Rugby sevens

Rugby sevens (commonly known as simply sevens), and originally known as seven-a-side rugby, is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves. Rugby sevens is administered by World Rugby, the body responsible for rugby union worldwide. The game is popular at all levels, with amateur and club tournaments generally held in the summer months. Sevens is one of the most well distributed forms of rugby, and is popular in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and especially in the South Pacific.[2]

Rugby sevens originated in Melrose, Scotland in the 1880s; the Melrose Sevens tournament is still played annually. The popularity of rugby sevens increased further with the development of the Hong Kong Sevens in the 1970s and was later followed by the inclusion of the sport into the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 1998 and the establishment of the annual World Rugby Sevens Series in 1999 and the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in 2012. In 2016, rugby sevens was contested in the Summer Olympics for the first time. It has also been played in regional events such as the Pan American Games and the Asian Games, and in 2018 a women's tournament was played for the first time at the Commonwealth Games.

Hong Kong Sevens Parade
March Past of Hong Kong Sevens 2008
Rugby sevens
Kenya v Tonga try
Kenya scores a try against Tonga during the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Highest governing bodyWorld Rugby
NicknamesSevens, 7s, VIIs,
Seven-a-side[1]
First played1883
Characteristics
ContactFull Contact
Team members7
Mixed genderSeparate competitions
TypeOutdoor team sport, variant of rugby union
EquipmentRugby ball
Presence
Olympic2016 onwards
World Games2001 – 2013

Overview

Rugby sevens is sanctioned by World Rugby, and is played under similar laws (with exceptions noted below) and on a field of the same dimensions as the 15 player game. While a regular rugby union match lasts at least 80 minutes, a normal sevens match consists of two halves of seven minutes with a two-minute half-time break. The final of a competition can be played over two halves of ten minutes each.[3] (In the World Rugby Sevens Series, only the Cup final, which determines the overall winner of an event, is played with 10 minute halves; all finals for lower-level trophies are played with 7 minute halves.) Sevens scores are generally comparable to regular rugby scores, but scoring occurs much more frequently in sevens, since the defenders are more spaced out. The scoring system is the same as regular rugby union, namely five points for a try, three points for a drop goal (whether from penalty or open play) and two points for a post-try conversion.[4]

The shorter match length allows rugby sevens tournaments to be completed in a day or a weekend. Many sevens tournaments have a competition for a cup, a plate, a bowl, and a shield, allowing many teams of different standards to avoid leaving empty-handed.

Sevens tournaments are traditionally known for having more of a relaxed atmosphere than fifteen-a-side games, and are often known as "festivals". Sevens tournaments gained their "popularity as an end of season diversion from the dourer and sterner stuff that provides the bulk of a normal season's watching."[5] Fans frequently attend in fancy dress, and entertainment is put on for them.

The Hong Kong Sevens tournament has been especially important in popularising the game in Asia, and rugby sevens has been important as a form of international rugby "evangelism", hence is perhaps the most widely played form of the game, with tournaments in places as far apart as Bogota and Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Kenya, Singapore and Scandinavia, as well as the countries in which rugby union is well known.[6]

Rules

Sevens is played on a standard rugby union playing field. The field measures up to 100 metres (330 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) wide.[7][8] On each goal line are H-shaped goal posts. The goal posts are on the goal line. This is unlike American football in which the posts are behind the back of the goal line.

Variations to the laws of the game

European Sevens 2008, Germany vs Georgia, scrum
A sevens scrum

There are several variations in laws which apply to rugby sevens,[9][10] primarily to speed up the game and to account for the reduced number of players. The main changes can be summarised as follows:

  • 7 players per team on field (instead of 15).
  • Five substitutes, with five interchanges (instead of 7 and 7).
  • Seven minute halves (instead of 40-minute halves, in fifteen-a-side).
  • Maximum of two minutes half-time (instead of ten minutes).
  • Matches drawn after regulation are continued into sudden-death extra time, in multiple 5-minute periods.
  • All conversion attempts must be drop-kicked (instead of having the option to place-kick).
  • Conversions must be taken within 30 seconds of scoring a try (instead of 90 seconds). Prior to 2016, the limit had been 40 seconds.
  • Three player scrums (instead of eight players).
  • Kick-offs: in sevens, the team which has just scored kicks off, rather than the conceding team, as in fifteen-a-side.
  • Yellow cards net a 2-minute suspension (instead of 10 minutes) to the offender.
  • Referees decide on advantage quickly (where one play usually ends advantage, unlike in fifteens).
  • In major competitions, there are additional officials present (in-goal touch judges) to judge success of kicks at goals, which means the game is not delayed waiting for touch judges to move into position to judge conversion attempts.

