South Shore Sharks Youth Rugby Club "Frequently Asked Questions"

1. What is rugby? Why do you call it 7’s?

A: Rugby’s a fairly simple game. The object is to ground the ball in the try zone (end zone) for five points. We call it a try. Depending where the ball is grounded, you get a shot for a two-point conversion on line with where you scored. On occasion, you get a penalty kick or a drop goal attempt for three points.

The main rule is that you can’t pass the ball forwards, even accidentally. Also, there’s no blocking in rugby. Our term for it is obstruction & it’s a penalty offense.

We run a 7’s rugby program, meaning that it is played with seven players per side. Rugby also has a 15-a-side game which is also quite popular. The 7’s game is what will be played in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The United States won the last gold medal for rugby in the 1924 games in Paris!

This is a fantastic example of our game from the 2013 London Sevens. The USA takes on South Africa & makes history for USA Rugby.

2. Is the club co-ed?

A: Grades 6 & under are fully co-ed are non-contact flag rugby and we’ve found that the co-ed play helps to foster respect going both ways between the girls & boys.

For the older girls, if there's no separate team specifically for girls, they are allowed to play with the boys. We are working on having a separate girls squad for 2016.

3. What are the age ranges?

A: The Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization has classifications for grades 3-12.

4. Will you expand to contact rugby? Why don’t you play tackle in all age groups?

A: In 2016, we will play full-contact rugby for grades 7-12. Grade 6 and below are non-contact flag groups.

5. I’m not from Whitman. Can I/my son/my daughter play for your team?

A: Yes. Absolutely. We are a club with mostly Whitman residents but players from towns without clubs are welcome to play here. We are working to build the game to create more squads around the South Shore.

Check us out at facebook.com/SharkYouthRugby and at Twitter.com/SharkYouthRugby for more information. You can always call the phone number on the website or tag us through our contact form on the website!

6. What is your club’s schedule like?

A: We plan to have a few local opponents, including the Boston Irish Wolfhounds (based at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton) as well as a few new clubs being born on the South Shore as we speak. We’ll also play in a few tournaments including the MYRO (MA Youth Rugby Org.) Jamboree & the Bay State Games. We are hoping to have a tourney in Whitman.

Our calendar has practices beginning in late April/early May playing until the end of July. The first weekend in August is a possibility but we’d like to keep August clear if we can.

7. Where can I watch rugby on TV?

If you have Directv, turn to channel 490 (and sometimes 489 as well). That channel shows international test matches, Super Rugby matches (from Australia, New Zealand & South Africa), the ITM Cup (New Zealand’s Domestic League) & the Currie Cup (South Africa’s Domestic Competition).

Fox Soccer Plus shows the Pro12 league (Teams from Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Wales) & the Aviva Premiership (England’s top domestic league). Universal Sports holds the rights to the IRB Sevens World Series.

8. What is the HSBC World Series?

World Rugby runs an elite international sevens rugby competition known as the HSBC World Series. There are divisions for men & women.

The Men's competition includes these core teams: USA, England, France, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Samoa, Fiji (2014-15 champs), South Africa, Kenya, Russia, Wales, Argentina, Portugal & Scotland.

The Women's competition includes the core teams from: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Ireland, France, Russia, Fiji, Spain & England.

9. Where can I watch rugby locally?

A: http://ssrugby.com/ - That’s the website of the South Shore Anchors, the local club side. They play their home matches at Ralph Talbot Field located at 277 Ralph Talbot Street, Weymouth, MA 02190.

Many Boston area colleges field rugby programs as well, such as:
Harvard: http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/rugby/
Boston College: http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/svp/st_org/rugby/
Boston University: Facebook Link

10. Do you have a fee waiver program?

A: Yes, we do work with families with tight budgets. We are a community organization and our first priority is to let the kids play rugby. Shoot us a message via our contact form or give us a call at the number on the website: 781-252-0283

11. Where can we buy a rugby ball or rugby gear?

A: WorldRugbyShop.com is our provider. We plan on getting a ball to every paid member this season as part of your membership. You can get anything from cleats to USA Rugby gear to professional club jerseys/t-shirts from England's Aviva Premiership, France's Top 14, Super Rugby (NZ/Australia/S. Africa) & the Pro 12 (Ireland/Wales/Italy/Scotland).  Balls usually run $15 & up there. It's as good a deal as you'll find. We recommend & use balls made by Gilbert.

12. Do we need cleats?

A: The answer to this is no, sneakers are just fine. However, rugby does have a specific law when it comes to cleats. Cleats that have a toe cleat on the top center of the toe are ILLEGAL. Players will not be allowed to play with that type of cleat. Pictured below are the legal cleat (Gold Canterbury cleat) and the illegal type (in this pic, a Nike baseball cleat).