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Friday, June 26, 2015

Tis the Time o' the Season for... 7s!

7-a-side Rugby
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Denver 7s at Dick's tomorrow
Referee Nick Cutrell’s last whistle on Sunday last, terminating the championship game of the 2015 Rocky Mountain Rugby Challenge, also meant the end of 15s season down on the plains (though one can yet get one’s 15s fix up in the hills within a polygon drawn from Breckenridge (“Highest Rugby in the Country”) - to Steamboat Springs - to Grand Junction - to Aspen - and then back to Breck again). The chat nowadays has turned to the truncated form of the god’s game known as 7-a-side rugby. 
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Originally developed by canny Scots (pardon the redundancy) at the latter stages of the 19th century as a means of maintaining fitness over the course of non-15s-playing periods,the 7s code thus embedded itself within rugby’s rich panoply and its emergence globally has resulted in its inclusion at the XXXI Olympiad in Brasil next summer.
This weekend - tomorrow - rugby action shifts from 15-a-side to the shorter, swifter sevens format and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the 48th Annual Denver 7s Rugby Tournament , a national qualifying event. The competition features: elite men’s and women’s classes; as well as men’s social and college brackets; high school boys and girls, and also a number of youth divisions. In all, more than 50 sides will be contesting the pill on the expanse of fields surrounding the stadium at Dick’s 9am through 6pm tomorrow, Saturday, June 27.
On Wednesday evenings, adult and youth 7s leagues get after it at Cranmer Rugby Park (also known as The Sundial Rugby Grounds - between 1st and 3rd Avenues, three  to six blocks east of Colorado Boulevard).  

Barbos.pngMark your calendars, Saturday July 25, for that’s the other national qualifying 7s tournament, and this one is sponsored and promoted by Denver Barbarians, who know a thing or two about 7s code having been ranked in the top 10 in the nation continuously since the advent of our hierarchical determinant system. There will be 8 elite men’s sides at Cook Park Rugby Grounds, located at Monaco Boulevard and Florida Avenue, looking to claim a berth in the 2015 USA Rugby National 7s Clubsides, August 8/9 in Des Moines, Iowa.    

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