Gameplay

Positions and gameplay

Teams are composed of seven players — three forwards and four backs.[11] Scrums are made up of three players from each team. The chart below shows a team's typical formation at scrum time, with three forwards bound into the scrum, a scrum-half waiting to retrieve the ball once it exits the scrum, and three backs positioned to receive a pass. The numbers shown here are for illustrative purposes only. Unlike rugby fifteens, where a player's number corresponds to his position, numbering in rugby sevens is more flexible. In a squad of twelve players, the players will be numbered one through twelve. The starting players can have any of the twelve numbers, not necessarily one through sevens. No set numbers differentiate positions; for example, numbers one through three are not reserved for forwards, but can be worn by any squad player.

Rugby sevens positions
1 Prop 2 Hooker 3 Prop
 
4 Scrum-half
 
5 Fly-half
 
6 Centre
 
7 Wing
  • Forwards (blue)
    • 1 - Prop
    • 2 - Hooker
    • 3 - Prop
  • Backs (red)
    • 4 - Scrum-half
    • 5 - Fly-half
    • 6 - Centre
    • 7 - Wing

In open play, a typical defensive formation involves a line of six defenders, with one sweeper behind the line.[12] With the attacking team using all seven players against the defending team's six in the line, the attacking team often attempts to move the ball to create an overload.[13] The defensive line can be put under pressure if the defending team makes a tackle and commits players to the ruck; with fewer players in the defending line, it leaves more space for the attacking team to exploit.[14]

Pace of the game

Rugby sevens tends to be played at a faster pace than rugby fifteens. Because of the faster nature of the game, sevens players are often backs or loose forwards in fifteens rugby. The differences are most notable on game restarts. Because scrums in sevens involve three players forming one row instead of eight players forming three rows, scrums tend to assemble more quickly, require fewer restarts, and the ball exits the scrum more quickly.[15][16] Penalties in sevens are generally taken with a quick tap, instead of a kick for touch and a line out, resulting in the ball being put back in play more quickly.[17] When a player is tackled and a ruck is formed, the ball tends to exit the ruck more quickly, as the attacking team generally has only three players involved in the ruck — the tackled player, one support player, and one scrum-half.[18]

History

Origins

Greenyardsmelrose
The Greenyards at Melrose in Scotland, beneath the Eildon Hills, is the original home of rugby sevens.

Rugby sevens was initially conceived in 1883 by Ned Haig and David Sanderson, who were butchers from Melrose, Scotland as a fund-raising event for their local club, Melrose RFC. The first-ever sevens match was played at The Greenyards, the Melrose ground, where it was well received. Two years later, Tynedale was the first non-Scottish club to win one of the Borders Sevens titles at Gala in 1885.[19]

Despite sevens' popularity in the Borders, it did not catch on elsewhere until the 1920s and 1930s.[20] The first international tournament outside Scotland was held in 1921 in north east England at the Percy Park RFC Sevens in North Shields.[19] Because it was near to the Scottish Borders, it attracted interest from the code's birthplace, and the final was contested between Selkirk (who won) and Melrose (who were runners up).[19] The same year, the Buenos Aires Football Club hosted a rugby sevens tournament in Argentina.[21]

In 1926, England's major tournament, the Middlesex Sevens was set up by Dr J.A. Russell-Cargill, a London-based Scot.[19] One of the key events in the spread of sevens to England was the Middlesex Sevens, which had some formidable figures on its sub-committee such as Wavell Wakefield and Bill Ramsay.[20] The Middlesex Sevens were also a great fundraiser for charity, and in 1926, they raised £1,600 for King Edward VII Hospital, at a time when standard admission was a shilling, and stand seats cost five shillings.[20]

A 1927 description of the game at the Middlesex Sevens (also for King Edward Hospital) gives an idea of the novelty of the game to English people:

