Rugby popualrity in the United States

Katie Mazzarollo

Rugby is a form of football that was started in the 1830’s in the United Kingdom. Aside from soccer, rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world. This may come as a surprise to some because rugby is not even on the list of the top 10 most popular sports in the United States.
     The reason that rugby is not commonly played in the United States is because it was almost banned during the early 1800’s for being too violent of a sport. It was also dropped from the Olympics in the 1920’s because countries were mad that the United States was so good at the sport.
 More than 1,000 colleges have rugby teams and are a part of USA rugby. Majority of the college teams are men’s but they are starting to have more women’s teams as well. Women also have more scholarship opportunities due to the fact that it is so new to them. It is not the most popular sport in the U.S., but rugby is slowly starting to become one of the most played sports on college campuses.
 College rugby contains the majority of rugby players in the United States, but there are also rugby clubs for people over 18 and under 18. A rugby club is a team that doesn’t go through a school but is still a part of USA rugby like the college teams are. There are fewer clubs then college teams but majority of the clubs are for teenagers that are ages 14 to 19.
 In fact, the Quad Cities has high school rugby clubs that many people don’t know about. The Quad City Barbarians and the Quad City Barbies are the boys and girls rugby teams for teenagers who live in our area. They play teams from all over Iowa and Illinois during the spring time.
 Fritz Miller, the coach of the Quad City Barbies, said that the popularity of rugby has grown over the years. “Women used to not play rugby at all and now rugby is the fastest growing women’s sport in college. Also, 13 years ago, there was no youth rugby.”
 The popularity seems to be increasing for rugby but the sports controversy may however cause the sports popularity to never be as large as other major sports in the U.S.