American Football? No, Rugby!

March 29, 2009
By Cleroy27 BRONZE, Madison, New Hampshire
Cleroy27 BRONZE, Madison, New Hampshire
1 article 1 photo 0 comments

Rugby. What a great sport! Some of you may have heard a lot about the sport, seeing how it is most popular in the New England region of the United States. Some of you may have absolutely no idea what Rugby even is. You don’t see or hear about it a lot; however, in college that will change.

With college comes a new array of sports. There will be team sports and club sports (which are student run and supported). Whether it is a club or a team, most of the sports are worth checking out.

American football (the classic all American high school sport) originated from Rugby. In middle school there was always that girl who wanted to join the football team. It just didn’t seem fair that the boys got to play and the girls didn’t. Today colleges across the nation have added Rugby to their sports. Women’s collegiate Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation according to Rolling Stone Magazine. Two years ago, only two colleges offered Rugby; in two years it turned to ten schools that now offer the sport.

Rugby is known to be the world’s most dangerous sport; however, players insist that they get fewer injuries than players who require padding and equipment such as hockey or football. Society has always tried to fit women into certain roles such as gymnastics or swimming, but now there is a sport that is very old, yet very new to most women. Female college students are demanding this sport. The question is why do women want to play a sport that is known for leaving black and blue marks and even broken noses? Rugby is similar to football in that it is full tackle; however, it is done without the protective padding. It is quite simple really and it looks fun, but women have always played sports with limited contact. Women’s lacrosse and hockey have different rules than the male versions of the sports. In Rugby, it is the same for both men and women. It’s as close as women can get to American football and it breaks all the stereotypes at the same time.

Rugby is spreading throughout schools everywhere – even high schools. The growth has been centered around the Ivy Leagues and eventually moved on to small private colleges and universities. The game is known to be very creative and full of strategy; you have to think in order to accomplish a goal. People like it because in order to survive you have to rely on your teammates. Girls who have never played any sport before or even a girl that was once a cheerleader can play Rugby, because it is the type of game where everyone has a place on the team. That’s what people want – a place and a sense of belonging.

What exactly is Rugby? The best explanation is that it is a mix of soccer and football. It is played with an oval ball instead of a football or soccer ball, which is a cross between the two. On each side of the field there are fifteen players. Unlike football, there are no substitutions unless someone gets injured. Players are not allowed to pass the ball forward; it must be passed laterally or backward. However, a player can kick the ball forward at any time. The object of the game is to carry the ball over the line. A goal line lies at each end of the field. Observers across the United States think that women play Rugby better then most men do because they don’t have to unlearn the rules of football.

Colleges across the nation offer men’s rugby as a varsity sport. Women are trying to get them to offer it as a varsity sport for them as well, hoping that eventually they can get the sport back in the Olympics. Eastern Illinois University became the first in the country to offer Rugby to women on a varsity level, and many are following their lead.
Seniors, you’re going off to college soon. Wherever you choose to go, it is going to be much different than our small community. There will be many clubs that cover topics such as foreign language to things like tie dying. The same is true for sports – whether it is a club, a team, or even an intramural team. In college you have to keep an open mind to the new activities that become available. Rugby is just one out of many examples. You are going to find a lot of things out about yourself by trying different activities. Even if it looks like something you wouldn’t enjoy, give it a try because you may love it.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 22 2015 at 4:27 pm
Tackle63USA BRONZE, Springfield, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
Good article. American football or Rugby? I say both. Great to see Rugby emerge as an NCAA sport for women, I only wish I could say the same for men. Rugby is growing rapidly all over the U.S., as it should. It would be great to see a lot of growth on the high-school level, but unfortunately, that growth is stunted (at least amongst males) because it would conflict with football - as is my case. I currently play football, but I love rugby as a spectator. However, if there were no opportunities for me to play football, I would play rugby without a doubt, and I intend to play on some level in college.


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