"You see the field is so open that if a man gets away with the ball a full sized gallop is required to catch him and very often it... wasn't there."[22]

Whereas the Scottish Borders were a rural area, the Middlesex Sevens were near the suburbs of London, which was home to millions. 10,000 spectators attended the second Middlesex tournament.[22] While the Border Sevens had honed the skills of players in the Scottish rugby heartland, the Middlesex Sevens did likewise for London rugby, with locally based players such as the aforementioned Wavell Wakefield, Carl Aarvold (later Recorder of the City of London) of Blackheath FC, Wick Powell of London Welsh RFC, and John Tallent, who would later become chairman of the Four Home Unions Tours Committee.[20] They rubbed shoulders with various invitation sides such as Sale RFC in 1936, which included such players as Wilf Wooller and Claude Davey of Wales and Ken Fyfe[23] of Scotland amongst their backs; and in 1939, Cardiff RFC, which included players such as Wilf Wooller again, and Les Spence and Wendy Davis.[24][20]

The first-ever officially sanctioned tournament for national teams was the 1973 International Seven-A-Side Tournament held at Murrayfield as part of the "Scottish Rugby Union's Celebration of Rugby" centenary celebrations.

Hong Kong Sevens

Due to the success of the format, the Hong Kong Sevens tournament was launched in 1976.

The Scottish connection continued in the establishment of the Hong Kong Sevens in the 1970s, founded largely by expats such as "Tokkie" Smith, and in England, London Scottish RFC was strongly involved in the Middlesex Sevens from the start. The Hong Kong Sevens were ahead of their time and an influential force in the modernisation of rugby union. For example, the Hong Kong Sevens were one of the first rugby union tournaments to attract major sponsorship when the airline Cathay Pacific sponsored the 1976 tournament.[25] They also provided a level of cosmopolitan international competition, which tended not to exist in rugby before the first Rugby World Cup in 1987,[26] especially since Hong Kong was not seen as one of the "Big Eight". By 1986, the Hong Kong Sevens were held up as a positive example to others, although many of the smaller nations' teams were largely made up of expatriates.[26][27]

International development

The Rugby World Cup Sevens, in which the Melrose Cup is contested, was launched in 1993.

Rugby sevens continues to be popular in the Scottish Borders, where the ten most prestigious tournaments make up a league competition known as the "Radio Borders Kings of the Sevens".[28] In honour of the role of Melrose RFC in the creation of rugby sevens, the club was inducted, along with Haig, to the IRB Hall of Fame in 2008.[29]

Sevens has also taken strong root in the Pacific island nations of Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa, as well as in Kenya. In many minor rugby nations, such as in Poland, development has tended to concentrate on rugby sevens as a means of introducing the sport to people.[30] Rugby sevens has become popular in places such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, which are not so successful in the fifteen-a-side code. In addition, seven of the 15 current "core teams" that compete in all legs of the World Series represent nations that are not within the recognised top tier of the 15-man game — Fiji, Samoa, Kenya, the United States, Canada, Portugal, and Japan. Recently there has been the introduction of many new teams to the sevens circuit such as Ireland, Russia, and Germany.

Major tournaments

Argentina San Diego 2008 Rugby Seven-2687539363
Argentina at the 2008 USA Sevens in San Diego
Sailosi Tagicakibau 2008
Sailosi Tagicakibau with the winners cup at the Bournemouth Sevens

World Rugby Sevens Series

The World Series has been held every season since the 1999–2000 inaugural season. Each season the Sevens Series holds from seven to eleven tournaments, from around October and concluding around June. Most tournaments see 16 teams competing — mostly "core teams" that participate in each event, but also some teams that win the right to participate in select events.

New Zealand has been the dominant force in the Sevens Series, winning 12 out of the 18 seasons, including the first six seasons from 1999–2000 to 2004–05. In recent years, however, several other teams have challenged New Zealand's dominance. Fiji won the Series in 2005–06 and again in 2014–15 and 2015–16; South Africa won in 2008–09 and 2016–17; and Samoa claimed the 2009–10 crown. Other strong contenders include England and Australia, each of whom have had several top four finishes in recent seasons.[31] The 2015 London Sevens, saw the United States win their first-ever tournament in the World Series.[32]

Notable World Series players include England's Dan Norton, who has scored more tries (>230) than any other player; and England's Ben Gollings, who has scored more points (2,652) than any other player.

