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The American Collegiate Rugby Championship is getting aggressive in its recruiting tactics, having sent an open invitation to conferences and teams across the country. The ACRC started this competitive cycle and ran a knock-out championship 15s tournament in the fall. It's running a similar 7s tournament this May.

The ACRC is a rogue competition not run by USA Rugby, and it's clearly put its stake in the ground for fall 15s. The seasonality debate is one that's raged for years, but only recently have college coaches, conferences and teams taken vigilant action. DII managed to strong-arm USA Rugby into a fall 15s championship in 2013, and the appears to be following suit.

Below is the open invitation sent out by the ACRC in full.

The ACRC is extending invitations to all conferences interested in a highly competitive fall rugby competition that culminates in a December championship. We welcome interested conferences and teams from all geographic regions. The goal of the ACRC is to organize a vibrant rugby community that compliments the welfare of the players while enhancing their rugby options during the spring semester.

The autumn 15s competition offers various options. A conference may choose to send their conference champion into the regional and national playoff format or simply crown their conference champion and culminate the season. Teams in any conference may also wish to extend the fall season by participating in an organized ACRC Bowl structure.

The spring competition offers extensive flexibility that is so refreshingly unrestrictive, that it will revitalize our sport. The benefits are astonishing when listing the assorted avenues of development. The first path of player development is the ACRC Spring Sevens competition. The ACRC has formed a sevens competition committee to advise and construct a full semester of sevens tournaments in conjunction with participating conferences. There are continuous open spring sevens tournaments slated, along with individual conference sevens championships. The official ACRC sevens season will peak with our sixty-four team championship tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The ACRC recognizes the Las Vegas Invitational in February, as the beginning of the sevens season. Culminating with the CRC tournament in June. This pathway can lead into summer sevens for players that aspire to excel in the abbreviated game.

However, the ACRC spring sevens format is just one option. It is not mandatory to engage in spring sevens. Actually nothing is mandatory in the ACRC. It is specifically designed to promote autonomous conference participation.

Another ACRC advantage is the elite player’s (All-American & Jr. All-American) freedom to attend selection and development camps, as well as select side competitions and tours. The collegiate U-20 players would have the option to reap the benefits of an overseas exchange program or even make a personal decision to take a semester off to prepare for the JWC/JWRT. In addition to these USA Rugby elite development events, players and teams have the ability to compete in the Varsity Cup, PRP and eventually the ARP. All of this made possible by the all-inclusive national championship season taking place in the agreeable weather of the fall semester.

Another benefit of the ACRC autumn format is the ability to co-ordinate home rugby matches with the college football fan base. Along with the leverage to schedule alumni reunions during the most active time of the college calendar. Teams could also utilize the spring to organize rugby tours or specialize in spring tournament competition. Or a team could concentrate on specific off-season task, like getting bigger, faster and stronger during the spring semester.

An exciting concept for the development of the sport would be college coaches dedicating their spring semester to holding high school player development clinics or tutoring young high school coaches. Not to mention the ability to spend time on the recruiting trail. There is also the opportunity for the revitalization of collegiate select side rugby competition. The goal of the ACRC is to enhance the opportunities of the collegiate rugby players and coaches. Please consider our invitation to join the future of college rugby. If you have experienced restrictions to compete in fall rugby, please feel free to contact the ACRC. Our officers are prepared to answer your questions and discuss our mission. Please consider contacting:

Bruce McLane    [email protected]

Roger Mazzarella   [email protected]
Josh Macy              [email protected]
Doc Jones              greggajon[email protected]
Don Ferrell             [email protected]
Eric Taber               [email protected]
Pat Kane                [email protected]

Steven Siano          [email protected]
Biddy Boyle            [email protected]