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Despite the fact that the summer 7s season has hardly started, it’s time to speculate where teams will fall in the national tournament.

The big news of late, of course, is that a team from Hawaii will be accepted into the tournament and get the 15th seed. The Northeast, which had three seeds in 2010, lost one of them after their teams finished 10th, 11th, and in the bottom four (the four Bowl Quarterfinal losers don’t play any placing games and so are all tied for 13th).

Rather than the NRU’s 3rd seed being assigned to another territory, it was instead given to Hawaii.

The West, which also had three seeds in 2010 and saw their teams finish 3rd, 4th and 13th, retain their 3rd place at nationals.

The pools are then put together, with the Club Committee trying to ensure that teams aren’t matched up with rivals from the same territory. That’s not always possible, and this year, the two teams from the Pacific Coast will be in the same pool.

Expected 2011 7s club championship pools:

Pool A
Pacific 1
Pacific 2
Midwest 1
West 3
This is the Pool of Death, with PCRFU champs likely to be Old Puget Sound, and SFGG, Utah Warriors, or Humless, likely vying for the second spot. Midwest #1 could be 1823 or Chicago Lions, while West #3 is anybody’s guess.

Pool B
Northeast 1
SoCal 1
South 2
Hawaii 1
A pool full of question-marks. No one knows who could be #2 out of the South. Belmont Shore looks good for SoCal #1, although OMBAC has a shot there. Boston seems to be the class of the Northeast while no one knows what to expect from Hawaii.

Pool C
West 1
South 1
Northeast 2
Mid-Atlantic 2

Currently Glendale looks to have the inside track on the West title, and Life could well have the top spot in the South. Old Blue or Middlesex could be the Northeast runners up, and the MARFU territory is wide open.

This is probably the most competitive pool, with any of the four with an excellent shot at making the quarterfinals. However, if Glendale doesn’t win this pool, we’d be pretty surprised.

Pool D
Mid-Atlantic 1
SoCal 2
West 2
Midwest 2
Another pool that is highly competitive. Think that the SoCal #2 team could well be OMBAC, the MARFU champs anyone from Maryland to Kutztown University to Schuylkill River. The West runners up could also be anyone – Denver, Aspen, KC, Dallas – and the same with the Midwest #2s. Any of these teams could be 3-0 or 0-3 or somewhere in between.