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8.5 million people around the world in 121 countries play rugby union (World Rugby, 2016).
Today's rugby kids have many potential avenues for glory ahead of them, should they choose those paths. Now, more than ever, those with talent and ambition can set their sights on playing for their college (on scholarships), club, country - as an Olympian or at the Rugby World Cup.
Photo credit: USA Rugby Facebook Page
Rugby is a team sport in which - in its utmost simplicity - a team scores points by placing an oval ball on the ground over the opposing team's goal (try) line.
Rugby is played on a grass pitch, a "goal" is called a "try" and the ball is called a rugby ball (although, confusingly, some nationalities choose to call this a "football"). "H"-shaped posts at opposite ends of the pitch are "goals" through which you can score additional points.
The game's complexities require skill, teamwork and athleticism: tackling is allowed, the player must pass the ball behind them, there are scrums and lineouts, and multiple ways to score points beyond placing the ball behind the try line. You can read World Rugby's Beginner's Guide here - this guide includes variations on 15-a-side, 10-a-side and 7-a-side (aka Sevens) rugby.
Rugby Field, World Rugby Beginner's Guide p.3
Flag Rugby is non-contact, so there is no tackling in this game. It is an introductory game that allows kids to build up rugby skills (like passing backwards) before adding in the element of tackling. Kids are only introduced to tackling when they are ready.
Flag Rugby is safe, is played in schools, and can be played indoors or outdoors. You can read more about the rules of Flag Rugby here.
"[American] Football is a sport that originated from the game of rugby, but it a much different game. Rugby is a very controlled game with a lot of rules in place to keep all players safe on the field. Although rugby players do not wear pads and protection, they are taught the necessary skills to stay safe and successful on the field." - USA Rugby Parents FAQs
It is true that we don't wear pads in rugby, but all players must wear a mouthguard. This is encouraged in Flag Rugby too. You can wear padded scrum hat / headgear if you choose.
Rugby is a game for boys and girls. In the USA rugby is structured, and programmed for progression.
Rookie Rugby is played by Children up to the age of 12 or Grade 6. Rookie Rugby is the introductory game for rugby in America and is played as 7 a side. Kids, parents, teachers, fans, referees and coaches learn and compete in a simplified version of rugby played with flag belts. The rules and programs of Rookie Rugby tie together child development, healthy activity, fair play, fun and safety. Rookie Rugby is the official start of the player pathway for USA Rugby and is used in PE classrooms, after-school programs, community programs and rugby clubs throughout the USA.
Centaurs members are registered through the Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organisation MYRO and Rugby USA and enjoy the member benefits including insurance coverage during sanctioned activities with the club.
Youth Rugby is for kids from Grade 7 to 12. Youth Rugby advances additional components of the game, learning and advancing the technical skills of Rookie players into contact rugby. This includes contact tackle, rucks, scrums, lineouts, Youth play 7' a side rugby and are introduced to 15 a side rugby.
For More on Rookie Rugby, visit Rugby USA
Rugby is played through many colleges, high schooIs and clubs in Massachusetts. f you have a child that is interested in rugby regardless of their age or preference of sevens or fifteens, they will have the opportunity to participate nationally and internationally.
Rugby is the fastest growing youth sport in the nation. If your athlete is looking for high-intensity, fun, and an environment to learn skills and strategy, rugby is a great place to start. Don't worry if your kid has never played, as most kids here haven't so your child is not at a disadvantage. A lot of kids have only started in the last year or two, and every year we add more new kids to the program.
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