Touch New Zealand will implement a new structure for the NZSS Touch Nationals for 2019.The Zonal Qualifying Tournaments will not be held and a new qualifying structure based upon 2018 NZSS Touch Nationals results combined with a ballot system will be utilised to provide entry for up to 90 schools for the 2019 tournament. More details of the new structure are included below. With 86 teams entering the 2018 Zonal Qualifying Tournaments, this proposal has the ability to cater for all those schools across multiple grades if they so wished.Feedback sought by School Sport NZ from schools over the past week has been a mix of support for the new structure and concerns with the proposed changes. All feedback was considered as part of the decision making process. Touch NZ feel that some changes are required to rejuvenate the NZSS Touch Nationals and School Sport NZ have agreed to work with Touch NZ to implement the new approach.Rationale
Over a number of years there have been reduced entries for NZSS Touch Nationals qualifying tournaments and the number of schools committing to attending the NZSS Touch Nationals.
Referees: The sourcing of referees will lie with Touch NZ. We will need between 110 - 120 referees to resource a tournament of 90 teams and we have the internal referee resources to achieve that. We expect referees will be even keener to come to NZSS Nationals if they have a greater chance of refereeing finals as well as no longer having to resource the secondary schools qualifiers on top of their other Module, Provincial, and international responsibilities.Cost: There is no intent to raise the entry fee and the tournament will stay at 3 days with 90 teams. Extra funds generated through extra teams will be used in covering the costs of extra infrastructure and referees required to resource the larger tournament.Venue: The 2019 NZSS Touch Nationals will be held in Rotorua. The park has the infrastructure to accommodate a tournament of 90 teams. Further communications will be generated asap to get the entry nomination process underway.TouchNZ fully appreciate that there may be issues and unintended consequences at a local level, however we are confident that we are acting in the best interests of the NZSS Touch Nationals tournament and the sport across New Zealand.
Article added: Tuesday 19 February 2019
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