Rugby is a growing sport in the US and is popular in the Pacific Islands, Australia, Europe, Canada and South Africa. It is particularly popular in New Zealand (it is the national sport there, and the national team has the best international record in the world). Over 60,000 people are now associated with USA Rugby. Note: There are two common forms of rugby: Rugby League, and Rugby Union. Rugby Union is the most common form of rugby played in the United States.

According to lore, rugby was invented at Rugby School, England when a boy (William Webb Ellis) picked up a football (soccer ball) and started running with it. Rugby is from the same sports tree as soccer and American football, all three of which are related games that became distinct over time. There are 15 players on each side, (plus seven replacements) and the match (not game) consists of two forty-minute halves. The fifteen players consist of 8 forwards and 7 backs. The subtleties notwithstanding, the basic distinction between the two classes is that forwards are stronger, more powerful and require more stamina, and are charged with winning and maintaining possession and making short, charging runs;the backs are smaller, faster, are more agile and typically possess more dexterity and better spatial orientation, and are charged with moving the ball forward through complex running maneuvers, quick and deceptive passing, and kicks.

The ball is moved forward by kicking, passing or mauling. The ball cannot be passed or knocked forward. Rugby is a high-speed game where stops are far more sporadic than in American football (the average phase lasts for about a minute), and only for penalties, infractions, ball into touch (i.e., out of bounds) or injuries. As there are no "downs" or any such obstacles to keeping the ball, rugby is much less about yardage and much more about possession than is football. Scoring is done by kicking the ball through the uprights (either in penalty kicks or drop goals) or touching it down in the dead-ball zone for a "try" (this originally counted for no points, and was so termed a "try at goal", or a chance to kick). UC Davis has two great rugby club teams, Men's and Women's.

While rugby players have a reputation as burly, hard-drinking thugs, this is not always the case as people of all shapes, sizes, demeanors, styles and politics play the sport. DHS has an Rugby club as it's not a school sanctioned sport, however recently students have been allowed to letter in it. —StevenDaubert

In 1920, Colby 'Babe' Slater won an Olympic gold medal as part of the first United States Rugby team. He was captain of the team in 1924.

Local Rugby Teams