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Posted February 18th, 2010 - Updated 02/10/11

 

 

 

A condensed history of Rugby in America - from USA Rugby:
 

On May 14, 1874, Harvard University hosted Montrealís McGill University, in Cambridge, MA, for what would be the first recorded Rugby match on American soil.  It was the first of three matches proposed by McGill.  And, under the rules of "The Boston Game", Harvard won 3 - 0.

Those first two matches were to be played in Cambridge, one under Harvard's rules, the other under McGill's rules.  The third match would be played in Montreal under McGill's rules.  The next day the two Clubs played to a scoreless tie under the McGill rules. Harvard was so taken by McGill's rules that they adopted them.  And, that Harvard/McGill series sparked an interest on college campuses nationwide.

As American Rugbyís popularity began to grow, Rugby was soon included as a sport in four Olympic Games (1900, 1908, 1920, 1924), and the United States claimed victories in both the 1920 and 1924 Games.


Shortly after the 1924 Olympics, however, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) removed Rugby as an Olympic sport.  Without the Olympic incentive, the sportís growth in America collapsed and the game remained dormant for the next half century.

 

However, during the 1960's and '70's, the sport enjoyed a renaissance.  With this renewed interest there became a need for a National Governing Body to represent the USA in the International Rugby Community.  In response to the need for a centralized national structure, four territorial organizations gathered in Chicago, IL, in 1975 and formed the United States of America Rugby Football Union (now known as USA Rugby) to serve as the game's National Governing Body.

More than 30 years later, USA Rugby is an official member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Rugby Board (iRB).  The organization has approximately 90,000 members and is responsible for the development of the Boys, Girls, High School, Collegiate, and Club Rugby programs, and ultimately all of the National Teams representing the U.S. in international competitions.

 

The current structure of USA Rugby comprises seven Territorial Unions and 34 Local Area Unions that compete for regional and National Championships.  The National Office is located in Boulder, CO, and is run by paid staff, including the Union's newest CEO and President of Rugby Operations, Nigel Melville.

 

Play Rugby 15s Links:

 

RUGBY VIDEOS TO WATCH

Click on a ball, or one of the links below . . .

 

 

RUGBY 101 - PART 1

 

 

RUGBY 101 - PART 2

 

 

   

 

Rugby Knowledge Resources:  QUICK GUIDE TO RUGBY LAWS  |  iRB's GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

 

 
 

JONNY WILKINSON DOCUMENTARY

Jonny Wilkinson is considered by most Rugby enthusiasts the best flyhalf to play for England in the modern era

he is also considered, world wide, to have the best 'educated toe' of any Rugby player in the modern era

Double click on any video to get the larger video through YouTube

 

PART 1

The Early Years

 

 

PART 2

The Workout

 

 

PART 3

The Educated Toe

 

 

PART 4

The Playmaker

 

 

PART 5

England's Captain at 23

 

 

PART 6

Analyzing

 

 

PART 7

The Leader by Example

 

 

PART 8

The kind of Guy you want 'With You'

 

Dedication  |  Discipline  |  Majestically Mature  |  Tenacity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A FEW RUGBY QUICK FACTS:

ONLY the Captain may speak to the Referee  |  Profanity during match play is forbidden  |  Matches last 80 minutes (40 minute halves)

The ball can ONLY be passed backwards  |  Players play BOTH Offense and Defense  |  EVERY player can run with the ball

No huddles, no timeouts, no downs, just open play similar to Basketball and Soccer

There are 15 Players per side on the pitch, i.e., 8 Forwards and 7 Backs that play on each starting side, with a potential of 8 substitutes

Every Player can score  |  The Forwards form the scrum and lineouts  |  Backs are primarily open field runners

A 'Try' = 5 points, which is similar to a Touchdown in football  |  Conversion kicks = 2 points, which is similar to a football extra point

Penalty kicks = 3 points, which is similar to football field goals

Tacklers MUST wrap & engage below the shoulders  |  NO BLOCKING FOR A RUNNER WHO HAS THE BALL

Once a runner passes the ball, the runner can NOT be tackled

Those substituted can NOT return to the field, unless it is a BLOOD substitute

Post hand-shaking lines are done in honor of the Game, both Clubs, and the Referee