Unless you’re a hardcore rugby fan, you probably don’t know much about Rugby 7s. Even if you are a rugby fan, you might not know much about it either since it’s not as popular as its 15-player counterpart. But that’s all about to change this summer because Rugby 7s will be making its debut. Here’s everything you need to know about the style of rugby played in the olympics called.
What is Rugby 7s?
Rugby 7s is a variation of the traditional 15-player rugby union game. As the name suggests, Rugby 7s is played with seven players per team on a smaller field. The game is also shorter than rugby union, with each half lasting only seven minutes. Because of its shorter duration and smaller teams, Rugby 7s is considered to be a more fast-paced and open game than a 15-player rugby union.
Another key difference between the two sports is that tries (the act of grounding the ball in the opponent’s in-goal area) in Rugby 7s only score five points instead of the traditional seven. This means that there are more opportunities for scoring and tries are often worth more in regard to the outcome of the match. Consequently, matches tend to be higher-scoring affairs than their 15-player counterparts.
The Origins of Rugby 7s
Although it might seem like a relatively new sport, Rugby 7s has actually been around for quite some time. The game was first played in 1883 at Melrose RFC in Scotland. The Melrose Sevens tournament is still played every year and is considered to be the oldest rugby union tournament in existence.
Rugby 7s began to gain popularity in other parts of the world in the early 1900s. In 1976, the International Olympic Committee added rugby union to its list of official sports. However, by the time of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, rugby union had been dropped from the games due to a lack of interest from participating nations. It wasn’t until 2011 that Rugby 7s was officially added to the list of Olympic sports after extensive campaigning from World Rugby (then known as IRB).
How Did Rugby 7s Get Its Start in Brazil?
It might surprise you to learn that Brazil has long been a hotbed for rugby sevens. In fact, Brazil actually hosted one of the legs of IRB’s Seven World Series back in 2010. That event was held in Deodoro Stadium, which just so happens to be one of Rio’s Olympic venues for this summer’s games.
Currently, there are over 200 registered Brazilian rugby clubs and over 14,000 Brazilian players spread out across 23 states! So although Brazil might not be known as a traditional rugby power, there is definitely a devoted group of supporters who are excited to see their country represented on rugby’s biggest stage this summer.
Are you looking for something new and exciting to watch at this summer’s Olympics? If so, then you should definitely check out Rugby 7s! This fast-paced sport promises to deliver plenty of try-scoring action for spectators, both old and new alike. So whether you’re a lifelong rugby fan or someone who knows absolutely nothing about the sport, make sure to tune into Rugby 7s.