Vodacom Bulletjie rugby will this year come of age and the 21 years of existence will culminate in the annual Vodacom Bulletjie Day to be held at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday 31 May.
The event will bring over 5,000 budding Vodacom Bulletjie rugby players together for what can only be described as controlled chaos.
Youngsters from over 95 schools from around Tshwane will be in action on the B, C and D fields at Loftus Versfeld where they will be egged on by approximately 10,000 proud (and screaming!) family and friends.
Loftus Versfeld will be a hive of activity with matches being played on 22 fields while 530 referees will be responsible for containing all the excess energy.
This year there will be 158 Under-6 teams (1386 players), 187 U-7 teams (1776) and 184 U-8 teams (1985 players) learning the true meaning of sportsmanship.
The Vodacom Bulletjie Day is a unique experience for young players to play at Loftus Versfeld where their Vodacom Blue Bulls heroes perform every weekend.
The main priority of Vodacom Bulletjie rugby is participation and the pleasure of playing rugby.
Development is an integral part of not only the day but also of Vodacom Bulletjie rugby and youngsters from the development clusters also come out in their numbers.
Kids from 32 township schools which include Atteridgeville, Eersterust, Mamelodi and Soshanguve will also be participating in the festivities.
Gone are the days of rugby being an exclusive boys sport and one can expect some girls to show off their skills.
Vodacom Bulletjie rugby is the biggest mini-rugby project in South Africa and the first initiative of its kind in the country.
In Vodacom Bulletjie rugby players do not tackle each other, instead each player wears a ribbon on either side. When the ball carrier’s ribbon is ‘ripped’, he must pass the ball to a team mate within three seconds or three steps.
After passing the ball, the player must re-attach the ribbon to his belt before taking part in the game again. The player executing the ‘rip’ shouts “rip”, and holds the ribbon up in the air. The referee will then acknowledge the ‘rip’.
The player who performed the ‘rip’ must hand the ribbon back to the opponent immediately – only thereafter may the player participate in play.