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Last Saturday at PPL Park in Chester, PA, United World Sports LLC (operator of Rugby Today, USA Sevens, College Rugby Championship, and the Varsity Cup), premiered an exhibition game of new, seven-a-side concept. The contest was played in four, twelve-minute quarters between the Ontario Blues and the New York Rhinos. The objective was to create a recognizable sport’s format familiar to Americans (e.g.; four quarters, three periods, nine innings, etc.) that would comprise a full game.
The future aim is to establish a commercial entity called the Super 7s Rugby League (SRL) made up of paid professionals competing at sevens rules rugby. Theoretically, it would consist of eight to twelve city-based teams (eighty-percent USA and twenty-percent Canada), playing on a weekday night, the featured game aired on national television.
At the park for this inaugural game, each team listed sixteen players. In essence the four quarters resembled interchanging hockey lines with similar liberal substitutions coming at the end of each quarter, and also during the game itself.
Reaction was highly positive to the SRL from the television broadcaster, coaches at the CRC, fans, players, and executives at United World Sports. Next steps are to analyze the film of the game to determine what to keep, and what to change. Then, a promotional DVD will be used to seek investors with a goal of raising initial capital of $40 million to launch the League.
Let’s remember Victor Hugo’s statement, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Is it time for the first North American professional rugby league in an innovative format? Watch this space.