The Game

The United States loves contact sports. Rugby Football is the world’s contact sport, played in more than 100 countries.  Rugby is one of the fastest growing team sports in America. In the last five years, participation in youth and high school rugby has more than doubled.

Rugby's 7-a-side version (7s) has been included in most of the world’s regional multi-sport competitions including the next Pan-Am Games. 7s Rugby is set for re-inclusion in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio di Janeiro.

Rugby is a sport developed during Victorian England, and named after the British boarding school whose particular rules of playing "football" dominated in games against other schools.

The game itself combines the continuous action of soccer with the ball running, full contact and tackling of American football, but without the hard padding or protective gear. American football, a sport created in the late 1800s, finds it origins in rugby and borrows some of rugby’s rules.

Rugby is an explosive combination of skill, speed, power, endurance. It's a violent sport, but it's an elegant violence, played with a strong code of sportsmanship.

Rugby - the Global Contact Sport:

Rugby is played by men and women, boys and girls, in more than 100 countries across 5 continents. The worldwide governing organization and Law-making body for the sport is the International Rugby Board (IRB). The IRB was founded in 1886 and its headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland. The IRB membership currently totals 97 countries as Full Members, 19 Associate Members and six Regional Associations.

There are a number of tournaments under IRB control, including the Women’s Rugby World Cup, Rugby World Cup Sevens, IRB Sevens, Under 21 World Cup, Under 19 World Championship and the Super Powers Cup. The principal IRB property is, however, Rugby World Cup. The Rugby World Cup (RWC) is the financial engine which drives the development of the game worldwide.

The revenues from RWC provide the IRB with the funds which are distributed to the Member Unions to aid and assist them in the expansion and development of the game. With a worldwide television audience in excess of 3 billion in 2003, RWC has become established as the third most important global sporting event behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.   RWC 2007 attracted 2.2 million ticket sales, 1.8 million website hits and record television viewing figures through broadcast exposure via 238 channels around the world. The cumulative TV audience was estimated as 4.2 billion viewers.