Rugby membership is greatest per person in New England and the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado and Utah. Senior-level rugby is played by 32,754 men and 11,790 women. Over 34,000 high school players play rugby for their schools or U19 clubs (26,212 boys and 8,706 girls). And nearly 1 million people play rugby at some level.
Rugby is growing in popularity across the United States. There are more than 100,000 students involved in high school rugby, and thousands more adults participate in college, club, and open league games each year.
In 2016, there were almost one million players of all ages and both sexes participating in rugby around the world. The majority of those players were male.
The USA is a major player on the international stage as well as on the field during club and university games. It is the second largest market in the world behind England with more than 100 teams competing in the National Rugby League (NFL) alone. In addition, several thousand more men's and women's players take part in recreational games.
There are currently no official figures available for rugby participation in Australia, but it is believed to be growing in popularity. In May 2017, an official report revealed that rugby union has surpassed soccer as the most popular sport in Australia - with approximately 15 million participants. This makes rugby the fastest-growing sports code in the country.
USA Rugby has more than 98,000 registered members. California, New York, and Pennsylvania have the most registered rugby players.
There are more than 70 rugby clubs across the United States. Most clubs are located in large cities, but there are also clubs in smaller towns and rural areas. The largest club events include the annual USA Rugby Championships and the biennial World Rugby Sevens Series event. Both events are held over a four-day period in late June or early July.
Rugby was first introduced to America by British immigrants who played a game similar to modern-day rugby union. In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, more than 100 young Americans were recruited into an American rugby league team called the United States national rugby league team. But in 2001, the USRLT disbanded after eight years of play. There is now a new American rugby union team that was founded in 2015: the Atlanta Blackskins. The team plays in the North Division of the National League and uses a modified version of rugby rules called "rugby sevens."
In 2016, there were more than 10,000 people involved in some way with rugby in the United States. That number includes players, coaches, referees, support staff, and parents/friends/spectators.
Rugby union is a burgeoning national sport in the United States. USA Rugby governs rugby union at the youth, high school, college, amateur club, professional, and international levels. USA Rugby had approximately 125,000 registered players as of 2016. The majority of these players were men between the ages of 18 and35.
There are more than 70 colleges and universities that play rugby football in the United States. Collegiate rugby has become popular among students at every level of education with nearly 100,000 participating annually. There are also hundreds of clubs throughout the country with members ranging from children playing in kindergarten to retired athletes. In addition, there are several dozen American rugby supporters who follow the game closely and often get involved in its administration.
The United States Army began developing an interest in rugby during the late 19th century. By the 1920s, the army had organized two teams, one based in Boston and the other in Washington, D.C. These teams competed against each other and other military squads from around the world for honor belts made by Arnold Toynbee.
In 1946, the United States government sent a team to England to compete in a tournament called the British Empire Games. The American squad was made up of soldiers from various military branches and sailors from the United States Navy. This is how rugby was introduced into America. Since then, it has become a popular sport among young people across the country.
Over 900 collegiate teams, both male and female, are registered with USA Rugby. Over 32,000 college players are registered with USA Rugby, making college rugby the largest segment of the organization's membership. In addition to the traditional "A" team, most colleges have "JV" and "CV" teams that play in the same conferences but are usually not as competitive as their older counterparts.
There are currently 81 universities with men's programs and 77 with women's programs. The United States Army Academy at West Point has a men's program that is officially recognized by USA Rugby; however, it operates independently of the university system and does not receive any funding from it.
Men's Division I Teams: Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Louisville, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Purdue, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Women's rugby is more popular in Ireland than in any other large country, with 1,511 adult players per million (assuming statistics is true). Women's rugby is quite popular (players per million women)
|Registered adult women players||15,860|
|Players per million women||131.59|
According to a recent Nielsen research poll, rugby is the fastest-growing sport in America, with over 33 million individuals interested or extremely interested in the activity. USA Rugby has around 125,000 members who compete in 2,673 clubs and over 900 college teams. The largest sports organization in the United States, USA Rugby represents its members in all aspects of government affairs, including lobbying for legislation that affects rugby. In addition, it manages international relations and acts as a liaison between members and the national team.
Rugby has seen huge growth in the United States over the past few years. Men's club rugby in America grew by 35% from 2007 to 2008 while women's club rugby increased by 80%. The number of high school rugby players has also increased dramatically - up by about 50% from 2007 to 2008. College rugby saw its enrollment increase by 10% between 2006 and 2007.
Rugby has been called many things - football without hands, basketball with men, soccer with knives - but one thing that almost everyone agrees on is that it is fast paced and physical. Played by two teams of seven players each, you will need strong legs, tight muscles, and solid bones to be able to take part in this exciting game. It is estimated that you have a 1 in 6 chance of being tackled by an opponent at any time during the course of a match.