Rugby Sevens is a unique breed of sport. It boasts an unparalleled mix of exhilarating action & overwhelming fan-fare that separates it into a category of its own, not just in comparison to rugby, but amongst all other professional sport. So what traits make it stand out? Here’s five:
1. The Format
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens runs a men’s circuit that includes ten different stops around the globe. Each host nation holds a two-day, festival-like tournament that features 16 international teams on the side. Similarly on the women’s side, there are six stops on the circuit with 12 teams participating. Teams accumulate points at each stop, based on how they place, and at the end of the year, the nation with the most points is crowned World Champion.
2. The Space
Rugby Sevens, as the name suggests, is played with only seven players per side; however, the game is played on a full-sized pitch. This gives a lot of space to operate with. Picture a freight train, with the speed of an Indy Car, and the agility of a Mini Cooper with very few obstacles in its way and all that space …you can see where this is going. The space gives every play the opportunity to become a footrace, and footraces allow players to showcase amazing feats of individual skill that leave fans buzzing.
3. The Time
The games are short: two seven-minute halves with a two-minute break. Teams have 14 minutes of playing time to outscore opponents before the final whistle. This condensed timeframe makes it possible for any team to win on any given day. It also allows athletes to play at a blazing, up-tempo pace. Where other sports might play one game in a week, rugby sevens teams will play multiple games per day!
4. The Speed
With fewer players and less time, sevens athletes play with a sense of urgency that keep audience on the edge of their seats. The play moves from end to end in rapid fashion with very few moments where the ball isn’t moving. The modern sevens player has an unprecedented combination of size and speed that only adds the thrill.
5. The Party
The party factor is one element that really makes Rugby Sevens stand alone from all other sporting events. What other event allows you to watch from multiple vantage points in a stadium, come and go as you please, mingle with fifteen other nations throughout the day, and take a photo with a group of lumberjacks, all well wearing an animal onesie? People-watching is nearly as fun as the sport on the field at every tournament. The fans are loud, the costumes are wacky, and the atmosphere is second to none.
BONUS: The Selfies
Need I say more? It’s rare you find the athletes of every team sticking around after their matches to capture some golden selfies with their most adoring fans. The pictures speak for themselves.