World Rugby Women's Sevens Series

The Rugby Women's Sevens Series has been held every season since the 2012-13 inaugural season. Each season the Sevens Series holds from five to six tournaments, usually starting around November and concluding around June. Most tournaments see 12 teams competing — mostly "core teams" that participate in each event, but also some teams that win the right to participate in select events.

New Zealand have been the most dominant team in the series since its establishment by winning four of the six competitions held up to and including 2018.

Summer Olympics

The International Olympic Committee voted in 2009 to include rugby sevens on the program for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[33] There were two open spots for sports and initially seven sports began the bidding for inclusion in the 2016 program. The event debuted in an Olympic program at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.

Two issues related to differences between the structures of rugby union and the Olympics were sorted out before the 2016 Olympic Games. The issue of a combined British team has proven less of a problem in rugby union. World Rugby chief executive Mike Miller endorsed the concept of a combined British sevens team in 2011 for the 2016 Olympics and beyond.[34] Another issue is the status of Northern Ireland. World Rugby recognises the Irish Rugby Football Union as the sport's governing body for the entire island of Ireland. By contrast, the International Olympic Committee recognises the British Olympic Association as the governing body of the UK Olympic team, while the Olympic Council of Ireland usually fields teams representing all of Ireland in sports which are organised on an all-Ireland basis. Northern Irish sevens players play for the Irish team.[35][36]

In the men's competition Fiji won the gold medal in the sport's Olympic debut, with Great Britain taking the silver and South Africa the bronze. The women's gold medal was won by Australia, with New Zealand taking silver and Canada bronze.[37]

World Cup Sevens

The Rugby World Cup Sevens is held every four years and is the premier international rugby sevens tournament outside of the Olympic Games. The first tournament was held at Murrayfield in 1993 with England becoming the first team to win the event. Fiji and New Zealand are the most successful, having each won two out of the six World Cups. In the men’s competition teams compete for the Melrose Cup and in the women’s competition, launched in 2009, teams compete for the Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens Trophy.

Beginning with the 2018 edition, which was held in San Francisco, United States, the World Cup Sevens is held in the middle of the Summer Olympic cycle, two years after each Olympics.

Commonwealth Games

Rugby sevens has been played at each of the Commonwealth Games every four years since its first appearance at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was the first major international multisports event to include the sport. Rugby sevens is a "Core" sport by the Commonwealth Games Federation, necessitating its appearance at all future games. The New Zealand team has won the gold medal four times with South Africa winning the tournament at Glasgow 2014 beating the defending champions in the final. Through the 2014 Games in Glasgow, it was the last remaining male-only sport at the Commonwealth Games, after women's boxing was added for those Games. Women's sevens made its Commonwealth Games debut in the 2018 Games. The New Zealand teams won the gold medal in both the men's and women's competitions.

Regional tournaments

Catchball
A line-out during the Kinsale Sevens

Rugby sevens is played at various regional multi-sport competitions, including the Asian Games and the Pacific Games. Rugby union was formerly played at the World Games, but this has ceased as rugby is now an Olympic sport.

Pan American Games

Men's rugby sevens at the Pan American Games has been held every four years since the 2011 Pan American Games, with Canada, Argentina, and the United States placing for medals each time.[38] Women's rugby sevens was later added to the program for the 2015 Pan American Games.[39]

European Sevens 2008, Portugal vs Romania, David Mateus tackle
Portugal playing Romania in 2008

European Sevens Championship

The Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series serves as a regional qualifier for two types of tournaments. The top two finishing teams each year who are not core members of the World Rugby Sevens Series advance to the Hong Kong Sevens, the qualifying tournament for teams vying to achieve core team status in the World Rugby Sevens Series. The Europe Grand Prix also serves as a regional qualifier for major quadrennial tournaments, such as the summer Olympics and the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

In Europe, Portugal dominated in sevens during the Championship era (2002–10); only twice the team did not win the trophy, in 2007 and 2009, when both times the championships were won by Russia. In the Grand Prix Series era from 2011 to the present, the champions became England and France; both teams won the trophy twice in a row. Portugal won the first edition, while Russia is the current champion.

