It's not just a game.
Rugby is a dynamic contact sport played in over 100 countries worldwide. Its popularity transcends gender, racial, religious and class differences and provides unique opportunities for players to forge friendships. And while rugby is the fastest growing sport in the United States, we still hear this question a lot: "Why rugby?"
The question is simple but the answer is much more complex -- and difficult to put into words. Once you've played, you quickly understand that rugby is not a game: it is a way of life that affects everything both on and off the pitch (a.k.a. the "field" in other sports). It's just different. People play rugby precisely because it is not football, and it is not soccer. In fact, it's not like any other sport. Rugby teaches sportsmanship, fairness, and how to respect and create community with opponents in unique ways.
For example, if our opposing team team doesn't have enough players for a match, we "lend" them some of our players... because playing the game is more important than winning. And here's one thing you won't usually see at soccer, baseball or basketball games: After each match the hosting team prepares and serves a meal for the visiting team and their families. This gives players and spectators a chance to talk and get to know one another. This unique practice extends the rugby family beyond the team to the whole league.
Rugby also teaches teamwork at a level beyond other team sports. Given the rules of the game, there is no way to play rugby but as a tight, cohesive group. A rugby team also requires a variety of body types and skill sets to play different positions, so everyone has a place regardless of size, weight, speed, or previous sports experience. We consider our team to be FAMILY.
The bottom line is that we welcome all new team members and include everyone. We take pride in our team, rely on one another and understand that each player has a part to play.
Mutual respect is a cornerstone of the rugby experience, and not only with respect to our own team members and our coaches. Rugby teaches mutual respect for opposing teams and for match officials and supporters. Competitive, adversarial and argumentative behaviors displayed and accepted in other sports are simply not tolerated at a rugby practice or match.
But mostly, rugby is about thefun. We try to help players enjoy training and playing at all levels. We're all part of the rugby family and are here to help every player grow, thrive and enjoy each rugby moment.
NE Wisconsin Rugby Foundation