Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Notre Dame College to Bring in 7s Qualifier Competition to Cleveland Area

Anyone who has been within earshot of the rugby world in recent years knows all about the sport's recent rise to mainstream popularity. With the inclusion of the sevens format in the next summer Olympics, this fast-paced form of the game has garnered the most attention.

Notre Dame College has experienced a similar rise to popularity and prominence, and in an effort to keep bringing quality rugby play to the region they are putting on the Collegiate Challenge Cup. The CCC will take place on the Notre Dame College campus on April 11.

"We wanted to have a high-level competition," said Head Sevens Coach at Notre Dame College, Jason Fox. "We wanted to have an inter-conference competition to see how teams stack up outside their conferences."
Jason Fox coaches the Notre Dame College Men's Rugby team
during a match in 2012. (Credit: Notre Dame College Facebook page)

Fox is hopeful that the tournament will bring collegiate men's teams in the top 16 of the sevens national rankings and collegiate women's teams from the top eight and allow them to engage in a competition that will not only have bragging rights on the line but have bigger implications for those who excel. According to Fox, a collegiate sevens national championship is in the works that would take place over the weekend prior to Memorial Day.

"Our tournament is going to be either a Division I or a Division I and Division II qualifier," he sad. "I''m excited about that."

Fox is hoping to have some of the biggest names in collegiate rugby out to compete. Invitations have gone out to teams like Bowling Green State University, Ohio State University, Kutztown and Saint Bonaventure on the men's side as well as Penn State, Lindenwood and Davenport on the women's side. These teams will compete alongside smaller collegiate teams to see who can capture one of the four championships being contested that day - there will be cup, bowl, plate and shield champions crowned.

"We want to get teams playing against each other - different conferences, different skill levels - so the teams can learn to play," Fox said. "At the end of the day they're going to be bubbled off into the bracket they're competitive with."

Naturally, Notre Dame College will be entering teams in both the men's and women's brackets, and hopes are high that they'll perform well, despite the stiff competition.

"I'm hoping we'll win it, obviously," he said. "Saint Bonaventure has a good team. Wheeling Jesuit is always good. Bowling Green I'm sure is going to have a good program. Miami has a really good program. Based on last year, we should do well."

With an anticipated 60 matches being played on two fields taking place throughout the day, the competition is sure to provide enough action for every rugby fan in the area to enjoy, especially the younger players and fans on hand.

"We're hoping to reach out to the youth programs," Fox said. "The fifth through eighth grade competitions start the following day and we'd like to have them come out and watch rugby at a pretty high collegiate level."

Fox is working with some big rugby-centric groups in the Cleveland area to make sure the tournament goes off like he hopes it will.

Teams interested in getting involved with the tournament and competing, should e-mail Jason Fox for details.

1 comment:

  1. Unless you can deliver quality performances constantly, you will find it hard to get a permanent place in the big 12 teams. Coaches don't really care about you or your background; all they care about is the result that you can deliver.