With less than half the players on the pitch and twice the pace of the traditional 15-a-side game, rugby sevens combines brute force with feline agility. The teams try to score as many points as possible by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball in 14 or 20 minutes (finals) of play. Sevens remains a contest for possession of the ball, but as four defenders and three attackers per side employ ingenious tactics to outwit their opponents, the game moves fast and fluid – and the scores tend to be very high.
Rugby sevens was voted for inclusion in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics by the 2009 IOC Session in Copenhagen, DEN. The sport will make its fourth and final appearance in The World Games 2013 Cali.
Rugby featured in The World Games 2013; check the event calendar for all details.
Learn more about Rugby on The World Games Channel.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
The short code ...
They call rugby sevens the "short code." But fact is that the abbreviated version of the traditional 15-a-side game is nothing short of the real thing. Rugby sevens is continuous action, with hardly any interruptions. Fewer rucks! Fewer mauls! Fewer scrums! That amounts to more rugby!
Sevens in a nutshell...
The object of the game is that two teams should, by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball, score as many points as possible. Always according to the Laws and in a sporting spirit! The team scoring the greater number of points to be the winner of the match.
The game is played on a grass surface measuring no more than 100 by 70 meters. The matches for rugby sevens go over two halves, each seven minutes long, and the final over ten minutes each half. A match is controlled by a single referee aided by three touch judges and, for major matches, by additional electronic means of review where there is doubt as to whether a try has been scored.
The origins ...
The proud team sport of rugby has its roots traced back to 1823, to the Rugby School in Warwickshire, England, and to one of the students enrolled there. William Webb Ellis, supposedly the first to pick up the ball and run with it during a football match, is credited by some with inventing the game – singlehandedly.
Rugby sevens has its origins in Melrose, Scotland. The first tournament was played there in 1883. One of the pioneers, Ned Haig, described the reasons for the emergence of the new game in his "An Old Melrose Player's Recollections."
"Want of money made us rack our brains as to what was to be done to keep the Club from going to the wall, and the idea struck me that a football tournament might prove attractive but as it was hopeless to think of having several games in one afternoon with fifteen players on each side, the teams were reduced to seven men."Ned Haig, 1907