Women's rugby sevens

Women's rugby sevens has been dominated by New Zealand, with either the New Zealand team (1999–2001) or Aotearoa Maori Women's Rugby sevens team (playing as New Zealand),[40] winning the annual Hong Kong Sevens tournament from 1997 until 2007. The United States won the Hong Kong Sevens in 2008 by defeating Canada in the final (New Zealand failed to send a team).

Savannah's Katie Thomen tackling Lauren "Speedy" Buslinger Raleigh Venom vs. Savannah
A women's rugby sevens game in the USA

The inaugural Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament took place in Dubai together with the men's tournament during the first weekend of March 2009. England defeated Canada 12–0 in the Bowl final while Australia edged New Zealand 15–10 in extra-time to become the first to win the Women's Rugby World Cup.

WR, then known as the International Rugby Board (IRB), organised its first official women's sevens tournament outside of the World Cup as part of the 2011 Dubai Sevens. This was part of a plan to launch a full IRB International Women's Sevens Series for 2012–13.[41] The international series was officially christened as the IRB Women's Sevens World Series in an IRB announcement on 4 October 2012. The series, as planned, launched for the 2012–13 season and initially featured events in Dubai, the USA, China and the Netherlands.[42] Two additional events were planned for the 2013–14 series, but in the end only one of these events, in Brazil, took place. For the 2014–15 series, China dropped from the schedule, while Canada and England hosted new events. The series was rechristened for 2014–15 as the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, following the November 2014 renaming of the IRB as World Rugby. The 2015–16 series included only five events; the England and Netherlands events were dropped and an event in France was added. The 2016–17 series returned to six events with the launch of an event in Japan.

Women's rugby sevens was included in the 2016 Olympic Games due to the IRB's successful bid to reintroduce rugby to the Summer games. Australia claimed the gold medal for the event, beating New Zealand in the final with a score of 24-17. Canada claimed the bronze medal after beating Great Britain 33-10 in the third place play-off. WR also successfully pushed for the inclusion of women's sevens in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Sevens vs Fifteens

As sevens has proven a commercial and competitive success, sevens is starting to become divorced from the 15-man game. Former Wales rugby union player and current pundit John Taylor writes in 2010, stating:

[Sevens] is in danger of becoming a totally separate game. Ben Ryan, who coached both the England Sevens and the Fiji Sevens, dismisses the idea that it should be seen mainly as a development tool. A few years ago players would spend a year or two with the Sevens squad to improve their running and passing skills. Many international players refined their game on the Sevens circuit including all-time greats such as Jonah Lomu.

That is happening less and less. Players have to make a choice: Do they want to concentrate on Sevens or 15s? The techniques and training required are becoming very different. Modern professional players are already pretty lean but the forwards in 15-a-side do need bulk as well. In Sevens that is not required and new training regimes are making body fat levels even lower so they are not able to transfer from one game to the other.[43]

See also

References

Works cited

  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1)
  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Scotland Rugby Miscellany (Vision Sports Publishing Ltd, 2007 ISBN 1-905326-24-6)
  • Jones, J.R. Encyclopedia of Rugby Union Football (Robert Hale, London, 1976 ISBN 0-7091-5394-5)
  • McLaren, Bill Talking of Rugby (1991, Stanley Paul, London ISBN 0-09-173875-X)
  • Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)
  • Richards, Huw (2007). A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84596-255-5.
  • Starmer-Smith, Nigel (ed) Rugby – A Way of Life, An Illustrated History of Rugby (Lennard Books, 1986 ISBN 0-7126-2662-X)
  • Stubbs, Ray (2009). The Sports Book. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-1-4053-3697-0.

