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Friday 3 February 2012 | Published in Regional


Cook Islands Rugby League will start the season with the League Masters today, kicking off this afternoon 4.30pm at the Avatiu Swamp.

While international rules classify masters players as 35 and over, the Cook Islands league masters rules limit masters players to 40 years and over.

The reason is that many players under 40 are still playing in the premiers or the premier reserve grade competition and the masters is for those that have retired from the game.

The premier season kicks off tomorrow, Saturday, February 4.

To protect the players from getting hurt or injured, players are required to wear the correct colour shorts for safety reasons.

The black shorts (40-plus) can be tackled but not vigorously.

The red shorts (50-plus) can’t be tackled but can be stopped by holding the player. Red shorts are not to be thrown onto the ground.

The gold shorts (60-plus) can’t be tackled or held and can be touched only.

The whole idea is for the old boys to get on the field and enjoy the game without the fear of getting smashed.

It’s all about displaying the moves and skills they once had. Any vigorous players will be sent off the field for a cooling off period or be sent right out.

League masters president Lucky Matapuku is encouraging all the old boys to head down to the Swamp for a run or to just come down and support the boys.