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The SoCal 7s Series kicks off this weekend with the OMBAC 7s tournament in San Diego, Calif., Saturday. It is the first of four tournaments in the series, with the top two finishers earning berths to USA Rugby Nationals in August.
Belmont Shore and Santa Monica are looking to reclaim their spots at Nationals. Belmont Shore made an impressive run into the Cup Semifinals, losing to the eventual champion Seattle Saracens while the Dolphins exited the Bowl semis with a loss to 1823. Pasadena, Orange County, San Diego, and OMBAC round out the California teams that will be participating in the 7s series.
Although the Arizona teams do not fall under the guise of SoCal in 15s, the two geographical unions have been combined for 7s play. Arizona, however, appears to be sending only one squad to the series, that being the Arizona Academy.
“The Arizona academy team was created so all players in Arizona could combine for training and the best could be picked for each tournament,” said the Arizona Academies’ Ryan Thompson. “It is currently comprised of mostly Tempe players for the OMBAC 7s.”
The OMBAC 7s consists of nine teams divided into three pools. The hosts have fielded two squads and the Northern California squad, Olympic Club, is participating despite not being able to collect points.
Each team will play two pool games and then will be reseeded for Cup play. The top overall team will receive a quarterfinal bye to ensure that 9th place team will play a 3rd game. As a result, only the top seven will make the Cup quarters as the 2nd through 7th seeded teams will fight for the three remaining spots in the Cup semis.
This weekends pools are as follows:
Pool A - Belmont Shore , OC Ravens , OMBAC 2
Pool B - Santa Monica , AZ Academy , San Diego 7’s
Pool C - Pasadena , OMBAC , Olympic Club