The Ref Zone: USARL Rugby League With Great 9s Tournament

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usarlGREEN BAY, WI – Last weekend was the opening tournament for the USARL in a 9s competition. It was much like 7s in the sense that you reduce the playing numbers and play on a full-size field, so the game has that similar feel of openness and expansive play. While I’ve experienced the game on the international level, this was my first League experience in North America. And guess what? I am/was pleasantly surprised.

The tournament started out with seven teams and a Barbarians side of the extra players that teams had brought. The teams came from both the USARL and AMNRL competitions, with a team also traveling from Jamaica to complete the field of eight. It truly was an international event in that regard.

The standard of the day was pretty fair. Even with some very newly-formed teams 9schampsweb coming out to play, the quality said play was quite good – and the new teams were surprisingly solid. Seeing players completely new to the game picking it up that quickly was amazing.

It was a great day even though the tournament had to be delayed because of rain on Friday. With this delayed start, the final ending up being played under the lights as dusk set in, adding to the atmosphere of the tournament. In this scene, the Pennsylvania Bulls play the Philadelphia Fight in the Final, with the PA Bulls beating the Connecticut Wildcats and the Philly Fight beating the Duhaney Park Red Sharks from Jamaica in the Semi-Finals.

All in all it was a great day to be had. The final saw the Fight win out on home soil. There was a festival atmosphere at the tournament and a great day for all involved. If you’re looking for a fun day out watching a new style of rugby that you’ll pick up in a few minutes, take a look at rugby league. You can find the schedule here.

Perhaps the largest question here is why is it that there are so few Rugby League teams in America? With how quickly people pick up on the game, the non-competing season – bar 7s – and the pace and excitement of the game, it makes for a great energetic sport! Being able to play any form of rugby has to be good for rugby as a whole, especially in the USA.

Head out to a game this season to see what all the excitement is about.

That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, please look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@ :RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Jaime Loyd, DJ Eberle, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.

About Cody Kuxmann 60 Articles
Cody Kuxmann is a Referee at London Society Of Rugby Football Union deciple... When not sending innocents to the Sin Bin, The American International University in London grad splits time between England and... Green Bay, WI! And like all referees, is Blind, Deaf and Dumb.