T&T rugby women will make a switch from playing 10s rugby to 12s rugby, following a decision by Rugby Americas North (RAN) last week in Miami at a Women's Forum which dealt with strategic planning and followed the organisation's annual general meeting (AGM).
They were scheduled to make that transition in December at a regional tournament, but the COVID-19 pandemic restricted entry to the host nation, said Maria Thomas, president of the T&T Rugby Football Union (TTRFU).
Thomas represented the country at the AGM along with Kanisha Vincent, the chair of the Selection Committee, who played an integral role in discussions around competition structure moving forward throughout the region.
But Thomas in an interview on Wednesday said the move will ensure that women's rugby will move to the next stage.
"One of the big points for the women's competition is moving to the next stage, which is from 10s to 12s, so the women's will be playing 7s and 12s, the goal being, that they will have both the 7s and 15s formats of the game.
"We were playing 10s because of the numbers, but the plan was always to increase those numbers to 12 and then to 15s."
Because of the cancellation of the women's 12s tournament, Thomas who took over the leadership of the sport from Colin Peters earlier this year in May said the women's tournament will now have to be played in July next year (2022), alongside the Under-19 Men's 15s competition.
The T&T rugby boss believes there will be no difficulty in adapting and transitioning to the 12s game, noting that the country's women teams dominated at the 15s game.
"Well previously we saw a huge increase in our numbers when we separated the 7s and 10s programmes, so this is a natural progression for us. T&T, particularly the women, were very successful in the 15s and based on the developments that we have seen in 2019, and also the interests we saw expressed this year. We are confident that we will be able to meet, not only the 12s requirements, but we will be able to get some 15s games in as well.
And there were conversations among the other unions on how we can have enough women to play 15s and how we can make it a reality."
Meanwhile, with the drastic spike in the COVID-19 cases, coupled with increased deaths, Thomas said there is no saying when the sport will be resumed in T&T, saying: "There is no indication of when we can resume community play. As far as the national teams go, it's to get vaccinated and we're taking every precaution to do contact tracing to ensure that protocols that are set out, are followed to safeguard our players and our programmes.
"We are still hoping to gain access to sports facilities and the stadia. This will help us to ensure that there is less public exposure for training."