References

  1. ^ Bath, The Complete Book of Rugby, p. 29
  2. ^ "The Spread of the Sevens" Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Melrose Sevens official site, retrieved 25 February 2010
  3. ^ "2006–07 IRB Sevens World Series Media Guide" (PDF). International Rugby Board. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Rugby 7s rules - Rugby rules for dummies". 8 September 2011.
  5. ^ Jones, The Encyclopedia of Rugby Union Football (1976), p. 122.
  6. ^ Bath (1997), p29.
  7. ^ "Intro EN" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 November 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  8. ^ "Intro EN" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Seven-a-side Variations: Standard Set of Variations Appropriate to the Seven-a-side Game" (PDF). International Rugby Board. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2007.
  10. ^ "Laws of the Game: Seven-a-side Variations:". World Rugby. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  11. ^ “Rugby Sevens: What to Know About This International Sport”, A Healthier Michigan, Katrina Danko, August 4, 2016.
  12. ^ “10 Principles of Playing Good 7’s”, Rugby Thoughts, Billy Millard, Accessed October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Set up your rugby sevens defence", Rugby Coach Weekly, Dan Cottrell.
  14. ^ "Coaching rugby sevens", Marcus Blackburn, page 85, 2014.
  15. ^ “Can’t tell a scrum from a sin bin?”, Today.com, Lexi Dwyer, August 9, 2016.
  16. ^ “Comparing Rugby Sevens with 15-Man Rugby”, Bleacher Report, Daniel Rey, May 15, 2015.
  17. ^ “Rugby penalties in Sevens”, Rugby Coach Weekly, Dan Cottrell, Accessed October 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "Situational coupling at the ruck", J.F. Barkell, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d Bath, Scotland Rugby Miscellany, p82
  20. ^ a b c d e Starmer-Smith, p60
  21. ^ Rugby sevens is a great show - Frankie Deges, Buenos Aires Herald, 8 January 2013
  22. ^ a b Grave, Charles. "Grave is Gay: At the Seven-a-Side Rugby Matches" in Illustrated Sport and Dramatic News, 1927
  23. ^ "Kenneth Carmichael Fyfe". ESPN scrum.
  24. ^ "William Edward Norman Davis". ESPN scrum.
  25. ^ Starmer-Smith, p144
  26. ^ a b Starmer-Smith, p142
  27. ^ Starmer-Smith, p146
  28. ^ "Radio Borders - All The Biggest Hits". Radio Borders.
  29. ^ "IRB Hall of Fame Welcomes Five Inductees" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) retrieved, 7 November 2009
  31. ^ "Dates set for 2010/11 IRB Sevens World Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  32. ^ Hamilton, Tom (17 May 2015). "USA make history at Twickenham with first World Rugby Series tournament win". ESPN (US). Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ "International Board backs British Olympic sevens team". BBC Sport. 6 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  35. ^ Gavin, Mairs (30 September 2009). "Great Britain will enter team if Rugby Sevens gets 2016 Olympic green light". Daily Telegraph.
  36. ^ Staff (22 October 2010). "Ireland finally look to take Sevens seriously ahead of Rio 2016". Sportsbeat. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011.
  37. ^ "Rio 2016 : 7 Rugby Men". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  38. ^ "Rugby, racquetball added to 2011 Pan Am Games". ESPN.com. 11 July 2007.
  39. ^ "Pan Am Games Tickets: Be Here for Gold-Medal History". TO2015. 18 August 2014. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  40. ^ http://www.amwr.co.nz/
  41. ^ "First IRB Women's Sevens event announced" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  42. ^ "IRB announces Women's Sevens World Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 4 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  43. ^ Taylor, John (29 September 2010). "Fears for sevens specialists". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 11 October 2010.

External links

Tournament sites

World Rugby Sevens Series

Other Sevens tournaments

Australia national rugby sevens team

The Australia national rugby sevens team participates in international competitions such as the Sevens World Series and Rugby World Cup Sevens. The current captain of the team is Jesse Parahi, and the head coach is Tim Walsh.

Rugby sevens is now recognised as an Olympic sport and made its debut in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Australia qualified for the tournament after winning the 2015 Oceania Sevens Championship.

Australia also competes at other international tournaments for rugby sevens, including in the Commonwealth Games.

Canada national rugby sevens team

The Canada national rugby sevens team competes at several international tournaments — the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens, Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games.

England national rugby sevens team

The England national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games. England's best finish in the Sevens Series is second place, which they have achieved four times, most recently in the 2016-17 season. They have once won the Rugby World Cup Sevens — the inaugural tournament in 1993.

The England Sevens team has generated several notable sevens players. Ben Gollings holds the record for points scored on the Sevens Series with 2,652 points. Dan Norton holds the record for tries scored on the Sevens Series with 302 tries as of November 2018. England's Simon Amor (2004) and Ollie Phillips (2009) have each won a World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year award.

England women's national rugby sevens team

The English women's national rugby sevens team has been competing in the Hong Kong Women's Sevens tournaments since 1997. England are also one of six teams announced by the International Rugby Board as "core teams" that will compete in all four rounds of the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series in 2012–13.

