Rugby Football Club
Youth Initiatives 2000
Information on upcoming youth initiatives in Fort Worth will be
available soon. Fort Worth plans a youth rugby team, as well as a youth rugby camp in Fort
Worth in the Summer of 2000.
Reprinted Article on Youth Rugby in the USA
Rugby is the Sport for the True American
By Alex Goff
Thursday, March 02, 2000
In the United States, we are in full presidential election swing,
celebrating the weird and wonderful American democratic process. It's fun, tough, and
sometimes difficult to watch, but always compelling.
See where I'm going with this? The election is all about being American.
So is rugby.
Rugby? Well, OK, the sport began as a symbol of British imperialism, and
was rejected in part because of that image, is now alternative, different, American.
If you're a parent wondering whether your child should play rugby ...
whether in high school or in the hundreds of Under 15 leagues springing up nationwide,
consider that rugby is a sport in the true American spirit.
Rugby is Democracy
Rugby is a true team game. It's not like basketball, where one superstar
player can carry a team. It's not like football, where each player has a specific role and
cannot participate in other aspects of the game. In rugby, everyone is together, filling
in for the fallen, running, tackling, driving together. Rugby is democratic because
players on the field decide where the game goes. Do were run outside or play it safe? Do
we make this call or that call? It's up to the players (i.e. the voting public) rather
than the calls of the coach.
Rugby is Independence
Americans do not like to be pigeonholed. Millions came to this country
to avoid being forced into a role in like they didn't want or didn't deserve. As parents,
we encourage our children's creativity. We tell them they can be anything they want.
That's the American Way. But then we play sports, and kids are stuck into roles.
"You're a lineman, don't touch the ball, boy. You, you're tall, get in the low post.
You, you're a girl, you can't play tackle sports."
Rugby gives kids the power to decide. They can see a position and decide
it works for them. They can be playing one position, but have the freedom within the team
framework to show creativity, to come up with new tactics, and to put their stamp on the
game. U.S. national team captain Dan Lyle said how in football he always had to wait for
the ball. In rugby, he found, he could go get the ball. Being American is about going to
get the ball.
And for girls, who are constantly told what's appropriate behavior for
them, rugby is a chance to show that strength and tackling and teamwork are girls'
Rugby is Hard
Under-15 rugby in the U.S. is no-tackle, but it's still a tough game.
High school rugby is full-contact, and it's a tough game. But that's good. Life is tough,
earning the American Dream is tough. The right solutions require hard work and sacrifice.
Rugby is that.
Rugby is Honor
You tackle in rugby, but you have to tackle fair ... hard but fair. You
give to your teammates, finding greater glory in giving the pass that sets free the
try-scorer than in scoring the try yourself. Rugby is driving an opponent into the ground
and later slapping each other's backs and sharing a pizza. Bad losers and bad winners have
no place in rugby and, by tradition, are not tolerated.
Does that sound like an election year? Well, yes. No matter what mean
things we all say about candidates and the left and the right, in the end, we come
together, we celebrate the completion of a fair and right democratic process. In the end,
we are all Americans.
If you are a parent considering what sports your kids might play, think
about what kind of people you want them to be. Do you want strong, self-assured people who
can take personal responsibly and work as part of a team? Do you want someone unafraid to
try something different, or make quick decisions? Do you want someone who understands you
don't always have to be big or scary-looking to win? Do you want your child to offer a
hand to blind person unsure when to cross the street, or someone who will help someone
with a flat tire? Do you want a child to be proud of?
Get them on a rugby team.
For more information about rugby in the USA, log on to http://www.usarugby.org