GLENDALE, COLO. - After receiving over 50 declarations in the 2021 National 7s Intent to Participate form, over 40 teams have been invited or pre-qualified to the 2021 USA National Rugby 7s Tournament by the 7s Championship Committee.
Teams currently invited or pre-qualified will have until July 5 at 11:59 PM to confirm their official entry via payment of their entry fee, which is set to cover the costs of competition in 2021. The deadline for completion of the Intent to Participate Form has been extended for select women's teams* until July 1, and those teams will have also have until July 5 to complete payment.
As the United States emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic that largely shut down competitive rugby for much of the past year, this year’s National 7s Tournament will be formatted differently from those in the past. Constructed as an invitation-qualification hybrid event, the goal is to see as many teams possible at this year’s capstone event.
WIth that in mind, this year's tournament will be divided between the Signes Cup championship tier and the secondary Silver Cup tier. The teams that win the Signes Cup shall have their names listed alongside the previous national champions dating back to 1985.
The 7s Championship Committee initially identified criteria to 'pre-qualify' teams to the Signes Cup tier that regularly participate in the National 7s Tournament, so as to cut down on travel costs early and encourage participation. That criteria includes teams that:
Other teams that declared their intent to participate in either tier have the right to participate in the Silver Cup tier, and the 7s Championship Committee will review their summer 2021 results for inclusion in the Signes Cup tier.
For the 2021 National 7s Tournament, it is expected that the Signes Cup tier will feature between 16 and 24 teams for both the men's and women's competitions, with an additional 12 to 16 teams competing in the men's Silver Cup competition. As of June 28, it seems likely the women's competition will be a single tier (the Signes Cup) after the 7s Championship Committee received fewer Intent to Participate declarations from the women's community.
The full list of teams invited to participate, with a breakdown of their category, is as follows:
Category A: Pre-Qualified - Signes: This list of teams meets the criteria for pre-qualification to the Signes Cup competition, filled out their Intent to Particate Form, are invited to participate accordingly.
Category B-1: TBD - Signes or Silver: This list of men's teams has declared its intent to participate in either tier of competition and will have its 2021 tournament results reviewed by the 7s Championship Committee prior to August 1 for final determination of competition tier.
Category B-2: Signes Invited: These women's teams do not meet the pre-qualification requirements but filled out their Intent to Participate Form and are being invited to participate in the Signes Cup tier due to the low likelihood of there being two women's tiers of competitions in 2021.
Category C: Silver Cup only: This list of teams have either declared they are only interested in participating in the Silver Cup competition, or they are only eligible for the Silver Cup competition due to their eligibility status.
Category D: Only if Signes Qualified: This list of teams have declared they are only interested in participating if they qualify for the Signes Cup tier of competition. These teams may have their entry fee paid for by their union and will be able to advance at the end of their 2021 competition if they win their qualifying series.
Invited and pre-qualified teams will receive an email informing of them of their status and shall have until July 5 at 11:59 pm to register via payment of their entry fee.
*The deadline has been extended for any women's 7s team that participated in the 2019, 2018, or 2017 National 7s Championship event but did not complete their Intent to Participate form prior to June 24 at 11:59 PM. Teams that meet the pre-qualification criteria will be given the first chance to complete registration, followed by teams that participated in the finals in any way during 2017-2019.