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
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.