Thursday, February 1, 2018

U.S.A. Rugby Announces Changes To 7s Championship

U.S.A. Rugby has announced changes to their 7s Championship structure. The tournament will still feature 16 men's and 16 women's changes but how some of the men's teams get there will be different. Instead of each region being given two spots (occasionally one spot would got to Hawaii or the South and another region with traditionally a number of strong clubs would be given three) each region--Pacific North, Pacific South, Frontier, Midwest, Red River, Atlantic North, Mid-Altantic, South--will now only be given one automatic qualified. Two teams will be determined through the men's qualifiers--one in the East and one in the West--while the remaining six teams will be selected at large allocated to regional qualifiers (this was updated to fix some earlier information we got wrong).  Their performance over the previous three seasons will be considered and no more than three teams from each region will be allowed in the tournament.

Think of it like this. In the Frontier region Utah wins the qualifiers and gets the automatic spot. The Denver Barbarians, Kansas City Blues, and Glendale Raptors then fight it out in the Open Qualifier along with other top teams from the West. Let's saw that Barbarians win that. If the Blues or the Raptors want to make it to Nationals they would have hope to gain one of the spots allocated to the regional qualifiers. The Blues might have a case given their 7s run the last few years while the Raptors would probably miss out.

Take the jump to read more.
As of right now there aren't changes to the women's qualifying process but there could be.

Another change includes the regional qualifiers. Each region must have at least two, but no more than four, qualifying tournaments in order to qualify for one of the automatic seeds. This will not be a big change for most of the regions with the exception of the South who had their qualifiers spread out.

There has also been a change in player eligibility. In order to clarify things U.S.A. Rugby has said that each team can have three non-citizens who legally reside in the U.S. on their roster. What that means is that even if a player has lived in the U.S. for ten years but is not a citizen they count as a non-citizen player. In other words, teams have to have nine U.S. passport holders and can have three non-U.S. passport holders on the roster. Additionally, if a tournament meets a certain requirement teams can carry a thirteenth player like on the Sevens Series.

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1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, there are inaccuracies in this article.

    "while the remaining six teams will be selected at large"
    No, the remaining six seeds will be allocated to regional qualifers. There will be no at-large qualifications. Further details on the 2018 Club 7s pathway and events will be announced next week.

    "In regions like the South they can still have regional competitions and an overall championship because they all count as qualifiers."
    No. The South had 13 qualifiers in 2017. It will have to only have 4 or fewer in 2018. Tournaments that qualify a team for a regional championship tournament count as qualifiers. This will also probably impact the Pacific North, but those are the only two regions really affected.