•  Got questions? Here are a few answers.

     

    • What’s rugby… that’s like football without pads, right? WRONG! It looks like football without pads, but it isn’t. It’s more like playing soccer with your hands. Apart from no padding, the two major visible differences between football and rugby are there is no blocking in rugby and the ball cannot be passed forward. Other differences include losing possession of the ball if you go out of bounds, play is continuous even if there is an injured player on the pitch, time will be added to the game clock due to lost time for penalties, injuries, or other stoppage of play. 

    • Are there girl's and boy's teams? YES! 

    • Which grades can participate? All grades - freshman through senior - can participate.

    • Does Liberty have its own teams? YES! Liberty High School is the host school for the district's only rugby teams. We have combined with students from other LUHSD schools exemplifying one of rugby's core principles - sportsmanship. AND, all LHS players will earn a letter if they meet all the requirements. 

    • When is a typical season? Rugby has two seasons - fall 7s and spring 15s. Fall 7s is a short season with it starting in August, the first games in September, and the final one played in October. Typically, preseason conditioning for 15s starts in mid-October and runs through mid-December. Full contact practice starts in in early January. All players are required to sign a waiver before participating in preseason conditioning, and be cleared through Athletic Clearance before being allowed to participate in full contact practice. The season kick-off tournaments are mid-February. Matches are played every weekend (except for bye weekends) through the end of April with play-offs and championships matches played the first part of May. (Subject to change.)

    • When are practices and games? Practices are Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 4:00 – 6:00 location TBA. Games are usually played on Friday night or Saturday morning and afternoons. (Subject to change.)

    • Is there anything I have to sign if I want to play? Yes, there are a lot of forms you need to sign. Rugby is unique as there are multiple governing bodies involved in our area. There is USA Rugby (national governing body), Rugby NorCal (state governing body), and the school. All those wishing to play will be required to fill out the necessary paperwork from all governing bodies, get a school sport's physical, have a COVID-19 waiver on file for the current school year, and register and be cleared through Athletic Clearance. 

    • What if I don’t want to play, can I still join the club? ABSOLUTELY! We need people to help with social media, filming games, music playlists, statistics, and fans cheering at games.

    • I already play another sport, does that mean I can play rugby? YES! We only want to borrow you during your off-season. The skills learned in rugby have cross benefits. For example, if you play football, you will learn rugby tackling techniques (which are being adopted by college and professional teams). If you are a cross country runner, you can maintain your endurance as rugby players run between 3.97 and 4.3 miles per game depending on the position. Playing one sport exclusively exposes athletes to the potential of overuse injuries and mental burnout[1]. Athletes who play more than one sport have a competitive edge over those who do not, and appeal to coaches who are looking for well-rounded athletes[2] who know how to attack a different challenge and have the advantage of “accelerated training.”[3][1] Dr. Steven Yemm, quoted in “Playing Multiple Sports Pays off for Student Athletes” article by Kevin Lytle. March 7, 2016. [2] Mike Bobo, Head Football Coach Colorado State University. Ibid. [3] Tom Hilbert, Volleyball Coach, Colorado State University. Ibid. 

    • I have never played a sport or rugby before, does that mean I can still play? ABSOLUTELY! No experience is necessary. Coaches will teach you how to play, and your teammates will work with you. The only skill you need to start playing is dedication and a good attitude. 

    • Rugby is so new in our area. What are your success stories? Glad you asked! Even though our teams are five years old, our athletes have excelled in this sport. Our 2018 girls' team won their division in their inagural year. FUN FACT - Because championship games were cancelled in 2019 & 2020, Liberty High School is the reigning D2 champions. In 2019, multiple boys and girls players were invited to participate on elite all-star teams including Bay Area Academy, Rhino Academy, and RNC All-Stars. Our alumni are currently playing college rugby at San Francisco State, UC Santa Barbara, UC Long Beach, and Sonoma State. Alumni are playing club rugby throughout Northern California including with the Berkeley All Blues - one of ten premier women's teams in the country. Twenty percent of our girls' team was selected for the Northern California All-Star team in 2020. Because rugby players have skills recognized and valued by other sports, our alumni have received offers to play college football. And, a few of our players have been invited to try-out for national and Junior Olympic teams.       

    • What are the opportunities for rugby players after high school? Women's rugby is an NCAA D1 collegiate sport meaning there are athletic as well as academic scholarships available to those wishing to continue playing while in college. While men's rugby has not been recognized by the NCAA, many D1 colleges have very successful teams offering prospective players academic scholarships. There are many competitve men's and women's adult club teams throughout the country with several of the top clubs located in Northern California.  

    • How are COVID-19 protocols affecting rugby? As with everything, COVID-19 is affecting rugby in many ways. First, our 2020/2021 seasons have changed. Sevens season is now January - the end of February, and practices for 15s start mid-March with the season going from late April through late June. The ability to have spectators at our games is unknown at this time, but we are expecting it to be limited. Second, anyone wishing to participate in rugby must be cleared through Athletic Clearance and have a COVID-19 waiver on file for the current school year. Waivers for preseason activities are no longer allowed for the 2020/2021 season. Third, physical distancing and hygiene practices require coaches and athletes to modify skills training and drills. What COVID-19 has NOT changed is our dedication to the sport and our commitment to our community. 

    • How can I sign up? Text @LionsRug to 81010 to keep informed about Liberty HS club meetings, team information, and all other pertinent information. 

    • For all girl's coach communication (players & parents only), please text @21GRugby to 81010, and for all boy's coach communication (players & parents only), please text @21BRugby to 81010.