Fiji national rugby sevens team

The Fiji national rugby sevens team is one of the most successful rugby sevens teams in the world. Fiji has won the Hong Kong Sevens a record eighteen times since the tournament's inception in 1976. Fiji has also won the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice — in 1997 and 2005 (coincidentally, the two times it has been held in Hong Kong). Fiji also won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, the country's first Olympic medal in any event.Fiji is also known for its style of play — the "Flying Fijians" play with Fijian flair. Their passing and offloads can be unorthodox for traditional rugby coaching, and more similar to basketball style.

France national rugby sevens team

The France national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens, and other international tournaments.

France women's national rugby sevens team

France women's national rugby sevens team was champion of Europe in 2007 (European Women's Sevens Championship).

Japan national rugby sevens team

The Japan national rugby sevens team participates in competitions such as the World Rugby Sevens Series and the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

New Zealand national rugby sevens team

The New Zealand national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens, Summer Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games. The team has been officially known as the All Blacks Sevens since 1 June 2012.The team played for the first time at the 1973 International Seven-A-Side Tournament. In 1983 it first entered the Hong Kong Sevens, where it has been champion 10 times and runner-up another 10 times.

Premiership Rugby Sevens Series

The Premiership Rugby Sevens Series is a Rugby Sevens competition for the twelve Premiership Rugby clubs that will play the following season (i.e. the 2010 competition features the teams playing in the Aviva Premiership in the 2010–11 season). It was started in 2010, as an off-season competition, held during the months of July and August. Between 2014 and 2016 the competition included the four Welsh regions which compete in the Pro14.

Rugby World Cup Sevens

The Rugby World Cup Sevens is the premier stand-alone international rugby sevens competition outside the Olympic Games. The event is contested every four years, with tournaments for men's and women's national teams co-hosted at the same venues. It is organised by World Rugby, the sport's governing body.

The first tournament was held in 1993 in Scotland, the birthplace of rugby sevens. The winners of the men's tournament are awarded the Melrose Cup, named after the Scottish town of Melrose where the first rugby sevens game was played. The women's tournament was inaugurated at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens held in Dubai.

In men's Rugby World Cup Sevens, the New Zealand have won the tournament three times, Fiji have won it twice, and England and Wales have won a single tournament each, while Argentina, Australia and South Africa have reached tournament finals but not secured a title.

For women's Rugby World Cup Sevens, Australia won the first tournament in 2009 and New Zealand won the second and third tournaments in 2013 and 2018. New Zealand are the current men's and women's world champions having won both tournaments in 2018.

In May of 2009, the International Rugby Board (now World Rugby) stated that if Olympic rugby sevens were added to the Rio de Janeiro games, their intention was to end the World Cup Sevens. In 2013, following two weeks of consultation, the board announced that the competition would be retained and integrated into the Olympic calendar, meaning that a meaningful elite level competition would take place every two years from 2016. In common with other Olympic team sports, the World Cup hosts a larger number of teams than the Olympic tournament. The first competition after Olympic integration took place in 2018, which entailed a one-off five-year gap from the 2013 competition.

The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament for both men and women's teams was held from Friday 20 July 2018 to Sunday 22 July 2018 in AT&T Park, San Francisco in the United States. Unlike previous Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments and the annual World Rugby Sevens Series events, in each of the genders, both competitions were played in knock-out only formats.

Rugby sevens at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Rugby sevens at the 2016 Summer Olympics was held over six days in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. The 2016 Olympics was the debut for rugby sevens at the Summer Olympics, though rugby union was last played at the 1924 games.

The usual laws of rugby sevens applied.

Rugby sevens at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's tournament

The men's rugby sevens tournament at the 2016 Summer Olympics was held in Brazil. It was hosted at the Deodoro Stadium, a temporary outdoor stadium constructed as part of the Deodoro Modern Pentathlon Park in Rio de Janeiro. The tournament was held from 9 August to 11 August 2016, starting with group matches before finishing with the medal ceremony on 11 August. The 2016 Games marked the first time that rugby sevens has been played at the Olympics, and the first time since 1924 that any form of rugby had been played at the Olympics.

