugby league.

“It is a very exciting project. UOW and the NRL have been working for about nine months now on the new unit and we believe the approach will give all children, especially those without a background in rugby league, a better understanding of rugby league from a playing, spectating and coaching perspective,” Dr Forrest said.

“Hopefully, from this, we can aim for improved involvement for children but also give teachers, coaches and Game Development Officers the capacity to deliver the new program.”

Today’s workshop marks the beginning of a wider, multifaceted research project involving Dr Forrest, Dr Dana Perlman, PhD student Brendan Ryan, UOW students Brad Hoffmann and Ben Toussis and the NRL.

The unit will initially be taught in a range of primary schools in South West Sydney, Sutherland and the Illawarra and has a number of different aims — exploring whether students in the program improve in understanding how to play rugby league, are more motivated to participate or be involved in rugby league, explore issues related to implementing and teaching the program in schools and finally, examine what are ‘best practice’ methods for professional learning for teachers and Game Development Officers.

National School Coordinator for the NRL, Matt Schubert, hopes to see the project expand further.

“We really hope to find out the impact of our programs in schools and see how we can assist teachers and coaches give children greater opportunities to learn the game. From this, we hope to develop a teaching resource that empowers all staff, with the assistance of Game Development Officers, to deliver this quality program.”

Media please note: The project begins in July and will run for five weeks in the schools and results will be published early next year. Schools interested in the ’Grammar of Games’ or the program should contact Dr Greg Forrest at

UOW contact: Dr Greg Forrest on +61 2 4221 5187 NRL Contact: Matt Schubert on 0429 651 255