Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rugby-USA Rugby and College

College rugby teams are where most of the current rugby players and USA Rugby members come from. College club rugby is actually now the largest portion of USA Rugby's membership. Once a little played sport on college campuses, now there is a wide variety of levels of competition on college campuses. It is expected that rugby's growth will someday rival that of other pro sports, with elementary school-aged children playing the sport through their school career as they now do soccer, football and baseball.

If you are looking to start a new college or high school team, USA Rugby offers a lot of support. They have a start-up-guide and posters; they can help you draft by-laws and they have tools to help get your team going. They can even offer help with recruitment, a game day check list, fundraising and medical insurance information. Few youth sports genres are more supported by a national organization than rugby.

If you are a student who is interested in a rugby scholarship, check your schools carefully and also check back regularly for updates as this is an emerging and growing forum. Even if you don't get a scholarship out of high school, you may be eligible for generous financial aid when it comes to the sport. From the USA Rugby site you can click on "collegiate clubs" and then on "club scholarships" for a complete listing of the colleges and universities that participate in a rugby program and the scholarships or financial aid that may be available. USA Rugby gives you a quick overview on the school and provides contact information.

USA Rugby also offers All-American recognition for rugby athletes. Both male and female athletes can be recognized, though their sources for that recognition may be different at this time. Men's All-Americans play in a regional All-Star Tournament, and then may compete as a representative of USA Rugby. Women, on the other hand, are selected by an appointed panel that utilizes local and regional recommendations for recognition. This will most likely change as, for the first time in 2009, the Women's Premier League, the WPL, pitted the top senior women's clubs against each other, resulting in a National Championship award for a female team in November of 2009. The 2009 WPL included teams from Berkeley, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington. An All-Star Tournament cannot be far behind.

Rugby is definitely a growing sport and one that seems to be on the rise rather than on the wane. The excitement of the game and the athleticism required for play will insure its longevity.

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