The 2016 Olympics start tomorrow, and its newest sport entry of Rugby 7s, is ready to shock the world! Rugby Sevens!? Yes, Rugby 7s! A sport filled with action packed scoring, jaw dropping tackles and speed that will make a cheetah turn its head. (okay maybe not that fast, but FAST!) I mean shoot, ask Carlin Isles, the fastest man in Rugby, whose 100m time comes in at “Car” type speed at 10.13 seconds. Do you see what I did there? Anyhow, “I thought you said the Club Rugby 7s National Championships could be bigger than the Olympics?” You’re right, read on.
Right now, Rugby 7s is like a volcano; bubbling, right before the eruption! Or maybe a body of water, right before a huge wave starts to form? So what does that mean? What it means is, the Club 7s National Championships are taking place right after the Olympics, and will be there in the midst of the eruption and the towering wave that is guaranteed to make a splash in the USA. Still not convinced?
Maybe I am reaching here, but so did every defender that tried to tackle Perry Baker on a breakaway, and that seemed to work out well for USA Rugby 7s :). Am I trying to take away Rugby 7s from the Olympics? Absolutely not! This is a monumental moment for Rugby across the world and to the “Rugby” community specifically in the USA, which is filled with many men and women, boys and girls that love a game so much they want other people to love it too.
There is no doubt there will be more USA Rugby fans watching the Olympics than the Club Championships, but there shouldn’t be! The Club 7s Nationals Championships are filled with current and future stars that could be playing in the next Olympics and/or at least being a big part of competitive Rugby 7s in the next few years. We need to support these men and women, and really cheer them on. This is huge! Am I getting a little closer? Maybe this will do it….
Last I checked, there was 515,808 people that “Liked” USA Rugby Sevens on Facebook, and I am sure that includes people from all over the world, considering most of us also “Like” other countries Rugby Facebook pages. In addition, according to USA Rugby, there were 115,315 members last year. Those are great numbers, but what about the rest of the USA? How many people other than the typical Rugby fan will be watching the Olympics? People Magazine says there are 7.5 million in ticket sales and they expect approximately 3.6 billion to be watching on television world wide. In 2012, just in the USA alone, there was a record set when 219.4 million people tuned in according to huffingtonpost. For you mathematicians out there, just on that number alone, if we subtracted the Rugby community, there would still be close to 219 million people that most likely have nothing to do with Rugby at all. That is what I am really trying to get at here. The Olympics could double or even triple USA Rugby fans and players EASILY, with still about 217 million USA citizens unaccounted for after that.
Where will these Rugby, adrenaline filled, feens go? Can you guess? The Club 7s National Championships are 2 days after the Olympics (and with a little help from USA Rugby—USA! USA!–or none at all) you can bet that the Club 7s National Championships will be the tournament to watch! (You can watch it HERE if you don’t make it to Colorado, which you should!). Dear Rugby fan, it is important we support this tournament and keep the chatter up as all those fresh Rugby fans start to venture their new love. We all know the Love we share for Rugby. Let’s show that Love as Love should be: welcoming, giving and supporting.
This will not be like any other year for the Club 7s National Championships. The tournament being held at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, August 13-14, will be a followed up exclamation point for Rugby 7s in the USA! Stay tuned for a story on the teams that get the honor and privilege of playing in this tournament.