The gold medal for Fiji represented the first Olympic medal earned by Fiji at any Olympics. Great Britain won silver and South Africa defeated Japan to win the bronze medal.

Rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Games

Rugby sevens has been played at every Commonwealth Games since its first appearance at the 1998 edition held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Rugby sevens was an optional sport that was included for 2002 and 2006; it was then made a 'Core' sport by the Commonwealth Games Federation, necessitating its appearance at all future games from the 2010 Games onward. New Zealand dominated the men's tournament at its inception until 2014 when they lost for the first time at the Games, playing South Africa in the gold medal match.

Up until the 2014 Games, rugby sevens was a male-only sport at the Commonwealth Games, but a female tournament was added to the programme for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

South Africa national rugby sevens team

The South African national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the Summer Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

Tim Mikkelson

Tim Mikkelson (born 13 August 1986 in Matamata) is a New Zealand rugby union player. He plays in the wing (and occasionally a forward in sevens) position for the provincial based ITM Cup side Waikato. He has also represented New Zealand in sevens rugby since 2008.

Mikkelson plays for the New Zealand national rugby sevens team. Mikkelson was awarded the IRB Sevens Player of the Year for the 2012–13 season, edging the other finalists Dan Norton of England and Joji Raqamate of Fiji. Mikkelson was then named player of the tournament for the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup.

Mikkelson has scored over 150

career tries for New Zealand in the World Rugby Sevens Series, putting him among the top 20 all-time try scorers in that competition.Mikkelson has also played club rugby for the Chiefs and for Waikato.

United States national rugby sevens team

The United States national rugby sevens team competes in international rugby sevens competitions. The main competition they play every year is the World Rugby Sevens Series, a series of ten tournaments played around the globe that includes the USA Sevens tournament in Las Vegas every spring. The team also participates in major tournaments every four years, such as the Summer Olympics, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, and the Pan American Games. The national sevens team is organized by USA Rugby, and the team has been led by Head Coach Mike Friday since 2014.

The Eagles have been a core team in the World Series and finished in the top twelve each season since 2008–09. The Eagles' best season to date in the Sevens Series has been the 2016–17 where they finished fifth. The best result in a single Sevens tournament was winning the 2018 USA Sevens and the 2015 London Sevens. In 2018 the Eagles won their first USA Sevens tournament at Sam Boyd stadium in Las Vegas.

Successes in quadrennial events include winning bronze medals at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games, and winning the 2015 NACRA Sevens to clinch a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games.

The United States traditionally used the sevens team to prepare players for the XV-side. Since January 2012, due to increased attention generated by rugby's return to the Olympics in 2016, the national sevens team has turned professional, with the team extending paid full-time contracts to its core players. The national sevens team has drawn a number of crossover athletes from American football and track, the most prominent examples being Perry Baker and Carlin Isles. The U.S. also sometimes fields a developmental team, the USA Falcons, in several tournaments.

Wales women's national rugby sevens team

The Wales Women's National Sevens Team represents Wales in Rugby sevens.

World Rugby Sevens Series

The World Rugby Sevens Series is an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments run by World Rugby featuring national sevens teams. The series, organised for the first time in the 1999–2000 season, was formed to develop an elite-level competition series between rugby nations and develop the sevens game into a viable commercial product for World Rugby. The competition was originally known as the IRB World Sevens Series, but has been known officially as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since 2014 due to sponsorship from banking group HSBC.The season's circuit consists of 10 tournaments that generally begin in November or December and last until May. The venues are held across 10 countries, and visits five of the six populated continents. The United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, France and England each host one event. Each tournament has 16 teams — 15 core teams that participate in each tournament and one regional qualifier.

Teams compete for the World Series title by accumulating points based on their finishing position in each tournament. The lowest placed core team at the end of the season is dropped, and replaced by the winner of the Hong Kong Sevens. New Zealand had originally dominated the Series, winning each of the first six seasons from 1999–2000 to 2004–05, but since then, Fiji, South Africa and Samoa have each won season titles. England and Australia have placed in the top three on multiple occasions, but neither has won the series. The International Olympic Committee's decision in 2009 to add rugby sevens to the Summer Olympics beginning in 2016 has added a boost to rugby sevens and to the World Sevens Series; this boost has led to increased exposure and revenues, leading several of the core teams to field fully professional squads.

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