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A year ago we were very concerned about the state of club 7s, because, it seemed, we were stretching to get 16 teams who really wanted to be at the national tournament. Now? I count as many as 40 teams who seem to have the desire and the ability to perform well at the national championships. That’s a remarkable improvement.

The reasons for this improvement are myriad, but include the surging popularity of 7s among college and high school players, thanks in large part to the exposure of the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s event on NBC and run by USA 7s (which also owns this website), and the growth of interest in 7s due to the Olympics.

Those young players are gravitating to clubs in order to play summer 7s, and their presence is encouraging club players to hold up their end, too.

It’s a very positive thing for the game, in part because it creates competition. Ten of the 16 teams at nationals in 2010 did not qualify in 2011. Seven of the teams there in 2009 aren’t there this year.

OK, so now to the rankings. Once again our top team was knocked off its perch.

We struggled with who to move to #1. Boston has been ranked #2, but do they jump to the top spot just by default? Not automatically. What about the fact that the Denver Barbarians beat Glendale? Do the Barbos go 1st? No, because they then lost to the Woodlands Exiles. So can Woodlands take #1?  Belmont Shore lost to Glendale earlier this summer, but surely they are supremely talented. Utah knocked off SFGG who beat Old Puget Sound. They could be the best tea too.

It is very confusing, which is kind of what we want.

In the end we go with whichever team won when it needed to, and did so in convincing fashion. July 26, 2011 Club 7s Top 20
1. (2) Boston. Won Northeast and did it impressively.
2. (5) Chicago Lions. Won Midwest. If we were being picky, we’d worry about 56 points given up in five games.
3. (11) Woodlands Exiles. Won West.
4. (1) Glendale. 3rd in West, losing to Denver in semis.
5. (3) Belmont Shore. Top team played a few games and won them.
6. (4) Utah Warriors. Idle
7. (6) SFGG. Idle
8. (7) Old Puget Sound Beach. Idle.
9. (10) Schuylkill River. Won Mid-Atlantic
10. (8) Atlanta Old White. Idle.
11. (19) YoungBloodz. Second in Midwest. Beat Griffins twice, Milwaukee and 1823.
12. (12) 1823. 3rd in Midwest.
13. (9) Chicago Griffins. 4th in Midwest
14. (15) Denver Barbarians. 2nd in West, beat Glendale (#1).
15. (13) OMBAC. Earned #2 seed from SoCal.
16. (14) Old Blue. Lost in NRU semis.
17. (16) New Orleans. Idle.
18. (20) Maryland Exiles. Lost to Schuylkill in MARFU semis.
19. (17) East Palo Alto. Idle.
20. (Unr.) Middlesex. 2nd in Northeast.
20. (18) Life. Idle