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The Galaxy Touch Rugby tournament is set for this Saturday at Robb Field in San Diego.

Touch photos courtesy Tim Lew, Rod McLeod and Bryson Davis

Supported by USA Touch, the event is part of a movement to popularize touch rugby in the USA. The tournament is open to all ages and both genders, with co-ed brackets available.

Former Olympic Club standout Tim Lew has been active in touch rugby lately, saying “it’s a good avenue for guys like me who have played competitive rugby, but can’t have the commitment level it takes to play DI or Super League.”

Lew went with a USA team last year to Scotland for the World Cup, along with prominent players such as Scotty Fraser, Toshi Palamo, Daniela Mogro and Alison Price. He said the game is growing in the USA.

“It’s nice to have a sport where you can play every weekend,” said Lew. “At first it seemed like there was a lot of ex-pats playing, at least here in the Bay Area. But there’s touch rugby starting in Portland and Houston, Florida, San Diego and New York.”

The biggest issue for each of these efforts is to formalize the rules – is there a limit to possessions (as in rugby league); how quickly do you have to stop or pass after a tackle? – of all these questions need answers.

Several teams and competitions are co-ed, and Lew said that’s appealing to a lot of players.

“Now you’ve got guys playing with their girlfriends, and they both can participate,” he said.

This weekend’s tournament may be a precursor to a national championship. But for now, eight teams will play a full day of competition. Team registration is closed, but fans can still go see the games at Robb Field, 2525 Bacon St. San Diego, starting at 8:30am.

For more on USA Touch Rugby go here.