A sport once famously called “a ruffian’s game played by gentlemen” is returning to the Delaware Valley. On the first weekend in June, the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship will commence at PPL Park in Chester.
Delaware, Penn State, and Temple University will all be there to snatch the current title away from Dartmouth. Every college rugby team wants to compete in this tournament. Donal Walsh, senior vice president at USA Sevens Rugby, calls it the “largest rugby event in the USA.”
Rugby sevens is a smaller, shortened version of traditional rugby. Instead of 15 players to a side and halves of 40 minutes each, sevens features only 7 players per side and 7-minute halves. That’s the same amout of territory (70 meters by 100 meters), with half as many players in less than a quarter of the time.
Because of its abridged nature, the sport is making an entry into the Olympic stage. Rugby sevens will be among the competitions in Rio’s summer Olympics in 2016.