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A few years ago at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC), held annually outside Philadelphia in June, the attendees in the stadium witnessed a radical and exciting new version of the popular seven-a-side game. Two teams played four quarters to determine a winner, a sport form similar to a basketball game.
This new contest originated from the creative mind of the late A. Jon Prusmack, CEO and owner of United World Sports LLC, operators of the USA Sevens, the CRC, Rhino equipment and clothing, and the magazine website RugbyToday. Prusmack enjoyed a significant rugby career as player (Westchester RFC and NYAC), coach, and book author. (He was inducted into the USA Rugby Hall of Fame for first starting, and then, for many decades, publishing Rugby Magazine.)
Prusmack understood the fan appeal of sevens to both the rugby community, and importantly, to a potentially wider sports-minded audience. The problem with sevens as it is played worldwide is the need to bring together many teams (12,16, or 24) for a two-day event.
The new rugby competition would be called Super 7s. (S7) A one off match with four quarters of ten-minutes each. A sports format ideal for television.
Prusmack's goal was to create a Super 7s league for city play during the summer months. An innovative variation would have the rosters comprised of women and men, who would alternate play. The male-female squad composition echoed the popularity of the USA Eagles Men's and Women's sevens teams, now ranked first and second in the HSBC World Rugby rankings. Probably, both squads will book 2020 Tokyo Olympic berths after the final tournaments of the 2018/2019 season.
To shepherd the start of Super 7s, Prusmack turned to David Niu, an Australian-American rugby league and rugby union administrator, coach, and former USA national team player. Niu set out to find investors for the rugby concept, and, importantly, outline a timeline for the new league.
With initial funding finally seeded from investors, Super Rugby Sevens will spotlight and introduce the concept via a promotional "Million Dollar Scrum" event. Men’s and women's sevens teams in three age categories can register for this online competition that will send twelve teams to Las Vegas.
The S7 "Million Dollar Scrum" is to be held on Saturday, June 22 in Las Vegas. One million dollars in total prize money will be distributed among the six winning teams.
To qualify for the "Scrum", all interested teams must complete an official registration form, and then rally friends for online votes. The 12-teams with the most votes will be invited to Las Vegas. For more information and to register, access:
(Part 2 - How the S7 League will operate.)