Lafayette, Colo. – Thirty-one qualifying tournaments will determine the 32 men’s and women’s teams participating in the 2018 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship, USA Rugby announced on Monday.
“We’ve seen a tremendous energy behind the 7s restructure so far,” noted Erik Geib, USA Rugby’s Club Dept. Manager. “Last year had 47 tournaments, which the group [the 7s Working Group of the Performance Game Board] thought was far too many. It’s a goal of those passionately involved in the sevens game to up the quality of play, and it’s believed that will be accomplished by having teams play each other in higher-quality events.”
To further aid the goal of producing higher-quality events, the men’s eastern and western open qualifiers have also been awarded, with Northern Virginia Rugby (NOVA) hosting the Eastern Open at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA, and the Northern California GU hosting the Western Open at San Francisco Golden Gate’s Ray Sheeran Field facility on Treasure Island in San Francisco, CA. Northern Virginia is one of the most successful clubs in Club 7s history, appearing in the finals event 19 times (tied for second-most all-time) – including a championship in 1996. Treasure Island is also no stranger to 7s, having hosted the Club 7s finals event 5 times (2008-2012) as well as numerous Northern California qualifiers and high-quality collegiate events.
Both open events will take place on the weekend of June 30, with the Western Open taking place just 3 short weeks before the Rugby World Cup Sevens is held cross-town at AT&T Park [Get your tickets now!].
Eligible men’s teams are welcome to attend either open event, and the winner will directly qualify for the men’s division of the 2018 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship. Interested teams should check their eligibility to compete at usaclub7s.com. Should the pilot concept for open tournaments prove successful, women’s open qualifiers will be possible in 2019.
More information regarding the summer Club 7s season is also available at usaclub7s.com. A venue for the 2018 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship event is expected to be announced shortly. The USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship, held August 11-12, event will see 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams compete for their place on the Emil Signes Cup.